Tuesday, May 28, 2013


The end of this week I'll be celebrating an Anniversary of sorts. About a year ago I made a trip down to Ohio. It had started as purely a fan-girl trip. Some of my favorite authors were going to be at the closest, most affordable, and relaxed reader orientated conference. I didn't want to miss that.
Then I realized that I could kill two birds with one stone. I had the opportunity to sign up to pitch my book to an editor of a publishing house. When asked which house I wanted to pitch to I didn't hesitate for one second. I said ANY.
That's where I was. I was so desperate for this opportunity. I didn't care who with.
So they set up a time slot for me.
A little while later I received a second e-mail asking if I'd be up for two pitch sessions, with two different editors from two different houses. I of course realized the opportunity here to double my odds. I took it.
The morning of RAGT I woke up and checked my e-mail again to find that I'd been granted another opportunity with a third publisher. I was elated ... and much, much more nervous.
I showed up at RAGT alone, but I wasn't alone for very long. Everyone is so wonderful, friendly and what's really great is everyone there is just as nerdy about romance novels as I am.
I met great people, some I'm still in touch with today, and I'm beyond excited to see them there this year. Those same people gave me a wonderful pep-talk before my pitches.
Yet it wasn't until I'm close to hyperventilating waiting outside that conference room and a petite graying brunette with librarian glasses calls me in and tells me to take a seat, that I'm fully understanding the weight of what it is I'm about to do.
This is potentially the start of my career ... or if it goes badly a crushing blow to my dreams.
She takes a seat, she smiles at me, and then in the kindest voice she reminds me to breathe. "Just talk to me," she says like an old friend might.
It was that moment I stuffed away my notecards, took a deep breath, and began to tell her a story.
I left that room confident, ecstatic really -- because she'd said those four words I'd only dreamed I'd hear. "Send me your manuscript."
It was divine intervention I pitched to her first because my next boardroom was not nearly as comfortable, or inviting. It was me facing six editors. I did my best. I kept my notecards in my bag. I told them about my books conversationally. They had questions, lots of questions. Some were very easy to answer, and some of them were things I'd never thought of before ...
Who would these books be marketed to?  for instance. I guess I'd never thought much about it before - obviously romance readers ... but there are more types of romance readers than I ever dreamed existed.
But by the end of my 15 minute time slot I also heard the magical words "Send us your manuscript."
Once was a miracle.
Twice was unreal.
By the time I stepped into my third conference room my head was spinning, I was edgy, and exhausted and I had to go through this one more time?
I sat down with an editor from Liquid Silver Books for a fifteen minute pitch and by the time I was leaving that room forty-five minutes had lapsed and she was already talking to me about contracts.
Mind blown.  
The next day I met up with those wonderful girls I'd met the night before, the ones who'd given me that pep-talk prior to pitching. Today was supposed to be relaxing, fun, fan-girl time...
That was until Duffy Brown was pushing me into an elevator heading up to the suite where the woman who'd been nominated for Editor of The Year sat waiting for me to pitch to her as well.
It was a surreal experience. I left the RAGT with four submission requests, tons and tons of signed books, pictures with my favorite authors and a handful of new friends.
Last year was my first time at the RAGT as a reader.
This year will be my first time at the RAGT as an Author.
I have no idea what I'll be leaving RAGT with this year but I know what giant steps can be made there and what just a single year can bring a person. I so look forward to sitting here writing another blog post about this very same thing a single year from now.
RAGT here I come.
What comes after that?  I can't wait to find out!  

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