Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pitch Number Five - Nikki Cole

Another review made its way to my inbox yesterday, this time from Once Upon A Romance. The review is here, and Robyn has given it a 4.5 rating!

And here is our very last pitch! Take it away Nikki!

Hi Donna,

Happy New Year! Hope everything is well with you and your family and that your current book is back on track!

Below is a pitch for your contest for aspiring writers. I'm having a huge crisis of confidence at the moment so it's probably rubbish! But as the saying goes "you've got to be in it to win it" so I thought I'd send it to you anyway.

Acting CEO Nick Blake wants a wife but not for the usual reasons. Nick’s life has been hell since a UK newspaper published an article on the country’s richest men and he found himself at number two! Now his name gets mentioned in all manner of glossy women’s magazines that he’s never heard of and would rather not find himself in. For a man who takes his work very seriously, it’s more than a bit annoying to hear thinly veiled suggestions that a bachelor being chased by paparazzi possibly isn’t the best person to run a company. He figures the way out is to find himself a wife.

Professional negotiator Kara Hartley needs money fast. Her brother – her parents’ golden boy who could never do any wrong – has gambled away their hard earned fortune and the deeds to the family home. She’s looking for a solution before her parents find out.

So when Nick finds Kara in his office in tears, he offers her a deal she can’t refuse – a 12 month marriage contract in return for paying off her debts. Nick and Kara marry to solve their immediate problems only to find they’ve created another - will they be able to walk away when the 12 months is up?

Take care,


I had to have a little laugh at Nikki. You see I've "known" her for quite a long time, so it is perfectly okay for her to let me know she's had a crisis of confidence. However, I would recommend that when pitching to agents and editors you all leave those illuminating tidbits OUT of your letter! LOL

Besides, it was easily forgiven when she used one of my favourite quotes, "You've got to be in it to win it." Amen!

Nikki didn't tell me what line this was for, but off the cuff I pretty much guessed Harlequin Romance or perhaps Modern Heat as it does have that sense of a flirty office and hip-kind of tabloid hook. But the more I read it, the more I thought a 12 month contract sounded Romance-ish. Nikki has since told me I'm right, and I'm really looking forward to reading her first chapter.

I didn't find a lot to red flag in this pitch. You simply can't get all the motivations into a few paragraphs, I don't think. He has a reason, she has a reason, and I am left with a feeling that there is enough internal conflict to carry the story the rest of the way and the reasons will hold water with the correct execution.

So there are the final five, and I'm starting to receive their first chapters so hopefully before you know it I will be back to announce the big winner!

As an aside - it never rains but pours, and I received my copy edits for my novella yesterday, so I apologize for the delay in getting your pitch critiques back. I haven't forgotten. :-) Everyone who sent a pitch will hear back from me eventually. Just bear with me.


  1. This pitch contest has really taught me how to how to plan a story. (Especially after getting your very helpful crit on my entry. Thanks again for that.)

    I'm going to do a pitch for every new story I write (before I begin the actual writing or even the synopsis) Just to give me something basic to focus on as I write the story.

    Will you maybe be doing this contest again next year? It's a such great motivator

  2. Alice...you know, this is very much like what Blake Snyder calls "the logline". A basic place to focus and start can be really helpful. If you haven't read his book Save The Cat, check it out of the library. It's one of my faves.

    As far as next year, I can't say for sure. I would like to, but I truly did not expect the fantastic response I got this year. And to be honest, it can be difficult when you're in the middle of a tight deadline as I am now.

    So hopefully? With a big "depending on my deadline schedule". :-)

  3. Great job, Nikki! Good luck!!

    Donna, thank you so much for the comments and suggestions. It helps to get details on how we can make our mss stronger!! Good luck with meeting your deadline;) I really appreciate you taking the time away from your work for us.

  4. Another fabulous pitch and a story I would love to read! Thank you so much for this contest, Donna, I've learned so much from reading the pitches and your comments on them.

  5. Nikki Cole3:37 p.m.

    Thanks, Chelle and Mulberry.

    You know, if I'd known Donna was going to post the details of my email as well as my pitch, I probably wouldn't have mentioned my crisis of confidence! However, this contest has done wonders for my confidence! Thanks Donna! We all really appreciate your efforts!