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MARIELENA ZUNIGA: PREPARING TO PITCH

November 23, 2009

I am getting my full-body armor out of the writing closet. What’s that, you may ask? My feeble analogy for what I’m preparing to do: Pitch my new book “The Last Year of Birdsong.”

For all writers who’ve been there — and still are — you understand what I mean. While I hate to use a battle analogy, I’m preparing myself to be lambasted by the inevitable rejections, ergo, the armor. Emotional protection from a very vested interest of work and time.

My sister-writers in this blog recently have experienced a severe bout of rejections. On a personal level — as a friend and reader —  I can tell you their books are amazing. On a professional and unbiased level, I can tell you their books are so worthy of publication. Their characters are compelling and well-rounded; their stories captivating.

And yet, agents offered the familiar mantra, the one I received countless times when “Deadly Habits” was roundly rejected: It wasn’t what they were looking for. It didn’t, in essence, knock their socks off.

So what are agents looking for? Obviously great writing and good stories. We’ve got that in spades. But as one of my sister-bloggers said, until the publishing industry gets over its current love affair with vampires, perhaps our characters should all have fangs.

In my heart of hearts, however, I’m not going to compromise. In fact, my next book does come from the heart. While it details the day-to-day adventures and struggles of a young girl growing up in Texas, it does have a metaphysical spin with other-worldly connections. Did I write it that way to make it “different?” No. That wasn’t my intent. But if that appeals to agents, all the better.

At this point, all I can do is go forward with my own personal three “P’s” — passion, persistence and professionalism. And I’ll do all that as I brace for the final “P” — pitching. So here I go, full body armor at the ready. Wish me luck, folks.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2009 2:09 PM

    Wise words, Marielena. One more “P” word – think of all of the noes as PRE-yeses. And, of course, there’s “Pulitzer Prize winning author”, but only after Pain and Prayer.

    Thanks for sharing. It’s not easy to put your heart out there for all to see.

  2. Marielena permalink
    November 23, 2009 2:15 PM

    Thanks so much, Sandy, for your constant support. After some painful rejections this morning, your words (and that suit of armor) helped a great deal. I especially appreciate your additional “P’s” that will see me through to the final “P” — Publication!

  3. November 25, 2009 3:14 AM

    The strength of women can never be underestimated. I’m always reminded of the fact that if men had babies, none of us would have siblings. At my age and with my disposition I suspect that self publishing was the only thing I could have done. It is probably the reason I had my own businesses as well. Kudos to you for your courage and fortitude. The women on this site are quite impressive.

    • Marielena permalink
      November 25, 2009 3:41 AM

      Thanks so much for taking time to read our blog, William, and for your encouraging words. Hopefully our strength will carry us through to publication. And best of luck on your self-published books!

  4. December 6, 2009 3:53 AM

    Your article is so pithy! Making a pithy pitch should be no problem. Book lovers will devour your book once given the chance to read it,

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