Two years ago at the L.A. Conference I heard a fantastic editor speak. He was funny, concise, professional and looking for funny boy-books. Perfect! So when I saw Mr. Editor at the conference last year, I figured I’d chat with him. He had seemed nice enough.
I saw him at the hotel pool. I went over and said, “Hello.” He ignored me. Later that day I saw him just before he was going to speak at a breakout session I was heading to. I asked him if he still took “eight sentence query letters via e-mail” like he had said last year. His face turned red and he walked away. Hmm...
During the breakout session he announced his topic. “Conference Etiquette: How NOT to Approach an Editor” Hmm... He looked me straight in the eye (of course I sat front and center). He passed out a list.
1. Never approach an editor during his “downtime.” (Translation: When he’s sunning at the pool.)
2. Never talk to an editor just before he’s about to give a speech. (M’kay.)
3. Never follow an editor to the bathroom and slip your lame-ass manuscript under the stall while he’s doing his business. (Whew! Dodged a bullet on that one.)
So the lesson I learned and am passing on to any of you out there clueless enough to do as I did, is this...Umm, what lesson did I learn? Oh yeah. That’s not the end of the story. Late one night while I was in the hotel bar with Jay (NOT drinking Mojitos, but only milk so we could wake up super early, NOT hung-over, and make it to all the sessions like good little writers), I saw Mr. Editor. He sat and chatted with a few dudes I knew (NOT young, cute, 20-something dudes I had flirted with earlier). One of the dudes told me it would be a good idea to send Mr. Editor a martini. M’kay.
The short of it is...I sent him a pink martini, he came over and thanked me, and apologized for being so rude earlier. Apparently, he suffers from “stage fright” and was so nervous before his speech he couldn’t bear to talk to anyone.
Lesson: If you do annoy an editor at the conference, send him a pink drink when you see him at the bar. Oh, and flirting with cute 20-something dudes doesn’t hurt; somehow it will always work in your favor!