Hey FFFers! I'm delighted to have Katie Morford Phillips on today's Manuscript Monday. Katie is an amazing editor for Crosshair Press and she gave me the best rejection I’ve ever received. :) Seriously. Her notes on my proposal helped me a lot. I also had a phone consult with her about my pitch for the prequel for Fairyeater. She helped me tighten my focus and gave me great feedback. Katie has developed an Author's Toolkit that I love, and will help anyone, whether they're a new writer or not, with pitching a story/novel idea to an editor or agent. And we all know that's about the most nerve wracking thing an author can go through.
FFF: hi, Katie! Welcome to Fairies, Fantasy, and Faith! Tell my readers a bit about yourself.
KMP: Um, where to start. I’m a slow writer, a fast fiction editor, and a voracious reader who grew up re-imagining the endings of books I didn’t like. My first published novel was a co-authored romantic suspense novel, Kenan, but I typically trend toward soft speculative fiction. I have a space opera fantasy in revisions and I am currently working on a YA historical urban fantasy (think Harry Potter meets X-men in WWII-era northern England). I married a ballet/swing dancer and love travel, strawberries, and Cadbury Royal Dark Chocolate.
FFF: I am right with you on the dark chocolate! What drew you to the crazy wonderful world of gifting authors with your awesome pitch tools?
KMP: As first an author, then a publisher and fiction editor, I’ve had the unique opportunity to see the book industry (especially the querying/pitching process) from both sides of the table. When so many of my fiction editing clients expressed to me how lost and overwhelmed they felt trying to navigate the pitching process, I knew I had the experience and expertise to guide them to telling their story with clarity and confidence. As one of my multi-published clients said, “This is the toolkit I wish I’d had when I was first starting out!”
FFF: I feel the same way! What’s your favorite tool and why?
KMP: I absolutely love the query letter, synopsis, and one-sheet templates. So many amazing stories are sitting on a shelf because their author is too overwhelmed to try pitching or hasn’t been equipped to communicate their story in an intriguing way. Many writers struggle to condense an entire novel into a synopsis or blurb. The templates are designed to be super simple, plug-and-play resources. They guide authors step-by-step through the process and eliminate overwhelm so they can reach their goals.
FFF: Very cool. What do you want authors to come away with after digging through this toolkit?
KMP: I really want authors to walk away with tremendous clarity as to their story and its strongest selling points, and therefore great confidence in their story. I want to take authors from overwhelmed to enthusiasm, and guide them through sharing their passion with an industry desperate for fresh stories and voices.
FFF: I love that! How long have you been in the editing/writing world? What’s your story?
KMP: I started writing stories with a friend in high school, and then eventually branched out on my own (I’ve finished 11+ novels and novellas, most of which will never see the light of day). I completed the Christian Writers Guild Apprenticeship and Journeyman Mentoring Courses under literary agent Les Stobbe and author DiAnn Mills. After a career in journalism and three years living overseas and doing communications for a non-profit, I returned to my native Kansas to launch my own fiction editing, photography, and brand consulting business. I’m also a co-founder and the managing editor for Crosshair Press, an indie publishing house specializing in adventure stories. My romantic suspense novel, Kenan, released in May 2015 and the sequel is slated to release late this year or early next year. So, I guess you could say I’ve been writing and editing for over 15 years, though it feels like all my life.
FFF: Wow - no wonder you have so much to offer! Where can authors connect with you?
Author Pitch Toolkit: www.storyforhisglory.com/resources
Crosshair Press: www.crosshairpress.com
Amazon (Kenan): https://www.amazon.com/Kenan-Katiller-Book-Karis-Waters-ebook/dp/B00Y32P47A
FFF: So there you have it. Thanks again, Katie! Can't wait to see you at Realm Makers!
KMP: Me, too! Thanks for having me!
Realm Makers, here I come!
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