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    Thursday, April 18, 2013

    Hello, My Name Is

    Hello all! I’m putting together all my last minute stuff for the Pikes Peak Writers Conference this weekend, including practicing my pitch.

    For non-writers, at conferences you can request pitch appointments with agents and editors. In these appointments you have a few minutes face time with an industry guru. You give them a pitch—a short, intriguing explanation of your book—if they like it, they might ask you to query them with a few chapters of your manuscript.

    Some organizations and industry professionals advise you to memorize your pitch. For the last few days I’ve been trying to do just that.

    But novels that fall under the fantasy category require extra explanation and my story world is complex. As I ran through my pitch either in my head or out loud in the shower, I kept flubbing it. So I’d go back and start with the easy part…

    “Hello, my name is Evangeline Denmark.”

    I’ve done this so many times in the last few days that now I cannot separate “Hello, my name is Evangeline Denmark” from “Hello, my name Inigo Montoya.”

    The phrases are stuck together floating around in my overworked gray matter. Which isn’t all bad. It worked for Inigo Montoya after all. His mantra saw him through to the end.

    But somehow I don’t think shouting “Hello, my name is Evangeline Denmark” and skewering agents with pens will get the desired result.

    Thankfully, this afternoon a couple of writer friends helped me break the mold I’d gotten stuck in. They encouraged me to go for a conversational, less practiced, approach. After all, who isn’t better at conversing than shouting prepared speeches at the point of a sword?

    Inigo might not approve of my new tactic, but I hope it gets the job done.

    So, writers out there, have you had any memorable pitch appointments?

    Non-writers, share some interview stories. I once pretended, during a job interview, that I was a celebrity being interviewed on TV. I did NOT get the job.


    Debbie Maxwell Allen said...

    My pitch last year was with Kristen Nelson. The elevators all stopped working at the exact time I needed to get to the 7th floor.

    I had to run up all those flights just in time to arrive breathless for my 8 minutes with the agent. Stressful for sure!

    As long as you don't say, "Prepare to die!", I think you'll be ok.


    Sonia said...

    Just don't use any of your big, fancy words. I heard that your vocabulary can go over the heads of some editors at times.



    Amy Leigh Simpson said...

    I prefer the conversational approach but I always practice how I will say my hook and intro. I try it different ways until it feels natural--normally in the car until my kids think I'm nuts.

    I had a great appointment last year and snagged an awesome agent. It's all about rapport. If you can just sit and chat, feel comfortable and present your stuff with confidence, you'll win them over! You got this girl!!

    Avid Reader said...

    Will be praying your pitches go well. I am so going to pre-order your book once it goes under publication.