Wednesday, November 14, 2012

To Fear of Heights and Firing Pitches

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.!