I am not a morning person—never have been, probably never will be.
Normally, I need a cup of coffee to start my day. (Yeah, I know what’s been said … it’s all in my head.) But there are times when I friggin’ amaze myself.
The day of my pitching appointment at the Romance Writers of America Conference in Washington, D.C., was one such day. I purchased a cup of coffee for $3.00, took two sips and tossed it.
Yes, just shoot me. I tossed caffeine down the drain because I was too nervous to drink it. I was wired—naturally.
I did something else that shocked the hell out of me. I sat in the front row. I’m a middle type of person. I sit in the middle of the row, in the middle aisle, in the middle of the room. I don’t like weather that’s too hot or too cold, average—middle. I open rolls or packs of candy in the middle.
But I actually made a conscious effort to sit in the front row, and wait for my appointment time to be called. Deep. And a sign of sheer panic.
But then it was my turn, and the panic morphed into determination, professionalism and a desire to succeed.
I wanted to make a good impression, to present my book and to give those ten minutes of my life the care and attention it deserved. After all, it was my only opportunity to make a good first impression.
The editor was gracious and friendly. She put me at ease immediately. She made my ten minutes of pitching, meaningful and worthwhile. She commented on how passionate I was about my book through my brief description. I was pleased that I exhibited excitement about my work. She liked elements of my book and about nine minutes into the interview, the editor requested a partial submission.
Elation beyond words.
Before attending RWA, I read a lot about the do’s and don’ts of pitching. I’m glad I followed the advice of agents, editors, and friends who are published authors. More important, I’m glad I listened my own advice to get over the nervousness, and follow Nike’s message—JUST DO IT.
After my interview, I sat in the middle of my bed in the hotel room, savoring another cup of coffee and staring at the editor’s business card.