Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Reads & Taking the Horror out of Pitch Appointments

I have a confession to make. I don't think of myself as a scary book reader and, to the best of my knowledge, I've never (gulp) read Stephen King. I know, I know...

I have read Dean Koontz and loved Thomas Harris so its not like I've never ready a scary book. I just haven't read the King.

Recently I've been on a Chelsea Cain kick, as anyone who follows me on Twitter knows. And while she's not a horror writer those books are absolutely scary. In fact, I love dark books and I really love dark serial killer books. Years ago I had the absolute privilege of reading an edge-of-your seat manuscript that kept me turning pages well past closing time. The book was The Broken by Shelley Coriell.

I first met Shelley at an RWA National pitch appointment. It was one of the most memorable appointments I ever had. Shelley sat down across from me and announced that she already knew I was the agent she wanted, she just wanted to introduce herself so that I knew who she was. It was awesome. She finished up the appointment by handing me a recipe for her Blackberry Cobbler because she knew I loved to cook. Smart woman.

The minute I finished reading The Broken I knew I had to have it. I offered, Shelley said yes and together we determinedly set forth to find a publisher and bring that amazing book to readers. Sadly, we couldn't find an editor who agreed with us. Romantic suspense wasn't selling and while editors loved the book they just weren't convinced it was the right time. So Shelley decided to take a break from that and move on to writing something different. We parted ways. For a while.

A few years later I got a call from Shelley. She refused (thankfully) to let go of The Broken and since I was the agent who first handled it wanted to know if I wanted back on this wild ride. Of course I did! Within weeks (days really) we sold The Broken at auction to Grand Central.

The Broken published this past April and Shelley's second suspense, The Buried, published this week, just in time for Halloween. And these books are scary as sh**. I mean, they are amazing. So if you're looking for a great scary Halloween read, whether you think of yourself as a romantic suspense reader or not, these are the books you need to pick up.

And Shelley, feel free to correct me on any of this story. It's possible I embellished to make myself look good.



Kaye George said...

Ooo, these DO sound good. Thanks for the tip on a new author!

Shelley Coriell said...

Author Shelley here. True story on my laser-beam focused agent search. :-) I think the key to pitching agents is to remember it's a two-way street. You are looking for the right fit for you and your stories. Do your research. Realize your worth. BE FEARLESS!