Pitching on Twitter

#PitMad was this past week with over 40,000 tweets (and retweets). By all accounts, it was a rousing success. It trended for six hours and hooked up countless aspiring authors with agents and editors.

For those who don’t know, PitMad is one of the many Twitter-based pitching events, where writers tweet their book pitch and tag it with the event’s hashtag. If an agent or editor wants to see more, they like the tweet. It’s a really exciting, moderately stressful event, but a great way to get your writing out there.

I got my agent(!!!) the old-fashioned way, by querying directly, but Twitter pitching is really interesting to watch. It’s kind of like prom for writers, watching everyone rework and tweak their tweets, getting them perfect for the big day.

Entirely by chance I’m in a writing group with someone who works for Pitch Wars and we had a meeting yesterday. Since I’m sure I know people who are interested in pitching future twitter events, (here’s a list of some this year) I took notes on my friend’s thoughts from this PitMad.

  • If your tweet starts with a long sentence, people glaze over. Try. Shorter. Sentences. They’re more attention grabbing
  • Don’t use a big name comp title for two reasons
    • It makes it look like you don’t know your genre very well.  If the only YA novel you know is Twilight (which also came out ages ago and is therefore not a very relevant comp.) that says you just don’t read a lot.
    • It shows you have unrealistic expectations. Look for books that do well, but aren’t breakout stars. This is one case where shooting for the moon is the wrong way to go.

And as with all pitches, make sure you get someone else to look over it before you post so you don’t put out a mortifying typo.

Did anyone out there do PitMad? How about other Twitter pitches? Got any advice for other writers? Let me know!

P.S. My mss is at 64,000 words!


Writing Through Doubt

I’m going to admit something shocking.

I have anxiety. And a lot of the time, anxiety breeds self-doubt.

I know, you didn’t see that coming.

Read More »

Waipi’o Valley

Although no one’s read it yet, anyone who gets their hands on my current manuscript is going to know immediately that I’m madly in love with the Big Island. We lived there for two years and figure that, whenever we settle down, it’ll be back there. Neither of us have ever felt that kind of connection with a place before.

The downside to setting a book there (besides that fact that draft 0 was more ‘love story to the island’ than ‘murder mystery’) is that my memory is made of old sponge. It’ll hold information for exactly as long as its relevant, but no longer. What was my first address? Dunno. How do you find the median? Not a clue.

So I’m doing a lot of research.  And parts of that research won’t make it into the book, no matter how much I wish they could.

For instance: the mysterious Waipi’o Tea House.

Read More »


Have I done this before?  I sure hope not, but with a memory like mine-and a disinclination for actually looking it up-we’ll never know.

Anyway!  One of my internet friends is querying right now, which made me think of my time querying, at the end of 2016.  So, just in case it’s helpful for other people, here’s The Query Letter That Got Me An Agent, and the breakdown of how I wrote it.Read More »

Cozy Mysteries and Why You Should Love Them

You know that feeling when you’re the only one on Tumblr in a fandom?

Well as far as I can tell, I’m the only Tumblr user who’s into reading and writing cozies.

Which makes sense.  I mean, cozies are basically exclusively marketed to women forty and up.

But the thing is, I really love the genre, and it kind of sucks that more people don’t know about it.

So, as with all people who find themselves alone in a fandom, my new goal for 2018 is to start shouting about it as loudly as I can until someone caves and joins me.Read More »

What to do when you get a harsh submission response

Step One: Read it with a mixture of anger and depression.  What kind of dummy thinks my manuscript is this bad?  Other Professional Book People thought it was good, clearly you are just stupid.  Also, OHMYGOD I was such a numpty to think I could make it as a writer?  I don’t even have any training.  My beta readers were just humoring me.

Step Two: Ask everyone you know what they think of the response:

Read More »

What Goes in to Being a Writer

I’ve wanted to be an author nearly my entire life (excluding the first three years, when I’m pretty sure my life goals were more along the lines of “nap” and “avoid napping) so getting picked up by my agent(!!!) was just about the most incredible thing to happen to me.

However, I’ve known since high school that writing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  All that “writers spent all day in their dressing gowns drinking champagne” (thanks, Terry Pratchett!) stuff is, of course, as nonsensical as it enticing, but more importantly, writers don’t even get to be Jo March, or Jane Austen.  It’s not enough to just write the books, you are also in charge of everything else, even if you go the traditional route, like I’m hoping to.  (Fingers crossed!)Read More »

Inspiration from Real Life

A lot of writers talk about how they take inspiration from things they come across in everyday life: a new article, a random encounter, even friends and family are fair game.  This isn’t something I have a lot of experience with (possibly because I am still a baby writer) but a few weeks ago the world handed me an amazing moment of “Wow, that could not be a more perfect set up.’

Mind you, it wouldn’t fit into my current manuscript (or possibly this series at all) but you’d better believe I’m filing this beauty away for future consideration:

Read More »

Rules for writing a crime novel

Sorry this one’s late.  It turns out that, no matter how much I’d rather be doing other things, sometimes responsibilities just have to be taken care of.  Go figure.

I’m reading a surprisingly enjoyable nonfiction book called The Golden Age of Murder.  The author (Martin Edwards) is a current-day member of The Detection Club, a club founded in the 20s by-among others-Agatha Christie.  (Dorothy Sayers was really the driving force, but Christie is the name I know the best.)

Among the other fascinating things I’ve been learning (in between adding to an ever-expanding TBR list) is that a number of the Detection Club and Golden Age writers took a stab (ha!  murderpun) at creating lists of rules for mystery writers.  Since cozy mysteries are the direct descendents of these traditional mysteries, I thought I’d look them up and share a few here.Read More »