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

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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.

Check out my Writing vlog on YouTube

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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Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | @author_dnc

 

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#Writerslife Proposals, Pitching, Queries…oh my!

This week, I stopped by one of my favorite podcasts, Writing Excuses, and caught this great one on all of the above.

They really tackle some of the old vs. new outlook on pitching, proposals and queries.

Even if you’re not at this place yet, it’s great to keep these thoughts, tips and tricks in your back pocket.

Writingexcuses_proposals

Stay passionate!

-DNC

Vloggers that Write – #Bookishpixie

Lately, I’ve been quietly obsessing over vlogging, not necessarily the act of doing them, but watching others. And for writers, we definitely have several great vloggers to watch.

Bookishpixie is my new YouTube boo—even though she has no clue who I am or that I’m watching like three of her videos a day—and she has some great content on her channel.

I’m sharing one of her videos that made me giggle this week because it is so true, at least for me. It’s entitled 5 Signs You’re a Writer.

P.S. If you have some time, rollick on over to my channel too, where I share my adventures in writing and my totally random moments a.k.a. “spur of the moments”.

 

[Writing Prompt] 600-Word Short Story

This weekend, I met with a fellow author who just completed an amazing 500-word short story. And I wanted to try and do the same, but haven’t nailed it yet. So, enjoy this under 600-word short story tapping into my response to a comment made recently.

This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination, or used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. All rights are reserved so don’t go and still my stuff, and think that I won’t come after you! Enjoy!

Locker Room Talk: What He Didn’t Know

Sunrise Zumba exhausted even the fittest athlete, and today would’ve felt the same if the ladies hadn’t encountered something more draining and deplorable.

“Was Roxanne on one today or nah?” Jamie spouted as she fell over the bench.

“I have no clue but, I tell ya, my ass hurts! I think I’ll crawl those 10 miles to work, rather than riding on this thang.” Claire looked at her tender tush.

“Still the same sagging sac.” The others felt her disappointment.

Jamie to rescue!

“Hey, I could have sworn Amber Rose walked in here before you turned around.”
Laughter filled the air.

They were all on a mission to get rid of the baby fat, therapeutic calories and years of inconsistent dieting. A community of women who knew that uniting was the fastest way over any obstacle.

Group chatter continued until a sobbing echo drifted through the room. They stopped and listened. Someone was broken, hurting, lost and looking to be found.

With each step toward the roaring shower, the crying grew louder. Down on the floor sat a cradled Lauren, drowning in her own tears.

“Are you okay? What’s wrong,” several ladies blurted out. Lauren’s swollen eyes and sobbing speech keep her story buried. Surrounding her, they covered her, lifting her up to walk back to the locker room, hoping to console and uncover the mysterious crisis.

Magnetized to her pain, the women wrapped their arms around her. The warm embrace slowed her rapid pulse and calmed her hyperventilating lungs. Words finally came out.

“I just let him do whatever he wanted.” Her broken voice spoke of her most recent visit with her millionaire boyfriend.

“It was my fault. I couldn’t save enough money to furnish my apartment. I didn’t say no when he said he would pay for the couch. Then out of nowhere, he grabbed me.”

“Grabbed you, like put his hands on you?” Jamie began, already devising a payback trip to wherever he was now.

“No. He put his hands between my legs saying that he now ‘owned’ me.”

The loving crowd turned into a ravenous mob spewing “What the fuck” and “I’ll kick his ass”. They wouldn’t let their sister remain draped in his disgust.

“And I did absolutely nothing to stop him.” New tears began to form, but then Jaime began her sermon.

“Listen to me: Never allow any man to take your most precious gift from God – your essence. You didn’t see it coming but you always have a choice. Get out the car, punch him in the balls, or better yet, tell him to take that couch and shove it right where his soon-to-be cellmate would enjoy, after charges were filed. You have rights, my young sister.” She pulled her chin up high.

“Rights to defend yourself at all times. Rights to protect your temple, no matter the circumstances. You’re the sole owner of its glory. NO ONE ELSE!”
The church yelled “Amen”.

“Oh and if you’re still seeing or talking to him, stop! Don’t waste your energy. Save it for someone who doesn’t have the audacity to feel good about ‘owning’ something or someone. Stay strong. We’ll be here, day after day, to build you back up until you find a King worthy of your temple. Remember, we got you and YOU got you too! You don’t have to take shit from anyone”

Tears dried. Confidence grew. Lauren stood up, gazing at the new self-aware woman looking back at her in the mirror. It was time for her new day.

…..

Join today’s writing prompt and share your 600-word short story!

-DNC