There was something ominous about approaching what could possibly be some of the most important interviews of my life on a Friday the 13th. And the curse made a preemptive strike when my best fitting pair of slacks and my snazziest button-up shirt I packed clashed ever so slightly. The girl’s, Jessica and Emily, puzzled over what to do. But fortunately Jessica’s grandpa, and whom’s house we were staying, knew just what to do. He reached into his magical time portal (known has his closet) and pulled out a 1960’s grey wool Portland hat. If you’re not familiar with them, they pretty much transform you into Indiana Jones. I’m not normally so bold as to wear a gimmick like a hat to a meeting akin to a job interview, but something about this one really worked.
The hat was almost magical, and it succeeded in striking up at least a dozen conversations at the convention, including one with the woman I would be doing my 2:00 pitch session with, Penny Freeman. Penny is the co-owner of Xchyler Publishing, a fresh, new, 3-year old publishing company for steampunk, fantasy, paranormal and science fiction. Talking with her and looking over their books on the display table I felt that my story had the potential to fit right in. So when I sat down with her a few hours later for the actual pitch session I was able to skip some of the preliminary introductions and spend more of my precious 10 minutes receiving expert feedback for my book and my pitch.
My second pitch session was with James Wymore with the Curiosity Quills Press. Maybe it was the practice and advice I had with Penny Freeman or maybe he was just in the mood for some historical paranormal adventure, but I feel that my pitch session went really well. Mr. Wymore is a chemistry teacher by day (and fearless literary warrior by night!) so I think we found some common ground in our desire to see pseudo-scientific explanations for the supernatural. Both he and Penny have requested query letters and pages from my manuscript.