This past Thursday night, I came home from work fairly certain I wouldn't be able to eat anything until the Love Is Murder Conference was over. Fortunately, Nathan encouraged me to eat and I did have dinner.
However, I was still so nervous about having to pitch to agents that when I bumped into two ladies from my writer's conference in the hallway just before my pitch, I asked them to let me practice with them. They were great and listened to me stumble my way through the pitch and offered wonderful advice and told me I'd do fine.
My first pitch was to a small publishing company and though they said they didn't want to see the book, they did say it sounded like a good story and something they would read, just not something they published. My second pitch didn't go well at all, except that the agent told me to shorten my pitch and make it punchier.
The third agent I talked to (who was later described to me as the toughest person in the room) could tell I was nervous and was very patient and helped me with the pitch and then said the book sounded fantastic and she wanted to see the whole thing! That helped a lot.
I went back the next day with a shorter pitch and more confidence. I pitched to everyone else in the room (I think there were 9 or 10 agents or publishing houses there) and all but one said they wanted to see some of it.
I really hope this yields at least one offer. It was really nice that by the time I was done I had my pitch memorized and people were interested.
I wouldn't have been able to do any of this without all of you. My friends and family gave me so much support and encouragement that you are the reason I went in the first place. I also owe a debt to my writer's group, who also provided a great deal of support and encouragement, even at the conference itself.
Lastly and most hilariously, in the conference room next to ours while we were there, was the national Reenactor Fest. Every time I stepped out into the hall there were people in costume. All kinds of costumes from Vietnam all the way back to Classical Greece. It was fantastic!! I have always wanted to be a reenactor. While Love is Murder was having its awards banquet, the reenactors in the next room were listening to a bagpipe corps. It was funny.