Perfect Fits and Pumpkin Juice

Hello my darlings! I’ve dreamt for years about writing this post. Or at the least, having the opportunity to write it. A few years back, the big thrill was writing my “ZOMG I HAVE AN AGENT!” post. I didn’t write one when I signed with my second set of agents. I super wanted to, it’s a great story, but also, I felt weird about it. Like I was demanding a second baby shower or something. Which is stupid, honestly. I love, LOVE reading posts about people signing with new agents, no matter how many they’ve had before. Please never stop posting about your wins, folks. They give me life. Hell, I love going to second/third/infinity baby showers, as well. But I’m super weird about feeling like I’m flailing my arms begging for some level of attention. Despite that absurdity, I’m going to share a little of my tale today. I went to my first writer’s conference when I was 12. It was an RWA con in Indianapolis at a big hotel. My mom drove me and a friend and dropped us off for the day. It was apparently so odd for someone so young to be there, a freaking news crew came. Seriously. I was on the Channel 8 news and an agent was all, I AM HERE FOR THIS KID AND HER BOOK. It was very bizarre. My mom still has a VHS recording of this somewhere. At the time, I also had an offer from an acting agent, and I figured I could always come back to writing, but acting was more time sensitive, so I went with that. Cut to my long and tortuous path to finding an agent as an adult. 12yo me didn’t realize how swell she’d had it. I had two books on...

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Pitch Madness 2016: Mario Kart Edition

Pitch Madness 2016 Mario Kart Edition … Game on! Welcome to Team Rainbow Road! It’s been a long week of reading through all the amazing pitches. Our wonderful readers have narrowed the slush, and your game hosts have chosen sixty-four pitches for the game. To meet the slush readers go to this post here. And you can find out more about the amazing agents playing the game on this post here. For those of you not familiar with Pitch Madness, it’s a contest where agents compete in a game against their peers for pitches and you can find the rules and instructions of the game here. For this Pitch Madness game, we’re playing Mario Kart. Scroll down to view all 16 picks for my blog or click on the links to each post …   Middle Grade 02: THE SILVER WOODS 06: DAISY KINCAID AND THE TIME TRAVEL SHOPPE 09: ANCHORED AT REDWOOD GROVE 14: SUPER JAKE & THE KING OF CHAOS Young Adult 01: A WORLD AWAY 04: THE UNCANNY REJECTS 05: MIDDLE OF KNOWHERE 12: THINGS BETTER NOT HEARD 13: SOCIOPOP 15: THE END AND EVERYTHING AFTER 16: A RITE OF PASSAGE 17: SOMEONE ELSE’S SUMMER New Adult/Adult 03: THE COURTSHIP OF MALLORY RICHARDS 07: ROYALLY SCREWED 08: THE SUBSTITUTE PRINCESS 10: WILD TYPE 11: FINDERS KEEPERS   Go to all the hosts’ blogs to read more winning pitches …   Rainbow Road on Summer Heacock’s site       Bowser’s Castle on Rebecca Coffindaffer’s site       Moo Moo Meadows on Sharon Johnston’s site     Yoshi Falls on Brenda Drake’s site       Comments are set to moderation so the agents won’t see their competitors’ bids. Please no comments other than those from the agents. After the game, we’ll release the moderation and...

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01: A WORLD AWAY

Title: A WORLD AWAY Age Category: Young Adult Genre: Contemporary Word Count: 79,000 words Pitch: Aspiring teen chef Ivy discovers culinary inspiration in India, and romance with fellow expat Raj, but her disapproving mother threatens to send Ivy home, costing her love and crushing her foodie dreams. First 250 Word of Manuscript: When it comes to late-night misery, the only thing worse than jet lag is sharing a bed with a squirmy eleven-year-old. I jab Miles with my elbow. “Quit kicking me.” “I can’t sleep. And I’m thirsty.” He sits up and pushes the covers away. “Do you think it’s okay if I fill my water bottle from the tap?” “No! Remember what Dad told us? We can’t drink the tap water here.” “Could we go buy some? I think I saw vending machines when we were up at the pool.” Chances are good our parents won’t miss us. They’re crashed out in the double bed next to ours, snoring away. But it’s almost midnight and we’re eight thousand miles from home, at a high-rise hotel in India. These aren’t normal conditions. “Please, Ivy?” Miles says. “Otherwise, I’ll never get back to sleep.” “Fine. But let’s be quick. If Mom wakes up and sees we’re gone, I’m the one that’ll get in trouble.” The last thing I need is another lecture on responsibility. I scrawl a quick note and leave it on my pillow: ‘Went to get water. Back in five.’ Following Miles into the hall, I shut the door quietly behind me. When we emerge from the elevator onto the roof, hot, smoggy air envelops us. The pool is eerily silent, the light shimmering off the water. From below, the barrage of horns melds into a noisy blur. I wonder if New Delhi is like New York—a city...

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02: THE SILVER WOODS

Title: The Silver Woods Age Category: Middle Grade Genre: Fantasy Adventure Word Count: 30,000 Pitch: Isla follows her grandfather into The Silver Woods. She soon realizes his tall tales are not tales at all. They are real – and they’re after her. BIG FISH for MG. First 250 Word of Manuscript: Isla Morgan swore she’d never cross the invisible line. The precise point where the grass stood unkempt and scraggly near the trees outlined the forbidden threshold. Even the blanket of fog stopped there, standing at attention as gatekeeper warding off trespassers. The village council voted on the spot where the line should be, six yards away. No one would be forced to mow the weeds any closer to the woods. Dangers lurked, even on the outskirts. But Isla kept running. She didn’t even slow down. Shouting and pleading voices faded as she plunged into the forest, the heavy air dampening her face. The tall grass receded as trees took over, stealing the moisture away for themselves. She’d broken the one rule her parents gave her, but it didn’t matter. She had it. She had her grandfather’s watch. Her lungs screamed to the point of bursting and a cramp in her left leg would soon make running impossible, but she trudged on, certain they wouldn’t follow her this far, but she had to make sure. A snaggly root decided for her when it was time to stop. She tripped, flying forward, glancing ahead in just enough time to avoid a massive tree trunk. She did not have as much luck with the smaller one. It was not much more than a sapling. The tree’s fresh green smoothness merely masqueraded as protective bark. As she flew forward, the sapling snapped in half as sharp skewers tore through her best Sunday...

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03: THE COURTSHIP OF MALLORY RICHARDS

Title: THE COURTSHIP OF MALLORY RICHARDS Age Category: Adult Genre: Women’s lit Word Count: 86000 Pitch: Mallory is dead at twenty-five with no memory of how she died while falling in love with the man she haunts. Mallory hopes she doesn’t scare him to death. Then again, maybe she does. First 250 Word of Manuscript: “Rise and shine, pretty boy!” I shout at him and he doesn’t respond. Of course not. Almost two months have passed and I’m still dead.Evan rolls over with a sigh and slaps in the wrong direction for the alarm. I suppress a smile, as if he could see my expression. He stumbles out of bed yawning and stretching. His boxers make a tent and I laugh, feeling awkward as usual. I follow him into the bathroom, but spin to face the wall when he strips off his plaid underwear and steps into the shower. The hooks clink across the shower rod and I turn back around to wait. Evan has been naked in front of me before, but each instance felt too invasive. That’s why I look away whenever possible now. It takes a minute, but soon his ritual morning sounds begin. Evan busts out a few notes that are too sparse to make a real melody, a bird lacking a tune. I chime in with him and try to morph it into a song. Really, he’d be surprised at how good we are at this. His shower lasts longer than normal, or maybe it just feels that way to me. Time is a funny thing to judge when it’s all you have — and yet you still tend to lose track of it. The water shuts off when the bathroom is saturated with steam. Evan gropes around the wall for the navy blue towel....

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