To help Steph celebrate, we're all supposed to share a lie from our past. This is tough for me because I never lie. Okay, I try to never lie. Partly because I'm really bad at it, but mostly because I think it's not very nice. Still, in the interest of Buzz girl solidarity, I will share my shameful secret.
Any writer who has ever been to writer's conference knows the joys (and terrors) of pitching your book to an agent or editor. This is a session, usually 8 to 10 minutes long, in which you try to convince them that you're book is the greatest book ever written, while trying to disguise the fact that you really think it might be total crap. Sessions vary from author to author and from agent to agent, but there are a few unwritten rules to every pitch.
- Be succinct.
- Be professional.
- Have questions ready in case there's a lull.
- Remember that agents and editors are people, too.
- Never, ever lie and say a book is finished when it's not.
I never set out to lie. In my defense, both times I was pitching to agents who NEVER EVER requested full manuscripts. It wouldn't even be an issue. They would request the partial (three chapters and a synopsis), which I had at the ready, and by the time they requested the full, the book would be done.
Only they didn't request the partial. The requested the full.
Rather than admit the books were unfinished (each was more than a hundred pages from being done) and potentially lose an opportunity, I just said, "Uh-huh. Oh, yeah, it's finished." Thankfully I survived both these situations because I am a VERY FAST writer and I excel under the pressure of a deadline. And I wanted a writing career way more than I waned anything as insignificant as sleep.
If I had the chance to do it all over, I would totally lie again.
So you see what kind of lengths I was willing to go to in order to become a professional writer. (Pretty much anything short of murder and animal cruelty was fair game.) For a chance to win a copy of THE ALPHA BET and your choice of OH. MY. GODS. and GODDESS BOOT CAMP, comment your answer to the following question:
What would or wouldn't you do to achieve your dream?Be sure to check out the other posts this week and comment to increase your chances to win! And come back on Sunday, when the list of winners will be posted.
OH. MY. GODS. and GODDESS BOOT CAMP (out now)
FORGIVE MY FINS (coming June 1, 2010)