Pitch Madness

I decided to participate in #PitMad today since I didn’t make the agent round of Pitch Madness. I’ve read it’s a good idea to post your full pitch and an excerpt of your book so here ya go! Feedback is welcome! But please be nice 🙂

Pitch: Jake usually hides his psychic ability but when visions of kidnapped women and murder begin to haunt him, his gift may be the only way to stop a brutal serial killer.

A little more than 250 words but here’s the excerpt:

When the guy with the scar slammed into me on the street, I didn’t even need to look at him to know he was a killer.

Our chests collided with a humph. I stumbled backward and would’ve fallen on my ass if he hadn’t grabbed my arm. As soon as his hand encircled my wrist, chills snaked up to my shoulder despite my leather jacket.

As if a movie screen projected across my vision, he leered over me, his lips curled into a snarl, eyes on fire with rage as he drew back with a knife. A woman’s scream echoed through my skull.

I jerked away with a gasp.

“Whoa,” he said with a chuckle. “Sorry, fella. You okay?”

I couldn’t find my voice. The man in front of me was like Dr. Jekyll to the Mr. Hyde I’d just seen. Although smiling, no warmth reached his eyes. Brown and flat, they brought to mind a frozen mud puddle. With dark hair and a goatee, dressed in a cardigan and jeans, he could’ve been a teacher or a theater director.

The scar, a thin inch-long slash under his right eye, would only be noticeable this close. It looked like a knife wound, but could’ve been from a car accident.

Nothing about his look would have said “killer” to anyone else. I can see beyond appearances.

His smile faltered. “Hey, are you okay?”

I tried to tell myself the psychic signal got mixed up with someone watching a TV crime drama. 

Forcing a smile, I said, “Fine. I’m fine.” I readjusted the messenger bag on my shoulder, the laptop computer inside bouncing off my hip. “Sorry I ran into you. I wasn’t watching where I was going. Lost in thought, you know.”

He looked me up and down, chewed on the inside of his cheek and shrugged. “No harm done.”

Not for you at least.

This writer’s constant companion – self-doubt

I’m sure there are many blog posts on this subject: self-doubt. For me, it’s almost always there, lurking at the back of my mind, telling me I can’t do this writing thing. I’ll think I’ve got it locked away but it just seems to keep popping up.

Most recently, it popped up when I realized I didn’t make the final round of Pitch Madness. It hit me hard. I”m not sure why since I did make the agent round in March and got agent requests. Maybe because that was pre-rewrite and the book is SOOOO much better now, partly in thanks to the rejections I eventually got from my submissions per the contest. That ghost in the closet (self-doubt) kept telling me “Hey, guess what? It’s still not good enough. You put all that work into completely rewriting the damn thing and it still sucks.” I really should’ve gone Hermoine on its ass.

But no, I listened to the evil voice of self-doubt and started to doubt that I had written a good book at all. I’m all

Luckily, I have AWESOME friends and CPs who were like “No, dude. We got this.”

These awesome people — you know who you are — reminded me that I did in fact write an awesome book. Just because I didn’t make it to the final round didn’t mean the book was crap. They all advised me to take some time away from the book and work on something else. So I did. I took the weekend off from all things A SCARRED MIND (that’s the title of my masterpiece, in case you didn’t know).

When I followed their advice, things started going much better. I realized how much love and support I have. I had fun with my daughter and watching some Supernatural. 😉 And on Sunday, I realized I did write an awesome book, dammit. I don’t remember what made me pull it up sometime after 11 p.m. Sunday night. I wanted to check something in the first chapter, I think. Anyway, once I started reading, I couldn’t stop.

Doesn’t sound like a crappy book, does it? Even though I know every detail of what’s going to happen, I found myself tensed up for my Jake and also laughing and crying at the appropriate times. I can only hope other readers will feel the same way. My CPs assured me that they did. I know it’s probably not perfect but it’s as perfect as it’s going to get. Reading it made me feel all

I read the whole manuscript in under 24 hours. Now if other readers do that I’ll be even more ecstatic! 😉 It’s okay if they don’t. Right now, I’m happy and confident in the book. I’m going to start querying it again once I can come up with a strong query. In short, I’m not giving up and for the time being, I have kicked self-doubt’s ass.

I still don’t believe Sirius is dead, by the way. Self-doubt will probably come back but I’ll just have to remember how I felt when I finished reading my book. And how I felt when I ran again this morning for the first time in weeks. Alive, free and kick-ass.

I also found out last night I made it to the last round of Pitch Madness, the one before the agent round. The reason I didn’t make the final round was subjective. The person with the yes or no vote didn’t like serial killer tales. I’m not a terrible writer! So much of this business is subjective and I need to keep that bastard self-doubt in the closet where he belongs. (Yes, everything leads back to that first Sam gif) The right agent/editor/reader will love Jake and A SCARRED MIND. And then we’re gonna be all

I just HAD to use that one. 😉 If you know me, you know the reasons why. Anyways, moral of the story: don’t give up. Don’t assume you suck if you didn’t make the final round of Pitch Madness or any other contest. Just keep writing!! 

And then someday very soon, you’ll feel like I do about my manuscript. Like it’s this good:

😀 Happy writing, writers! DON’T EVER GIVE UP!!!