HOLIDAY FAUX PAS
Once upon a time, I went to the Long Island Romance Writers’ Annual Luncheon with a finished manuscript and a dream: To find a publisher for my contemporary romance—a sweet and spicy Christmas story. The idea of pitching made me queasy, however I was thrilled to have a completed project to offer.
Since the pitching was supposed to take place in the ballroom, I spent more time in the safe haven of the bathroom, gathering my wits. Whilst in the ladies’ room, a gentle soul witnessed my minor panic attack and let me practice my pitch on her, after which she gave me a business card and asked me to send the first three chapters. Bless her heart.
Back in the ballroom, I whipped out my notes of who’s who in the publishing industry, took aim, and made the pitch, nervous at first, but growing more confident each time. All the publishers smiled politely, gave me their business cards, and asked me to send the usual query information. Thankyouthankyouthankyou.
Before the luncheon ended, finally comfortable with the procedure, I debated on making one last pitch like a newbie gambler dropping another coin in the slot machine with hopes of hitting the jackpot. So, with newfound confidence, I described my contemporary romance, flawed hero, happily-ever-after, in a holiday setting…
Hold on… Pump the breaks… Did you say holiday?
Unbeknownst to me, writing the book I wanted to read was a faux pas on my part, because I’m not an established author, and traditionally, publishing houses only consider holiday books by established authors. Ouch. No wonder all the publishers in the room looked at me cockeyed after hearing the title of my story. Well, that put the painful pin in my holiday hopes of publication.
Nevertheless, I went home happy that I mustered up the nerve to pitch at all. And despite this bit of insider information, I sent out the queries per my conversations. Not long after, a surprising email arrived in my inbox. The first person I pitched—in the ladies’ room—offered me a contract for SLEEPING WITH SANTA, my first published book, which happens to be a holiday story, and it released six months later.
The moral of the story: Write the story you want to read and don’t give up on your dream.
SLEEPING WITH SANTA, a Holiday Contemporary Romance