What not to say when pitching to a publisher

There are, I imagine, umpty-gazillion things one oughtn’t say during a pitch to a publisher, and what I said is only mildly wrong compared to many other things…

“Of course, as we know, it’s not going to be the happy ever after they imagine because the changes in inheritance laws and tax and that will affect the estate, and even if that doesn’t hit Teddy it’ll affect his son.”*

The reaction was, “Oh, now you’re *really* talking our language.” I tried, dear reader, to back-pedal, and avoid the plot-bunnies, but it didn’t work. Between mid-afternoon on Saturday, when I said this, and this morning, I have been forced to accept that what I have so far written & pitched as a story is the middle section of a 3-part tale following a family over 4 generations.

I need to focus on adding to the current story first, but once I’ve polished that and sent it off, my research list includes (but is not limited to):

  • English public schools in 1870s & 1880s
  • British Raj in 2nd half of 19th century
  • actually, pretty much at least a century of history of the Indian sub-continent
  • Early aviation in Europe & British Empire
  • WW1 – Europe, North Africa, Middle East, and effects at home in the UK
  • Inheritance tax etc.
  • CND
  • National Service (in UK)
  • Break-up of British Empire

So, not much then…!

*paraphrased, because I was basically just chatting about & around the story, and had never planned to mention anything like that