Michelle Klayman and Jill Limber answered together.
1. What’s the best advice you can give to writers who are right now polishing their pitches, query letters and first 10 pages of their manuscripts in preparation for the upcoming SDSU Writers’ Conference?
Pitches: Write down what you want us to know. This way if you get tongue-tied during the pitch, we won’t mind being read to, but we will mind missing out on hearing your story idea.
Query Letters: Start with a hook that is central to your story that shows the conflicts right away and make certain that you show the romance that is the spine of the story in that first paragraph. Backstory and ancillary characters should be left for a synopsis. Make the query bright and clear and enticing.
First 10 Pages: No backstory and don’t start with a prologue. Polish, polish, polish. Spell checking is as important as craft and punctuation.
2. As digital publishers, what do you bring to the table that differs from traditional publishing?
Flexibility, deeper connections, more support and more of a partnership.
3. Can you share some of the best opening lines from query letters you’ve received?
These are selected opening lines from our authors’ books:
“I’d never considered myself to be much of an arsehole before.”
“Will Sloan’s visitor looked and smelled like money.”
“When you graduate from high school, the world is your oyster.”
“I must be out of my mind.”
“Except for his jaw, the baby’s new head looked exactly like his old one.”
5. What’s the first book that spoke to you as a young reader?
Jill: To Kill a Mockingbird.
Michelle: Gone with the Wind
6. If you had to choose only one, what’s your favorite book?
Jill: Gone with the Wind
Michelle: Sophie’s Choice
7. What do you hope to find at the 31st Annual SDSU Writers’ Conference?
Five authors that sign with Boroughs Publishing Group that go on to become NY Times best-selling authors with Boroughs Publishing Group.
For more information about the SDSU Writers’ Conference, visit neverstoplearning.net/writers