Pitching, and I don't mean softball or woo, but pitching to agents is one of the most excruciating things a writer is expected to do. Now, people who know me say I have the gift of gab. I can strike up a long conversation with a total stranger or speak in front of an audience of a hundred or a thousand without fear. But, put me at small table across from an agent or editor, and no matter how well I have rehearsed, I blather.
I've pitched seven times and will probably have to pitch a thousand times more. My first time, I received a cut sign half way through my spiel. "I can't sell a 1920's novel. There is no market," she said very kindly. But she did allow me to send a few chapters, gave me a great critique, and told me I was a very good writer, but to choose another topic. So, I spent the next year writing what I thought was a lovely Regency. Got three requests for fulls - and three rejections. Whatever the disappointment, I figured I had pitching nailed at least. So, I trotted out my fresh, brand new historical, Lady Flora's Rescue, at this year's conference. The agent listened patiently. "Look, 18th Century with Indians won't sell, sorry." she said. I guess I will force myself to pitch again next year, but have no idea what to write next. Hmmm, maybe if those Indians were vampires.