I learned recently when you are planning to pitch a book, whether in person or through a query, it is important to share your passion for your subject. I sat with several authors, a publisher and an agent as we discussed our pending projects. The ski-fi and fantasy authors were so thrilled as they explained the worlds they created, the romance authors expounded upon the relationships they share in their books while the horror authors had a blast telling creepy teasers of the bad guys in their stories. The book I was talking about was Sharing Strength, my PTSD book about a support group and the interactions of each meander of the group.
Sharing Strength is a very serious topic in a fictional story. It is difficult to show the same kind of excitement when discussing such a tense subject. PTSD is a part of my soul and I have no problem talking about it. The problem is that when I talk about it I get tears in my eyes. That is not the way I want to look as I pitch a book. It does lend itself to showing the authenticity of my desire to share the story and the fact I myself was diagnosed with PTSD twelve years ago shows that it is something I know well but it is still frustrating to try and get someone interested when you have to share your interest while fighting to keep your composure.
As we hung out and chatted I found myself trying to lighten the mood after Sharing Strength had put everyone in a semi-serious attitude. We made our way to the hotel bar and I proceeded to try to make people laugh telling them about my day job as a casino dealer. After a couple quips I managed to make them laugh and they began asking to hear more. As I continued to laugh and tell fun little stories I suddenly found a card from another agent sliding in front of my face.
The excitement I was showing as I spoke about the fun of my job was translating into a passion that made others want to know more. I was asked by the end of the night for copies of the manuscript by four different agents. I insisted it wasn't a book and I wasn't pitching but they loved the idea so much they pushed back, insisting just as hard that I write it anyway. I am now working on my first agent deadline and creating the funny dealer book I apparently was pitching without realizing it. Finding that subject you are passionate about and being able to share that can be step one in getting an agent, publisher and eventual book deal. I can't wait to see how this turns out.