My First Pitch
I arrived at Caerleon full of nerves and trepidation because I was scheduled for my first ever pitch or “chat” just half an hour after everything was due to kick off. As the time ticked by, I became more and more of a mess anticipating what Mira Books would ask me, whether they would like the sample chapter I had emailed beforehand or whether the editor, Anna Baggaley would have trouble hiding her amusement at my delusional hope that I could ever be under their consideration.
Just as I was planning my escape to my room with the intention of hiding away until my allocated time had passed, I was hunted down by the wonderful Janet Gover who promised via email a few days before she would sit with me for a little pep talk.
Janet was fantastic! She went over the tagline and pitch with me, told me to relax and enjoy it (I hid my complete disdain for this ever happening!) and most of all, just go for it.
Walking on shaking legs into the RNA reception area twenty minutes before my schedule time – I never like to be late for anything – I was apprehended by Jan Jones who full of organisational good intentions ushered me straight into to the pitch room as they were running ahead of schedule. Lord in heaven, I didn’t have time to think much breathe!
I walked in behind Anna Baggaley, jabbering on about my nerves and sweating palms and she was patience personified. With her welcoming smile and compliments about my writing, I soon relaxed and the next ten minutes passed in a blur of questions regarding plot, where I envisioned my book on the shelf and the possibility of a series.
The ‘time up’ bell rang and still I had no idea what was happening until Anna passed me her business card with her scribbled email address and said, “Send me the full whenever you’re ready.” Just like that!
Needless to say, more jabbering ensued as she escorted me out of the room (maybe she even considered escorting out of the entire building lest I track her down to thank her one more time) and before I knew it friends from all directions approached me asking how I got on.
If nothing else, the RNA conference is an amazing place to be when you have good news to share and the congratulations and ‘I told you so’s’ came in earnest and even now, five days on, I am yet to stop smiling.
So my advice? Go for it, go for it, go for it! I am so happy I didn’t run and hide in my room but took a deep breath and told someone about my story….