Hey PitchSlam friends (and everyone else)!
Here’s the deal. The PitchSlam entrants have been so collectively AWESOME in taking feedback that I figured they deserve a little revenge. So I’m presenting you with two of my own pitches/first 250 for you to comment on, and so are some of the other judges! Confession: I wrote my pitches superfast and they aren’t that great. 😀 Here we go.
This first one is from the story that got me a PitchWars mentor, landed me an agent, and ultimately got a publishing contract. It’s the first in a trilogy and THEY’RE ALL COMING OUT THIS YEAR (in July, September, and November)! That’s right. So if you love romance, fantasy, and trilogies but hate waiting, you should check it out. 😉
Name: Caitlyn McFarland
Genre: Adult Contemporary Fantasy/Romance
Title: SOUL OF SMOKE
Word Count: 95,000
Pitch: Kai Monahan’s hike in the Rockies ends with her kidnapped by dragons. When one bonds to her, she must complete the bond or risk unleashing dragons on humanity in a war that will decimate both.
Kai stood at the brink of the precipice, the toes of her worn hiking boots hanging over the edge. One wrong move would plunge her down the sheer cliff face to the rock-strewn valley two hundred feet below. A shiver of adrenaline thrilled from the bottom of her feet to the base of her neck.
She threw out her arms and inhaled the pine-spiked autumn air. It was late September, and the higher elevations of the Rockies were a motley mix of yellow, orange and deep, dusty green. Snow capped the high peaks in the distance. Not far off, a stream laughed in its rocky bed.
Grinning, Kai stepped back from the view and sauntered to a boulder ten feet from the drop-off. She shed her pack and leaned against the sun-warmed surface of the stone. Haphazard flyaways the color of soot had escaped her messy bun, and she smoothed them down with callused fingers.
Gravel crunched behind her. Kai turned. “About time.”
Juli emerged from behind the tall, tumbled boulders that hid the path, looking cool and composed. Her pink jacket, which precisely matched the accents on her black pants, was worn but obviously cared-for. She eyed the cliff, then Kai, brushing an escaped strand of short, white-blond hair behind one ear. “We’ve talked about this.”
Kai shrugged away a buzz of annoyance. “I promised, didn’t I? No more almost falling off cliffs.” And she hadn’t. She’d been careful. “Where’s Charlotte?”
That’s it! You can find more info on the trilogy here and check out the Goodreads page for Soul of Smoke here. The book releases online on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and on the Carina Press website on July 27th, 2015.
And now for the second one. This one is drafted, but I haven’t revised yet, and it needs a new title. It’s going to be my next project after the Dragonsworn trilogy is finished… if my agent likes it. Like I said on Twitter, guys, even when you’re published, you never stop pitching.
Name: Caitlyn McFarland
Genre: Adult Fantasy/Romance
Word Count: 103,000 (will be lower after revisions)
Pitch: Dani “fell” from our world into another and gained healing magic. When allies abuse her power and a malicious king seeks her, Dani must rely on Hadrian–the king’s assassin son–or lose her life.
Dani leaned over the platform’s edge and yanked the rope of the warning bell. The resulting bong reverberated through her skull and echoed among the vast trunks of the giant, oak-like trees of the Greening. She stumbled to the wooden rail of the glorified tree house and looked down, searching for evidence that the bell had done its job. It was nearly a two-hundred foot drop; her view of the village blocked by the deep, saturated green of the giant leaves, each the size of two open palms.
Air whooshed, and Dani spun toward the quiet sound. Natsume stood in the center of the previously empty platform, her round, high-cheekboned face concerned.
Dani pointed to the sky. “It’s there, right? I’m not seeing things?”
Natsume squinted tilted black eyes at the canopy, thin here in the heights of the ancient trees. The pale light of the aurora spread wavering fingers across the star-studded black of the sky; glimmering streamers of green, blue, and pink.
Natsume let out a low whistle. “You aren’t seeing things. Some poor idiot just woke up to the worst night of their life.”
Dani winced. The gut-twisting feeling of hurtling through a void. Waking dizzier than a kid spinning and spinning just to make the world turn upside down. “We’d better go. We’ve got to get to them first.”
Natsume snorted. “The king’s ‘porters couldn’t jump a small pond in one go. We’ll get there first.”
Dani crossed to her friend. “We can’t lose another one.”
And now you’ve seen my writing naked, ha ha. If you’d like to crit/comment/ask a question, do so in the comments! Thank you all again for being so great! Here are the links to the other judges’ posts!