Friday, April 9, 2010

In the Flesh

As I sit on the bus on my way to Boston, I find myself in an unusual situation. I hear the woman beside me talking on the phone. She prefaces the conversation by saying that she doesn’t want to have to have this conversation. And the key words slowly trickle out: editor, proposal, chapters, book division, underbid, deadline, unreasonable, sorry. And of course some hand-holding. “You know how I feel about this book. We have to stay positive.”

I can not believe it. I am sitting next to what I can only assume is a real-life literary agent. In the flesh. She is obviously dealing with a client and what I can also only assume is a rejection.

As I sit across the aisle, line editing my novel, I'm about to have a heart attack.

Do you think I should hand her the laptop and ask her to start reading? I bet she would really appreciate that.


  1. I wouldn't hand over the laptop, but I would DEFINITELY strike up a friendly, non-pressuring conversation. Make some writerly, publishing jokes and conversation. Treat her like a real person. And be sure to get her name. Later, when you're ready to query you can mention the bus ride. If nothing else, I bet she'd request just to be polite :)

  2. Yes yes! What Megan said! Make friends with her -- you've got a lot in common!

  3. Hahaha!!! Do it! Oh my word, what a strange coincidence. Did you talk to her at least? Hand her a business card? ;) Fun fun! I don't think we have too many agents living where I live.

  4. If she is conducting business on a bus, out in the open for everyone to hear, she deserves to get a laptop thrown at her!

  5. Oh my gosh, I like this agent. I don't care who overhears her; you did and you heard her doing something wonderful: encouraging a client who was down. I mean that's maybe what she did. The moment is over by the time this comment reaches you, but take it as some sign from the universe, not a sign that someday an agent will be consoling you over rejection, just that someday it will you on the phone with your agent -- something good like that. :)