Surviving Rejections from Literary Agents

Man, it hasn’t been easy but I’m taking all these rejections in stride. I’ve pitched my novel since early April of this year to at least 10 agent/agencies with answer ranging from, “your word count is too low,” which pushed me to enhance the story further to now, “I love parts of your story but I’m not the best fit…but keep going.”

I know that the last part is supposed to be encouraging, give me hope still that someone will pick my baby up but honestly, it’s giving me more motivation to move mountains on my own. I don’t feel like the answer is to self-publish, because I know this story resonates with a lot of women around the world. How do I know that? Because I’ve been asking women all over the world to read my book and they tell me so.

So yeah, I have taken a temp on my work and everyone who reads it, who isn’t in the professional world of literature seems to dig it. And there lies the problem; I need people in the literary arena to give her a chance to breath life, trust the vision, and guide me in ways to bring it all the way home if it’s not completely there.

I need to get this book out to a larger audience, to let women know of all types, especially black women, that our sexuality and preferences matter as much as men and we have to learn how to explore it in our own way. Not as we’ve learn, as we feel. Living our true nature, not this domesticated lifestyle. Isn’t that what being a true romance author is all about–telling the stories that bring not just love but self-assurance and joy into the lives of our readers.

I believe in my message and the words that surround it. My team, my family, my readers, and my followers feel the same too, so as much as rejection sucks, it’s inspiring me to keep it pushing. I’ve got to knock out the next novella and let the world decide.

I’ll hold on my novel for a while longer because I know the right agent is out there, but I hope we can connect soon because it’s starting to feel like I’m holding a firecracker in my pocket. Conversations around me hit on my storyline and women want to connect now about their feelings and thoughts.

NaNoWriMo is right around the corner and I plan to tighten up and complete Untraditional II so I can give women another outlet for their curiosity and sexual evolution. It’ll be a great distraction from the “No but keep going” comments. Even as I look back now, I remember thinking that I had some extremely outrageous goals for my fiction writing career, but something is telling me that it’s in reach. I just have to stay focus and resilient.

I challenge you all to do the same, my passion-fy family! If living your passion was easy, everyone would do it in a heartbeat. But when your passion is truly your purpose, you couldn’t jump off the train even if it stopped.

Let’s get it! Choo Choo (if that was corny I don’t care because I’ve earned my nerd badge damnit)!

Don’t forget to check out my Patreon page if you’re looking for a way to support my literary journey.

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Supporting the “V” the only way I know how to!

I’m proud to announce that I will be a guest speaker at an upcoming event that is focused on restoring balance, healing naturally and having more fun in the bedroom (sounds like one of my books, huh?)

From Sept. 6-7, I will be a guest speaker at The Happy “V” Summit. This new and liberating online event will hit on all the topics women, and men, are reluctant to talk about but that are important to explore when it comes to creating a fulfilling sexual lifestyle.

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What am I speaking about? I’m not telling you…okay. I’ll tell a little; I’m focusing on breaking out of sexual shells and how I desire to provoke that action in my readers through my characters. That’s all I’m saying! You’ll have to grab your spot to hear more and learn more from the other wonderful guests at the conference.

I highly recommend registering soon for this FREE event because it will fill up fast.

Register here for the Happy “V” Summit.

Mercury Retrograde took my Creativity

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Thank God we are finally through another Mercury Retrograde (July 8-July 31, 2019) because I almost lost all of my creative juices. Okay, yes I lied in the headline because this recent event didn’t take my creativity permanently but it did stall it for the majority of the month. It wasn’t until a week or so ago that I realized what was happening, which is why I did a quick “Spur of the Moment” video on YouTube.

My whole world was rocked in July; I lost my grandfather, I was passed over for a job opportunity, I STILL don’t have a literary agent for my current manuscript and I was completely exhausted from all my traveling. But mixed in with the hurt and confusion was joy and happiness; I got to celebrate my girl’s upcoming nuptials and we went to Disney (the land of smiles and joy).

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So I’ll swap my description from “rocked” to “busy,” but either way, writing felt nonexistent (There’s a bright side coming just hang on). But through all of that chaos (See here it comes. Told ya!), somehow the fog lifted and I was able to conceptualize another novel. Yep that’s right; add another one to the list but I hope to publish this one, digitally at least, by the end of the year. It can happen, right?

Either way, let this be a reminder that even in your most erratic and chaotic moments, a calm will still set in and you will be pointed out of the anarchy. Sometimes, you just have to go with the ridiculous flow to make it out on the other side.

 

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4 Things to Know When You Attend a Book Pitching Event

I attended my first Black Writers Weekend in Atlanta this past June and all I can say is that it was incredibly dope. And for two reason; first I was able to pitch my third manuscript to a group of women who are experts in the writing arena (one who was a literary agent on my current pitching list); and secondly, I jumped on a last minute opportunity to sell my babies and connect with other authors from around Atlanta.

For this post, I’ll focus on the event that had me shook — pitching my book…verbally. When I first learned of this opportunity, I was scared out of my mind. There is just something about the unknown that is horrifying and not truly understanding how it would be to say a pitch about my book out loud to experts in the industry, blew my mind and confidence.

Thank God I have a dope network of sister/friends around me to keep me focused and challenge my fears. So through all of the unknowns, I signed up for the event and began preparing weeks out for p-day. There were so many things that I learned through both the prep and the post of the event that I have to share them with you all. These four nuggets set me up for success and I want you to make sure you’re ready for your opportunity too.

Watch behind the scenes video of the emotional roller coaster I went on preparing for this event on Patreon. Subscribe today for more exclusive passion-fy content.

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4 Tips You Should Know Before Pitching your Book

Pitch an unpublished book. This is a point that unfortunately most of my colleagues did not think about prior to the event. Let this be the moment that you decided to get out there and connect with others in the world of writing because if I had not been told by another author not to push any of my current public babies, I would have fallen in with the others. One of the tips that the group of experts gave us prior to pouring our hearts out about our novels, was that it’s a lot harder for a publisher to pick up an author who has already introduced the book to the public. Yes, you read that right, I did say harder and not impossible, but just think about whether you would rather take a car up the mountain or walk that sucker.

Perfect your portfolio. For most pitching events, you will need certain printed material to support your words. For the Dope Reads pitching event that I attended, I had to have an author resume (I used my media kit), the book synopsis, and the first three polished chapters. I also included my business card too, so they could see how serious I am about this #writerlife. Once it was my turn to present, they all had materials to take back with them, which was more than others had at the event.

Hone your pitch. Doing all that prep work with the synopsis and fine-tuning your first three chapters will get your mind moving about how to describe your book. What you want to do is nail it down to a two- to five-minute elevator pitch. Highlight your key characters and the conflict (but don’t give away the ending), know and say your word count (they don’t care about how many pages, it’s all about how your word count fits your genre), describe who your book could sit next to, and what trope your novel falls into, particularly if it’s one that is pertinent to society right now. Then practice it out loud over and over again. Want to really test your pitch? Tell it to a stranger and see if they’re interested.

Be confident about your work and who you are as a writer. It’s tough when you get into a room and see a bunch of authors working toward the same exact step as you. You may start wondering what makes you different? Why your book and not theirs? ┬áBut don’t start comparing your words to theirs. Your story is one that can only be told by you. It’s like having a superpower; you’re the only one who can control it and use it for good. Be proud of your work and how far you’ve come, then go shine like the sun is counting on you.

If you cover these four points, you will be ready to knock that pitch out of the park (see what I did there). If there is one thing you get from this post, let it be that if you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready. Opportunity is coming.

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