Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pitch Perfect

Several of us have had the wonderful opportunity to pitch our manuscripts with an editor and/or agent. Several of the girls in my critique group recently mentioned they might need advice as they go through the same terrifying process. Why is it so scary for us?

Yesterday, on one of my favorite threads at, an editor for the SuperRomance line mentioned she wanted to know why it was we worked ourselves up to the point of feeling the urge to vomit. Here is a portion of the post...

Okay, question: I thought writers got nervous about pitching because they only have 10 minutes (or, in Chicago time, seven minutes). But on the weekend everybody was quick to point out how wrong I am about that. (See how fearsome I am? My authors can't wait to tell me I'm wrong.) So if it's not the anxiety of getting so much information out in such a short time, why is pitching this nerve-wracking for authors?

Inquiring editors want to know,


and her response to some of the answers...

Re: Writers write. That's why you can't treat a 10-minute pitch as your make-or-break moment. Because an editor can't decide much based on a pitch (except, if you tell me the heroine is a wolverine at full moon, I might be able to decide on the spot...). It's all in the execution, so no matter how sheep-voiced you get, we still need to read the work to get an idea about the writing. Even if you vomit on us, it's still no indication of whether your writing suits Superromance. Although, again, thank you Tasha for abstaining.

Good luck, everybody, with your work!


One of the reasons I love spending time on that thread, is an occasional editor will pop in with words of wisdom or encouragement. She made it sound like as long as you do your homework and pitch the right type of story with an editor of a particular line...she'll almost always ask for a partial. As long as the storyline can work with that publisher or line...they need to see a.) not only your writing style, but b.) a general gist of the direction you're headed. worries, right?! Never. LOL! My fear is...sounding like an idiot and not getting my story blurb out in an intelligent manner. These wonderful editors/agents that take their weekend time to visit conferences may hear a ton of storylines all within a short period of time. What happens if mine was number 85 of say ... 101 of the same type of story?

I think that as long as it fits the editor, line and/or publisher... there's a VERY big possibility it'll be requested. SO chin up, girls. Use that knowledge to your advantage to calm your nerves and blast that pitch out with confidence!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Industry News

Wow. I feel like I'm back in high school. I've had to cut back on my blog-hopping because hubby was home and I also have a ton of work to do. Well...I heard about Signet/Penguin releasing all rights back to Cassie Edwards and thought I'd check out the Smart Bitches blog to see what they might think. One poor woman made the mistake of blasting a few and it became a feeding frenzy. One poster even made the effort to find out what the girls full name was and posted it as if she was doing everyone a favor. The poor woman probably felt like she was being attacked by a pack of wolves. Big surprise...why would you open your mouth and not expect snarky, crude comments in return? The girl even went so far as to call...get this...Nora Roberts a bitch. No, I'm not kidding. Of course, by the end of the posts everyone was kissing and making up....well as much as possible considering the blog.

Then ~ I guess a historical author Deborah Anne MacGillivray has posted some nasty remarks about someone who gave her a 3 star review at Amazon. Even went so far as to comment that she'd tracked down the reviewers personal information through a private investigator. Wow. Come on people...really? Apparently the bruhaha is that she trashes anyone who gives her anything but stellar reviews and she has a crew that dominates the Amazon review system by using it to their own advantage. Ok. I can see that because if there is a way to cheat...there will always be people that will take advantage of it. But now the site Dear Author has gotten just as nasty with people fighting in the posts.

Then ~ *sigh* Author Tess Gerritson has decided to stop posting on blogs because of something she supposedly said with a sarcastic humor was taken out of context and she was blasted on her own blog.

A wonderful mentor that I have looked up to has said we should be spending more time on our writing. She doesn't blog, blog-hop or anything compared. She is very successful and doesn't really have time to devote to anything but her writing. Maybe I need to take her advice??

I love blog-hopping when I have time...but too many times...I make time when I don't need to and get stuck spending WAY too much time online. So I'll shut-up and get back to work.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Checking in...

Hey, guys! I realized I hadn't posted in several weeks and thought I would check in with everyone. I miss blog hopping but I've been struggling with a chapter in the new manuscript. I thought what I needed was a road trip, actually I need to sit my butt down and just write. Without thinking or my typical over-analyzing. Several of the authors on the eHarlequin SuperRomance thread were talking recently about their struggles and it made me feel better. Their main focus is getting through the first draft. I guess what helped the most is the fact they talked about how rough the first draft always is. It seems to me that the editing is easier because you have a foundation to work from.

Hubby leaves for base again on Thursday and I know I'll need to purge some emotions. I've saved an emotional scene to work on for the end of the week so I can work out some of my tears and fears as hubby travels through Baghdad. That is always the hardest part of the trip...waiting for the call that he's back on base. As safe as he can be in a war zone.

We've talked about writing as you use this method?