Last weekend’s #CrimeBake was an awesome conference! It started with a bang in Hank Phillippi Ryan’s Great BeginningsMaster Class with useful insights on how to craft a great first page to catch an editor’s attention. Otherwise, no one gets to see page 2. Gayle Lynds’ Seven Steps to Suspense was equally insightful and I'm looking forward to putting these techniques to work. Keynote speaker and prolific author Walter Mosley (of detective Easy Rawlins fame) was hilarious and generous in sharing his knowledge.
But for me, the heart of the conference was the Agents & Editors sessions that paired us newbie writers with seasoned pros to review our pitch, our query letters, and our first pages. Thanks to all the expertise and even some great comments from my fellow writers at table 10 (you know who you are), I honed my pitch just in time for Saturday afternoon’s pitch session.
What’s a pitch? Think speed dating for books. You get 3 minutes to make your best pitch and sell your book. We all lined up outside the conference room (yes, I got there early to secure a good spot) and waited for the appointed hour. When the doors opened, we flooded in to line up again for our favorite agents and editors and try to send our book-babies out into the world. I knew how we all felt – nervous, butterflies in our stomachs, but I could only imagine how the agents felt as this herd of hopefuls descended upon them.
I’ve spent the week since refining my manuscript and today have sent it off to those who requested it. Fingers crossed, this could be the start of a whole new day!