Would You Read It Wednesday – The 30th Pitch… And Some Awards… And A Journey!

Well, boys and girls, I am just chock full of news today!  I hope you’ve got your chocolate-covered Wheaties close by!

First off, I’d like to thank the lovely Rachel from Writing On The Wall for bestowing upon me not one, but TWO awesome awards which I have never received before:

The Sunshine Award – so pretty 🙂


The Dream Launcher Award – so inspiring!
Of course there are a few questions that go along with the awards…
1. Favorite Color?  Blue
2. Favorite Animal? A tie between horses and dogs
3. Favorite Number? 9
4. Favorite (non-alcoholic) drink? I pretty much only drink water or seltzer… well, not counting coffee 🙂  But if we’re talking favorite, maybe iced tea (definitely sweetened) or orange peach mango juice!
5. Face Book or Twitter? Face Book!  I haven’t even tried Twitter – I find it very intimidating for some reason.
6. My Passion? Writing and my family (not necessarily in that order :))
7. Getting or Giving Presents?  Definitely giving!
8. Favorite Pattern?  Hmm… I don’t really do patterns… maybe something very simple and floral?
9. Favorite Day of the Week? I don’t know why, but I think maybe Tuesday.  How random is that? 🙂
10. Favorite Flower? Carnations – I love the smell!
And of course I’m supposed to pass these awards along… and I can NEVER choose who to pass them to because you are all so wonderful… so as usual I will sidestep by saying that if you like these awards and you follow my blog, you may have them because you’re all awesome 🙂  Consider them given 🙂
Moving right along, item 2 on today’s jam-packed agenda is Phyllis’s World Tour!
Yes, you heard me right.  There are those who have called her PHYLLIS THE INCREDIBLE INTERNATIONAL ROCK STAR (though I’m not naming any names :))
As we speak, 2 copies of April Fool, Phyllis are winging their way out – one to Florida, the other to California – to begin whirlwind tours of the USA.  Each person who receives the book will read it (sometimes to their kids or classrooms), blog about it, sign it, and pass it on to the next person.  In addition to the two copies making the rounds, lovely supporters in Canada, France, Italy and possibly even New Zealand will also be blogging about our April jester.  One special copy is going to Texas to begin a tour of US schools, and another special copy is going to Georgia to make the rounds of 2 fabulous literacy programs!  How much awesomeness can one month hold???
I will be adding a special tab up top on my blog so you can all follow Phyllis’s adventures with ease, and virtually visit all the fantastic places she’s going!  There will be blog links and, I’m really hoping, photos!!!  I’d also really like to have a map involved, but that is most probably beyond my technological skill, and my number one tech advisor has abandoned me to go to college…  so we’ll just have to see about that 🙂
And now, when you’re already so excited by receiving awards and hearing about Phyllis’s World Tour, I present you with today’s Would You Read It from the awesome Renee who can spout incredible poetry even whilst laid up sick in bed!
Renee is a full-time editor/writer for All About Learning Press for whom she co-authors early readers and blogs on grammar as her alter ego, the Chipmunk of Doom. A wife and mom to twin toddler boys, she lives in Italy where she runs around the countryside filming silly poetry videos for her blog No Water River. This is her first foray out of her poetic comfort zone and into the psychedelic world of prose PBs. Be gentle with her.

And here’s her pitch:
Working Title: Doris And The Scaredy Cats
Age/Genre: Fiction PB ages 4+
The Pitch:  Intrigued by the herd of petrified cats that show up at her door with their little suitcases, Doris is determined to un-petrify her furry new housemates — despite her family’s pleas to send them away before she ends up a scaredy cat, too. Doris will either calm the cats’ jitters or make her family’s fear come true — or neither.     
So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?
If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Renee improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)
Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  Go ahead and send your pitch for a chance for it to be read by editor Erin Molta!
Renee is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!
If you haven’t had a chance to vote on the February Pitch Pick, there’s still almost a day to go.  Click HERE and vote.
And that’s it.  I’m finally done.  And you probably all noticed that I way made up for last week’s succinctness 🙂

P.S.  One last thing I just realized, for any of you who were interested in Monday’s Oh Susanna question about leaving room for the illustrator.  Serendipitously, Janice Hardy blogged about this very topic yesterday and you can see her terrific post HERE.

98 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday – The 30th Pitch… And Some Awards… And A Journey!

  1. Patricia Nozell says:

    Love the image of Scaredy Cats with suitcases, Renee. Yes, I'd read this book. Not sure that the last sentence is needed, though, as both options are already presented in the opening sentence.

  2. Kirsten Larson says:

    Hi Renee,

    What an interesting concept. I might change “petrified” to scared, because, honestly, I read the whole thing and thought the cats were literally petrified like a forest. I know I'm silly.

    I might tighten the pitch up in a few paces as follows:

    Intrigued when a herd of scaredy cats shows up at her door, Doris hatches a plan to soothe their fears. Her family pleads with her to send them away before she becomes a scaredy cat, too. Will Doris calm the cats' jitters or make her family's fear come true?

  3. Renee LaTulippe says:

    You're not the only one, Kirsten! Several people thought she was being invaded by cat-shaped garden gnomes, so I'll be changing that. 🙂 Thanks so much for the suggested rewording – very helpful!

  4. Rena J. Traxel says:

    Yes, I would read it. I'm glad that you turned you poem into a picture book! I am curious to find out why the cats are so scared. The word petrified to me makes me think the cats aren't moving because they are so scared, which makes me think that Dora needs to find a way to break them out of their stone like state. I don't think you need the last sentence as it pretty clear already what's at stake. Perhaps you could mention in the first sentence how Dora discovers them. Do they ring the doorbell? Could you perhaps give a hint of what is scarring them or if Dora goes through multiple scenarios of what is scarring them perhaps give one or two examples. Good job!

  5. Grade ONEderful says:

    Hi Susannah,
    Sorry, this is off topic. But what happened to your Perfect Picture Book Friday page?

  6. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Yikes! That's not good! I was working on it today, and I hope maybe that's why you couldn't see it? I've saved it and closed out of editing. Please let me know if you can see it now. I hate to think of something happening to it. It takes SO LONG to update, if I have to redo 260+ books I'll never get it done!

  7. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    She can't wait to get there… and I think she'll be there soon! I believe your second on the list!!! You should probably introduce her to Texas-style BBQ – isn't that supposed to be something special? She could have BBQ corn on the cob 🙂

  8. Penny Klostermann says:

    Oh! I just got to the Internet since earlier today.
    It's there! It's there! The Perfect Picture Book Friday page is there! I panicked for you…and for the rest of us. I went straight to the top…just like an elevator…and luckily I could get off at the PPBF floor.
    That was overly corny…I was just excited that all your hard work was OK.

  9. Penny Klostermann says:

    Yea! Phyllis On Tour! I'm a groupie. I'm a groupie!

    I totally thought the cats were really petrified because of the ones on your blog…that is what I pictured!!! They're such adorable little scaredy cats. YES!!! I would read. I am a cat lover!!! And I love, love, love the suitcase thing. But here are my thoughts…

    The first sentence is too long and a bit awkward to me. Also, your last sentence is just repeating your problem over again because you have already said she is determined….and they are fearful….
    So come up with a wrap up that leaves us wanting to find out what happens and doesn’t list all the options of what could happen. And I think that if you're writing a pitch for a picture book that you should keep picture book vocabulary and sentence length. (I just made that up because that is what makes sense to me :-)…but if you read the synopses on book jackets…they keep picture book language. With that in mind…maybe you could use “curious” instead of “intrigued”…but since curiosity killed the cat…you may NOT want to! I am sooo laughing at my own joke! But seriously, intrigued may be a little hard for your audience.) I would leave out as many adjectives as possible since that is really up to an illustrator. My first two sentences are below. I don't know what your story line is so I didn't even attempt to write the wrap-up sentence. By the way…a group of cats is called a clowder.

    Doris is intrigued when a clowder of scaredy cats show up at her door with suitcases. Doris is determined to calm her jittery new housemates, but her family fears that she will become a scaredy cat just like them.

  10. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thank you, Penny! I'm glad it's back. I'm having trouble enough keeping up without having to redo!

    Penny Klostermann wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    Oh! I just got to the Internet since earlier today.
    It's there! It's there! The Perfect Picture Book Friday page is there! I panicked for you…and for the rest of us. I went straight to the top…just like an elevator…and luckily I could get off at the PPBF floor. That was overly corny…I was just excited that all your hard work was OK.

    Link to comment

  11. Tiltonph says:

    What a unique idea for a book. Like your pitch Renee. I would definitely read it. You could probably tighten it as others have suggested. Love the idea!

  12. HappyBirthdayAuthor says:

    I have such a hard time commenting on pitches because I have no idea how to write one! But, I love the idea – your description of Doris and her guests conjured vivid images in my mind! Good luck with the pitch, Renee!

  13. Tracy Bermeo says:

    I also love the visual of the scaredy cats with their suitcases. I'd love to know more about what makes Doris able to calm their fears, or not. IS she special, or the girl next door? Why is her family concerned? Did they have a problem with someone being scared before?
    All of that said, it sound like a cute story, and YES, I would read it! Good luck Renee!

  14. Stina Lindenblatt says:

    I love that idea for the world tour. Very clever!

    If I read PBs, I would totally read the book. I wasn't sure at first if it meant the cats were scared or turned to statues. 😀

  15. Penny Klostermann says:

    Oh…I think that was probably past my bedtime when I wrote all that!!! Really a group of cats is a clowder…and don't you love that word?

  16. Leigh Covington says:

    Tuesday?! That's awesome! I like randomness 🙂

    As for the pitch… Yes. Although I'm wondering why scaredy cats would show up at her door if they're so scared??? I do love the image of them with their little suitcases tho! So cute. And love the idea of her turning into a scaredy cat too. 🙂 Fun!

  17. Theresa Milstein says:

    The petrify part confused me. First I thought they were stuffed and… you know the rest. It doesn't sound like she's scared in the beginning.

  18. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Susanny, congrats on two well-deserved awards…it was fun learning more about you. 🙂 That's wonderful about the blog tour!!!!
    Renee, I would definitely read it…love the picture in my mind of the uproar a bunch of cats with suitcases would cause.

  19. Sharron says:

    I love it. I would get rid of the 'of neither' at the end. But otherwise, it's perfect.

    I once wrote a long fantasy where a cat was the main character and had such fun. Glad to see another 'cat' story. Blessings

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