Monday, May 07, 2012

A hilarious pitching session!

Guest Post by Mimi Barbour

As a greenhorn, when I first started my ‘Author’ career, I did some very dumb things. One of my favourite memories (I can laugh at it now) was my first time pitching a book. I had signed up for a three-day convention in Vancouver and the excitement of this new adventure made it difficult for me to eat or sleep.

 I mean, I was going to meet my very first editor for Harlequin (imagine - bells of joy pealing here!) and I had signed up to pitch my very first manuscript. (toll bells of doom here!)

 I had been told that each person was to be given ten minutes time to speak with the editor, and so I wrote out a synopsis. I was trying to keep it brief so I whittled it down to a mere ten pages - double-spaced - and proceeded to memorize that work diligently.

 Having a rotten memory, that doesn’t work all that well anymore at the best of times…and I’m talking a short grocery list, I knew I had to practise this spiel as much as I could. Being too shy to try it out in front of a live person, every mirror in the house got attacked by my earnest face as I not only recited the words, but tried to do it in such a relaxed way where no spittle or crossed eyes would mar the performance.

 Finally the big day came and my roommate and I (a wonderful friend) arrived at the hotel. She encouraged me to take in the first evening’s workshop about pitching—I had finally told her all about my efforts and had shown her my pages of carefully typed script. I did wonder why she’d had difficulty with her expression. It looked a bit like horror to me and then a person trying not to laugh!! Humm…I did sense something at this point.

Needless to say, anyone who’s taken a workshop about pitching will realize that approximately half a page, well-written, is sufficient information if presented in the right way.  I’m sure you can understand that on one hand I was ecstatic because I didn’t have to recite the work that I had spent weeks perfecting. But on the other hand, what could I leave out as now all those points seemed so pertinent.

 I fell asleep around three in the morning surrounded by a goodly portion of a notebook in the garbage can and one crumpled hand-written page facing me. This would be my “piece de résistance”. And I had it down pat.

For the rest of the morning - my appointment wasn’t until 10:30, I sat in workshops, never heard a word, madly memorizing this new script. Finally the moment arrived and I walked into the room, bravely shook her hand (she looked very human and wasn’t 10 feet tall) and…

 …And I promptly forgot every word I had worked so hard to remember.

I’m so ashamed!!

 I read the work and was treated wonderfully. She didn’t give a damn if I spoke it or read it…all she cared about was the material and whether or not it interested her. It did! She asked for me to send it in. I did. Nine months later I still hadn’t heard back….sigh!! And to think it only takes a baby nine months!

So I called their office.

 But that’s a whole other story!

Do you have similar experiences that you can share? It’s always such fun to look back now that one can laugh about these kinds of things.

Ms. Barbour is the author of several romances, most notably her "Angels Love Romance" Series and her "Vicarge Bench Series" 

For 3 days only, Barbour's newest release, "His Devious Angel" and the first in her "Vicarage Bench" Series are FREE! 

Without the angel forcing him to brake, Liam could have killed the gorgeous girl who ran in front of his car to save a little boy. He owed the rescuer big time and would pay his debt no matter that she acted cranky and became more difficult with every meeting. After all, how hard could it be to walk a bunch of mangy mutts?  
Men are scum and no one can tell Sadie any different. It’s why she stays away from them. Until a crazy, hotshot soldier runs her down with his convertible. Now because she’s bruised and sore, she's stuck having to accept his help in her elite dog-walking business. Just her luck that some of the expensive pets go missing, and Liam decides the puppy-mill rumour needs to be investigated. And once they’re forced to spend more time together, mutual attraction spirals out of control.

A spoilt model, Jenna McBride, sits on a bench in 2007, pricks her finger on a rose bush and gets transported back to 1963 England to inhabit the body of chubby Lucy McGillicuddy. As her spiritual roommate, Jenna’s cynicism forces Lucy to adhere to a model’s lifestyle of sparse eating and physical exercise. Lucy’s body changes, becoming svelte and beautiful. Conversely, Lucy's kind-hearted, generous spirit leaves a lasting impression on the temperamental fashion plate who exists inside her.
Lucy loves knowledgeable Dr. John, who has plans to help Jenna return to her own body. Jenna’s Business Manager Jake assists and mistakenly shifts into Dr John. Now the four spirits are vying over two bodies. Meanwhile, Jenna realizes an attraction for Jake, who’s very endearing, and she falls madly in love with him. While you giggle over their antics, these four characters will steal your heart.


Marie Loughin said...

I feel your pain, Shannon. I hate pitching. But my best experiences were pitches to editors. I found them more approachable than agents.

Mackenzie Crowne said...

I'd love to share a humorous story, Mimi, but I simply can't beat that. LOL So glad you hung in there to become the Mimi of today. Can't wait to dig in your titles now living on my kindle.


S.A. Hunter said...

You've nailed it Mimi. Pitching that precious manuscript in five or even 15 minute sessions reducing most writers to mumble-mouthing panic. But here you are with great, humorous and delightful books on the shelf or in our kindles! All the best

Mimi Barbour said...

Thanks for your kind comments my friends...and for you support. xo Mimi