Monday, April 16, 2018

Pippa Roscoe & How To Pitch

Please welcome Pippa Roscoe to the blog today!
So you’ve got that five minute slot with an editor – perhaps you know of them, even better, you know the publisher! You’re nervous, you’re terrified that you’re going to waste an opportunity, you’re worried that you’re not wearing the right clothes, you won’t get to express how much you want this, or how great your book is… 
Yup. It’s so overwhelming that it’s quite likely you’ll walk away thinking – what just happened? What did I say? (or in my case – did I actually say that?!) It’s brain short-circuiting, emotionally draining, terrifying stuff! 
But it doesn’t have to be. So here are some handy tips on how to get the most out of your one-to-one with an editor:
  1. 1. Know what the publishing company you're pitching to is looking for. This sounds like the most simple and obvious thing in the world, but it’s not. At a conference or book fair, there are a lot of publishers out there, all printing vastly different genres. It may be that you don’t necessarily have control over who you get to pitch to, but once you have their name, look them up. You don’t have to be BFFs with them, but you do have to know what they’re looking for. Because pitching a post apocalyptic sci-fi who dunnit romance to an indi digi only non-fiction publisher is going to be a little awkward. 
  2. Don’t panic if your one-to-one is with a publisher that doesn’t publish your genre. If you’ve got five minutes with them – they’re in the publishing industry and may be able to help answer any questions you might have about the industry rather than your specific genre. Can they offer advice on how best to write a covering letter? Do they know any editors looking for your genre? Do they have any do’s and don’ts about first submissions? They might not be able to help with your specific book, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help with the experience of writing and submitting. 
  3. Have a three – five sentence outline of your story ready. This is sometimes called an elevator pitch, a premise, a blurb… But you don’t want to waste the five minutes explaining the backstory of a secondary character who is vital to bringing your hero and heroine together on the last page of your book. 
  4. Know what your hero and heroine’s conflicts are in one sentence. This sounds deceptively easy, but it’s really hard and will require a bit of homework. There’s a whole host of information out there on the internet about conflicts, but this is the central tension of your romance… and one that the editor will want to know. It’s the beating heart of your story. And if they don’t ask? Then they’ll be even happier when you present it to them without them asking! 
  5. Know that this isn’t your one and only shot. It’s not the last chance saloon, this editor is not the last editor you’ll ever meet. It may feel like it, but it’s not. Writing is hard, and takes determination and takes many meetings with editors. So take a deep breath and think of it as an experience to be intrigued by, to be curious about, and see it as a huge achievement, because it is! 
  6. And lastly, editors are humans too. They may not feel like it, seem like it, or sometimes even sound like it, but they are. They understand that this is important to you, they also understand the nerves, so don’t worry and have fun with it.  

I hope this helps, and I wish you the very best of luck! 
Mills & Boon author Pippa Roscoe lives in Norfolk near her family and makes daily promises that this will be the
day she will leave the computer and take a long walk in the countryside. She can’t remember a time when she wasn’t dreaming of gorgeous alpha males and misunderstood heroines. Totally her mother’s fault of course—she gave Pippa her first romance to read at the age of seven! She is inconceivably happy that she gets to share those daydreams with her readers.
Pippa Roscoe on the web:
Website          Facebook        Twitter 
Conquering His Virgin Queen
Six months ago, their marriage ended…

He has twelve hours to claim her back!

Odir Farouk is about to become king—but to take his throne, he needs his errant wife by his side! Odir denied his hunger for Eloise, refusing to compromise power for passion. His rejection drove her away. Now Odir has until news of his succession breaks to win back his queen…and pleasure will be his most powerful weapon!

Read Reader Reviews

Buy on:

Amazon Kindle             Amazon Paperback

Amazon UK                 Amazon Aust
Harlequin        B&N

Kobo               Book Depository            iBooks

Thanks Pippa!
Pitching in person sounds terrifying to me! But these tips are perfect for helping me out if I'm ever lucky enough to get to a conference!

How about you? Any tips to add? Have you ever had the chance to pitch your story? How did you conquer your nerves?

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

IWSG & Perseverance

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

April 4 question - When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?

Great question!

Life is full of ups, downs, and more bumps in the road than springtime roads here in Canada where potholes proliferate more often than bunnies.

Because of this, there are times when my life is overwhelming and that is what bogs down my writing. But, writing is part of what gives me solace and hope, so I will always write.

To dig myself out of the dumpy days, I tend to switch projects. Because of my Tigger brain, I generally have a minimum of 3 projects on the go. One fiction first draft, one (or three) in various stages of revision, and one non-fiction project. Switching to a different project or even to a different part of the process always gives me that required boost.

How about you? How do you keep going?

Monday, April 2, 2018

Jane Godman & The Dreaded Synopsis

Please welcome Jane Godman to the blog today!

The story is finished. The characters have reached their happy ending. It’s time to put your feet up and reach for the champagne…

Except for one last thing. The dreaded synopsis. It’s the moment many authors, myself included, loathe. I’ve seen it described on Twitter as “synopsis phobia”.  Personally speaking, I would rather write a book than write a synopsis. 
No, seriously. When I’m writing a story, my imagination runs free, my characters speak for themselves, and the setting is a real place in my mind. Okay, so it doesn’t always flow as perfectly as I’ve just made it sound. The point is that I’m in control. 

When it comes to synopsis writing, the opposite is true. There are constraints that spring up like manacles. I can’t tell a synopsis the way I can tell a story. 

To put it simply, a story is something I do, while a synopsis feels like something that is being done to me. Having written the book, I now have to condense it into five pages for someone else.

What is even more limiting, and what took me a long time to understand, is that, in writing romance, you are not required to summarise the story. It’s the emotional journey of the hero and heroine that’s the key. 

There is reams of advice out there about how to tackle a synopsis. I’m fairly sure I’ve read it all.
I’ve created tables (I like the color-coded ones the best), spreadsheets, questionnaires… You name it, I will have a template for using it to write a synopsis. I’ve even used a few of them. Some more than once. 

Over time, I’ve narrowed my synopsis down to a series of bullet points: 
  • Who are my hero and heroine and why are they wrong for each other?
  • What changes do they undergo as the story progresses (plot)?
  • What internal (primary) and external (secondary) events are keeping them from being a couple?
  • The black moment and subsequent internal change that leads to commitment.
  • Resolution and reward.

I think my editor might look at that list and laugh, because I don’t always manage to stick to that neat, succinct plan. But I try, and, who knows? As time goes by, I may even start to enjoy writing a synopsis. 
JANE GODMAN writes paranormal romance for Harlequin Nocturne and SMP Romance and thrillers for Harlequin Romantic Suspense. She also self publishes her historical and gothic stories. She has been a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Nominee and The Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Award Winner.
Jane worked in a variety of shops, bars, and offices before settling into a career as a teacher. She was born in Scotland and has lived in Germany, Wales, Malta, South Africa, and England. Jane still gets the urge to travel, although these days she tends to head for a Spanish beach, or a European city that is steeped in history. 
When she isn’t reading or writing romance, Jane enjoys cooking and spending time with her family. She is married to a lovely man, has two grown up children and has recently discovered the joy of becoming a grandparent (to two gorgeous boys).
 Connect with Jane Godman on the web:
Website         Facebook          Twitter

Colton and the Single Mom (The Coltons of Red Ridge)

This Colton cop falls for a ready-made family
A Coltons of Red Ridge story

A serial killer is on the loose, and true-crime filmmaker Esmée da Costa is on the case. K-9 cop Brayden Colton, the prime suspect’s half brother, works hard to stop her prying, but sparks fly as he falls for Esmée and her son. When Esmée and Brayden’s little family comes under siege, can they save all they love?

Read Reader Reviews

Buy on:

Amazon Kindle        Amazon Paperback

Amazon UK              Amazon Aust

Harlequin                 B&N 

Kobo        Book Depository        iBooks

Thanks Jane!