I once compared finding the right critique group to finding a boyfriend. Well, I’m back in the dating scene, but this time I’m serious. That’s right, I’m looking for a husband. I’ve finished my Great American Teen Novel, and I’m searching for an editor to “raise” my offspring with me. It’s much more difficult than one would think. I mean, I can’t settle down with just any editor because my baby needs a daddy. I need someone intelligent, open-minded and dedicated…someone who will love this baby like I do.
But it’s not like editors are hanging out in bars and dance clubs, kickin’ it against the wall just waiting for me to walk by, catch their eyes, flip my hair, and give ‘em that look that says, “Let’s go hit the dance floor and get our freak on.” This dating scene is a little trickier. Instead of trolling the usual singles haunts or the grocery store, we writers have to get a tad more creative. Thanks to the internet, we can find information on websites. We can scour interviews, speeches and web logs gathering bits of information to determine which editors are “husband” material.
But if they’re not chillin’ in dance clubs waiting for us to buy them drinks, shake our booties while singing The Pussycat Dolls’ “Don’t You Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me?” and slip our manuscripts into their pockets at the end of the night, then how will they ever notice US?
I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet an editor in person this past weekend (without having to buy drinks or shake any booty). Cheryl Klein is a wonderfully creative and witty editor at Arthur A. Levine Books. We Disco Mermaids follow her blog religiously, as it is a fantastic peek into an editor’s perspective. And, as an added bonus, the girl is wickedly funny! She gave a presentation in L.A. about the Harry Potter books and dodged five million questions about what’s in Book 7 like Wonder Woman dodging bullets with her cuff bracelets. I was excited to get the 411 on everything “Harry Potter” --way more than any human ever needed to know-- so I could forever kick ass on HP trivia contests with my nephew and sister.
After the speech, I hung out with the brilliant Lisa Yee and the magnificent Gregory K. discussing Lisa’s upcoming SCBWI Conference “Why Bother To Blog?” workshop (where we’ll be special guests!!). They introduced me to Cheryl Klein, who is just as charming and amusing in person as she is on her blog site.
She shook my hand and said, “Oh, Eve. I know you. You’re a Disco Mermaid with Jay and Robin!”
Holy Crap! A dream editor and potential co-parent of my offspring actually knew my name. Now, just like in dating, I realize that an editor knowing my name does not a relationship make. But it’s a step. And I know that my writing must speak for itself.
But at least now I’m a tiny bit past the “Look at me! Look at me!” phase of courting where I have to wear a saucy little outfit and flip my hair and all the rest. Yes, when I submit a manuscript to Cheryl, I’ll still hover in the Slushy Pile like everyone else. But when I emerge from it, maybe she’ll remember me a little and I won’t be just some random chick doing the running-man on the dance floor!