Despite these huge sunglasses and aversion to pants, I’ve continued stumbling my way out of the cave when it comes to my book.
I even entered a contest.
Back in October I entered the Agent Treat pitch contest and actually got picked as one of the entries by Brenda Drake.
It was a fantastic experience, and a huge step in helping me with my pitching, but I knew I still wasn’t ready. The fire was there, my hand twitching and heart racing, but I needed to see past the ruts I’d dug myself. I needed to go into battle and I needed a Haymitch.
Soon after Agent Treat I found out about Pitch Wars.
I looked into the contest and thought, “This. THIS. THIS ONE.”
Pitch Wars is amazingly unique in the sense that it’s not just throwing your work out there and getting a thumbs-up or down for it. You pitch your work and first words to your choice of four mentors out of the several awesome authors selflessly giving their time to the contest, and they then request and choose a mentee plus two alternates.
Great. Fantastic. And then what happens?
And then you have a little over a month of intense boot camp. It’s working with someone who knows the ropes and will know your story and hopefully armed with scalpels or crowbars you make some magic together, which you then present to the involved literary agents during the agent round.
And the agent round this year is jaw dropping.
So, I did it. I did the thing. I held my breath and leapt by sending out my four emails and then we all waited and died and maybe finished our holiday shopping. I’m still not sure if I did. It’s been a fever dream of a month.
Because this happened:
THAT’S ME. SHE PICKED ME.
Jaye Robin Brown is a writer whose wish list I fell into a deep, intense love with because of her love for YA, southern dramas, sharp storytelling, and big, crazy families. My heart (the one I grow in my gut) kept whispering all week while we waited for the reveal day that this was a writer who knew a thing or two about fire and could help me burn bright.
And she picked me to be her mentee. Out of all the windows in all the world it was mine she flew into and said, “Hey, let’s rock this.”
We’re halfway in and I flew out the window, totally out of my cave. The edits I’ve already made thanks to Jro’s notes have changed so much for the better, clearing the fog I made myself. She’s empowering me to slay my own demons and totally approves of my crowbar. I am becoming the writer I want to be, because she became my Haymitch.
This is the magic of going with your gut. The fireworks of getting picked back.
And of diving out your window and hitting the ground running.
We’ll be the ones bringing the matches.