Now that the turkey is eaten, dishes washed, Christmas decorations up, and carols belting from my ipod, I’m in full on panic mode. I have two weeks to nail down my pitch – a mere sixty seconds of information. And I can’t do it. My stomach is roiling just thinking about it. I find my […]

Now that the turkey is eaten, dishes washed, Christmas decorations up, and carols belting from my ipod, I’m in full on panic mode. I have two weeks to nail down my pitch – a mere sixty seconds of information. And I can’t do it. My stomach is roiling just thinking about it. I find my pathetic inability to do this very frustrating.

To put this in context, I am not a shy person; nor do I mind speaking in front of groups. I studied to be a teacher and worked as a teaching assistant during grad school (which meant teaching two sections of Freshmen writing all on my own). I worked as a technical writer for eight years so I know how to break down complex topics into easy-to-digest fragments. With all this background, distilling my novel into a few coherent yet intriguing sentences I can use as a foundation for my pitch should be a breeze. Instead I’m petrified with fear, like I’m staring into the multi-faceted googly eyes of a giant spider about to eat me.

The pitch has one goal; to get the listener interested enough to request a partial or full manuscript. That’s it. I don’t need to sell it; I just need them to want more.

But how? What makes a listener want more? So, dear reader, I’m going to try a few out on you. Please let me know your favorites either in comments, on Twitter, on Facebook, by smoke signals…. You get the point.  

Pitch #1

Cooler Near the Lake follows two star-crossed lovers with good food and a happy ending. Lou Johnson wants to escape her miserable week. Her engagement ends, she nearly food poisons the local restaurant critic at her restaurant, and destroys a perfectly good coconut cake. Any distraction will do.

Al hates Milwaukee. He hates the weather, the food, and the people -except the intriguing, vanilla-scented Lou. Biding his time until he can get a restaurant critic position in a city with a real food scene, Al looks for a diversion.

Lou accepts Al’s challenge to convince him of Milwaukee’s many charms. During their adventures, they find Milwaukee, friendship, and more. Then they find out the truth about each other.

Pitch #2

Lou is a local chef, struggling to keep her small French restaurant in the black. After one disastrous day in which she loses her fiancé, a perfectly good coconut cake, and her sanity, she pulls it back together – focusing on her restaurant, until it gets a scathing review by a local food critic, marking it for death.

Al hates Milwaukee. His only goal is to gain enough success as a food critic to get a job in a real city. To bide his time, he challenges Lou to show him what makes Milwaukee so great. Lou accepts his challenge as a distraction from her crumbling life.

They realize they enjoy each other’s company, a lot – until they realize what they don’t know. 

Pitch #3

Al Waters hates Milwaukee. He hates the food, the weather, and most of the people. After eating undercooked fish while reviewing a local French restaurant, he writes a brilliant (if he says so himself) and scathing review. His readers love it, putting him one step closer to the success he needs to get out of this malty backwater and into a city with a real foodie culture.

Lou Johnson struggles to keep her small, French restaurant alive. Then on one catastrophic day, her engagement ends, a perfectly good coconut cake meets a messy demise, and she almost food poisons a customer with undercooked sole meuniere.

After a serendipitous encounter, Al challenges a drunk and depressed Lou to prove Milwaukee doesn’t deserve his disdain. During their platonic dates, they find a shared love of the city, themselves, and romance… until they learn the truth about each other.

 

So, dear reader, which do you like best? Or are there parts from each that work better than others? Do they make you want to read more?

Can’t wait for your feedback!

Get more of me on Twitter @aereichert.

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