Editor Shop with Entangled Publishing

June 9, 2016

It’s coming! Editor Shop with Entangled Publishing!

June 13, 2016!

MuseTracks

What is this “Agent/Editor Shop”? How will this awesome event benefit me?

This isn’t a contest… there aren’t any winners… just a chance to put your pitch in front of acquiring agent/editors(s). They’ll read the pitches and request more if your pitch grabs their attention. What they request is up to them. We do not make guarantees.

Agent/Editor Shop will only be “open” one day, per quarter, and we only take the first twenty pitches.

After the pitches go live on the blog, the agent/editor reads and decides, like shopping, if they want more. They will then contact us and we will forward on information to the author(s) who received requests. We will also post results after the agent/editor contacts us. Just the requests made—no names.

The rules are simple and easy to follow. They must be adhered to in order for you to be considered by our guest agent or editor.

**Very Important**

Please check each agent/editor’s website for what types/genres they accept.

 

  1. We will post a big green GO! on the HOME page the Sunday morning of the Shop. All entries must be submitted on that day. (1 Day Only) Sunday, June 12, 2016
  1. You will send your entry to musetracks.blog@gmail.com
    NO attachments. All the required information must be in the body of the email.
  1. Only one pitch per email. No exceptions.
  1. The pitch must be 200 words or less. No exceptions. Word count WILL be verified before your pitch is accepted. (Contact info is not counted toward your pitch word count.)
  1. Please put Agent/Editor Shop in the subject line.
  1. The email should follow this format:

Title

Genre/Subgenre

Word count of manuscript

Your 200 word synopsis pitch

  1. We will take the first 20 pitches. A big red STOP! will be posted when we have 20 viable pitches. (Please note that we will not contact you if these rules are not followed. They simply will not be used.) If your pitch was one of the first twenty to reach our inbox, you’ll see it posted the next day, on the main page of the MUSETRACKS blog, for the shopping agent/editor to peruse.

This is a great opportunity to get in front of an agent/editor, so most important of all—polish that pitch until it shines! Double check spelling and grammar. Strictly follow the rules. Breathe.

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MUSETRACKS wishes you the best of luck!

The requests made will be published no later than June 20, 2016!


Editor Shopping Day! Boroughs Publishing

March 28, 2016

Welcome Boroughs Publishing! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit us and read pitches. MuseTracks hopes you find something you like. Happy shopping!

Without further ado, we give you the correctly submitted pitches.

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#1

Title: The Perfect Tree

Genre/Subgenre: Historical Romance

Word count of manuscript: 85,500

In the latter part of the 19th Century, ten-year-old Logan Gallagher was plucked from the streets of the Lower East Side and adopted by Conn and Deirdre Callaghan. For 16 years Logan’s lived a good life, even though he’s always at loggerheads with Conn. At least life would be good if Logan wasn’t an ass and a magnet for woman trouble. This causes nothing but grief for everyone. Bad enough when Logan goes after ranch hands’ daughters and wives. Getting involved with Lupe, the recently widowed daughter of Conn’s ranch manager, can bring nothing but trouble. To keep Logan from making a mistake that would ruin his life Conn sends him to deliver four horses to a man who claims to be making moving pictures in the desert outside of Los Angeles. The trip could prove Logan’s downfall or his salvation. Especially when he convinces Lupe to run away with him. No mistake, it will change his life forever.

 

#2

Title—Stumble Stones

Genre/Subgenre – Romantic Thriller

Word count of manuscript – 50,000

A cache of priceless diamonds hidden in World War II sparks a hasty wedding on the high seas and a dangerous chase through Europe that holds the key to an unsolved mystery and a promise of lost love in this dark and humorous Romancing the Stones-style thriller.

Stumble Stones, set alternately in contemporary and 1940s Europe, tells the story of HALLELUJAH (HALLIE) WEISS, a writer for the steamy sudser, As the Planet Spins, who gets a second chance at love when she flees to Italy to get over her recent divorce. She meets lonely Berlin hedge fund manager ALEXANDER STONE, a number cruncher who puts his faith in numerical data, on a connecting flight from Berlin to Rome, and they face danger from a shady organization when they team up to solve the mystery of the missing diamonds and travel documents hidden in Alexander’s house during World War II.

The beginning of most chapters in Hallie’s POV opens with a snapshot of dialogue from her soap opera characters, Parker and Polly Winthrop. Parker and Polly’s adventures inform how the normally cautious Hallie lives her life. Will these unlikely soulmates survive long enough to solve the mystery and fulfill their destiny?

 

#3

Mystery of the Crystal Skull – 26,200 words

Genre/Subgenre – Romance Mystery

A story was passed down by generations of Incas of a mystical crystal skull in the rainforest high up in the Andes. It’s power was great because it came from ancient wisdom and mystical religion, a spiritual culture now longer practiced. Only the few gifted were able to tell and teach how to use this power. All through the years, the government suppressed the existence of the crystal skull. The power of this folklore and its belief created great concern and remained damaging to the strength and leadership of the authorities. Yet, the saga never disappeared. Rather, it surfaced again and again. This story tells of the gripping adventures of four research scientists high into the Andes mountains, in search of the crystal skull. It speaks of relationships, disappointments, fears, betrayals, and murder. But, also speaks of joy, love, and commitment. One asks, is the Mystery of the Crystal Skull a parable filled with vital truth, or just a story like all stories lost in the translation of time.

 

#4

Title: Going Twice

Genre/Subgenre: Contemporary/Romance

Word Count: 70000

Auctioneer, Dana Packard works to forget mistakes of her past. Moving forward quickly is the only way she can move past a failed relationship. Her quiet life of small town living makes progress forward easier.

Bruce Levenger, insurance salesman, has no interest in small towns or auctions but his brother, an antique store owner, needs that china. For Bruce, canceling his weekend plan and instead wasting a day at a sale isn’t his idea of fun but what can he do? The store needs that piece of glass and after helping survive a disaster relationship, Bruce knows he owes his brother more than a day standing around.

Just outside of small town Nebraska, Bruce almost collides with Dana and their personalities repel. At the auction, Dana knows Bruce wants that tea pot and assures he gets it, for a price. Bruce knows Dana wants the auctioned land and, without a plan, finds himself the owner of 20 acres in the country.

Making the best of an unplanned situation, they become partners. Under protest, sparks between Dana and Bruce turn to love. Gaining that final bid proves best for both in Going Twice.

 

#5

Title: Bet On IT

Genre/Subgenre: Contemporary Romance

Word count of manuscript: 52,000

“Are you trying to talk me into bed?” Cat Warner asked breathily. “Or into your business deal?”

Catherine “Cat” Warner has problems. The profits from her inns are down. The pressure from her parents is up. Her love life is non-existent. But Cat did manage to get the attention of tough, powerful, gorgeous hotel magnate Ty Orland. Unfortunately, his interest in her is for all the wrong reasons. Instead of wanting Cat, this debonair CEO only wants her land—a parcel he desperately needs for his next big development deal. Too bad it’s not for sale. A pleaser by nature, Cat knows to stand strong. If she caves to this sexy, alluring man, it will be her own neck on the line.

Ty Orland has a lot of things going for him. Success. Power. Respect. He’s also got an old chip on his shoulder and a new financial nightmare. His development deal is tanking—and fast. His only way out is if Cat sells him her strategically located parcel. But romancing the land from her is not easy when love gets in the way. The woman is as beautiful as she is beguiling. Which prize is more valuable?

 

#6

The Deathlands

Fantasy

88,000 words

Within the fading remnants of a dying world, four travelers meet in common cause to retrieve their stolen property from the clutches of a fleeing wizard.

Bound together against this mutual enemy, they must set aside their misgivings of each other as they chase the wizard Mathias across the Deathlands of Staldrung, a region blighted by the effects of ancient wars, and face its dangers along with the traps Mathias has left behind him. Shared adventures reveal their secrets to each other, sometimes increasing understanding but often also increasing distrust. Yet only together can they hope to overcome Mathias.

And even if they succeed, is this unlikely band ready for what answers they might uncover about the nature of their world?

 

#7

Dance With Destiny

American historical romance

70,000 words

Susannah Myers wages a daily battle with herself. She has pride that her husband, William, was one of the first to volunteer to fight the Civil War. But she also feels anger and abandonment at being left to care for their four children by herself.

Raoul Lone Wolf Lafontaine, half Ojibwa, half French-Canadian, flees the Indian camp where memories of his dead wife haunt him daily. His nightly dreams are filled with a fair-haired white woman. But he has vowed never to love again.

Their worlds collide on a small spit of land in southern Ohio. When their friendship escalates into love, Raoul and Susannah both realize the best course of action is for him to leave. William will return to his homestead and they’ll once again be a family. One in which Raoul has no place. Or does he?

 

#8

Once Upon a Masquerade

Historical Romance/Regency

115,012 words

Cordelia Clarke waited two long years, in vain for her brother’s best friend to view her as more than a sisterly acquaintance. The night of his family’s masquerade, she produces a false identity and wears a costume in colors she knows he adores. She proceeds to show him she is a desirably lady and not as he had called her numerous times, a dear girl. Her wildest dreams come true when he kisses her upon the balcony. Alas, she leaves him quivering and wanting more.

Andrew Daventry, Viscount Sutton does not view himself as a usual aristocrat. He is a gentleman in every sense of the word. But, on the night of his masquerade, he meets an enchantress who beguiles him, sets him aflame. After the encounter, he is completely changed. Bitter by her rejection to become acquainted with one another out of costume, he sets out to find her identity.

His search leads him to a woman he never even knew he wanted.

Their lives become complicated when another suitor vies for Cordelia’s affection. Nosy relatives, misunderstandings and secrets tear them apart.

Yet, the most powerful means to live out their happily after ever, resides in their close friendship.

 

#9

A Mule, A Mobster and A Mountain of Trouble

Romantic Adventure/Suspense

88,000 Words

Miranda Whitley’s inconspicuous life involving plant care in commercial buildings implodes when she witnesses a horrific crime. Learning she’s next on a hit-list forces her to search out an FBI agent she’s had one awkward encounter with. The victim is her friend, a respected judge, and he alerts her crooked cops are involved. Warned by him to disappear from Seattle, she impulsively chooses to disrupt Agent Grant Morley’s vacation in Emma Springs, Montana and seek his help.

The dude ranch she’s booked into near Grant’s ranch advertises a trail ride up the nearby mountain, perfect for her plans until a gunshot rips through her side. The mule she’s ridden grows into her most trusted ally while Grant receives threads of evidence, weaving Miranda into a hapless victim, or a cold-blooded accomplice.

Miranda and Grant fight their uninvited attraction while defending themselves against criminals willing to do anything to prevent Miranda’s testimony. Bureau blood courses through Grant’s veins, but Miranda carries guilt from the shootout death of her family and can’t tolerate guns or the thought of losing Grant to violence. Fortunately for both of them, there’s always room for love, if it’s properly tended.

 

 

 


It’s Pitch Day at Agent Shop with Weronika Janczuk!

June 26, 2011

UPDATE: STOP SENDING PITCHES! WE’VE MET OUR NEEDS. CHECK BACK TOMORROW TO SEE IF YOUR PITCH MADE IT IN THE TOP THIRTY. AND OF COURSE, SEE IF YOU WON THE TOP SLOT OR A COPY OF TERESA’S NOVEL!

Good Morning everyone.

It’s Agent Shop PITCH Day! Yay.

We have the awesome Weronika Janczuk (@weronikajanczuk on Twitter) coming tomorrow to look at thirty lucky pitches, and we’re so happy to have one of her clients here today for the author spotlight.

Please welcome Teresa Frohock with her soon to be released novel

MISERERE: AN AUTUMN TALE

How ridiculously awesome is THAT cover?!?

Miserere: An Autumn Tale

(Night Shade Books www.nightshadebooks.com / July 1, 2011)

Exiled exorcist Lucian Negru deserted his lover in Hell in exchange for saving his sister Catarina’s soul, but Catarina doesn’t want salvation. She wants Lucian to help her fulfill her dark covenant with the Fallen Angels by using his power to open the Hell Gates. Catarina intends to lead the Fallen’s hordes out of Hell and into the parallel dimension of Woerld, Heaven’s frontline of defense between Earth and Hell.

When Lucian refuses to help his sister, she imprisons and cripples him, but Lucian learns that Rachael, the lover he betrayed and abandoned in Hell, is dying from a demonic possession. Determined to rescue Rachael from the demon he unleashed on her soul, Lucian flees his sister, but Catarina’s wrath isn’t so easy to escape. In the end, she will force him once more to choose between losing Rachael or opening the Hell Gates so the Fallen’s hordes may overrun Earth, their last obstacle before reaching Heaven’s Gates.

Read the first four chapters of Miserere FREE here:

And check out this trailer!!!

(BTW – At  the bottom of the interview with Teresa, I’m going to post some information that you NEED to read.)

Blurbs for MISERERE:

“MISERERE is about redemption, and the triumph of our best impulses over our worst. It’s also about swords, monsters, chases, ghosts, magic, court intrigues and battles to the death. It’s also (and this is the important part) really, really good.”

–Alex Bledsoe, author of DARK JENNY and THE SWORD-EDGED BLONDE

“In her debut novel, MISERERE: AN AUTUMN TALE, Teresa Frohock has succeeded at creating that all-too-rare phenomenon among first-time story-tellers: a mature prose style combined with a fully realized vision. Her ‘woerld’ will completely immerse the reader with its compelling and striking visuals, fascinating details and thrilling plot turns. The book is almost impossible to put down and it’s harder yet not to actually believe that what Ms. Frohock imagined isn’t terribly real—even if some of us haven’t found an entrée into the parallel existences she’s meticulously crafted. Studded with magic, demons, and terror run amok, dark fantasy and horror fans alike will walk away from MISERERE feeling they’ve found a writer they not only admire, but are anxious to revisit soon in her future works.”

— Lisa Mannetti, Bram Stoker Award-Winning author of THE GENTLING BOX and DEATHWATCH

When and Where can we find it?

MISERERE will release from Night Shade Books on July 1, 2011

You can follow http://www.teresafrohock.com for updates on the blog tour, which started June 24th and will go through the end of August.

http://www.teresafrohock.com/novels/ has links to Amazon, B&N, IndieBound, and more. The book will be available at bookstores everywhere.

Awesome information Teresa!

How about a bio? We love getting to know authors.

Raised in a small town, Teresa Frohock learned to escape to other worlds through the fiction collection of her local library. She eventually moved away from Reidsville and lived in Virginia and South Carolina before returning to North Carolina, where she currently resides with her husband and daughter.

Teresa has long been accused of telling stories, which is a southern colloquialism for lying. Miserere: An Autumn Tale is her debut novel.

Teresa can be found most often at her blog and web site (www.teresafrohock.com). Every now and then, she heads over to Tumblr and sends out Dark Thoughts, links to movies and reviews that catch her eye. You can also follow Teresa on Twitter and join her author page on Facebook

Can you tell us where the idea for MISERERE came from?

The idea for MISERERE started with Lucian’s character. I’m not the kind of writer who thinks in terms of plot; I tend to begin with a character and formulate the story about him or her.

The concept for Lucian began when I dreamed of a powerful sorcerer, speaking to a young boy dressed in twenty-first century clothing. They were at the edge of a dark forest where there was a hand painted sign nailed to a tree that read: “Jesus Saves.” (If you live in the southeastern United States, you see these scattered around.) Beside the tree was a rusting bumper from a pickup truck with a sticker that read: “Nobody Saves You More Than Winn Dixie.”

The whole dream stayed with me long after I woke, so I started building a story around the man and the boy and the strange world they inhabited where time overlapped from one period to another. I loved the idea of mixing the religious with the secular, my interpretation of the sign/bumper sticker symbolism, to see what kind of world I could build. It wasn’t until I took a college course in the introduction of the Old Testament that the final piece fell into place with the Crimson Veil.

Constructing the actual story was the hardest part. During my research, I read a quote from Toni Morrison’s novel LOVE: “Love is the weather. Betrayal is the lightning that cleaves and reveals it.” When I read that line, I knew I had the crux of Lucian’s conflict for MISERERE.

Care to share your ‘call’ experience? Either from when you were offered representation or when you got the call saying MISERERE: AN AUTUMN TALE had sold?

I met Weronika through Backspace.org before she became a literary agent and I followed her blog and tweets for several months. She impressed me with her many accomplishments and her love of literature. I enjoyed her writing and the way she expressed herself to her blog readers.

So when I saw through one of her tweets that she was striking out as a literary agent, I knew I had to submit MISERERE to her. I thought there wasn’t a chance she would remember me, but she did, and she immediately requested the full manuscript. When she emailed me and told me that she wanted to discuss representation, I was thrilled.

I had a list of questions and concerns I wanted to go over with her, but as we talked, she addressed each of my questions before I had a chance to ask them. I wanted an editing agent, someone who loved not just this particular book but my writing, and someone who would be honest enough with me to tell me when I was off track.

I got all three things with Weronika. The more she talked about MISERERE, the more enthusiastic I became until I was ready to buy my own book! That is salesmanship, and that is what a good agent does. Sure enough, she managed to sell MISERERE after only being on submission for six weeks and she’s really helped me navigate through the process, especially what happens AFTER you sell a book.

That’s a very encouraging way to find your agent. I love that you weren’t scared (well maybe you were at the time) to ask the questions you knew you needed to, to find the right agent for both yourself and your work. I love even more that Weronika answered them before you had to ask. Can you tell us what else you have in the works?

Right now, I’m fleshing out a synopsis for DOLOROSA, this is the second novel in the Katharoi series, and will be more in line with fantasy readers’ expectations in terms of world-building and magic. DOLOROSA will be Rachael’s story and will also give a broader view of Woerld and how the bastions work together to hold back the Fallen.

I’m also working on a novel in a new series that begins in Spain in 1348. Right now, it’s tentatively entitled THE GARDEN and it is the story of Guillermo Ramírez, a blacksmith conscripted into the King’s army. THE GARDEN is turning out much darker than MISERERE, but I’m thoroughly enjoying the characters and the story.

Busy woman! What’s one piece of advice you would pass on to other aspiring authors?

I try to share something different each time I answer this, but one thing remains constant—remain teachable. Always be willing to learn new techniques and experiment with different styles, but at the same time, don’t become so rigid that you stifle your voice. Take time to write whatever pops into your head without paying any attention to grammar or structure. Just write.

There you will find your true voice and once you’ve found your voice, modulate it with the rules of grammar and structure. It is through that critical editing process that my works always begin to take their true form. My rough drafts are little more than stage direction, but the edits are where I refine and groom the novel into a story with depth.

Brilliant. And so very true!

It’s so wonderful to have you here. We wish you the best with your writing, and huge congratulations on your release! Thank you so much for coming to Musetracks. After looking at your blog tour, I can only imagine how super busy ( and super excited) you must be!

As promised, I have some awesome info to share.

Teresa will be giving away a copy of MISERERE to one lucky person who comments using the words AUTUMN and TALE (or TAIL).

We’ll also be awarding the Top Pitch slot to a comment that uses those words.

And if you didn’t already know, Teresa has begun her blog tour and she’s doing a super contest with winner packages including a copy of MISERERE, query, synopsis, and even page critiques from Teresa’s agent, Weronika Janczuk! Check it out here!

Okay, now on to business.

You know the drill. Leave a comment using the words AUTUMN and TALE (or TAIL) to be entered to win the copy of MISERERE or the Top Pitch Slot for tomorrow. Send me your pitch at candi_agent_shop at yahoo.com And yes, replace the word at with the @ symbol) and come back tomorrow to see if you made it in the top thirty.

Good luck to everyone.

GO!


Agents & Editors are people too… Some you like, some you don’t.

September 27, 2010

One of the things we all love is to read the comments of agents and editors. Come on. We’ve all done it. Laughed and groaned at the list of their worst received queries? Chuckled when another author makes such a heinous mistake or is sooooooo sure of their own talent that they say something that lands them an immediate rejection? Of course we come away from these stories a little bit smarter for having done our research and followed the A/E to see if we would be a good fit. We’re essentially – getting to know them.

The Agents and Editors are well aware of their reading public. Their stories are crafted to make us laugh, shake our heads, or want to cry. They know we secretly thank these authors who refuse to do their homework and clear a bigger path for us. They also know we cringe to know that these same authors make it that much harder for us to get in because the A/E are continually frustrated by these people who refuse to follow the rules.

I mean, let’s face it. Writing is hard work. You continue to learn, perfect, revise. You attend conferences and workshops and network until your eyes hurt to get your name out there. And there are those who refuse to even try. Makes us kinda crazy right?

I bet it does the A/E’s as well.

BUT – and yep, this is a big BUT.

No matter how badly we want this, and no matter how hard it is to get published, we all have to remember that Agents and Editors are people too. People just like we run into every day of our lives. The guy on the bus that stinks every morning? The opinionated PTA member who makes everyone crazy by being too demanding? The neighbor that refuses to move his six broken down cars away from the beautifully landscaped border of your property?

Yeah, we’ve all met them, and even if they offered to help us gain something incredible, we just have to agree to share it, would we take the offer?

Now think about this. You don’t enter a contract with anyone without doing your homework. Checking their background, their contacts, their actual qualifications, right? And if that all passes muster, do you just jump right in?

I think sometimes writers forget they are entering into a very personal, intimate contract with an agent. Do some REAL research on them. Follow their blog, Twitter, Facebook, anywhere they might post opinions or comments. And no I’m not giving you the green light to become a stalker. Eeeeek. (I’ve heard of A/E’s complaining of this too.) You can usually read the archives on an Agent or Editor to learn a huge amount about what they are like and what kind of personality they have. Just researching the basics to make sure they are qualified isn’t enough.

Case in point, I follow numerous agents and editors, on any of the media networking venues. I do so because in researching them as a potential A/E, I found that I liked their style. I also found any number of A/E’s that I took off my query list for one reason or another. That’s not to say they weren’t nice people, or even professional, they just didn’t fit me. And I assumed, if they don’t fit me, I won’t fit them either. At least – not the way I want.

I recently updated my To Be Queried list for a new YA novel I’ve completed. Near the top of my research list was an agent I had heard good things about, but not a ton. I did some digging. At first, I thought maybe I’d caught her on a bad day, so I read further into her archives. It quickly became clear that she got a good laugh out of making fun of – what I thought sounded like simple mistakes anyone could make. She continued to pick apart EVERYTHING, in detail, an author could do that would earn them a form rejection. Right down to the Mrs, Ms, or Dear.

Too picky? Yeah, me thinks so too!

Really? As aspiring or published writers, aren’t we up against enough without having to know that one A/E liked to be addressed Dear, while another wants to be addresses Ms???? I certainly wouldn’t boot an agent from my list on one little pet-peeve, but this agent was unhappy with everything.

Just as an A/E can decide not to work with someone because of their personality, so too can we. Agents and Editors are people too. Don’t forget to get to know them a little before you hop into a relationship that you could have easily determined was doomed!

The saying goes: ‘No agent is better than a bad agent.’

So – You tell me. Any horror stories?

Followed an A/E and were shocked by something they posted/tweeted?

Share so all can be aware.

(Of course, names should be and will be redacted. We’re not here to put anyone down. Just to learn what to watch for.)


Pitching: What they want to hear

July 21, 2010

Song of the day: I Melt With You by Modern English

This is what you’ve been waiting for. The nugget of information that will make pitching to an editor or agent a piece of cake. The magical words of wisdom that will surely chase away the butterflies and all but guarantee you a four book deal.

Okay, maybe not that last part. You’re stomach will still flip-flop and you’ll probably not get signed before your ten minutes is up. But you’ll be armed with knowledge to get you that much closer to fulfilling your publishing dreams.

What are those agents and editors looking for in a pitch anyway?

Here is part three and the final section on pitching to the pros as suggested by Scott Eagan of the Greyhaus Literary Agency.

Is your story in the genre the agent/editor is interested in or represents? Don’t waste their time, and yours, by avoiding this simple step. If you pitch your vampire cowboy zombie slayer to someone who clearly is not interested in paranormals, you will come off as looking unprofessional, disrespectful or just plain lazy for not knowing beforehand. You won’t change their minds no matter how much your story rocks.

Ask yourself if your story fits in their line. This goes back to doing your homework. Find at least three ways it fits in with what the agent/editor. An example might be the steam level. How hot is the relationship between the characters? What type of heroine stars in the story?  Is she the über sexy take-no-prisoners kind of woman or the girl next door? Are their historical novels primarily Regency or steeped in lots of historical details? You should go beyond ‘Oh, they take fiction. I write fiction.’

A note here. Scott gave great advice on figuring out your target.  If you don’t know what publisher best fits you and your writing, go take a look at your bookshelf. See what author(s) you like to read in the same genre you write. Check out who published these books. Chances are many of these favorites will be printed by the same publishers. That’s your target market.

Now for the nitty gritty, your book. This is what they want to hear.

High concept. Whoa Nelly. Settle down. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to know what book or movie you should compare to your story. Keep in mind that you may not get the reaction you hope for if you walk in and blurt out how your novel is a perfect creative blend between Zombieland, Brokeback Mountain and Twilight. What they really want is to know what makes your story UNIQUE. Why is it a great story?

Incidentally, what would you think if I told you that I am working on a pirate tale with Smokey and the Bandit and Appaloosa as my working high concept? Things that make you go hmmm…

Tell them about your unique characters. What makes them different from everyone else’s John, Dick and Harry? Is your heroine not rich, not skinny, or not beautiful? Is your hero not a duke, CIA agent, or werewolf? Even if they are, maybe it’s their relationship that makes them unique. Hey – you got your peanut butter in my chocolate. No. You got your chocolate in my peanut butter! Bottom line, why do these characters stand out?

Unique plot. Again, what makes your story different from the rest?

Tell the agent/editor about the internal or external conflict. The conflict cannot be something that is easily resolved or a simple misunderstanding. The agent/editor reserves the right to smack you upside the head for such a heinous crime.

You know what? They also want some of that awesome storytelling. It’s all in the voice. No throat exercises, please.

It doesn’t end there, folks. During a pitch, the agents/editors are also uncovering bits of info about you.

It’s important for you to know where you are at in your career and where you are headed. Do you know enough about the industry? Do you treat your writing with professional regard and not like some passing bucket list fancy? Are you a team player or stubborn, not willing to take advice.  As an author, are you ready to make the move into revisions, deadlines, new material? The agent/editor does not have a crystal ball but they may be able to spot an author’s potential.

Here is another gem from Scott. There is always a do-over. If the agent/editor declines to see more from you, don’t turn in your badge and gun yet.  A no doesn’t mean a no for life. Just on the particular story you pitched.

Now you are armed and ready. Go forth, my writing friends, go forth and pitch. Best of luck to you all.

See you in Orlando!


Pitching – The Job Interview

July 14, 2010

Song of the Day: Break Your Heart by Taio Cruz

If you popped in last week, you’ll know the do’s and don’ts of submitting masterpieces to coveted agents and editors. If you didn’t, scroll down. Go ahead, we’ll wait.

To give you a quick recap, Scott Eagan of the Greyhaus Literary Agency came to my “home” Romance Writers of America chapter, Northwest Houston RWA, gave us an eye-opening quirky presentation on submitting and pitching.

This week, I’ll share with you the scoop on pitching pointers à la Scott.

Treat a pitching appointment like it is a job interview because in all honesty, there is little difference. You walk into the appointment to sell yourself. Now for all you degenerates out there, and you know who you are, I don’t mean bribery or prostitution. This interview is about you and your resume. Resume = manuscript. Just as in an interview for employment, you are not there to chit chat and yuck it up. You have limited time. Use it wisely. Ask questions, take notes. Keep in mind I’m not referring to items like word counts, genres, and the like. You would know that from your research, right? And I don’t mean advances and royalties, either. That’s putting the cart before the horse and the horse just walked away. Questions that might arise may be more like how your book might fit into the current market.

By now you know that writing is a business. The cool thing about that is you can work at home in front of your computer wearing your PJs, not having showered in days, and entertain the cat with unkempt hair that rivals Edward Scissorhands. No so for a pitching session (or for anytime leaving the house). Dress accordingly. Business casual will be perfect. Sound professional. Act professional. Be intelligent. This falls in line with knowing the business and having confidence about yourself and your work. Let the agent or editor know you are ready to move to the big league.

When going on a job interview, you should know a little something about the company. The same applies to pitching. Do your research. Know what the agent / editor wants and what they like or dislike. Does the agent accept romantic suspense but not women’s fiction? Do they love historical tales but despise time travel? Are they partial to comedy? Do they represent all genres of romance but are only accepting young adult at the moment? Maybe they are really into vampire cowboys. Tailor your pitch to them. Scott put it best; one size does not fit all.

Be prepared. There are several points to this. Don’t pitch if your story is not complete, polished and ready to send immediately. Understand that there is a really good chance the agent / editor will ask questions. Know the answers. Be able to produce your manuscript. Consider keeping your book on a flash drive or stored in a secure web account. That way when you are at a conference and an agent / editor requests to see your manuscript, you can hustle back to your room, do your happy dance and fire off your magnum opus from your laptop. If you don’t have your materials with you, don’t fret. Just be sure to get them what they asked for as soon as possible.

Lastly, let’s talk about pitching no-no’s. Do not dress in costume. Please don’t dress up as a character in your book. That’s frightening. Don’t slide money across the table expecting favors. Avoid auditioning for a stand-up comic gig. Don’t shove a business card under their nose before your pitch session begins. Don’t apologize. And, if you know what’s good for you, don’t argue!

Next week: The Pitch! How to give them exactly what they want!


Hunting Agents

June 30, 2010

Song of the day: The Promise by When in Rome

Shh…I’m hunting wascally agents.

Christie Craig and Faye Hughes give key tips on the right and wrong way to meet an agent at conferences in this cheeky video.

I am fortunate to call Christie a good friend. She is a constant inspiration to me and I will shamelessly plug her books.  Please check out her latest sexy, fun suspense,  Shut up and Kiss Me, just released this month.

Also released this month is Christie and Faye’s Wild, Wicked & Wanton –  101 Ways to Love Like You’re In A Romance Novel. With a title like that, need I say more?


WANT THE FIRST AGENT SHOP SLOT?

February 5, 2010

Hey just for fun, and of course to guarantee yourself the first slot in the pitch session, leave a comment below.

Here’s the catch!
Your comment has to be a TITLE for this ‘book’.

Here’s the excerpt… just comment on what YOU would title this novel and we’ll pick a favorite from all the entires. The winner will be qaurenteed the number one slot on Sunday when Agent Shop opens.

Ready?

Annabelle couldn’t have planned life better if she’d tried. Her folks were disgustingly rich, which meant she could have anything and everything she wanted. She had a hunky boyfriend, a stylish car, and a promising career set up for her at her mother’s fashion magazine whenever she was ready.

When Lt. Greg Holton shows up on her doorstep, everything starts to fall apart. He not only brings the devastating news that her parents have disappeared under suspicious circumstances but adds that her father is the center of a fraud investigation.

Geez, and all that without the benefit of a pedicure!

Let’s see what ya got! I’ll post the winner on sunday when Agent Shop opens.


AGENT SHOP DONE

December 6, 2009

Thank you to all who pitched today.

I’ll get these pitches sifted through and have them posted for Ms. Lyon in the morning.

If you don’t see your pitch, it either didn’t make it in by the thrity we allow, or there was something in it that didn’t conform to the rules.

Best of luck to everyone, and make sure you leave Laura a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy of UNTRACEABLE or a $20.00 Borders giftcard.

Have a wonderful day!


AGENT SHOP PITCH DAY

December 6, 2009

Hello everyone!

Hope you’re ready to pitch.

For this ‘Agent Shop’ session we welcome:

Kevan Lyon with Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

And today’s author spotlight is on: 

LAURA GRIFFIN 

UNTRACEABLE

BEWARE OF WHAT YOU LOOK FOR… YOU MIGHT FIND IT.

Private investigator Alexandra Lovell uses computer skills and cunning to help clients drop off the radar and begin new lives in safety. Melanie Bess, desperate to escape her abusive husband, was one of those clients. But when Melanie vanishes for real, Alex fears the worst and sets out to discover what happened. Using every resource she can get her hands on—including an elite team of forensic scientists known as the Tracers, and a jaded, sexy detective who’s helped her before–Alex embarks on a mission to uncover the truth, one clue at a time.

Look for UNTRACEABLE in stores on Nov. 24, 2009.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of UNTRACEABLE, and a $20 Broders Giftcard!

Thanks for visiting MuseTracks, Laura! We love getting to know our guests, so I hope you’re up for a little Q&A!

So tell us, have you always wanted to write?

Yes, since I was a kid. I began my career as a newspaper reporter, so I spent all my time writing non-fiction. My favorite assignments were always the crime stories and that’s when I started getting pulled into reading and writing suspense.

What was your inspiration for UNTRACEABLE?

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to just drop of the radar, and if that’s really possible. Turns out, it’s very difficult to do, especially because our lives are so intertwined with computers these days, but it can be done. In UNTRACEABLE, my heroine is a PI who helps women in dangerous situations to disappear and start new lives. It was such fun to research this book and learn the tricks of her trade!

Do you write hot, medium or mild?

I’d say medium, but based on feedback I get from readers, it seems everyone has their own spectrum.

 

What’s one piece of advice you’d share with any aspiring author?

Persistence is key. Expect some rejections, don’t get discouraged, and keep writing stories from your heart.

How many times were you rejected before you made your first sale / landed an agent?

I definitely stopped counting. At some point, I decided it’s better to keep looking forward.

Can you tell us what some of your other novels are?

THREAD OF FEAR and WHISPER OF WARNING both include characters you will see in UNTRACEABLE. My other novels include ONE LAST BREATH, ONE WRONG STEP, and the upcoming UNSPEAKABLE (summer 2010).

Okay, one embarrassing moment – especially if it has to do with writing.

Hmm… how about the time I went out for this formal business dinner with a group of authors and executives from my publishing house and accidentally walked into the men’s room. Yes, while people were in there.

What can we expect from you in the future? Any new WIP you can give us the skinny on?

UNTRACEABLE is the first in the Tracers Series, so I’m working on the subsequent books, UNSPEAKABLE and UNFORGIVABLE. The series is romantic suspense with an emphasis on forensic science as the characters chase down the bad guys in each story.

Do you have a question for our readers?

Yes, what are you guys reading these days? I’m always looking for my next favorite series (I love series books where I can really get to know the cast of characters). Any recommendations?

I’d like to thank Laura again for visiting. Please comment for a chance to win a signed copy of UNTRACEABLE, and a $20 Giftcard from Borders!

You can find Laura Griffin here:

www.lauragriffin.com

Here’s a Publishers Weekly interview with Laura Griffin: http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6702113.html

Find UNTRACEABLE here at these direct links:

Amazon

B & N

Borders

And now, what I’m sure most of you have been waiting for: 

It’s  “GO!” time.