Meet The Pitch Week XIX Finalists
Ammie Elliott, Unicorn Horn Mountain
Unicorn Horn Mountain of The Dreamscape Series, by Ammie Elliott, is a story of perseverance that artistically celebrates diversity, empowerment, and inclusivity. The illustrations for this 32-page picture book are crafted in a graffiti-art style and re-imagine the fantastical unicorn as a more modern mythical creature of strength and grit.
Ammie is a fresh voice in the world of children’s literature who fell in love with the art of storytelling when she was five. As a child, she spent many of her summers frolicking with sheep atop Welsh mountains and touring through the country’s castles imagining the wondrous stories that unfolded once upon a time within their stony walls.
Ammie received her B.A. in English from Ohio University then set off to England for her M.A. in Contemporary Literature and Film from Hull University. During her time in England, she launched a creative writing magazine for the university and started a free after-school program that taught poetry and creative writing to local kids. After graduation, Ammie returned to Ohio and worked as a substitute teacher, technical writer, editor, and content manager. Some of her favorite and more recent projects center around empowerment and diversity within business and culture. However, her original dream of writing picture books was reignited by the birth of her daughter. Inspired by her daughter’s slumber, Ammie began to envision a boundless dreamscape where diversity and inclusivity is celebrated: The Dreamscape Series.
D.W. Hogan, Unbroken Bonds
In her debut historical novel, Unbroken Bonds, D.W. Hogan takes us back to 1956, when four teenage girls, from vastly different backgrounds, are incarcerated in the Frances Weston Home, in Knoxville, Tennessee for the worst crime they could commit, being unmarried and pregnant. Together they bond in friendship as they endure the culture of shame, condemnation, and secrecy dispensed not only by the Catholic nuns in charge, but also by their families and society’s attitudes. Their vow of sisterhood carries them into the turbulent 60s in the Deep South and the impact of Civil Rights on the nation and their own lives.
A mother of four grown children, and grandmother of two precious girls, D.W. lives in Huntsville, Alabama with her husband of twenty-nine years, Ralph, and their college-age, youngest son, Christopher, along with their snarky tabby cat named Zero.
She has worked in the technology sector in an administrative capacity. For fifteen years, as a husband and wife team, the Hogans owned a professional photography studio. D.W. enjoys cooking and entertaining. She is regularly covered with sawdust and paint from whatever craft or remodeling project she has undertaken. These days, when D.W. is not at her computer working on her next novel, she attends writers’ meetings and book clubs, as well as volunteers with Friends of the Library at her neighborhood library. An avid reader, she is always enthusiastic to share her recommendations on the latest book she found hard to put down.
Sue Holmes, OMGG (Oh My Greek God!)
In Sue Holmes’s novel OMGG (Oh My Greek God!), bolder not older, five women face choices that will determine the quality of the rest of their lives. Michelle’s botched suicide attempt rallies the troops into having a go at reconstructing their former pillar of strength, smashing all of their weaknesses wide open. Acropolis-type temples, the playground of the Gods, sets the stage for the 50th birthday celebrations and reunion of five childhood school friends.
The five friends are forced to take a hard look at the lifestyle choices that currently portray the Facebook versions of their lives. Even on the brink of multiple breakdowns, hysterical humor knocks at the door and a joy of life sneaks in as they revel in the Mediterranean sunshine. Missed opportunities, betrayals and the death of dear ones … is it really never too late? The intricacy of female relationships is revealed, as broken life dreams and false impressions collide with real life reflections and outcomes.
Sue Holmes was born, raised, and educated in Harare, Zimbabwe, a former British colony in Southern Africa sadly known for chaos and bloodshed. She is an international career banker, specializing in Wealth Management. She regards herself as a corporate mercenary, traveling to where lucrative career opportunities beckon. She currently resides in the Cayman Islands. Sue has firsthand knowledge of the many challenges that face women in their day to day lives, whether it is professional and/or personal.
Gregory L. Norris, Ex Marks the Spot
Ten years ago on an August night, Steve Ranley crashed his ride into a tree, taking a big part of Oliver Canfield with him. In the decade since, Oliver and Bradley MacIntyre have built a happy and successful life together, but their relationship has always been overshadowed by Steve’s death.
At 7:17 on August 30, at the exact instant Steve died, Oliver is thrust back in time. He reunites with Steve, only history doesn’t follow the exact course as he remembers its details, and circumstances lead to him meeting Bradley years before he was meant to. Oliver is trapped between his promise to save Steve and his renewed love for Bradley. His meddling with time could save the first love of his life while dooming the second.
Gregory L. Norris writes regularly for numerous short story anthologies, national magazines, novels, and the occasional episode for TV or film. Gregory novelized the Made-for-TV classic by Gerry Anderson, The Day After Tomorrow: Into Infinity (as well as a sequel and a forthcoming third entry into the franchise), a movie he watched as an eleven-year-old sitting cross-legged on the living room floor of the enchanted cottage where he grew up.
In late 2019, Gregory sold an option on his modern Noir feature film screenplay, Agatha Christie. Gregory lives and writes at Xanadu, a century-old house on a hill in New Hampshire’s North Country with mountain views, with his rescue cat and emerald-eyed muse.
Teresa Ann Roccapriore-Vitelli, You, Under Construction: Building Powerful Mindfulness Together
Teresa Ann Roccapriore-Vitelli’s memoir and self-education book, You, Under Construction, helps others become more empowered to build or re-construct a better life. This book will become a documentary film conveying her footprints to mindful self-empowerment actions she used to overcome obstacles, along with the discovery of a direct link of traumatic brain injuries to homelessness.
Almost two years ago, Teresa Ann’s previous traumatic brain injury re-occurs with the trigger of a major seizure that debilitates her well-being. While taking care of her father in his ailing health, Teresa Ann learns that her brain injury stems from her father abusing her as a child by hitting her repeatedly in her head.
She finds herself stopping to help homeless people, starts connecting and building relationships with them to discover how happy they were to become totally free and have freedom from our failed systems. Teresa Ann finds the will to begin a quest to find a way to help build and re-construct people’s lives. She develops a hub to connect people to help support each other’s basic needs and of homeless people from within their own communities to across the globe.
Teresa Ann is the Founder and CEO of APHP Enterprises LLC Consulting Firm and is working passionately to “build better lives” with her EdTech and Philanthropic software IP patents, trademarks, copyrights for products, services and a quest to end homelessness. She is a proud mother of two adult children.