Pitching the HEA / How to Query Romance Transcript

If you’ve spent time researching how to craft a compelling query, you may have noticed most of the good examples end on a cliff-hanger to generate hook. Will he overcome his past? Will she finally learn to trust? Unfortunately, we already know they will. That is the nature of the Happily Ever After. This #RWChat focused on how best to catch the interest of agents and editors when everyone already knows how it’s going to end.

Guest Hosts:

Kim Lionetti


After starting her career at Berkley Publishing, Kim Lionetti left her position as Senior Editor to join BookEnds in March 2004. As an agent, she still enjoys using her editorial skills to help authors shape their work into more marketable products and guiding them to see their writing as part of the “bigger picture.

Kim’s obsession with books began in middle school when she was introduced to her grandmother’s collection of gothic romances by Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt, and Mary Stewart. To this day, Kim harbors a soft spot for dark, tortured heroes, but also enjoys a good romantic comedy. A member of AAR, Kim is looking for fresh voices and compelling storytelling. Her areas of interest are historical and contemporary romance, women’s fiction, cozy mysteries, and contemporary new adult fiction and young adult fiction (except fantasy or sci-fi).

Originally from Pennsylvania, Kim currently resides in New Jersey with her son, daughter, cat, two guinea pigs, and very patient husband, who puts up with her crushes on Mr. Darcy, Eric Northman, blind dukes, and Ryan Gosling.

You can contact her directly at KLsubmissions@bookends-inc.com and see her in person at the 2015 RWA National Conference in New York or the 2015 Malice Domestic Convention in Bethesda.

Ava Jae


Ava Jae is a YA and NA writer, an Assistant Editor at Entangled Publishing, and is represented by Louise Fury of The Bent Agency. Her YA Sci-Fi debut, BEYOND THE RED, is releasing Spring 2016 from Sky Pony Press. When she’s not writing about kissing, superpowers, explosions, and aliens, you can find her with her nose buried in a book, nerding out over the latest X-Men news, or hanging out on her blogtwitterFacebooktumblrGoodreadsInstagram, or YouTube channel.


(RTs have been removed to help with length. There were a lot. 199, if you’re the curious sort.)

@ Tweet Timestamp
rwchat I want to take a moment to introduce our incredible guest hosts, who were kind enough to come speak with us today.#RWChat 2/9/2015 0:00
Ava_Jae Happy to be here! 🙂 RT @rwchat: Welcome to the second #RWChat, starting right now! 2/9/2015 0:00
rachelloumiller Hi everyone! RT @rwchat: Welcome to the second #RWChat, starting right now! 2/9/2015 0:00
rwchat Kim Lionetti @BookEndsKim is an experienced senior editor w/ Berkley turned successful Literary Agent w/ BookEnds Literary Agency. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:00
rwchat @Ava_Jae writes YA & NA with her debut in 2016, helps authors via her Writability blog, & is an Assistant Editor at Entangled #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:01
BookEndsKim Thanks for having me!  #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:01
rwchat Thank you both so much for being here with us today! #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:01
Ava_Jae Hello, all! *waves* #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:02
rwchat All right! Let’s get this party started! #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:02
rwchat Q1. What does it take to make a romance (or strong romantic theme) stand out?#RWChat 2/9/2015 0:02
Ava_Jae @rwchat Thanks so much for inviting me! I’m excited to be joining you guys. 🙂 #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:02
BookEndsKim A1. Strong internal conflict.  I see lots about external, but meat of good romance is what’s emotionally keeping couple apart. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:03
Ava_Jae Q1: IMO, the same as making ANY book stand out: personal stakes, interesting characters and LOTS of tension. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:04
BellRomance @BookEndsKim I love that answer. I definitely want to feel it when I read a good romance. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:04
Ava_Jae A1: IMO, the same as making ANY book stand out: personal stakes, interesting characters and LOTS of tension. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:04
Ava_Jae A1: For romance specifically, I also like seeing tropes combined and used creatively. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:06
rwchat Can you give some examples of stakes and conflicts you’ve seen done really well? #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:06
shaila_writes @Ava_Jae Yes! We want them to get *together*…for that we need them apart! #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:06
RachMBrooks For me, a swoon-worthy hero and a strong heroine are important. Characters I love make me forget it’s a trope I’ve seen before. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:08
BellRomance I’m not a huge fan of love triangles, but I see them all over the place and they’re definitely very tense. Lots of conflict. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:08
waMaxineDouglas Writing my first suspense…looking forwRd to reading more about pitching thus genre #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:09
ChristinKardos Reading good tweets from #rwchat. Good evening, everyone. 🙂 2/9/2015 0:09
mayfairromance @rwchat when i’m looking for a romance I’m usually looking for compelling characters and a believable obstacle. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:10
Ava_Jae I’ll use pubbed examples. @MissDahlELama’s LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT’s MC’s relationship w/ TA puts the custody of siblings at risk. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:10
BookEndsKim I’m a sucker for the dark, tortured heroes…  So if it’s done well, that’s conflict that never gets old for me 😉  #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:11
RachMBrooks I personally love relationship of convenience, or enemies to lovers. Something where they never wanted to fall for one another. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:12
shaila_writes @BellRomance True…but it always breaks my heart when I pull for the wrong hero! #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:12
rwchat Q2. Can you give us some examples of romance hooks that have totally hooked you?#RWChat 2/9/2015 0:12
mayfairromance @BookEndsKim I just finished reading Unspoken, and I noticed that Jared never shook his feeling of isolation and aura of darkness. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:12
gothicbook I love an alpha hero with a dark secret  #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:12
Ava_Jae In that ex, massive conflict & stakes intertwined w/ the romance. MC can pursue her heart & risk losing her sibs or end relationship #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:13
BellRomance @shaila_writes oh, see, i love that when I want to keep them. because then in my mind he’s still available #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:13
mayfairromance @Ava_Jae just hearing about it gets me feeling heart-torn. How does she choose, how would I choose? What a situation. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:14
Ava_Jae A2: I don’t like to give specific slush examples, but I can give general info. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:15
KwanaWrites All you pitching rom writers should be following @rwchat #RWChat  right now. Great info going on! 2/9/2015 0:15
RachMBrooks A historical that totally hooked me was @meganf’s WHAT NOT TO BARE. Loved the wit, humor and characters. Wit goes a long way w/ me. #RWchat 2/9/2015 0:15
BookEndsKim A2. Sorta piggybacks on my last admission.  The damaged, bitter hero who’s isolated himself.  #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:15
shaila_writes @RachMBrooks @tracybrogan’s Highland Surrender had both…arranged marriage of feuding families. Great book! #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:15
waMaxineDouglas How about a heroine trying to leave her past on the film editing table but can’t because of series of murders  #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:15
Ava_Jae A2: As of late, I’ve been a magnet for diverse romance pitches. Representation of any kind = me looking at it more closely. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:15
rwchat @Ava_Jae General works great #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:15
Ava_Jae A2: Beyond that, it goes back to Q1: big stakes, characters who connect, tension & conflict & tension & conflict. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:16
BookEndsKim A2.  Historical example:  @TeresaMedeiros’s YOURS UNTIL DAWN #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:16
BellRomance @Ava_Jae Well, I need to read that book now. That’s a terrible choice to make. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:16
RachMBrooks @shaila_writes @tracybrogan Gotta love the feuding families! #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:16
KaraBraden Are you all following #RWChat for great advice? I hope you are! 2/9/2015 0:17
mayfairromance @BellRomance @Ava_Jae Right? I’ve got to know how that works out! #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:17
BookEndsKim A2.  Contemp example:  @SandraBrown_NYT ‘s ENVY #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:17
Ava_Jae A2: Best hooks have huge, built-in stakes in the relationship, and the stakes have to be PERSONAL. It should matter to the MC. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:17
Ava_Jae @mayfairromance @BellRomance I totally recommend it! 🙂 #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:18
BrynDonovan I like it when there’s an ethical obstacle, like one of them works for the other, etc. And someone’s being noble by abstaining 🙂 #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:18
RachMBrooks Agree w/ @BookEndsKim & @Ava_Jae conflict= super important, external & internal. Helpful post w/ examples http://t.co/PUFFbrzAf8 #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:18
BellRomance @BookEndsKim omg yeah. Blind tormented hero… definitely worth checking into. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:18
shaila_writes @BellRomance LOL! Now why didn’t I think of that!? #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:19
gothicbook Tangled by Emma Chase is spellbinding. I couldn’t put it down. Read everything she wrote. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:19
BellRomance @shaila_writes you’re probably not as shamelessly selfish as I am 😛 #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:19
Ava_Jae A2: Another great example = UNTEACHABLE by @LeahRaeder. Forbidden love = instaconflict & stakes. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:20
rwchat Q3. When does a hook start to veer into gimmick territory?#RWChat 2/9/2015 0:20
mayfairromance @gothicbook I love finding a new to me author. I usually hunt down everything they’ve written and go on a binge. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:20
BookEndsKim A2.  Best romance hooks I’ve seen have high emotional stakes for hero/heroine in relationships w/ sec characters too. #rampitup #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:21
mayfairromance @Ava_Jae @LeahRaeder forbidden love? I’m running to look that up for sure. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:21
ok_eevee Why do most YAs have to involve romance? Don’t teens have enough pressure about their sexuality as is?  😕 #RWchat 2/9/2015 0:21
BrynDonovan I think sometimes good writing can make a premise not seem gimmicky while you’re reading it. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:22
gothicbook @mayfairromance I know once I find someone I love I can’t get enough #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:22
RachMBrooks Another example of immediately hooked: @LisaReneeJones’s erotic suspense ESCAPING REALITY. Expertly woven high stakes, danger &sexy! #RWchat 2/9/2015 0:22
BookEndsKim @ok_eevee That’s what’s selling.  Driven by the market.  #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:23
Ava_Jae @ok_eevee I don’t think it’s a requirement. Popular, absolutely, but not absolutely required. #RWchat 2/9/2015 0:23
gothicbook @mayfairromance oh I love that #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:23
BellRomance @BookEndsKim love the #rampitup tag. i need to start using that. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:24
atrueblood5 I’m loving the anti-hero as the love interest. Loved how @leighbardugo’s Darkling & @tahrehmafi’s Warner built intrigue & romance. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:25
Ava_Jae A3: I tend to think storylines feel gimmicky when the writing doesn’t back it up. Good writing = I don’t notice the gimmick. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:25
RachMBrooks @BrynDonovan Yes! Brilliant writing is always a plus 🙂 #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:25
Ava_Jae @atrueblood5 @LeighBardugo Oh I SOOOO agree. Can’t get enough of this as a reader. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:26
BellRomance @ok_eevee I think crushes and romance is a big part of being a teen. Not writing about it would feel incomplete. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:26
BookEndsKim A3. Gimmicky  = weak sense of character. Hard to make a story authentic w/o giving reader a clear idea of people at its center.  #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:26
shaila_writes @atrueblood5 @LeighBardugo Especially when contrasted with the I-should-be-the-hero Mr. Perfect! #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:27
RachMBrooks @atrueblood5 @LeighBardugo A well-done anti-hero can be so HAWT. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:27
atrueblood5 @BookEndsKim Yes!! Too many times I’ve read romance and it’s all about MC and LI. Need secondary characters to make story fill full. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:27
thatfatauthor @Ava_Jae what do you mean by diverse? Just something different? #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:27
RachMBrooks To me, gimmicky = “kitchen sink” romances. You don’t need ALL the tropes. Want to be genuine, not overdone. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:28
atrueblood5 @Ava_Jae @LeighBardugo I would really like to see more of this, but it takes an adept writer to pull it off. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:28
rwchat Q4. What do you hope to never see again in pitches you’ve received or helped improve?#RWChat 2/9/2015 0:28
mayfairromance @Ava_Jae @BookEndsKim so strong writing, strong characters, and you can have a lot of room with a wild premise?  #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:28
shaila_writes @Ava_Jae Cliched emotional responses/sex scenes always pull me out of the story…makes it feel like a copy #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:28
Ava_Jae @thatfatauthor Diverse characters with minority representation. PoC, neuroatypical, LGBTQIA, disabled, etc. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:29
BrynDonovan I’m okay with an anti-hero but I HATE it when a supposedly “alpha” hero is basically just a jerk. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:29
Ava_Jae @shaila_writes Yes, I agree. Though that tends to be more a problem with the writing than with the premise. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:29
BookEndsKim @atrueblood5 Definitely gives it that “big book” feel #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:29
KwanaWrites Good question. *grabs popcorn* RT @rwchat: Q4. What do you hope to never see again in pitches you’ve received or helped improve?#RWChat 2/9/2015 0:29
RachMBrooks @atrueblood5 Yes, but I see people focus TOO much on secondary characters IMO in adult romance slush. H/H journey need priority. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:30
missyin10ec Romance writers, check out the #rwchat discussion happening now. Excellent tips from writers and agents. 2/9/2015 0:30
shaila_writes @BellRomance @ok_eevee Exploring first love is ripe with possibilities! #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:30
Ava_Jae A4: Abusive relationships written as normal/OK. Jerks written under guise of “alpha male” (they’re not the same). MSs w/o conflict. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:31
BookEndsKim @mayfairromance @Ava_Jae It’s all in the way it’s executed.  If you can write it in a way that feels real, then wild could be fun.  #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:31
BellRomance @BrynDonovan This +100.Make it real. Make him endearing somehow. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:31
Ava_Jae @BookEndsKim @mayfairromance Agree completely! #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:31
Ava_Jae @BrynDonovan Yes. This. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:32
Ava_Jae @jules_chronicle @thatfatauthor If it’s an organic part of the story, then it often naturally comes out in character intro. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:33
BookEndsKim A4. Big turnoff: self-declared semi-autobiographical. Shows writer thinking more of him/herself than reader while writing the book. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:33
ckoliver_writes Q1: interesting characters with diversity and chemistry. I don’t want to read stubble bearded white guy gets the girl. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:33
rwchat On that note… Q5. If you could see one thing nailed in every pitch/query, what would you want it to be?#RWChat 2/9/2015 0:34
RouxWrites Do you think the market is sick of pirate historicals? I don’t see many new ones coming out. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:35
Ava_Jae @ckoliver_writes Diversity is definitely something I’m always excited to see. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:35
mayfairromance @BookEndsKim Is that like Author wish-fulfilment? #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:35
BookEndsKim @Ava_Jae Yes.  This.  #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:35
BrynDonovan @Married2ARod Eh, as a reader my good opinion, once lost, is lost forever. 😉 #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:35
ckoliver_writes Q2: Tough call. Not much out there for F/F diverse romance. M/F have to say that Skif & Nyara were great in the Mage Winds trilogy. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:35
Ava_Jae @BookEndsKim If I never see another one, it’ll be too soon. *sigh* #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:35
Ava_Jae A5: Getting to the heart of the story: why does this proposed conflict matter? #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:36
gothicbook Chemistry has to be there for me to invest hours in reading a book. Sexual tension also one of my must haves  #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:36
BookEndsKim A5: Knowledge of market. Pitch shows me you’re approaching this from a career perspective and you’re reading what’s out there. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:36
BellRomance @RouxWrites I would read the hell out of a pirate historical, but i think i’m tired of lords moonlighting as pirates. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:36
Ava_Jae @gothicbook Sexual tension is definitely important. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:37
ckoliver_writes Q3: When it’s the same boy meets girl, girl is “awkward” & “not like the rest” Guy is jock. Will their love survive?! (Sadly, yes) #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:38
BellRomance @BookEndsKim Do you like to see genre comparisons in your pitches? #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:38
gothicbook @Ava_Jae and keep ramping it up until your heart is pounding #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:38
mayfairromance @Ava_Jae so don’t try to tell the story’s events in a pitch? #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:38
BookEndsKim A5: Queries that grab me are ones that are professional and show a desire to reach out to readers.  Not just a “book of your heart” #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:38
BrynDonovan I’m totally not screen capping all the good advice tweets or anything like that. Just so you know. (Seriously, thanks. 🙂 ) #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:39
RachMBrooks @RouxWrites Historicals in general are a bit of a tough sell, but never impossible. Market always in flux too, things swing. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:39
ckoliver_writes Q4: I am so over space pirate anti heroes with some strange past or werewolf shifters used only for dub-con. Not okay, ever. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:39
Ava_Jae @thatfatauthor Great hook, plot, etc. is still vital, but diversity is one element that always makes me pay more attention. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:40
RachMBrooks @BookEndsKim YES! Manuscripts are not your “babies”, even though they are important to you. It’s a merging of art & business. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:40
mayfairromance @RachMBrooks @RouxWrites I rediscovered my love of historicals with new assertive heroines and interesting historical events. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:40
BookEndsKim @mayfairromance You’d be surprised how many romance queries I see that say they’re based on own experiences.  #TMI #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:40
Ava_Jae @mayfairromance Not ALL of the events. Think back cover copy, NOT full synopsis. Just enough to intrigue. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:40
ckoliver_writes Q4 part 2: also done with alpha male/abusive relationships as somehow “okay” if they are m/m but not if they’re m/f or f/f. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:41
BellRomance @KaraBraden I want to see more lady pirates 😛 #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:41
ckoliver_writes Q5: diversity. Diversity. Diversity. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:41
RachMBrooks @BookEndsKim @mayfairromance Yes, and some queries are TMI about your sex life, TYVM! #awkward #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:41
mayfairromance @ckoliver_writes never okay as far as i’m concerned. I want to read about love and respect. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:42
rwchat @BrynDonovan we post a transcript after. feel free to just enjoy yourself #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:42
Married2ARod @BookEndsKim @mayfairromance #awkward #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:42
rwchat Q6. Are there any elements that are insurmountable, ie can a romance with low conflict succeed?#RWChat 2/9/2015 0:42
RachMBrooks @ckoliver_writes YES. It should always be safe, sane, consensual no matter how many people involved, sexuality, or gender. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:43
mayfairromance @RachMBrooks @BookEndsKim  yikes!  #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:43
arianna_swift Is there a good place to find statistics summarizing what types of RNs are doing well over time? @rwchat #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:44
BookEndsKim A6. Little to no conflict is pretty tough to overcome.  #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:44
Bob_Mayer Wondering what SOP you give authors you sign? The things they need to know, up front, about publishing. #RWchat 2/9/2015 0:44
BookEndsKim A6. Unsympathetic hero/heroine is dealbreaker too.  Don’t push anti-heroes past the point of redemption. What @Ava_Jae said earlier. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:45
shaila_writes @Ava_Jae @thatfatauthor @bookendskim I’ve heard agents bemoan diversity cliché: honor-bnd Asian, illegal immgrnt Mexican Thoughts? #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:45
Ava_Jae A6: Without conflict, there isn’t a story. Those w/ low EXTERNAL conflict need high INTERNAL conflict to balance out. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:46
waMaxineDouglas What don’t you want to see? Are there any won’t touch professions for heroes / heroines? #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:46
gothicbook Even though I know the H/H will get there HEA the conflict keeps me glued to the page #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:46
mayfairromance @shaila_writes @Ava_Jae @thatfatauthor @bookendskim good observation! I think the single story of stereotypes isn’t doing diversity #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:46
Ava_Jae @shaila_writes @thatfatauthor @BookEndsKim Well you don’t want to fall into stereotypes, either… bad rep isn’t better than no rep. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:47
ckoliver_writes Q6: anti hero or a “love interest” with no redeeming qualities or that has abusive traits. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:47
RachMBrooks @BookEndsKim YES! We have to care about them and want to see their redemption, not just shake some sense into them and say WTH? #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:47
MABarrettWrites @BookEndsKim @Ava_Jae Can you give an example of an unsympathetic hero(ine) in current pop culture/books please? #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:47
rwchat Q7. When should an author start considering if the problem is the story and not the pitch?#RWChat 2/9/2015 0:48
BookEndsKim @Bob_Mayer When signing I lay out plan 4 specific book and vision of brand. Discuss openly if our visions match. Show our contract. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:49
BellRomance @MABarrettWrites I think mileage varies on that depending on the reader. I find people who refuse to forgive unsympathetic. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:49
ckoliver_writes Q7: when you don’t enjoy talking about your book anymore. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:49
Ava_Jae @waMaxineDouglas I personally can’t think of any besides something HORRIBLE. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:50
thatfatauthor @Ava_Jae @shaila_writes @BookEndsKim  I try to do something exciting & new with my characters so they don’t fall in to stereotypes. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:50
RachMBrooks @MABarrettWrites @BookEndsKim @Ava_Jae Article w/ few examples here from @heroesnhearts about unsymp H/H http://t.co/dx2VtFQ8cI #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:50
BookEndsKim A7.  Tough to answer.  I often think it’s a gut feeling.  #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:51
Ava_Jae @thatfatauthor @shaila_writes Important to do research & get betas who are part of the group you’re repping (esp. if you’re not). #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:52
BookEndsKim A7.  While querying, you should always be working on next book.  Ever onward! If nobody bites on book 1, you’ll have 2 ready to go. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:53
Ava_Jae A7: 1) If they’ve tried several (CP-vetted) pitches and aren’t getting bites (after a LOT of querying). #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:53
Ava_Jae A7: 2) If they’ve received many requests, but they all lead to rejections w/ similar feedback (in which case, revise!). #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:54
Ava_Jae @BookEndsKim Yes! This! #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:54
thatfatauthor @Ava_Jae my characters are plus size, so I definitely have experience with that! 😉 #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:54
rwchat Q8. Which characters are important to know about in the pitch, and in how much detail?#RWChat 2/9/2015 0:54
jules_chronicle @Ava_Jae CPs are SO important. Sometimes it’s not even the ‘pitch’ that’s flawed, it could be the book starts in the wrong place. #RWchat 2/9/2015 0:54
BrynDonovan @BookEndsKim That’s good advice. I just started book 2 of a trilogy, b/c I’m obsessed with the story. But it’s probably not smart. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:55
RitaSawyer #RWChat When considering signing a new client other than a good book what do you look for in the author? Sales stats, web presence? 2/9/2015 0:55
mayfairromance @BookEndsKim there’s a learning curve on writing novels too, I’ve seen it in print when I follow authors with a good number of books #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:55
jules_chronicle @Ava_Jae I’m often guilty of that. Starting a manuscript in the wrong place, when I should use another opening. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:55
RachMBrooks One way to tell if problem is story= full requests (aka pitch works) but then lots of passes on full. (Not always reason though) #RWchat 2/9/2015 0:55
Ava_Jae @jules_chronicle That can definitely be an issue, too! #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:55
gothicbook If your pitching a series should you pitch all the books in the series or just the first? #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:55
Ava_Jae @jules_chronicle CPs can be great for catching that problem early on. 🙂 #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:55
KaraBraden @jules_chronicle @Ava_Jae Kill Three Rule. Kill your first three paragraphs, pages, or chapters to find a strong start. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:55
CareyTorg Follow #RWChat for lots of agent/editor talk. Good things being discussed! 2/9/2015 0:55
BellRomance @thatfatauthor I want more books where they don’t have to get skinny accidentally or otherwise on the way to the HEA. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:56
Ava_Jae A8: Protag & LI. If there’s an antagonist, then antagonist too (but sometimes it’s an antagonistic force, not a character). #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:56
RachMBrooks @BrynDonovan @BookEndsKim This is a big gamble if book 1 doesn’t find a home, but so long as you know that risk at least. #RWchat 2/9/2015 0:56
Ava_Jae A8: As for detail: Who are they? What makes them memorable? What do they want? #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:56
Ava_Jae A8: Also, if YA or NA, ages are important to note. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:57
mayfairromance @BellRomance @thatfatauthor THIS. How many times have I seen whoops I got thin by the third act. and sighed. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:57
RachMBrooks @gothicbook IMO, pitch book 1 and say “this is book 1 in a planned series” or “this book can stand alone but has series potential” #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:57
Ava_Jae @KaraBraden @jules_chronicle I think that can sometimes work, but I wouldn’t say as a general rule. Depends MS to MS. #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:57
Ava_Jae @gothicbook I was going to say exactly what @RachMBrooks said. 🙂 #rwchat 2/9/2015 0:58
RachMBrooks @Ava_Jae Yes, and YA and NA are VERY different. YA editors and NA editors are at separate imprints. NOT the same thing. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:58
thatfatauthor @BellRomance YES! Having to get skinny to find love drives me insane! That’s why my plus size characters have confidence! #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:59
BookEndsKim A8: I agree with @Ava_Jae.  Most important is that I get a sense of what makes hero and heroine tick. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:59
Ava_Jae THIS! RT @RachMBrooks Yes, and YA and NA are VERY different. YA editors and NA editors are at separate imprints. NOT the same thing. #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:59
BookEndsKim A8.  Include other characters if they’re integral to the conflict.  #RWChat 2/9/2015 0:59
rwchat Q9. Are there specific query structures that are more/less successful for romance?#RWChat 2/9/2015 0:59
BellRomance I feel guilty about Q9 immediately. Answering that in 144 characters is going to be a huge pain in the ass. #rwchat 2/9/2015 1:00
Ava_Jae A9: I tend to think most successful pitch structure works in all genres… (1/?) #rwchat 2/9/2015 1:01
jules_chronicle @Ava_Jae @RachMBrooks I’ve heard it said that NA books can’t have high heat levels. Is this true? It strikes me as a bit odd. #RWchat 2/9/2015 1:01
BrynDonovan I am not plus size myself and a romance where the plus size heroine has to lose weight to get her HEA would bug the crap out of me. #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:01
Ava_Jae A9: Who are the MCs? What do they want? What’s standing between them/goal? What will happen if they fail (why does it matter)? (2/3) #rwchat 2/9/2015 1:01
Ava_Jae A9: Order matters less than getting the essential info in, IMO. (3/3) #rwchat 2/9/2015 1:01
Ava_Jae @jules_chronicle @RachMBrooks Ummm who said that?!? Haaaaaa. So not true. Not even a little. #rwchat 2/9/2015 1:02
BookEndsKim A9. Straightforward is always best.  Business letter.  1/4  #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:02
Married2ARod @Ava_Jae @BookEndsKim @rwchat @mayfairromance great stuff so far. I’m feeling inspired. #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:03
BookEndsKim A9.  Title, subgenre, word count and a market comparison-agent’s own client, if you’ve read their work – don’t fake it 2/4  #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:03
Ava_Jae @jules_chronicle @RachMBrooks Tell them to read UNTEACHABLE and LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT then rethink that. Heh heh. #rwchat 2/9/2015 1:03
rwchat Q10. Who/what are your favorite resources for good query advice?#RWChat 2/9/2015 1:03
mayfairromance @Married2ARod @Ava_Jae @BookEndsKim @rwchat That’s excellent. I’m feeling the same way. #rwchat 2/9/2015 1:03
RachMBrooks @BrynDonovan Yes, if the character’s defined only by her weight= no. Prefer a story that just HAPPENS to have a plus size MC #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:04
BookEndsKim A9. Synopsis – 6-10 sentences.  Read back cover copy of fave romances for inspiration on grabbing attention.  ¾ #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:04
rwchat I’m going to rush the last 2 questions because we’re past time by a couple minutes. #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:04
rwchat Q11. And finally, is there anything specific wishlists right now?#RWChat 2/9/2015 1:04
Ava_Jae @jules_chronicle Not ALL are super steamy (it’s not required), but trust me, there are steamy ones out there for sure. #rwchat 2/9/2015 1:04
BookEndsKim A9. Short bio, focusing on writing career – awards, RWA memebership.,  publishing history if any. 4/4 #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:04
BrynDonovan @RachMBrooks Yeah, I like that so much better! #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:04
Ava_Jae A10: @NathanBransford has great info in his archives & “publishing essentials” sidebar http://t.co/HA4WFSKurR (¼) #rwchat 2/9/2015 1:04
RachMBrooks IMO successful= concise, follows guidelines, includes needed info (genre, word count, title, pitch, sample pgs). Goes for ANY query #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:05
mayfairromance we were worried we’d have extra time. luckily you all came along and made it great. #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:05
rwchat That’s all the questions. Feel free to keep answering and chatting, and thank you so much for participating! #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:05
RachMBrooks @BookEndsKim YES! We don’t need to know that you’ve been writing since 1st grade, have 3 kids & a dog & love tennis. Not relevant. #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:06
Ava_Jae A10: @atrueblood5 has a great “Quite the Query” feature with successful query examples. https://t.co/M5UuxtmlrI #rwchat (¾) 2/9/2015 1:06
BookEndsKim @Ava_Jae @jules_chronicle @RachMBrooks Um yeah.  I agree with @Ava_Jae 100%.  In fact, I would say steamy is more the trend. #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:06
shaila_writes Good Q. @KwanaWrites, Hand me some popcorn pls: “Q9. Are there specific query structures that are more/less successful for romance?#RWChat” 2/9/2015 1:06
Ava_Jae A10: And of course Query Shark (run by @Janet_Reid): http://t.co/oED9p0Ur6J (4/4) #rwchat 2/9/2015 1:06
RachMBrooks @BookEndsKim Also, saying your CP loved your book, or mom, or professor holds no weight in all honesty. #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:07
Ava_Jae @mayfairromance @Married2ARod @BookEndsKim @rwchat So glad to hear it! 🙂 #rwchat 2/9/2015 1:07
BookEndsKim A10. At http://t.co/ITBUffccxO you can find a lot of great advice and past pitch critiques by browsing our index. #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:07
BookEndsKim A10. Highly recommend following @SaraMegibow. Her #10queriesin10tweets is great insight into how agents comb thru their inboxes. #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:07
BellRomance @thatfatauthor I want a nice middle of the road heroine. Not desperately trying to lose weight, and not megaphoning PHAT. Just real. #rwchat 2/9/2015 1:07
RachMBrooks @Ava_Jae @Janet_Reid I LOVE her Lady Sharkness! Such useful advice for writers of all genres and people new to the pub world. #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:08
BookEndsKim A10. http://t.co/Tuv1D3Cxnf is great for more in-depth query breakdowns. #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:08
shaila_writes @BrynDonovan Me too. We identify with a vulnerability & want it 2 become a strength. Take it away, and you feel cheated. #rwchat 2/9/2015 1:08
BrynDonovan Should one mention a writing day job, or will that make it sound like you won’t have time to write lots of books? #askingforafriend #rwchat 2/9/2015 1:08
Ava_Jae @BrynDonovan Like what kind of writing day job? #rwchat 2/9/2015 1:09
BookEndsJessica Catching up on @BookEndsKim at #RWChat thinking she should take over blog. Good stuff there. 2/9/2015 1:10
RachMBrooks @BookEndsKim @SaraMegibow YES! I love when I manage to catch these. Sara is lovely and oh so wise! She knows her stuff y’all. #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:10
BookEndsKim @BrynDonovan I think it merits a mention, but won’t necessarily make a big difference.  #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:10
RachMBrooks @BrynDonovan I personally, don’t care what your day job is. I care about your romance manuscript, & that’s what I assess. #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:11
gothicbook This chat is so informative. Can’t wait to use this fantastic advice. #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:11
Ava_Jae @BrynDonovan That to me seems less relevant. Don’t worry abt people thinking you won’t have time, though—most writers have day jobs. #rwchat 2/9/2015 1:12
waMaxineDouglas Can’t wait to use this advice at RT in May #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:12
Ava_Jae @BrynDonovan I tend to say mentions job if relevant to book (i.e.: you are a surgeon & so is MC). Otherwise, meh. Not important. #rwchat 2/9/2015 1:13
RachMBrooks @BookEndsKim @BrynDonovan Maybe if (example) you’re a cop and you wrote a cop romance, I see how it’s relevant/lends authenticity. #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:13
rwchat I’m behind on making the promo graphic, but definitely come for next week’s Diversity in Romance chat w/ @KwanaWrites #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:14
RachMBrooks @Ava_Jae @BrynDonovan Yes, many authors do not make enough writing to quit day job, or at least not for a few books down the road. #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:14
BellRomance @Ava_Jae @BookEndsKim You ladies were wonderful! Thank you so much for an amazing #rwchat! 2/9/2015 1:16
Ava_Jae @BellRomance @BookEndsKim Absolutely! It was a lot of fun. Thanks for having us! 🙂 #rwchat 2/9/2015 1:16
shaila_writes @Ava_Jae @RachMBrooks @BookEndsKim @rwchat and all: Thanks for the info! #rwchat 2/9/2015 1:17
Ava_Jae #rwchat was such a blast! Thanks for all of your lovely questions and interactions! 🙂 2/9/2015 1:17
gothicbook Thank you! #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:17
BookEndsKim This was fun!  I’m a chat newbie, so thanks for being gentle with me!  LOL  Hope it was helpful!  #RWChat 2/9/2015 1:17
Ava_Jae @shaila_writes @RachMBrooks @BookEndsKim @rwchat You’re very welcome! Thanks for participating in the discussion! #rwchat 2/9/2015 1:17
thatfatauthor This was my first time participating in #RWChat and it was awesome! Thanks ladies! 2/9/2015 1:18
RachMBrooks Had such fun participating in #RWChat @rwchat w/ hosts @Ava_Jae & @BookEndsKim. And thanks to @BellRomance @mayfairromance for organizing! 2/9/2015 1:18
mayfairromance @BookEndsKim @Ava_Jae I’m so happy you cohosted #RWChat with us today. Thank you so much! 2/9/2015 1:19

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