Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pitch with Katherine Fausset of Curtis Brown

I drove over to the Atlanta Writer's Conference on Sat and pitched "Ways to Fall" to Katherine Fausset. She's as beautiful in person as on her twitter page, and one of those lovely women who glows during pregnancy. I was her last pitch of the day, so I watched person after person come out of the room smiling and gushing about how nice she is. Then it was my turn. The good news is I wasn't nearly as nervous as I'd been the previous year. Bad news is Katherine Fausset doesn't rep my genre. Ouch.

I'd googled "represented by Katherine Fausset" and found Cynthia Hand, who wrote "Unearthly," which I thought was a decent comparison to my book (although I haven't read it yet, and I realize now it's YA. I requested it from the library, but it came in too late for me to read it pre-pitch. It sounds awesome, though, and I love Cynthia's blog.) I wish I'd had my wits about me and mentioned the book, but I was having trouble thinking of the title, so I didn't. Anyway, if she says she doesn't rep paranormal romance, then she doesn't, and it would be silly to argue with her, right? She did say that the genre is hot right now, stronger than either paranormal or romance alone. 

Regardless, Ms. Fausset was very nice and listened to my pitch. I hate talking about my book because of all the world building and no matter how long I practice, the 3 minute version comes out jumbled and long, and people invariably ask "why" questions, and then I have to go back to some worldbuilding that I'd tried to gloss over. Sigh.

Whatever the shortcomings of my spiel, Ms. Fausset seemed to follow it okay and said it sounded very original. Then she suggested that I contact another agent at Curtis Brown, which she said she hardly ever does (Thanks for that encouragement, Ms.Fausset!) and that she would tell her to expect my query, then paused, and I assured her that I had been waiting to query anyone else at CB until after my pitch. At least I did something right!

I was joking with another writer before my pitch that it would be funny to come out of the pitch sobbing just to freak out the people after me, but as I said, I was last in line. Maybe next year:)

Any tips for how I can do this better? I made up some talking points to help me get through the pitch, but I can't seem to stay on track, even after talking to myself in the car for hours.

Happy Writing!


  1. That's awesome. I'm sure I would be too nervous to have ANYTHING come out right. It's hard to be put on the spot even if you've prepared a lot in advance. So, congrats to you! Sounds like you did well enough that she referred you. That's awesome!

  2. Yeah, that would be nerve-wracking, but it sounds like you handled it well, Kelly. And like Kathryn said, how awesome to get a referral out of a pitch session! That's great!

  3. Thanks guys! It was hard, but I didn't smack my forehead until after I'd left the room;)

  4. Kelly, I'm so proud of you for doing this! I'd be scared to death!! Congratulations on the referral :)... which shows, by the way, that you did better at your pitch than you thought. :)


  5. Definitely do the come-out-sobbing thing the next chance you get. :D I haven't done anything like this since band tryouts in high school, and I always screwed up big time.

    Oh, idea: Instead of just notes for you, make up a complete script and hand the agent a copy so they know what to say, too. :P I'd sure like to do that.

  6. Amy- I think it's one part pity and one part intrigue that got me a referral;)

    Ha- Ben- I mentioned on FB that it's way easier than the french horn auditions I did way back. That really gave me hives;) I guess that's why I don't play anymore- loved the music, playing in a band, but not playing as an individual.

    I love love love the script idea. It's brilliant.

  7. Great job with the referral, Kelly! I hope everything goes well.The networking part about the writing and publishing world is awesome. :)

  8. You're brave. I'd probably forget what I had to say and start stuttering, though maybe not. I taught R.S., on Sunday, with minimal shaking and no stuttering.