Getting My Head In The Book

Still don’t know who I will be pitching my book to when I go to New Jersey next month. Heck, I don’t even know if it will be an agent or an editor, but I do know I signed up to pitch. I wanted to pitch the mystery, but there was just no way I was going to finish writing it before October. Well, writing it maybe. Editing it. Heck no. So I decided to pitch my last chick lit.

Apparently since I wrote the last chick lit, though, using the term “chick lit” has become like walking into high mass with the Pope himself at the altar and starting to pass out condoms. It’s taken on  a tacky tripe type reputation, I hear. Okay. well, it’s not a romance. I don’t think it would even qualify as romantic comedy. So what the heck is it?

Note to self – Go to the “What The Heck Do I Write Anyway?” seminar in Newark.

But figuring out what to call it is the least of my worries. Since I finished writing it, I have gotten a whole new cast of characters going on in my head doing totally different things than the book I will pitch. Starting now, I have to take those mystery characters and shove them aside — they don’t like that, by the way — and get my chick lit/rom com/women’s fiction characters into my head again. What was the heroine’s name again?

I should re-read the book. I am tempted to print it out and read it on the plane on the way to NJ. Actually, that’s not a bad idea. I’ve never pitched before, either, so exactly what will I need to do? The lovely and way too talented Alesia took me under her wing on this one a little and told me that pitching was pretty much like a query letter only in person. Okay. I get that. So how does that “in person” part affect it?

Do I walk into the room, sit down and say, “So there’s this chick named Maggie who was brought up by Mrs. Cleaver on steroids…” Or do I stand stiffly upright, clear my throat and launch into a dissertation on my characters, my plot, and why they want to buy my book? In 100 words or less.

I’m sure there’s a happy medium and I’m sure I’ll even find it. Would I like to sell a book in NJ? Heck yeah. Do I think I’ll actually do it? Not so much. At the same time, I really hope to be meeting some people who can help me eventually sell a book, be it LET’S DISH that I’ll be pitching, or MURDER IN F MINOR, that I’ll be thinking about instead. That might happen in my pitch, it might happen in the bar. Who knows? I guess I’ll figure it out when I get there. And trip over my tongue.

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