Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I have a Winner!

Secret Garden copyright by rpeg

Lucky number 101

The lovely Jessica Faust of Bookends agency had a Perfecting Your Pitch session where she critiqued a whole lot of pitches. I was number 101 and didn't think she would get to me but she did! And I was surprised to get what I considered a great critique of my pitch.

101. Ello
Private George Waterson saves the life of his enemy Captain Shiro Kawamoto on the Bataan Peninsula. Two years later, his act of compassion is returned when he finds himself a POW in a prison camp run by the same Captain. For Kawamoto, no amount of assistance he can provide will repay the debt he owes the young American, until he is asked to fulfill a promise that will satisfy his debt, but at the price of his family honor. Sixty years later, Kawamoto’s prison journal is discovered by his granddaughter, Naomi, who learns of her true heritage. It leads her to George, still fighting the demons of the past, and shocked with the arrival of a granddaughter he never knew he had. She is a reminder of the one betrayal he could never forgive himself. But in Naomi and the revelations of the journal, George is able to find redemption.

Jessica - Interesting. Very interesting. . . . I have to say that I think based on all of my previous advice I really shouldn’t like this. Instead I should be telling you that you don’t have enough details, that it’s too general and too much backstory. I do like it though. Would I request it? I might, but probably not. For one, it’s not my type of book, but that’s something different. Okay, here’s what I think. I think you have a strong pitch here. You clearly give us an idea of what George’s demons might be and you intrigue us with your writing. I think that while you could tighten it a little, you ultimately have a winner.

Thanks to everyone who came by to tell me about the post and offered encouraging words. I was pretty happy for two reasons. First, I've been having some second thoughts about whether or not to continue working on the story. See there were some structural issues that I couldn't figure out how to fix and I was wondering if I should just throw in the towel. I just didn't know if I had the energy or the desire to rework it all over again. This critique helped me decide that yes I did have a good story and yes it is worth working on. So thanks Jessica, you made me realize I was giving up too early.

And secondly, it just feels damn good when a professional agent I really respect, like Jessica Faust, tells you you wrote something well. I know it's just a pitch and it's not like she read a chapter or something, but I have to admit that I am pretty happy anyway.

25 comments:

Wayne said...

Good job. Why should you have any doubt?

Mary Witzl said...

Great news, Ello, and you are right to be thrilled by this. The best thing about it is that she liked it even when it wasn't her type of book. There is no greater compliment, in my humble opinion...

Angie said...

Congrats, hon! :D I agree with Mary -- the fact that she's not into this kind of book but liked your pitch anyway says quite a lot.

Angie

Erica Orloff said...

GREAT job. And you know . . .

I would totally buy this book. I am fascinated by the pitch and curious about the secret betrayal and so on.

E

cyn said...

yay! that's great, ello! i've never read your pitch before, and it def is interesting!

Lisa said...

There's nothing like a compliment and validation from someone you respect. I'm amazed that you were able to convey so much information in such a short summary. I'll buy your book!

Bernita said...

"yes I did have a good story and yes it is worth working on"
Yes, indeed.
It caught her interest, even though she doesn't do this type.
That's full speed ahead signal!

Precie said...

YAY!!

Travis Erwin said...

Congrats, any encouraging words fro ma professional in the business are to be applauded.

Colleen_Katana said...

Wow Congrats!!!!

Demon Hunter said...

Great, Ello! :*) Congratulations to you! Great pitch!

Akasha Savage said...

Well done ello...I enjoyed your pitch...now get writing, I want to read the entire book! Also, thanks for introducing me to another interesting new blog. I will be visiting Bookends often.
:)

Trish Ryan said...

That DOES sound like a good pitch! Here's to finding the right agent, because I want to read this book :)

McKoala said...

Fascinating; keep on going!

Larramie said...

Be more than happy, Ello, be proud and keep writing!

Sarah Hina said...

Great pitch, Ello, and I would LOVE to read this book. I adore layered narratives like this, and it sounds like you've got a great hook, with complex characters and real tension.

So glad you're going to persevere. I think you have a real winner! :)

Robin S. said...

Good for you, ello! I'd be happy, too, if I were you. This is great news.

The Anti-Wife said...

Quit patting yourself on the back and start writing! Obviously you can do it so get going.

Hotwire said...

very well done - proud of you!!

Charles Gramlich said...

I'd take that as good news. A very nice nod to your work. Congrats. I like the pitch myself.

Diesel said...

Seems like a cool idea to me. A little far-fetched, but you could sell it. I need to check out that site.

Vesper said...

I'm glad for the answer you got, Ello! Wow!

For what it's worth, I find your story very interesting. I hope to read it someday.
But, most important of all, don't give up!!!

Joy said...

Ello!!! This is so wonderful...and you do have a story worthy of getting out there. And I know you will. I'm so glad you decided to stick with it. If you had not, I would have been crushed. I'm a huge fan of George!!!

Joy said...

I forgot to say that I love Shiro too!!

Church Lady said...

You should be happy, Ello!!! That is fantastic news!!!
Congratulations!!!!
I really liked your pitch too. To me, it struck the right balance between emotion and presenting just enough facts. Sounds like you have an awesome story!
:-)