Meet The Pitch Week XV Finalists

Meet The Pitch Week XV Finalists

Kathryn Haueisen, Mayflower Chronicles: How the English Met the Wampanoags

Historical novel Mayflower Chronicles: How the English Met the Wampanoags follows William and Mary Brewster from their simple rural lives in England, through exile to Holland, their perilous 1620 transatlantic voyage, and their first encounters with the Wampanoag Confederation.

Kathryn Haueisen’s mother did the genealogy research to document her family’s connection to William and Mary Brewster, who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620. With her mother’s research notes in hand, Kathryn traveled to England, Holland, Germany, and Cape Cod to do her own research to understand what motivated these brave, desperate people to sail thousands of miles away from anything familiar to them.

Being a pastor as well as an author, Kathryn has studied the Protestant Reformation, which is the backdrop for the Pilgrim story. In Mayflower Chronicles Kathryn combines a forty-year track record of publishing fiction and nonfiction articles and books with her research to write a historical novel from the perspectives of those who left everything behind and the Wampanoag people who found them in desperate condition on their land.

Kathryn writes a weekly blog at about people and projects making helpful contributions toward the common good. Her articles have appeared in a variety of national magazines. Her books are available on Amazon.

Karen Kaiser, A Path to Healing: When Those Who Are Supposed to Love You Can’t

Karen Kaiser was born into madness. Her birth was the beginning of her mother’s illness. Her mother was just 17, life just beginning for her, though in many ways it was also the start of the end. She was eager to be a wife and mother, but something was terribly wrong. As time passed, she became progressively more ill. Other family members followed the same course. Karen is the only member of her immediate family who is not diagnosed with a Bipolar Spectrum illness.

A Path to Healing: When Those Who Are Supposed to Love You Can’t chronicles her family’s intense struggle living in multiple realities and the journey to find a way forward in the face of a generational illness that continues to disrupt and pull them into chaos and torment.

Karen is a licensed psychotherapist and author with 20 years’ experience working in behavioral health and academia, as well as private practice. As part of her quest to understand what was real and what was not, Karen collected advanced degrees in counseling, even marrying a psychiatrist, and running her own practice. She devoted decades to individuals living with serious mental illnesses, perhaps with the hope that she would one day understand the illness that plagues her family.

Renate LeDuc, A Family Affliction

A Family Affliction is a memoir of a family’s experience with mental illness, suicide, and addiction and how all three intersect to impact their lives. As Bipolar Disorder affects one member in each of three generations, it tells the story of these tragedies but also the gifts that come from grief.

Renate LeDuc writes from the perspective of a daughter, sister, and mother. Through her experience she has found writing as one of the ways of healing. This developed into a passion to want to write this story in honor of her son and hopefully spread awareness.

Rentate retired in 2011 from the Social Work field after working with Child Protective Services. She now works part time for NJ CAP (Child Assault Prevention), doing workshops in the schools empowering children about bullying, stranger danger, and sexual assault.

Renate also volunteers as a Field Advocate for AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) and a Recovery Coach for CLEAR (Community Law Enforcement Addiction Recovery). She is also involved in advocacy for Mental Health, Suicide, and Addiction and tries to help others by telling her story.

Renate lives in Hardwick, New Jersey with her husband and dog, Grits. She has three grandsons, a daughter, and a son in Heaven.

Stephanie Schorow, Cat Dreaming

Stephanie Schorow has put a new twist on so-called “Chick Lit” with something she has dubbed “Kit Lit.” In Cat Dreaming, her first novel, she traces five years in the lives of four women, exploring their relationships with each other, their lovers, and their cats. Set in the 1980s, the narrative follows the women as they strive for career success, joy in their personal lives, and the perfect amount of shoulder padding. Over Sea Breeze cocktails in fern bars, they ponder an eternal question: “Which is better: cats or men?”

Stephanie’s most recent (and bestselling) book is a lively and somewhat salacious history of Boston’s experiment in adult entertainment: Inside the Combat Zone: The Stripped Down Story of Boston’s Most Notorious Neighborhood. She is also the author of Drinking Boston: A History of the City and its Spirits, and The Crime of the Century: How the Brink’s Robbers Stole Millions and the Hearts of Boston, which has been optioned as a cable TV series. Ink runs in Stephanie’s veins; she has worked for the Boston Herald, The Associated Press and the Stamford Advocate; she currently freelances for The Boston Globe. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in writing and communication at Boston-area colleges and universities. She is currently working on a young adult fantasy series.

Elizabeth B. Splaine, Devil’s Grace

0.63 seconds. That’s the amount of time cardiac surgeon Angela Brennan has to process the oncoming truck that destroys half of her family. Not long after the accident, death returns to snatch her daughter.

After she receives an anonymous note indicating that her daughter’s death could have been avoided, Angela confronts the healthcare power brokers and discovers lies, complicity, and corruption at the highest levels. As she uncovers the truth, barriers are thrown in her way that threaten to destroy all she has left: her career and reputation.

 Devil’s Grace is the fictional story of one woman’s path from devastation to redemption as she struggles to understand how profit could be placed above humanity. Angela’s choices of hope over despair and kindness over cruelty tell a timeless, yet timely tale that examines the role of women and the freedom that accompanies true forgiveness.

Elizabeth B. Splaine spent eleven years working in health care before switching careers to become a professional opera singer and voice teacher. Six years ago she turned her creative mind to writing and hasn’t looked back.

Elizabeth has written the Dr. Julian Stryker series of “Blind” thrillers, as well as two children’s books. When not writing, Elizabeth teaches classical voice in Rhode Island where she lives with her husband, sons, and two large dogs.

Jamie V. Taylor, Rewriting History

For many decades, Jamie V. Taylor carried this knowing of a place, right outside her downstairs back door, where someone, some older man, abused her. It was summer, she was six or seven years old, and it happened on her grey terrace, with her little back against the white cement wall. As an adult, Jamie would sometimes muse about which of my father’s friends it could have been. Last year she turned 60, and the knowing became clear. That man was her father.

Jamie’s poems are the telling of how she came to understand his story. Listening from within, across time, she heard her father’s story unfold, and felt incredulous, painstaking, sadness. Sitting with those deepest feelings, allowing energy to awaken new life, empowered this rewriting of history, his, and hers.

Jamie is a Senior Principal at LeSar Development Corporation. She has been providing technical assistance and training on public health programs, evaluation design, and data utilization to improve policy and programs for over 25 years. Jamie is also a practicing Quaker, has two beautiful grown children, and lives on a small lake in Avon, Connecticut, with her dog Juno, and a sweet cat. She has been studying energy healing, for nine years, from a Master Healer, and loves hiking, and writing. This is her first book of poetry.