Posted by amybou on:
Okay, deep breaths--I see that my literary crush is on Facebook--and he just accepted my friend request yesterday morning, after we met a year and a half ago at a literary conference in New Orleans. I wasn't sure if he would accept my friend request, as he is a kind of a big deal editor at a big deal publishing house, or if I would have to "subscribe" to his public posts instead. So I am furiously "liking" things and commenting on friends' posts in hopes that this big deal editor hasn't hidden me yet, and that perhaps by seeing my name on his News Feed he will remember that I exist.
Why do I care that he remembers that I exist? There is no way that he would ever acquire my book--he edits big deal authors, vice presidents, social scientists, novelists who have been placed under a fatwa--but we had this amazing hour-long meeting at the Words & Music conference in New Orleans, me and this brilliant editor, and I was nervous because he was twenty minutes late, and I'd read some things on Gawker that led me to think that there was a chance he might stand me up--but then lo and behold he finally showed up that Saturday morning at 9:20 am in the lobby of the Hotel Monteloene, just as I was getting a little impatient and uptight, and we had THE BEST CONVERASATION ABOUT MY WRITING THAT I HAVE EVER HAD. Even after a three-year MFA program. And countless workshops in every genre known to man. Workshops led by famous writers, winners of the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize. This big deal editor totally got what I am trying to do with my novel--and articulated things I didn't even know I was trying to do, and pointed out things I could take further. And, reader, he liked it--he thought it was funny and smart, words he kept repeating throughout our conversation (I took copious notes) and found my narrator to have "a winning personality" and said that I write convincingly about an entire world (vintage fashion) and didn't write me off as chick lit (a term that has long since gone out of fashion in publishing) simply because my novel is set in the world of vintage fashion. He referred me to a few agents he thought would respond well to my work--and, although it's techinically a bit early for me to be querying agents, as I am not quite finished, I went ahead and sent out a query to one of these agents at lunch time the other day--with this big deal editor's name in the subject of the email--and got a response for me to send my manuscript within an hour and a half. Only problem is, I'm not quite finished, so I just sent my 60 page excerpt and hope they don't write me off for wasting their time when I'm still revising the remaining 200 pages. But anway. Now I see that green dot on Facebook--he is online!--and I suppose it is a reminder that I need to hurry up and finish this thing...And maybe go back to the conference in New Orleans in November and have a conversation with him again.
(Just to clarify: my crush is exclusively a literary crush--the big deal editor introduced me to his lovely girlfriend at the conference, also a big deal editor, who is also into vintage fashion...)