Perfecting the Pitch - Part 2 - Selling the Character - Jo-Ann Carson

Perfecting the Pitch – Part 2 – Selling the Character

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“There has to be some intrinsic interest in the character, plus visible potential for conflict, interact, and growth shown in your characters.”

“…be prepared to talk about a few of the characters in your book, definitely the protagonist and villain.”

(Pitching in Person, Thrillerfest Site)

My task today is to prepare information about these topics:


Maggy Malone is thirty three and desperate to make it in the Blues business. By day she does odd jobs, by night she sings in the Black Cat Blues bar to support herself and her dying mother. Recently divorced from a cheating cop, she’s piecing her life back together amidst friends in the houseboat community on Granville Island, in the heart of Vancouver, Canada. Her hourglass figure, long curly red hair, and husky voice attract men, but it’s her big heart that captures them. Just when her singing is beginning to get noticed she finds a man dying in an alley and he leaves her a secret that threatens her life.


Gilbert Harrison is a fisherman swamped by life. He’s forty-five and lives on his fish boat with a cat. The fishing industry’s tanking, his mother nags him for money, and he never gets a chance to have the good things in life. When he hears there’s new information about Brother XII’s hidden treasure, Gilbert believes finding it could answer to all his problems. The first murder was sort of an accident. But after that, killing people becomes an easy way of dealing with nasty details. His love of gold takes care of the bitter aftertaste of his guilt.

Maggy’s Men:

Logan Daniels is a button-down businessman who likes his life neat and organized, but his brother’s death and the enigmatic redhead Maggy Malone turn it all upside down.
Hunter is a modern day knight errant who would do anything to protect Maggy and his boating community from harm.

 Other Points:

  • 80,000 words
  • strong sub-plot involving a love triangle and sabotage in Maggy’s dock community.

Tomorrow – Part 3 – Selling Yourself.

0 Replies to “Perfecting the Pitch – Part 2 – Selling the Character”

  1. Boy, I hope someone picks this up really soon, Jo-Ann. I’m dying to read it. What an intriguing story line! You are uber-prepared for thriller-fest, lady. When do you leave?

    1. Hi Marsha
      My baby, Black Cat is out with beta-readers. I hope to have it ready for submission in the next few months. Thanks for your support dear friend. I don’t think you can ever be too prepared for this business. lol.
      I hope your digital problems are getting solved.

  2. This is good. You are so organized – I must try it! I usually go in to a pitch and tell them the plot, but this is much better. The only line that catches me up is “Just when her singing is beginning to get noticed.”
    Looking forward to your final post on this as I prepare for PNWAcon in Seattle.

    1. Hi Judy
      Love your new website. I’d say you’re looking pretty organized.
      Yeah, I have trouble with that line too. I’ll try to smooth it out. Thanks for the tip.
      Today I’m making myself (with lots of caffeine) attack a 3/4 page synopsis. I hate the darn things and how I can do it in that small a space fraggles my mind.
      Thanks for stopping by and for all your support.

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