Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Pitch Number One - Chelle Sandell

In random order, here's the first pitch. After Alice's comment in the previous posts, I thought it would be a good time to explain what I meant about intro, pitch and thanks. I said that if you were meeting someone to pitch your story, you wouldn't just say your pitch. You'd say "Hi, I'm Donna. It's nice to meet you." At the end, you might say, "Thanks for your time today." It doesn't have to be a big deal...just a beginning and an end. If I didn't make that clear, my apologies...I automatically send opening and closing sentences with any correspondence or submission and so never gave it another thought.

Here is Chelle's pitch:

Thank you so much for presenting such an incredible opportunity for unpubbed authors!

Chelle Sandell

Kiss Me Cowboy

Kyla Jacobs thought a divorce after seventeen years of marriage, drowned out by her husbandʼs descent into depression and alcohol, was the worst she would ever have to deal with. Until her ex-husband is killed in a car accident, and her teenage son begins to follow the same self-destructive path. But Kyla will have to battle more than her heart to keep her son out of hand-cuffs, and the last thing she wants is a tall, dark and sexy sheriffʼs deputy from her past telling her how to raise her son.

Sheriffʼs deputy Colt Stephens walked away from Kyla once knowing she chose the wrong man. He has the opportunity for another chance, but has competition--her boss, the local district attorney who doesnʼt exactly fight fair. The badge that once saved Coltʼs life is the barbed-wire fence keeping Kyla and her son from letting him into their lives. He refuses to give up on her this time, but Kyla can only see the badge and not his need to help save a boy who reminds Colt of himself.

Thank you for your time and consideration!

Chelle (followed by links to her blog and webpage)

Why did I like this pitch? First of all, I got a good sense of story that said Superromance or Harlequin American. The premise and conflict were solid...this is a story with potential. She hits the high points and hooks, and it makes me ask myself questions. This is a story I'd want to READ.

When I e-mailed Chelle, I sent feedback, and these were the two red flags: one, the romantic interest of the DA, which I thought would detract from the main conflict rather than adding to it. Not to say the character has to disappear, but how he is used could change - and Chelle and I have already chatted a bit about it. Second, I wasn't sure if they actually needed a shared past. This is something that's come up in my own writing often lately and there is lots of conflict in the NOW to carry the story. I threw out a few options, like how knowing of each other in the past could lend itself to the conflict now without it having been a romantic relationship. Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing how Chelle sets up the story and reading her first chapter.

I'll be back tomorrow with another pitch. :-)


  1. Anonymous10:07 a.m.

    This story sounds really interesting to me...a reader. Based on those few paragraphs,I would buy the book.

  2. Thank you! I am so excited to have been chosen for this incredible opportunity.

  3. Wow! Great premise Chelle! I would love to read this story!

  4. That's a wonderful pitch, Chelle! Congratulations!

    I'm not sure I understood about how to start on the opening as if in person...hope that won't count against mine! :-) (I'm not sure which e-mail I sent it from, but I think it was the one that sounds like a ham radio call-sign.)

  5. Hi Chelle,

    Congrats! Great Premise!



  6. Thank you so much, guys! I can't wait to see everyone's great pitches. Donna had the hard job of having to narrow it down!

  7. Chelle,

    Great response and wonderfyl pitch. Way to go.


  8. Nikki Cole3:26 p.m.

    Chelle - great pitch! I would definitely pick this one up to read more...there's something about a tall, dark, handsome man in uniform!

    Good luck!