What a challenge and a rush pitching at the Pacific Northwest Writers Association conference was! I know most writers moan and groan and kvetch about pitching, but I found it exhilarating. Am I mad? (Shush! I think we all know the answer.)
I’d never pitched before and didn’t know what to expect, so I signed up for an editor group and an agent pitch (one-on-one). The first day of the conference, I sat in on Janna Cawrse Esarey‘s session, “Pitching to Agents Without Being Pushy,” then I went back to my hotel room and put together two pitches. The one for Girl Under Glass was lifted from a summary I recently emailed to an agent, the one for Preyers was boiled down from my query.
The next morning I loaded them on my iPhone because, contrary to popular belief, I am not a masochist who believes in forcible memorization. Then I boldly went where this girl had never gone before — in search of editors and agents to corner in the halls. I found three victims eager listeners. I received one “absolutely send it to me,”(Girl Under Glass) one “sure, I’d like to see it” (Preyers) and one “sounds really interesting, but not quite right for us” (Girl Under Glass). Ahh, two outta three takers. I was emboldened.
Saturday morning rolled around and brought my scheduled appointments. The editor, Michelle Vega with Berkley Publishing Group, was lovely, thoughtful, and requested a full when Girl Under Glass is finished. Yes! On to my agent pitch with Sally Harding of The Cooke Agency. She, too, was generous and insightful with her feedback, and requested Preyers. Can you say, “Woot?” I was on a roll, and there was an available seat, so I signed up to meet with Paula Munier of Adams Media. More positive feedback, more great questions, and another request for Girl Under Glass.
So that’s five outta six requests for both of my novels.
How did that happen? Well, simple. I relaxed. I had confidence in my work. I remembered that the agents and editors are just as eager as I am to find homes for good books.
Wanna read my pitches? Here they are:
Girl Under Glass:
Who do you trust when you’re trapped between Death and the Devil? That’s the decision Rachel Pryne faces at every turn in my dystopian romance, Girl Under Glass. Best described as The Scarlet Letter meets Logan’s Run, this book is set on a future Earth controlled by the Ohenrai, a powerful alien civilization. Rachel’s drive is protection of her young daughter at all costs and the hella-sexy male lead, Ehtishem, was genetically engineered to be a ‘god of war.’ One of the antagonists is the personification of Eden’s serpent and the other likes to play God. Throw in political backstabbing that would make Shakespeare proud and a hybrid Pentecostal/Jonestown-esque cult and you have a story which asserts love knows no bounds even as it reveals layer upon layer of secrets, lies, and manipulation.
Not all souls are worth saving, but one is worth catching.
Matilde Royce is the Soul Catcher. Alive, she was an Edwardian Catholic, wife, and mother; dead, she captures the evil souls lurking among humanity. But, misled by a trusted adviser about her true nature, Matilde is blind to her greater purpose. She believes God condemned her to a hellish, vampiric existence for murdering her family. Her enemies and her allies, however, know her power and they will not stop until they catch her. Matilde may not want her soul, but everyone else does, including the Roman Catholic priest who believes she will bring him salvation and the gentlemanly French daemon whose friendship and motives are the most suspect of all. As Matilde peels back the layers of intrigue and danger surrounding her, she must harness her unholy power to control her enemies and her allies before she is destroyed or, worse, enslaved. Yet that’s an act of futility when Matilde’s every move is orchestrated by others and she has faith in nothing — least of all herself.