Friday, March 19, 2010


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.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What I Gave Up for Lent

Blogging is like standing in a dark closet talking to myself. That said, I can always depend on my FB buddies for lots of feedback. When I mentioned giving up buying books for Lent-Oh, the horror expressed! Need I say most of my FB friends are writers and bookaholics just like me? Some took this vow to mean I would not be reading books for the duration-but, no. That would totally impossible for me. Jesus would never ask for that kind of sacrifice either. Like many others, I think of Heaven as a huge library full of books I haven't read and friends to discuss them with. I simply meant I would read from the four stacks of books I had already purchased or borrow from the library. A huge auto repair bill, the laptop I bought my husband for Christmas, and several large medical bills helped me make this decision.

Anyhow, I got off to a rough start. On the second day of Lent, Tracy Chevalier's Remarkable Creatures showed up in the mail, a book purchased with my book club credits plus postage. Then, my husband, feeling bad for me, gifted me with This Book is Overdue!, a tribute to librarians. At my writers' group, a friend, Sylvia Rochester, had copies of her new title, DaVinci's Lost Years, for sale. You gotta buy a friend's book, right?

I did better as Lent dragged along-until Fantasy in Death by J.D. Robb showed up having been pre-ordered back in January. I felt I redeemed myself at a recent writers' conference where I bought no books and probably made no friends because of it. I read a book I'd considered purchasing but got from the library instead. Didn't care for it. Glad I saved the money. Now, if only a Barnes and Nobel gift certificate wasn't burning a hole in my purse. When is Easter?