Killer Nashville is a great writers conference. Great speakers, informative classes and panel discussions, wonderful networking opportunities, and a fair number of agents/editors roaming about and accepting pitches. If you want to read about the specifics, check our their website here. I even got to meet megastar author Janet Evanovich.
She was a wonderful speaker and a very gracious lady.
But what I was really hoping for was to come home with a couple "invites" from agents to submit pages.
I was ready. I practiced my "elevator pitch" for six hours on the drive down, plus my follow up, in case anyone said, "Tell me more." I was signed up for one round table (eight authors each read two pages of their work to two agents who give pointers for improvement and maybe an invite to submit) so I knew I'd get to pitch to at least two agents, but I wanted to increase my odds. This was the year I was finally going to pursue, stalk, ambush...anything short of passing pages under the door of a restroom stall, I was game. At least that was the plan.
My first morning I found myself in the buffet breakfast line next to one of my top agents picks. I wished him a good morning and identified myself as an author in "full pitch mode". I didn't have to be very skilled at reading body language to tell this guy was not open to pitches at breakfast. So I told him I wouldn't think of bothering him so early in the morning but I hoped when he saw me later in the day, he'd remember me as the author who did NOT ambush him at breakfast. Naturally, I never ran into him again.
Later that day (Friday), I spotted one of the agents who would be in my round table going into lunch and followed her in. Managed to sit right next to her. Perfect pitch opportunity. I waited until others were seated and we were starting our salads. Just as I turned to engage her, the writer on her other side jumped in. I guess that person had never heard of the quick pitch. She managed to monopolize the agent's attention through the main course and into dessert. Finally...my turn. And the emcee got up to introduce our guest speaker.
My round table was Saturday morning. At least, I knew I've have my chance here. One of these agent was my first pick, the one I really hoped to get an invite from. I handed my pages to the moderator who handed them to the agents. And knocked a glass of ice water into my first pick's lap! So I got to read my pages to a woman sitting in a puddle of ice water. Not the circumstances I was hoping for. She was great though. Shivered her way through my reading, gave me feedback, and invited me to send her my first fifty pages. Yay! The other agent at the session gave me some kind words but said the paranormal element in my story made it a no-go for her.
By Saturday evening, I had just one "invite". I'd be leaving mid-morning Sunday and I was feeling desperate. I roamed the evening mixer and spotted an agent I knew from a conference a few years ago. I plotted an intercept course, timed my stroll perfectly, and pounced - with all the subtlety of a water buffalo - but she very kindly gave me an invite to send pages.
Sunday morning breakfast. I was a little disappointed I hadn't done better in my pitch quest. I fell into conversation with a woman I didn't know while we waited for our toast to pop. Just small talk. I don't even remember how she came to identify herself as an agent but she did. I asked if I could do my quick pitch, she agreed, and I had another invite. Wow, I totally stumbled onto that one.
There was one more round table that morning. It was full but I decided to stop by and see if there were any no-shows. One of the agents there was the one I'd ambushed the night before, the other was on my hopeful list. I waited until I could see there would be no empty spots then I ran over, knelt between the two agents' chairs, and told agent A that I'd been trying to pitch her all weekend and that agent B was accepting pages from me so she should, too. No pitch at all. She laughed, gave me her card, and said okay.
So I came home with invitations to submit pages to four agents and I'm feeling like quite the experienced (if not the smoothest) conference pitcher. Now comes the hard part. Will any of them want to see more? Cross your fingers for me.
And since you stuck with me through all that - here are your funnies! (But just a few since I'm running so long.)
Some thoughts to ponder...
I can't understand why women are okay that JC Penny has an older women's clothing line named, " Sag Harbor ."
I think it's pretty cool how Chinese people made a language entirely out of tattoos.
My 60 year kindergarten reunion is coming up soon and I'm worried about the 195 lbs. I've gained.
If I make you breakfast in bed, a simple "Thank you" is all I need.....not all this, "how did you get in my house" business!
I think that last one could be the start of a great mystery, don't you?
I want this person at my next pot luck.
Who needs salad?
Okay, I need help here.
Who gets the "aw" for today?
Or this pair?
Vote in your comment.
Gotta run before this post gets too big to load. Thanks for stopping by. I'll be around to visit everyone as soon as I can.
Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend, for my friends in the States. For everyone else - hey, have a wonderful regular old weekend. See you next week.
Thought for Today:
~ One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.