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Throwing Confetti! Cover Reveal for Beer and Groping in Las Vegas!

I can’t quite believe it! This is my first ever cover! And it’s HERE! And I absolutely adore it! The awesome Dawné Dominique is the cover artist.

The other good news is that the publication date got moved up from January to December! So here’s the skinny:

A contemporary geek romance
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Release Date: December 19, 2012!!
Length: Novelette

Can a djinn and a magic slot machine bring two geeks together?

Riley McGregor is a geek trapped in a Good Ole Boy body and as owner of a microbrewery, smart chicks never look at him twice.

Rejected by a geek who wanted to “trade up,” Mirjam Linna would rather immerse herself in work than be the girlfriend-of-the-moment. Stranded in a Vegas hotel, she accidentally makes a wish—a night of hot sex with the man of her dreams. It’s granted. She agrees to dinner, but afterward, she’ll say thanks, but no thanks, and see what’s on the SyFy channel. But when they meet, they’re surprised to find they had a shared connection in their past. Sparks fly as these two learn to be in the moment, be themselves and find love.

Fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Monty Python, Firefly and Marvin the Martian will enjoy this romantic comedy.

What do y’all think?


I got an agent!! No joke.

I can finally announce the news officially that I’ve been hinting about in posts.


The news became official while I was out of town for Georgia’s Moonlight & Magnolia Conference so I could only announce my good news on my social networks. For some reason it won’t feel really official until I can post it on my blog (apologies to those who’ve already heard the news).

My agent! Maura Kye-Casella with Don Congdon Assoc.

I actually ended up with three offers of representation, but ended up going with the fabulous Maura Kye-Casella with Don Congdon, Associates. For those fellow sci-fi nerds out there, their founder discovered Ray Bradbury, how cool is that? In romance land, she represents Sophie Jordan and Colleen Gleason! It still feels a little surreal and that I’m talking about this happening to someone else.

I thought I’d share a little about how it all happened for those of you still seeking representation, so you can see that it can happen to you. Like I said last week, I have patience and hard work to thank for this moment. All three agents commented about how “clean and polished” my manuscript was, and that they could send it out on submission right now. Squeee! So if you read last week’s post, that’s what I was hinting at, that all that polishing paid off!

Two of the agents who offered were the two I pitched to at RWA, so there’s several lessons to be had there. One, to tie into last week’s post (again), thank God I didn’t give in to my impatience and send them those partials right when I got back from RWA. This is NOT, however, an endorsement of pitching an incomplete manuscript! That is soooo different from the phase mine was in. Anyway, onward with my list. Two, pitches do work! Both said during our phone calls that they remembered the pitch and were intrigued from the start. Three, do your homework on whom to pitch to. It wasn’t random, I don’t think, that this all fell out for me this way. When I got that list from RWA, I researched every single agent on that two page list and narrowed down my choices to the ones I thought were my best chance. Actually, this segues into: Four, get ballsy. I thought Maura was out of my league when I pitched to her and couldn’t believe I had the nerve to do so.

Anyway, this all started happening one week after I began querying. One of the agents I pitched to made me giddy by asking to have my partial converted to a full. I felt like if nothing else happened, I’d at least made that milestone–that an agent had seen the goods and STILL wanted to keep reading. The next night, I got my first offer (from a different agent), which left me stunned! I alerted the other agents who were considering me, to let them know and gave them a time frame to respond. Monday, the second agent (the one I pitched to and who had converted the partial to a full) offered and now I was reeling. Thursday, Maura emailed to say she’d finished, said some very nice things about MUST LOVE BREECHES, and wanted to set up a call for Monday (this past Monday). Now I’m on pins and needles, not knowing if she’d offer. Obviously, she did, and I couldn’t be more thrilled! This doesn’t automatically mean it’ll find a home with a publisher, but I’m one step closer and feel like I have the best advocate for me! For those non-writer friends reading this, most traditional publishers will not look at unagented manuscripts so this is my only way to get into their hands and on your bookshelves.

So this is not only me sharing my awesome news, but also my way of encouraging you. Yes, it CAN happen. I thought this day would never come. I’d read and heard all the doom and gloom about how hard it is to land an agent. But don’t give up. Every time I got a rejection, I picked myself back up again and kept going, knowing that others would not, so I envisioned it as an opportunity to move into thinner ranks. Many fine writers give up after only 5 rejections. Don’t be one of those. I wouldn’t be in this position if I’d done that. Instead of giving up in the Spring when I faced rejection, I realized my manuscript wasn’t quite ready and did another Beta round and then did all the hard work of polishing that puppy up!

Are you querying? Do you have any specific questions about my path? Do you have good news to share too?


Make Sure Your Curtains Match the Drapes–Why Your Query’s Tone Matters

As some of you know, I’ve started the query phase again for MUST LOVE BREECHES. I don’t want to get too detailed about this for obvious reasons, but I did want to provide an update and a cautionary tale.

Some of you know I queried in the spring. I did a short burst to a few agents to test the waters and then stepped back and did another round of Beta readers. Last week, I finally finished revising and polishing from that round. So, initiating query phase again, but this time all out.

So, what’s one thing that I feel comfortable sharing with you while this is going on?

Make sure your curtains match the drapes.

If you’ve been doing your homework and reading blogs and lurking/participating in forum posts about this business, you know that this process is extremely subjective. I’ve also learned that from doing RWA contests. Therefore the varied responses from agents is something I understand (though of course sometimes I have to remind myself of this). But what does this mean?

Since it is subjective, make sure your query matches the tone and voice of your manuscript!

Often I’ll see queries posted in forums and websites for critique, and either due to a timidness on the part of the author, or because it’s been critiqued too many times, all voice, tone and personality is leached from the query. You basically now have very few signposts available to the agent for them to gauge your story. Most likely they’ll shrug their shoulders and say “Next.” You don’t want that. Sure, if you put your voice back into your query, you’ll get agents who’ll cringe or reject because it’s not their thing, but guess what? You want that to happen. You just saved yourself and that agent time, because you’ve successfully given them guidance about what to expect from your manuscript. However, your query now has the correct signposts to alert the type of agent who’ll love your story, and that’s what you want.

To give you an example, I just got this feedback from an agent based on my query and sample pages:

This sounds adorable! I’d love to take a look

Yay! Hopefully, I’ve matched my tone/voice in the query to my manuscript and she’ll still find it adorable. This doesn’t necessarily mean anything will happen with this agent, but my query did it’s job and alerted agents about what to expect with my manuscript.

I’ll go ahead and post my query (minus the opening personalized part):

Isabelle Rochon, a thoroughly modern American working at the British Museum, has finally met the man of her dreams. There’s one problem: he lives in another century.

When a mysterious artifact zaps Isabelle to pre-Victorian London, a thief steals it, stranding her in a place where nobody’s heard of toilet paper or women’s lib. Now she must find the artifact, navigate the pitfalls of a stiffly polite London, keep her origins a secret, and, oh, resist her growing attraction to Lord Montagu, the Vicious Viscount so hot, he curls her toes. But when he asks her to pose as his fiancée for his scheme of revenge, his now constant presence overthrows her equilibrium and kicks in her old insecurities. Why does he have to be so damn hunky, compelling and, well, Drool-Worthy? This is not what she needs. She’d carved off part of herself for another man before and is determined never to make that same mistake again. Staying would be the ultimate follow-the-boyfriend move. Besides, she’d just reassembled her life and getting promoted at the museum will ensure she can remain in London and the life she’s carefully built. In the end, she must decide when her true home lies.

MUST LOVE BREECHES is a time travel romance complete at 98,000 words. It features such historical figures as Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage. Fans of the TV mini-series LOST IN AUSTEN will love the modern woman’s fish out of water foibles, while experiencing a more scientific and mechanical London. It is similar in tone to THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE PINK CARNATION, and Katie MacAlister’s contemporary romances. It is a standalone novel with the potential to be a prequel in a series of steampunk romances.

I hold a Masters in Heritage Preservation from Georgia State University and am an RWA-PRO member, as well as a member of three RWA chapters: Gulf Coast, Hearts Through History and FF&P. My contemporary geek romance novelette, BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS, is contracted by Secret Cravings Publishing, and due to release in January 2013.

MUST LOVE BREECHES has finaled in ten RWA chapter contests in 2012–in the Regency/Victorian/Georgian category of the Hearts Through History’s Romancing Through The Ages contest, and in the paranormal category for Washington DC’s Marlene contest, San Antonio’s Merritt contest, Virginia Fool for Love contest, Celtic Hearts Golden Claddagh contest (winner), Greater Seattle’s ECO contest, Georgia’s Maggie contest, Utah’s Heart of the West contest, and Denver’s Molly contest, and in the time travel/steampunk/historical category of FF&P’s On the Far Side contest.

Are you querying right now? What have you found in regards to query tone and voice? If you’ve read MLB, do you think this query matches in tone and voice?


I’m a contracted author!

I’m so very excited to announce that I just signed my first writing contract! It’s for BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS, a 13K word novelette, due out in January 2013 by Secret Cravings Publishing!

I actually had two contract offers on the piece and opted to go with Secret Cravings, which I’m very excited to be a part of this established e-publisher.

I have to admit, I got choked up when I received Secret’s contract. I felt like all my hard work (and obsession with writing) had finally paid off, that it was a reality, that I hadn’t been fooling myself that I could do this.

This Sunday, for Six Sentence Sunday, I’ll post the opening six sentences to give you a taste :)

Here was my query, which I’ll use as my jumping point for my blurb:

Riley McGregor is a geek trapped in a Good Ole Boy body and as owner of a microbrewery, he’s just not meeting his type. Smart chicks never look at him twice. He’d like to find someone who appreciates him for who he truly is.

Rejected by a geek who wanted to “trade up,” Mirjam Linna has lost herself in her work as a computer programmer. When a djinn and a magic slot machine bring these two together for a blind date, Mirjam wants nothing to do with it. However, her sister threatens more drastic measures if she doesn’t take advantage of the offer. Mirjam agrees to dinner, but after that, she’ll say thanks, but no thanks, and see what’s on late night on the SyFy channel. But when they meet, they are surprised to find they had a shared connection in their past. Sparks fly as these two learn to be in the moment, be themselves and find love.

BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS is a romantic comedy with paranormal elements, complete at 13,400 words. Fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Monty Python, Firefly and Marvin the Martian will enjoy this romance.

Obviously, I’m super excited for a number of reasons. One of them, oddly, is that I’m looking forward to the process: working with Secret Cravings on the cover, working with their editor to polish this puppy up, etc.!

I also want to thank my Beta readers who helped me get my submission to a place I felt confident sending it out. Thank you so much!

Anyway, just had to share :)

What about you? If you’re contracted, do you remember that first moment when someone actually said “yes”?


My Fast Draft Experience

Humorous Pictures

Whoa! Hello World! I feel like I’m waking from a two-week stupor. Monday, May 14 I started Candace Havens’ Fast Drafting class where we committed to a certain number of pages for a 2-week period, the goal being to finish your first rough draft as fast as possible. If you need convincing on the soundness of this method,  hear this confession from a former scoffer and why she now embraces fastdrafting.

I found out about it a couple of days before the start date and thought “No Way”. I waffled, I felt nervous about signing up, I had the same feeling I had before I agreed to do NaNoWriMo the first time: that the word count goals would be impossible to do. Trepidation, in other words. All day that Friday, the signup link kept taunting me, and finally I scolded myself. I realized that I should sign up precisely because it scared the heck out of me. I’d found out by doing NaNoWriMo that writing 50,000 words in 30 days was totally doable. What if it was totally doable to do it in half the time and I was just too chicken to find out? I’d also realized that I had begun to find excuses not to start my new novel idea STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY a steampunk romance set in 1890 Mobile, Alabama. So I signed up.

And I did it!

Last night at 9:22 I typed THE END and had written 56,267 words in 14 days!

It feels rather weird, and frankly surreal at this point, especially as I wasn’t allowed to read any previous days’ writing. It just happened so fast. And more so than the other times I’ve finished a first draft, I feel like I have this shiny new baby that popped out of me all of a sudden and I’m wide-eyed with amazement and want to show others–Look! That came out of me in 14 days!….

How I did it

I’m not the only one who did this either, there were many in our class hitting their goals of 15 or 20 pages a day (mine was 15 a day, but there were days I did more and yesterday I did 31!). I thought I’d share my experience in case any of you would find it helpful.

  1. I already had a rough plan of how the story would unfold. This was the first time I’d tried to write a synopsis and work out plot points ahead of time. I’d done this work the previous month, so it was all ready and waiting for me when I started this. I used Scrivener and already had scene cards made for a lot of scenes. When I ran out of steam in one scene, I just clicked to the next and started writing it and didn’t worry about transitions or anything. That can be fixed in revision
  2. As Candace advised, tell your Internal Editor to take a hike. I’d struggled with this already in NaNo and had learned how to do this, but it was hard in the beginning to get back in that groove coming off of a year-plus of just revising. I had to tell myself as I typed: “Yep, just used a cliché.” “Yep, that’s a bit of telling” “Yep, not the best way to describe that” “Yep, I just named an emotion instead of describing it viscerally” and kept typing. I looked on all these as placeholders that I’ll tackle and rework in revisions. That I was just getting the basics down and the pretty will come later. No one will see this draft, I also had to keep telling myself. I gave myself permission to write crappy.
  3. If I didn’t know something and couldn’t find the answer in two minutes of Google-Fu, I just typed in brackets things  like [look up how they did this] or [describe this better] or even used _____ for place names or names of things I didn’t know yet, and kept typing. I also used the Document Notes in Scrivener for each scene and typed out things I’d need to look up in revision for that scene. I also kept forgetting about her pet monkey and found myself typing “Forgot about Loki in this scene again! Fix”
  4. #1k1hr — Seriously this hashtag on Twitter I owe a serious debt to. I made many new friends that way too. I think almost every hour I wrote I used this tag. It really helped me focus and cut down a ton on my compulsion to check out what’s happening on the web. I knew that when that hour was up, I had to say my word count, and I really wanted it to be over 1000 so it made me push. One time I wrote 1858 words in one hour, but typically I averaged around 1200-1500. So what I found out was that I could knock out my page goal in three hours.
  5. I woke up 1/2 hour earlier to get in more writing time before work. I already had 2 hours and 15 minutes set aside for this before, now I had 2 hours and 45 minutes. Depending on how fast things were flowing, I could get between 8 to 14 pages done before I even went to work! Usually it was around 10 pages, which was so nice to be able to know that when I came home, all I needed was one hour to wrap up my daily goal.
  6. I think Candace’s idea to focus on pages instead of words is a solid one, psychologically. I remember agonizing some days during NaNo to squeeze out the requisite 1667 daily word goal because that seemed large somehow and so mentally I’d made it large and would think, okay just got another 50 words down. Now, since it’s by page, it just seems more attainable and it becomes so. Now you’re thinking, okay just one more page and ding another 250 words has been written.
  7. I worked in chunks of time, which built up my page count over the course of the day. Whether it was 15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes, I’d set my wordcount tracker in Scrivener and type. For 1 hour, I had it set to 1000, which totally seemed attainable and usually was. I had no idea how many pages I’d written until I went to “Compile” at the end of my session and counted. That’s how I knew where I stood going into work, i.e. that I only had 5 pages to write when I got home, etc.

What I learned

  1. I learned to trust myself more. I also oddly found out that I’m a morning person (had always thought the opposite) and that I seemed more creative and inspired in the morning, go figure! (My mom probably just fainted from shock).
  2. I learned that I can’t plot my romantic story line too well ahead of time. I knew before going in that I didn’t know how it would play out. I had a solid action plot, but I didn’t know my turning points for my H/h. I just couldn’t picture it. What I had seemed too forced. So I trusted myself that it would unfold as I got to know the two characters better, and you know what? It did. They surprised me!

There’s more I’ll learn as the process continues. We get a two-day break and then we start Revision Hell, which will be like Fast Drafting, only applied to revisions. One of the rules of fast draft was to not reread what we’d already written, so I’m dying to know what I actually wrote! Kind of scared too! So I’ll write another post later to let you know how that process goes. I also want to do another when this is over about my conversion from full Pantser to a Plotser (half-way between a Plotter and a Pantser)

Anyway, there’s plot holes, there’s minimal set dressing, there’s cliches, but hey, it’s written and now I have something to mold into shape during revision, which is more than I had two weeks ago!

Have you tried Candy’s Fast Draft class? What things helped you?


Blog going into low-wattage mode

Hello, I just wanted to do a quick post to say that for the next two weeks, there won’t be my regular posts to the blog. You might have noticed there was no Monday Hunk Who Reads post today.

I joined Candace Havens Fast Draft class at the last minute as a kick in the pants to get my new steampunk romance, STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY, rolling. She’d like us to output 20 pages a day for 2 weeks, which is about 70,000 words! More hardcore than NaNoWriMo! However, we are allowed to set our own goals, and mine will be 15 pages a day. Today was the first day, and I did 3559 words which came out to 16 1/2 pages!

So, until this is over, the only regular blog post I will be doing is Six Sentence Sunday.

If you’d like to do word sprints with me in the morning or evenings, look for me on twitter. I’ll be using the hashtag #1k1hr and #fastdraft.

See ya on the flip side (or on Sundays)…


What’s Been Up Lately With Me

I don’t do these often, but I thought I’d post about what’s going on.


Oddly enough, Romance Writer’s of America (RWA) allows you to join their PRO ranks if you get a rejection! You have to prove that you are in the querying stage and also send them a copy of your complete manuscript. No extra charge, but now I have a groovy pin, am in a PRO listserv with others in the same stages, special tracks at the RWA conference this summer, and a shot at agent pitch timeslots before the general membership! So if you’re in RWA and qualify for PRO, take the small steps necessary and go pro!


Last Thursday, I was honored to be elected the Vice President of the Mobile Writer’s Guild! I’m super excited to be a part of this dynamic and creative group and look forward to another year with everyone.


Still playing the waiting game here with agents. This is really teaching me patience, which is a good thing. I stopped querying agents when I reached 18, just so I could get the feedback from this round. Based on the number of positive responses to my query, I’m having a 33% success rate. If I hear back from the rest all in the negative, the worst my query will have will be a 17% success rate. I’m told this is really good, so I know my query is solid enough. Right now I have  two partials and two fulls out. Why aren’t I sending out to more agents if my query is solid? I don’t want to blow through them all if my submission isn’t the strongest it could be. So that I could dovetail agent responses with ammo for making it better, I put out a call for a new round of Beta readers, and I got so many awesome replies! Especially from the #sixsunday crowd. Thank you! Those are starting to trickle in and I think the space I’ve taken away from the manuscript, coupled with their feedback, and hopefully agent feedback, will help me make it better.

Since I can be obsessive about things, I needed to step away from sending more queries. So, I started brainstorming for a new novel, which led to…


This will be a steampunk set in 1890 Mobile, Alabama. I’ve tried to be a reformed pantser with this one and pulled out my storyboard and brainstormed sticky notes, etc. I even wrote a 14 page summary. But I think I’ve learned, especially for the romantic throughline, that I need to pants parts of it. I really liked coming up with my opening and closing images ahead of time, and my theme, which should help me write a tighter first draft, but there’s just some things that don’t happen for me until I’m in scene and writing. I just learned a new term from an online RWA class this week–plantzer–and maybe that’s what I’ll end up being! Here’s my mini character bios for this story:

A fledgling reporter in 1890 Mobile, Alabama, adrenaline junkie ADELE DE LA POINTE must get the new job at the paper or her father will force her to marry his new business partner. Determined to remain independent and free to enjoy all life has to offer, Adele pounces on the Jack the Ripper-style murders plaguing her city as just the story she needs to get the job.

Fresh from London, immigrating to America is about the most daring exploit DR. PHILLIP RAWLEY has ever done, thank you very much. He wishes to settle quietly in his adopted town and marry a sweet, supportive wife. His employer’s beautiful and impulsive daughter does not fit that image. She works. She’s wild. She has an armored pet monkey running errands for her.


While brainstorming STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY, I came up with a title for another story, BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS. This is the first time I’ve thought of a title before the story, and it was a fun way to start one. I’d been wanting to try my hand at writing short stories on spec for specific lines at epubs, and so a couple of days later my brain finally caught up and put that idea and the title idea together. The title provided some character and setting ideas, and I sat down Friday a week ago and started writing. Boy it felt so good to be writing something new! I started out with just an idea of the characters and their premise and by Sunday I’d written 7K words. I finished it by Tuesday and have been polishing it since. It’s now over 10K and I had a lot of fun with it. It’s about a guy who owns a microbrewery and is a bit of a geek trapped in a Good Ole Boy’s body. He longs to meet a smart chick, but in his line of work, and given his outward appearance, they don’t give him a second look. Will computer nerd Mirjam be the woman of his dreams?

I’m looking for Beta readers for this too, if anyone’s interested. I think it would be considered erotic romance, just because of the amount of sex in a short story and that’s how they find each other, but there’s no BDSM.


Forgot to add this when I first hit publish. I’m still participating in the hard-core website The process is pretty rigorous, but I believe it’s worth it. Weekly I get emails announcing different agencies that want submissions from profiles that made it into their Showcase. I’ve received feedback from all my peers and just need to finish one more peer review, and then I’m going to make tweaks to my profile and call for a vote for advancement.

I highly encourage all authors serious about their writing to join this site!

How about you? What are you up to? Consider this an open thread to share the latest in your writing world. If you’re interested in Beta reading either of my new WIPs, just let me know. I will return the favor!


Yay, MLB is a finalist in the SARA Merritt contest!

For those that are already published, this would be no big deal, but this is my first foray into the writing world and so I’m super excited!

Just got the email today that informed me that MUST LOVE BREECHES is a finalist (one of three) for the San Antonio Romance Writer’s Merritt Contest in the paranormal category. I got super-great feedback from the judges, and the cool thing about this contest is that I can take that feedback and resubmit my entry before the final round judging starts. This contest judged the first 25 pages and a 5 page synopsis.

Judge #1 said:

Lovely story, refreshing take on the time travel. I loved that Isabelle will stay ‘modern’ and have to learn to incorporate into her new time. And that Phineas is a flawed and ostracized hero – always a promising situation :)

Another said:

The intrigue [the hero] brings to the table is impossible to resist. He remains a mystery even when we’re in his head, which gives him a surprising amount of depth that I wasn’t expecting. His past is well fleshed out, his goals are commendable, and it’s hard not to dig a guy who can light a woman just by kissing her knuckles.

Isabel is a character that is likable and relatable. Her sense of humor wins me over just as much as her flaws and lack of self-confidence. As a reader, I look forward to seeing her grow into the kind of woman who goes after what she wants and knows what she doesn’t.

There are really two conflicts taking place in this story. First is Isabelle discovering what she really wants, and then there is Lord [Montagu] getting what he wants. Both goals intermingle with each other, while still developing on their own terms. That makes this novel uniquely fascinating. I’m not just watching one really fleshed-out story unfold, I’m watching two.

In other contest news:

In March, I entered the first 250 words in Miss Snark’s First Victim Secret Agent contest. Out of 50, I was one of two chosen by the secret agent.

Thank you

for letting me indulge in celebrating! This business can give you some really hard knocks (hello, rejections!) and so I’m all for getting excited when I get good news :)


Exciting News! I finaled in the Marlene Contest! (and a conference update)

I’ve been aggressively entering RWA Chapter contests since December, and so far I’ve gotten results back from two. The first one I got pretty dang close (by a few points), but just this Friday, as I’m checking into my hotel in New Orleans and calming myself to pitch to my first agent in a little over an hour, I checked my phone. There, to my surprise, I saw an email that gave me the confidence boost I needed to go into the pitches (of course I forgot in my nervous state to MENTION this to the agents, but it’s all good).

The email was from the Washington, D.C. Romance Writers chapter of RWA to tell me I’d finaled (meaning one of the top 3) in the paranormal category for MUST LOVE BREECHES!! I’m so excited about this (can you tell?) It’s also a validation for me on my new opening– I’d completely scrapped it and been reworking it and so the Marlene contest is the first contest result with the new opening. The previous contest had the old opening, and I think there’s still one contest out there with the old one…

What happens next? My submission goes on to a judge in the publishing industry, who will then rank the submissions. The first place winner will get a free critique from author Kristen Painter!

FF&P Conference Update

This past weekend I attended my first writer’s conference and had a blast. Fellow conference goers told me, though, that the bar has been set high for me now, as others are generally not as good. It was a small conference, but I really liked that aspect, and others did too, It had a very intimate feel since you started recognizing faces pretty quickly and I met some really cool fellow writers. The panels were also very informative.

I ended up pitching to four agents, not three, and I’m happy to say that all four requested pages! Thank you guys for your help last week in getting that nailed down! I’m trying, though, to keep my expectations realistic — I’ve jumped another hurdle, but I still have many more in front of me. I plan to get those submitted by this weekend, and then I’m going to fry my brain playing an RPG computer game for about a week as a way to celebrate and detox (it’s been over a year!!) and then I’m going to start on a new WIP!

Thank you!

I’ve been very fortunate to have friends, family, critique partners and blog visitors who’ve helped me so much and I want to thank you for your support and constructive feedback, which has helped me grow tremendously as a writer! Thank you!


Polishing my Pitch for the FF&P Fantasy on the Bayou Conference this weekend

funny pictures-RAWR! Iz I doin it rite? RAWWWR!!!I’ve had a nervous stomach since last Wednesday when I realized this conference was only a little over a week away. Now it’s only a couple of days. Eeep!

Been hitting the Chamomile Tea pretty hard to calm the ole stomach….

Reason I’m nervous? Not only is it my first writer’s conference, but I’ll be pitching to three agents. Never done it before. For the non-writers who might be reading this, I basically have about 8 minutes to verbally infuse that agent with a hot, burning need to read my manuscript. Can I say ‘Eeep’ again?

They say you should memorize about 3 to 4 sentences to pitch and that the agent will ask questions. Is that about right?

So I thought I’d indulge myself by running several by y’all. They say it also needs to sound conversational… So here it goes, FWIW:

A) MUST LOVE BREECHES is a completed 98,000 word time-travel romance. When a thoroughly modern American girl finds herself stranded in 1834 London, she must find a way home while navigating the pitfalls of London society, resisting her attraction to a hunky lord, and ultimately having to decide when her true home lies. 


B) MUST LOVE BREECHES is a completed 98,000 word time-travel romance. It’s about a quirky modern American who has finally met the man of her dreams. There’s only one problem–he lives in 1834. She has sworn off ever doing the follow-the-boyfriend move again. But when she’s accidentally transported to 1834 London, she has a hard time resisting the hunky lord known as the Vicious Viscount. She wants to find the silver case that transported her through time so she can return to her carefully crafted life in the present, but when he asks her to pose as his fiancée for his own scheme of revenge, she ultimately has to decide when her true home lies. One of the fun things about it, besides the yummy hero, is that she is befriended by Ada Byron, Lord Byron’s daughter, and meets Charles Babbage, the inventor of the Difference Engine. I’ve tried for a light, humorous touch, while also exploring aspects of 1830s London that’s not typical: the scientific.

I know mentioning other characters in a pitch is usually bad, but the thing is, Ada Byron Lovelace is a major secondary character. She is one of the “high concept” things about the book. Whenever I mention she’s in it to someone who asks me what my book is about, they perk up with that bit. Also, it’s timely–Steve Job’s biographer’s next subject will be her. Folks into steampunk love Lovelace and Babbage.

I’ve tried to get my goal, motivation and conflict in each, my theme, and (B) also includes the Act One turning point.

I see (A) as my elevator/cocktail bar pitch and (B) as my actual pitch? Will I have enough time for B?

Some resources I found, if you’re faced with doing a verbal pitch session soon:

I’ve done my research on the agents, now I just need to nail down my pitch and memorize it. I’m also going into it with the attitude that the agent will know I’m nervous, it’s to be expected. Hopefully that will make me less nervous. I’m going to go in positive…

How about you? Do you have any advice? Are you going to the conference? Do you have any funny pitch stories to share?


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