For every writer, the day comes when you must step up to the mound and pitch. For me, that day came a couple of weeks ago. I equate it to climbing scaffolding when I do decorative work on those multi-storied ceilings for my "day job." Since I have a deathly fear of heights, it’s not something I relish. The fact I'm willing to work on a ceiling over a three-story stairwell, if necessary, is a testament to how much I enjoy my work and seeing the finished product. So up I go and never look down.
That’s what I did that day—took a deep breath and never looked down. Of course, it helped getting a personal pep talk from the great C. J. Redwine the night before. Redwine, author of Defiance, wrote one of the best books available on querying. I highly recommend Query: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started, Get Noticed, and Get Signed. She reminded me of her formula outlined in the book: A must do B to avoid or accomplish C, but D is a huge problem. Armed with that reminder, I went home and tightened my pitch to a one-minute spiel. It worked beautifully, giving the editor plenty of time to ask questions. At least I think it worked. The pitch netted two full requests. So thank you, C. J.!