A few months ago, I read about Pitch Perfect at Bloody Scotland. It's an annual event at Scotland's crime writing festival. Would-be authors pitch their books to a panel of publishers and agents in the hope of securing positive feedback and eliciting elusive contact details or contracts.
It sounds both exciting and terrifying. . . and it is!
The first step was to send in a 100-word pitch of a crime novel.
I drafted two quite different pitches for two novels that I've been working on. Then harangued my friend into telling me which one she liked best. She is a crime novel connoisseur.
Whilst I was reading Anne of Green Gables as a child, she read true crime magazines. When I moved on to devouring Agatha Christie; Sherlock Holmes and Nancy Drew; she was watching CSI and Law and Order. She's the biggest crime fanatic I know (without needing a prison visiting pass).
'Pitch A', she said.
I left it a few weeks, tweaked a few words then sent them to her again. 'Definitely Pitch B,' she said.
The moral of this story is that you can't rely on friends for help OR that different pitches appeal to different readers on different days.
Left to my own devices and decision making, I opted for Pitch A. Typed it up, saved it and . . . didn't send it off. Not yet . . .what if it was rubbish? What if they laughed?
As the Pitch Perfect deadline drew closer, I regularly opened my Word doc and looked at my pitch. It was only 100 words. There wasn't much room for editing. It was the equivalent of stroking a soft cushion as you walk through a room. It may momentarily make you feel better but it's not fulfilling its true purpose.
Then, the deadline day came. After a day of shooting arrows and rowing boats (I'm not even kidding) I locked myself in the bedroom of our holiday lodge. As the deadline ticked ever closer, I fired up my computer, found the entry form and pressed 'send'. What did I have to lose?