Pitching a Book: Allergies, colds, and mothering…oh my!

Photo by Unknown

I am an avid believer that in life there are no excuses…except during allergy season in Atlanta, when your fighting a cold and when your a mother — there are no days off in motherhood. So, my goal of pitching to a literary agent each week in March was delayed, until last week.

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That’s right, I pitched to two agents last week. That means I’ve pitched to three agents since Feb. 25 — and I’ve heard back from two already! But I’ll share those details next week.

What I want to touch on this week is what you need to do even before you begin pitching your romance, erotic, fantasy, middle grade, YA or non-fiction (and so on) masterpiece. There are levels to this pitching thang and here is what I’ve learned since I’ve started.

Query Letter

As I shared before in my post Pitching to Literary Agents: See what had happened was…, your query letter not only summarizes your novel or novella, it sells the book. Be sure to include the word count, the genre(s), the audience who would love your book and who you’re book is similar to. That last part has been hard for me because I only like certain erotic stories, and they are mostly the classics.

But, if you can relate your book to a current author or novel, be sure to mention it in your query letter.

Oh and keep this to one page because a lot of agents just want this in an email and they are not going to read anything longer.

Synopsis

This was THE HARDEST piece to pull together for me but in the end, it was worth it because it helped me find those hidden holes in my own story. Again, in the post that I shared earlier, I touched on the importance of this piece.

Yes, no one wants to give away their whole book in 2-5 pages but you must in order to give some agents a full look your storyline.

Remember: this helps them figure out any holes and as I found out, it will help you too.

The FULLL EDITED Manuscript

Originally, I shared that you should have the first three chapters ready. Now I’m changing that to having the full piece completely edited. That means peer groups, hiring an editor, and reviewing it until you want to throw it across the room or are dreaming continuously about every word, every period, hell maybe even the amount of tabs throughout (or is that just me).

This is mandatory because some agents will ask for the first 10 pages or the first three chapters or the first 20 pages or the whole damn thing!! The idea is to be prepared for whatever their request may be. It could be the difference between making the connection now or missing the boat.

We’ll folks, that all I have time for! I’ve back on a normal writing schedule working on book two in this series, and preparing for passion-fy release sooner than later (thank to everyone who voted on instagram)!

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Erotic Fiction Fridays: Unknown Visitor

So excited about #EroticFiction Fridays on HERCrisis.com. This week that featured one of my stories, Unknown Visitor.

H.E.R. Crisis

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

This week, we’re kicking off a new series, Erotic Fiction Fridays. Black women are unique and beautiful beings. Our essence is copied by many, judged by all but worshipped by not enough. This series will introduce you to the layers of sexuality and power that lives within the plight of a black woman, told through various views. Keep up with the series by subscribing to the blog and following the writers. Now on to your #FridayRead [Mature content]

Unknown Visitor

by DNC
(@author_dnc | dncwrites.com)
Chapter excerpt from the Amazon best selling book Untraditional: A Collection of Passion-Fy Short Stories.

HE STAYED TWO DOORS DOWN from me. I saw him as I walked upstairs after a long day at work; 6’2”, mocha-skinned and shining from the sweat of just playing two hours of basketball at the YMCA. He carried his basketball in…

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Bad Grammar that Feels So Good!

Photo by Marion Michele on Unsplash

So, I just found out that March 4 was National Grammar Day. Yes, I didn’t make that up. In 2008, Martha Brokenbrough, founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar (SPOGG), established the day to celebrate the one thing that kids hate and writers adore — good grammar.

Let’s celebrate the joys of grammar by reflect on how it’s changed. I pulled the 11 terms  from Merriam-Webster online that are no longer deemed “Bad Grammer.” But, do we agree? Let me know what you think.

11 Common Terms That Used To Be “Bad Grammar”

  1. Above
    Both the adjective in “the above explanation” and the noun in “the above is an explanation” annoyed plenty of folks in the 19th and 20th centuries.
  2. Aggravate
    The “to rouse to displeasure or anger by usually persistent and often petty goading” meaning aggravated critics from the late 1800s through much of the 20th century—despite the fact that the meaning dates to the early 1600s.
  3. Balding
    It was new in 1938 and disliked until it proved too useful.
  4. Craft
    The verb, as in “crafting a poem,” wasn’t common until the late 20th century, when people spurned it as an upstart. But it actually dates to the 15th century.
  5. Debut
    The verb in our above (ahem) sentence “National Grammar Day debuted in 2008” was frowned upon throughout the 20th century, and a transitive version like “Martha Brockenbrough debuted National Grammar Day in 2008” was considered even worse.
  6. Finalize
    It was common in Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s, but an object of derision in the U.S. for a long time.
  7. Mentality
    This word as used to mean “mode or way of thought” or “outlook” bothered some folks of a stodgy mentality in the early 20th century.
  8. Out loud
    For much of the 20th century, you’d be criticized for reporting that something was said “out loud” rather than “aloud.”
  9. Transpire
    Using this to mean “to happen” a hundred years ago was a big no-no.
  10. Upcoming
    The word was new in the 1940s and condemned by some as “journalese.”
  11. Won’t
    It was described as “absolutely vulgar” (along with ain’t) in an 1846 address to high school students—criticism that was piled onto more than a century of previous objections.