It’s 5:40am. It’s 5:40am on Saturday, actually, and I am still alive because yesterday, at the Philadelphia Writer’s Conference, I managed to not have a heart attack.
According to one PWC board member, agent meetings are a bit like speed dating. You sign up, huddle in a corner where you commiserate with other hopefuls (or huddle in the corner, cower in the bathroom and finally cross the street to bask in the Quakerness of the local meeting house and tell yourself to get a grip, which is what I did) and wait for the moderator to call you from the holding tank into the hot seat.
Having failed miserably the one and only time I went speed dating, the little room of numbered tables brought back a slew of unpleasant memories (namely my flat mate and eventual ex-boyfriend getting way more phone numbers that me) but suddenly it was 2:30: my turn to do my thing.
I met with two agents. The first was young and bubbly and so enthusiastic about my pitch that it wasn’t until halfway through my five minutes that I realized I hadn’t even mentioned the book’s title. Oops. But she wants the see the manuscript—all 88,000 words of it.
The second was the Judge Judy of literary agents: super smart but not exactly soft and cuddly. Upon finding out that I’m from Sou’ Philly (did I really just say that?) she spent three of our allotted five minutes talking about her favorite Italian deli. And one does not interrupt Judge Judy… so I just smiled and tried to say witty things about cold cuts and provolone cheese but food writing isn’t really my specialty. Not yet at least. Eventually I managed to spit out the title of my manuscript, and eventually she asked me to send her the first three chapters, the synopsis and my credentials as a writer.
So yes, the new bag, the matching wallet, the red high heels and my lucky red knickers did the trick. The icing on the cake is that I also talked to an editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer and he invited me to call him next week about an internship (and the cherry on the top of that icing is that received a call from the human resources department at an organization I would very much like to work for, inviting me for an interview on Monday).
It would seem that my days in retail are numbered. Thank God! But I still have plenty of Stupid Sally stories to tell so I’ll be sure to post those as soon as possible (in the meantime, for those inquiring minds who want to know: he from The Shop of the cool glasses and intelligent speech abilities is actually married. Perhaps I should have begun my investigative efforts with his left hand—the very-much-not-empty-ring-finger of his left hand to be precise—instead of his employee file. Oh well. My new goal in life is to date a travel writer. And to be a travel writer, actually).