A Pitch Madness Success Story

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I couldn’t be more thrilled to announce an agent match success from the crazy fun Pitch Madness contest we had in March. K.T. Hanna has signed with Judith Engracia of Liza Dawson Associates.
K.T. agreed to let me interview her to get all the deets about her journey to agented over virtual cookies. So welcome K.T.!
 
B says: So let’s get this party started. What made you decide to enter Pitch Madness, and how did you feel during the contest?
My crit partners pointed it out to me and I really liked the concept behind it. I was about to start in on my final draft and sped up my timeline a bit so I’d be 100% happy with the final draft by the reveal day on March 14th. I had it finished in plenty of time.
I was nervous as hell. First up, I didn’t think I’d make the agent round and was shocked when I did. When the bids were revealed I think people in Europe may have heard me squee.
B says: I know I heard it. Which blog were you on and what was the title of your entry? How many requests did you get?
I was on Cassandra Marshall’s blog. Entry 11 – which somehow posted in front of all the others – The Domino Project: Chameleon. I received 3 bids on my entry.
B says: So you sent in your request. Was it a partial or a full? How long was it before Judith Engracia contacted?
Due to a slight mix up about two of my bids, (B interjects: That was so not my fault *crosses fingers behind her back*. Just saying) I ended up sending out two fulls. 
Judith responded immediately and was very enthusiastic from the start. She kept me informed as to her reading schedule, how much she liked it, and where she was in the process.To be honest I was expecting an R&R…but we all know about that writer’s paranoia, don’t we?
B says: Okay, this is my favorite part *sits at the edge of her seat*. Tell us about THE Call.
Judith had emailed me on the Wednesday asking if she could get back with me on the Friday. And on the Friday I got an email asking if it was okay to call.
I was so nervous. One of my crit partners was here to lend moral support, but Judith was super nice and immediately offered me rep. Feel free to insert a major fit squeeing. I’m not really one to hold back how I’m feeling.
She then went over the few edits she was thinking of for the book. Didn’t want anything changed, just a few things expanded and a few scene insertions.
It was an amazing phone call. She answered all of my questions and had/has this amazing passion for my story and characters. It’s an amazing feeling when someone just GETS your book.
I did have to give a couple of other agents seven days notice. It was a nail biting, mad internet researching seven days.
B says: Can you tell us a little about your book?
Sixteen year old Sai’s search for atonement after her destructive psionic awakening leads her into the heart of Mid-America’s privatized government and the dirty secrets they kill to keep buried. 
B says: Love it! How long had you been querying before you got your agent?
Um… 27 days before the offer. A total of 10 queries, three of which were requests.
B says: Holy guacamole, that was fast. Okay, let’s have some fun. Coffee or Tea?
Coffee
B says: Yay! A fellow coffee drinker. Potato chips or chocolate?
This is a trick question – give me chocolate covered potato chips!!! HAHAHA Yes, they do exist and I LOVE them.
B says: Oh man, sounds delish. I must get me some, like now. Be right back. *jumps into the car, drives to the store, hurries back, crunching noise in the background*. “Since you started the cookie game on Twitter during Pitch Madness,” B says around a mouthful of chocolate covered potato chips, “what’s your favorite cookie?
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut 😀 NOM NOM
B says: Mine is Oatmeal and Raisin, in case you were wondering. Anywho, which holiday would you prefer: camping out in the wilderness or shopping in a quaint town?
Oooo that’s difficult. I love Estes Park in Colorado which sort of gives both. But if I had to choose, I’d probably choose the shopping in a quaint town.
While writing, quiet or noise?
The quieter, the better.
Where do you write?
If it’s a draft, I can sit anywhere and hammer it out. But if it’s edits, it’s either the dining room or my study. Anywhere I can spread out and attack my MS.
B says: And the big question, are you an outline or panster type?
I used to be a pantser, but it didn’t work for me. So, now I’m a plotter/outliner. I do a detailed outline and hammer out my first drafts. Works so much better for me now.
B says: I used to be a panster. It’s so much easier to use an outline. Who knew? Before I untie you from the chair, do you have any advice for those seeking representation? Anything you wished you’d done differently?
Take your time and make sure your query and pitch are exactly what you want. Don’t rush it. Be prepared to listen to criticism, and don’t let your writer’s ego get in the way of what could potentially make your book amazing. However, always keep the original goal for your story in mind and make sure you balance advice accordingly.
Differently? I felt a little rushed and overwhelmed. I wasn’t going to query until April/May originally. And only started when a pitch contest I entered on March 1st yielded a request from an agent who wasn’t even involved. 
While I’m ecstatic that I found who I consider the perfect agent so fast – I feel like I rushed myself just a little.
B says: That’s great advice. Inquiring minds want to know, If you were participating in The Writer’s Voice, which coach would you vet?
Well, I know you best, so I’d probably pick you. Plus! There’s the mutual cookie love –how could I NOT?
Thank you so much for having me – I’m still pinching myself as I dive into my edits. Pitch Madness was a fantastic experience for me.
KT Hanna 
B says: And there you have it. No matter how scary it is, put yourself out there. I couldn’t be more happy for K.T. and I hope to have more successes rolling in. If you have a success story from one of my contests, please let me know and I’ll torture interview you here on the blog.
You can stalk KT Hanna on, as my mother would say, “The Twitter” or on her site The Scribble Muse.
Don’t forget The Writer’s Voice begins May 3. You know you want me as your coach! Leave some congratulatory love in the comments for K.T. Hanna and you’ll win brownie points (shhh… don’t tell Krista Van Dolzer aka Mastermind of The Writer’s Voice *wink wink*).

16 comments to A Pitch Madness Success Story

  • *laughs* Even having watched it all as it developed, it STILL boggles my mind how quickly everything happened! Seems like just last year she really sat down and got focused on making her writing a priority, rather than just another hobby.

    Congrats again, hon! I can’t say enough how excited I am for you!

    (And trust me, folks, you’ll want to read her book when it’s published. I’ve read it more times than I can count for critiques, and every time, I still get sucked in!)

  • Congrats, KT! And I love the interview.

    Brenda, I really like your closing remark: “No matter how scary it is, put yourself out there.” And that’s exactly what KT did. Love it. 🙂

  • I love this story! Congrats, and great interview.

  • SQUEEE all over again! I am so happy and so excited. And like Leigh, my mind is boggled at how fast this all happened. I’ve read it no where near as much as she has but I still love the story and can’t wait to see it on the shelves!

    KT deserves every bit of this success! She really has worked hard! I love her world and I love her!

  • We can squee together 🙂 -Jude

  • Congrats!!! I love hearing behind the scene stories. Thanks for sharing.

  • Pitchmadness was a great opportunity that I feel anyone who can should take advantage of.

    This writing community has been amazing and supportive. My beta/cps deserve prizes. Jami, Jai and Becca.
    Thank you for everyone’s lovely words. Thank you to Brenda, Shelley and Cassandra for organizing the whole PitchMadness thing.
    And thank you Jude for being awesome and picking me 😀

    If you get a chance to do a Pitchmadness in the future – go for it!

  • So cool, KT! Congrats!

    And why does the writer’s voice contest have to be on the first day of my writer’s conference? I still wanna play, but its gonna be tight….

  • Congrats and great success story — gives encouragment to those of us still trying. Thanks for sharing.

  • Congratulations, KT! And good job to the Pitch Madness Ladies!

  • Doing a big time happy dance for KT! I am so very excited. Okay, so this is the wonderfulness that is the After Pitch Madness. Love it!!!

  • *throws virtual confetti* Congrats, KT! We met during this contest & your cookie game was so much fun to watch! So happy for you!!

    & B, you know we want you!! Cookies only put a cherry on top of that decision! Hehe!

    Congrats again, KT!!

  • Awesome story, KT!! SO happy for you!!! CONGRATS!! Great interview, B ;o)

  • What a great success story. I love hearing these, especially when it’s from a contest. Congrats! Crossing my fingers for a quick sale and publication!

    🙂

  • Oh My Goodness, it’s like I’ve entered an alternate universe peopled by Angels who are so kind and generous with their time and efforts.
    Congrats KT and kudos B for all your excellent efforts – I’ve not had time to scope your entire blog – are you a Bren, Brenda or will B suffice? I’m definitely a J – or JAG – my real initials – the kids love it when I sign their math assignments with that (yeah I am a geeky math teacher in my spare time).
    As an ageing British Rock-Chick (just took my daughters to see Rock of Ages in London for the second time since March), I have but one question – can somebody tell me where I can learn how to Squeee – it sounds like proper fun! If you notice the accent sliding all over the shop, it’d because I spent the whole of February and most of January/March on the ABNA blogs chatting to another great bunch of peeps. Archer made it to the last 1000, but then I realised that his story’s actually more MG than YA, so I’ve been busy fizzing up my pitch.
    Cheers
    Jacky
    xxx

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