This weekend is the Willamette Writers Conference and I've paid to meet with three agents to pitch my mystery novel. Two years ago I did the same thing with my first novel and it was a most discouraging experience. That first novel, which I still think is pretty good, never really got pitched. When I told each of the three women that my protagonist was a man and that my story was aimed at women, they said they weren't interested. Because one woman wasn't the main character, it didn't fit romance, or chick lit, or women's lit and they weren't even interested in taking a look. Two of them were polite about it, one of them wasn't. And for my tender writer's ego, that face-to-face rejection was really difficult.
So why have I signed up to do this torture again? Good question and one that I'm asking myself this morning. Last time, I spent weeks perfecting my pitch. Even went to an expensive workshop to learn how to do it right. But doing it right and having a book that fits a certain expectation are two different experiences. This time I have a book that fits a genre. It's a mystery and it has a woman protagonist. And I think it is a much better book than the first one. I'm pitching to three women who say they are looking for mysteries. So maybe it will go better.
And maybe the fact that I haven't yet written my pitch or my synopsis means that I'm more relaxed about it all. Then again, maybe I'm just as scared.