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. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    I'm still laughing at your No. 4. That sounds about like my answer to “I don't watch TV.” I don't visit No Water River enough. I love her fun poetry and videos. I say yes to the pitch. I can't tell if the cats were expected or not. The suitcase indicates to me they had intentions to be housemates all along. “their little” before suitcases may be unnecessary. Thanks for sharing the pitch Renee. Looks like a fun story.

  2. Kyra Lennon says:

    I thought the pitch was really interesting, and I will read anything that has to do with cats LOL! Great job, Renee!

  3. Dede Perkins says:

    Congrats on Phyllis' whirlwind tours, Susanna! Very fun…I look forward to reading about her adventures.

    Renee's pitch…yes, I would probably read it though – this is going to sound silly – I imagined actual stone-like, petrified cats. Wondered if someone left the cats as a practical joke or if the story was a fantasy. Also, the last phrase “or neither” felt tacked on; I think a stronger ending would serve the story better. That said, it's an original story line, and I'm intrigued by the suitcases!

  4. thefeatherednest says:

    If it has anything to do with cats I'll read it although at the first sentence I had a horrible vision of mumified cats.

  5. This Kid Reviews Bks says:

    GO PHYLLIS!!! GO PHYLLIS!!! It's nice that you are letting us follow Phyllis' journey!
    Great pitch Ms. Latulippe! I want to see what happens to Doris and why the cats are petrified and what was in the suitcases… and why do cats need suitcases?!?

  6. Jennifer Young says:

    Congrats on the awards Susanna, great answers! Can't wait to read all about Phyllis's World Tour!

    Renee, I would definitely read it. How interesting is a herd of petrified cats with little suitcases wanting to move in? The only thing I noticed that I could suggest is the last line. It starts off,
    “Doris will either” but it ends with saying “or neither.” What if you turn it into a question and end it with “or neither?” Good luck and thanks for sharing!

  7. Catherine Johnson says:

    Congrats you certainly are sunshine, I skipped even more than you lol. As for the pitch I would start When petrified cats turned up at Doris's door, Doris didn't know whether to let them in and help them or keep them out in case they spread their petrifiedness around or something like that. Sounds like a great story!

  8. Rachel Schieffelbein says:

    I read this pitch to my seven-year-old daughter and she said she would read it, it sounds funny!
    I liked the line about showing up with suitcases. But I did think the pitch could maybe be tightened up, the end seems a bit jarbled. (Is that a word? Sorry.) But I would read it, it sounds fun. 🙂

  9. Renee LaTulippe says:

    I agree about the end, Rachel — but I just don't like the ending a pitch with a question thing. Plus, neither of those things happen (the cats don't leave, Doris doesn't become like them), but sort of wrote myself into a corner and couldn't get out. I'm open to suggestions. 🙂

  10. Joanna Marple says:

    Some great advice so far. i would read it simply based on the protagonist's name, Doris, what a great name! It sounds wonderfully silly, and would just agree that it needs a little tightening!

    Happy and safe travels to Phyllis!

  11. Renee LaTulippe says:

    I'm thinking I like your story better, Dede – HAHA. How bizarre would that be to open your door and see a bunch of stone cats. Funny…and creepy!!

    Darn, now I have to figure out what to put in the suitcases…

  12. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    No, Renee, that's what you leave for your illustrator! 🙂

    Renee LaTulippe (unregistered) wrote, in response to Dede Perkins:

    I'm thinking I like your story better, Dede – HAHA. How bizarre would that be to open your door and see a bunch of stone cats. Funny…and creepy!!
    Darn, now I have to figure out what to put in the suitcases…

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  13. Renee LaTulippe says:

    Yay, thanks, Joanna! It used to be Dora, but that conjures up a different Dora. But I'm happier with Doris, anyway, as it seems like a good name for a quirky cat lover. Glad you like it! 🙂

  14. Robyn Campbell says:

    Definitely tighten it a bit to make me scream I gotta read it! And read it I would. Just knowing petrified cats are in this story makes me want to read and reread. The story sounds funny, so why not make the pitch a hoot? Great job, Renee. *smiling*

    Congrads on your well-deserved awards, Susanna. Phyllis's World Tour sounds like so much fun!!!!!!! I can't wait to keep up with that! Wishing I was in on that. Hugs to you, pal!

  15. gemma says:

    Love this, Renée. Why? First off, the image of scared cats with suitcases at the front door. I was hooked there and then wanted to know how this de-petrifying would happen. I like the pitch and have read in the comments that it needs tightening. This could help but since it isn't an elevator pitch, I don't think it needs that much tweaking.

  16. Natalie says:

    Of course I would read it! I sounds adorable and I love Robyn's suggestion of making the pitch itself humorous. What a great idea! 🙂

    Susanna–We can't wait to welcome Phyllis to Texas! 🙂

  17. Cathy Mealey says:

    *high fives Dede* So my vision of cat-shaped garden gnomes planted by the front door was not totally off base! I was blaming my recent visit to the Pompeii exhibit at the Museum of Science. I guess 'petrified' is a powerful word!

    Of course I would read it and love it. Renee is a marvel and how wonderful that her membership in RhyTryPro has manifested in a manuscript with cats and suitcases!

  18. Anom3 says:

    I'm ready to read the story of Doris and her “herd” of cats…which makes me think cows not cats!(sorry) Litter, maybe?!?!?
    Love the suitcases. Curious to peek inside each one.

  19. terrifore says:

    I think children would love the idea of scaredy cats because they have fears that they can't always verbalize. Cats with suitcases at the front door would engage them from the beginning of the story. Great idea.

  20. Beth Stilborn says:

    Mmm, I love the smell of carnations, too! I'd certainly read about the scaredy-cats (although at first I was thinking “petrified” as in petrified wood. I obviously didn't get enough sleep last night.)

    May I include some of the information you've posted here about Phyllis's tour on my PPBF of April Fool, Phyllis on Friday?

  21. gemma says:

    I think the only tweaking needed is at the end. “before she ends up a scaredy cat, too.” can come out and “Doris will either calm the cats' jitters or make her family's fear come true — or neither” needs to be pared down–less options (“or”). Needs to tell less… I'm not great at this! It's a struggle. If this pitch were to go in a cover letter you might not need to leave it a mystery. Am I helping yet? :p

  22. Renee LaTulippe says:

    Susanna, thank you so much for having my pitch on today, and thanks to everyone for the feedback thus far. I've gained quite a few insights from the comments that will definitely shape not just the pitch but the story itself. A heartfelt MEOW to all of you wonderful people!

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