I have been meaning to write more about my pitching but have been suffering from post-pitch exhaustion. I must say that the lead up to the event was one of the most stressful of my life. Luckily I had lots of support, especially from David, who was the wind beneath my wings and I mean that in a totally nice, non-fart-joke way.
After work I rang my sister and practiced my pitch. She told me to stop reading it. I wasn't reading. Then she made me just talk about my novel without pitching it, which helped a lot. My sister is the only person who can tell me I am crap and still be encouraging.
I got dressed -- I was going to do a whole Dominatrix look, in keeping with my book, but decided that I would rather feel comfortable. I did wear my lucky fishnets though.
I got to the venue, late. I'd left home in plenty of time but there was no parking. I gathered with the other contestants, after a teeny mistake that had me sitting with a bunch of people from another writer's festival event....oops.
The other pitchers all looked very calm and in control. I was a mess. I wanted a drink but there was only red wine on offer. I am so allergic to red wine -- one sip and I'm in bed with a migraine. I don't think that would have been a good move.
We went down to the room and after the introductions, on to the stage. I was up first... yah! First isn't good.
The questioning started. I was on auto pilot but I was getting laughs. Laughs are good when they are laughing with you. The first half of the night was fun questions and answers. Not so bad. I started to relax and actually enjoy myself.
We had a break and I sent my friends to the bar for some champs while I went out to suck down a cig.
The second half was the serious pitching stuff. I was still nervous. Very nervous. I got up to do my pitch. I started talking but forgot to breathe. I don't think it mattered. I got applause, I got laughter. All in all, I think the crowd liked it. I think the judges liked it too.
After that I thought I could relax but, at the end of the pitches, the judges wanted to ask questions!
I think I managed ok. I felt proud of myself anyway. I have always had a big problem with talking in front of people. At uni, whenever I had to give presentations I just freaked. I would get all tongue-tied and stumble over my words which were spilling out of me so fast no one could understand them anyway.
I was on such a high afterwards. I had a few people from the audience come up and congratulate me and tell me they really want to read my novel. I had a few drinks then went out for pizza.