At past Conferences when I've been lucky enough to find myself sitting or standing next to agents and publishers, I've often only managed to mumble something uninspiring.
So now I shall practice my sentences in front of a mirror until I can recite them without hesitation, repetition or deviation and hopefully with a pleasant smile, all at the same time.
When I've had publisher/ agent interviews in the past, I've always felt that I just make a fool of myself. Am certain Ed Handyside of Myrmidon, for instance, will probably have thought, 'pleasant enough woman but rambles a lot.'
On the upside, they are always very polite and when I've asked if I can send them something, have always said yes.
And my default option, if I haven't spoken to anyone is to send the work anyway, beginning my letter with : I was standing next to you at the RNA Summer Party last week but didn't manage to speak to you.
Or : I heard you speak at the RNA Conference and very much enjoyed your talk. Both these worked well and did at least receive individual replies. I suppose I had at least given them something a bit different to say in their rejections - writing them must be a bit like writing school reports. In the end, your work has to go out into the world and stand on its own little feet, whatever you've said.
So best of luck! I'm off to stand in front of the mirror.
Thank you Anne, for this delightfully humorous take on the process of pitching.I wish you every success with the next.
Best wishes, Freda
Anne Hewland's latest Pocket Novel with D C Thompson is Pool of Darkness. Do watch out for her next.