This was important because I couldn’t fit my book into a category: it was women’s fiction, but not standard chick lit. It was a romance but unconventional. It was literary fiction by style but not by subject. So although
I believed in my book, I went into my three appointments with little confidence.
They were disasters! I felt timid, beholden, and what’s worse unprepared. Usually I’m great at one-on-one conversations but with each meeting, I felt less and less like I knew what I was doing there. I was just relieved when it was over.
Two years later, I’ve completed a second novel and I do the research and I pay for three more pitches. I am determined to have a difference experience, if not a different outcome.
So…I don’t write out a pitch. I figure out two things I want to say. First, I describe the opening chapter in a couple of sentences: 60-year-old woman on the run goes into a bar in New Mexico, meets a cowboy, and agrees to marry him. Doesn’t tell him about the psychopath on her trail or the detective she’s in love with at home. Second, I ask for what I want: an agent to champion the book and its older characters.
My appointments were Saturday so all day Friday I pitched to anyone who would listen. I pitched in line for meals, in the bathroom, waiting for workshops, in-between workshops. I pitched to 70 people at least. I was pumped.
All three of my appointments were easy, comfortable, fun. All three agents wanted to read. One sent me a contract. This week we sold that novel, Fog of Dead Souls, to Skyhorse Publishing.