Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Really, Ma'am, I Tell You This for Your Own Good (or, Step Away from the Phone)

This afternoon, my assistant put through a call. Since I trust my assistant, I picked it up even though it hadn't come through my direct line. She knows only to send me agents with queries, not crazies or slush authors.

Alas, she was outwitted on this one occasion.

"I'm calling you on behalf of a literary agent to see if you'd be interested in a particular manuscript," said the caller.

I sniffed a rat immediately. "I'm sorry, what's your name?" I asked.

"*My* name?"

"Yes, *your* name."

"Well." A pause. "My name is Jane Smith."

"Ok, Jane, and you're--"

"The book I'm calling about," Jane jumped in, "is rather unlike anything else out there, so the literary agent suggested I give [Your Company] a call to see if it's a good fit for you. You see, it's a combination of photo essay and personal reflection, telling the author's memoir in an illustrated novelistic fashion."

[Do I need to comment on this pitch? Or its total lack of pitch, rather?]

"Hmm," said I. "At first blush, it doesn't really sound--"

"Well," she butted in again, "the reason I'm calling you is--"

"Jane," I interrupted (two can play this game). "What is the author's name?"

"The *author's* name?"

"Yes, the *author's* name."

"Well." A pause. "I'm the author, but my literary agent told me specifically to call your company, so if you'd hear me out--"

"Ma'am, let me jump in," I jumped in. "I'm afraid this book doesn't sound like anything we could--"

"Well, if you'd hear me out, you'd see that--"

"MA'AM." This time I raised my voice a little. "I'm sorry to interrupt, but I have to run to a meeting." I suffered a brief battle of conscience. Was she lying to me? Had she secured some lying hack of an "agent" who told her to cold-call editors? Or had she invented an agent in order to try to get editors on the phone? I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. "I hope you don't mind one quick word of advice," I said (quick indeed--it was hard to get a word in edgewise; I could hear her trying to break in again on the other end of the line). "If you have a literary agent who is telling you to call houses directly to pitch your book, that agent is doing you an incredible disservice."

"I think not," she said, her voice scaling upwards. "If you had *listened* to me properly you would have heard me say I was calling *on the agent's behalf* to--"

[Note to unpublished authors: does it make sense to you that an agent would ask you to call a press on that agent's behalf? I mean, really? What does the word "agent" mean?]

"Ma'am," I said. "Listen, I'm trying to be helpful here. Any good agent never asks an author to call a press directly--it will only undermine your reputation if your agent is unwilling to make the call him or herself, and will hurt your chances of submitting successfully to that press. Your agent should be the one researching whether the book is appropriate for the company and approaching the editors. Otherwise you're only going to end up having intensely uncomfortable conversations like this one."

"YOU'RE WRONG!" she shouted at me. "I've spoken to companies all morning, and you are THE ONLY PERSON who's been rude to me!"

"Ma'am," I said sadly, for I had not meant to be rude, "I'm not trying to be rude; I like to help authors and I'm trying to give you helpful advice."

"You absolutely ARE rude. You are rude and egotistical and are putting me down as a cheap way of giving yourself a power trip."

"I'm very sorry you feel that way," I said, but she had already hung up.

Humm. The whole conversation bummed me out for the rest of the day. Was I rude? I was direct, definitely, maybe more direct than I normally am (I'm really, really, umm, circuitous usually, especially about rejections). But I'd heard in her voice a franticness that made me afraid she would try to keep me on the phone explaining and re-explaining herself.

Why did I try to talk? Why? Blech. I DID want to give her the benefit of the doubt, and it backfired. Perhaps she had invented the agent, and got hostile with me when she felt like I was about to out her. Or maybe she really has been deluded by one of those fake "agents" who tell authors to approach presses directly (I know about plenty of fake agents, unfortunately, and just as unfortunately, they seem to mobilize and encourage the least focused and most easily excitable authors). In which case, I wish that instead of getting hostile she had bothered to hear me out--I would have been happy to give her some quick editorial advice her pitch if she'd let me finish a sentence.

I wasn't in the least afraid of blogging about this, because I know Jane Smith doesn't read my blog. We've talked about why cold-calling an editor is a terrible idea before, so she would have known I WAS trying to be nice.


Ello said...


Some people just can't be helped. But you know the rest of us all love you and your wonderful advice!

Steve Brezenoff said...

Doesn't sound to me like you were the least bit rude. An argument can be made, in fact, that if the caller actually spoke to other editors that morning and those editors didn't give her the advice you tried valiantly to offer, then they were in fact the rude ones.

That said, maybe she called Editorial Anonymous next. Then she'd get some rude, and it would be delicious. Ooooooh, boy!

Anna Claire said...

I hate conversations like that--they totally ruin your day, even when you did nothing wrong.

You were definitely nice, and it sounds like this woman needs more people who are willing to tell her the honest truth about how things work. Your approach was better (and more helpful) than a hundred "nice" editors subtly blowing her off with empty promises about how they'll read her submission if she'll send it (and get off the effing phone). Good job, EA.

And don't worry. There's so much info out there about the proper way to query that she'll eventually learn. Hopefully.

Stephen Duncan said...

Rude? Pish. You gave her nicer than she deserved. Chin up!

Brian F. said...

Of course, my perception is tainted but, from where I stand, I think your behavior was above and beyond kind.

PurpleClover said...

I'm sorry but you allowed the conversation to go much longer than I probably would have let it.

Even if I thought the editor was being rude (first off I would have never made a call and secondly wouldn't have lied either) why in the world would you shoot yourself in the foot by arguing with an editor?! If you found a great agent that wanted to've now burned that bridge and it's one less place your agent can pitch too.

Good grief.

Anita said...

Your nice gene is a 38 DD. Let it go!

Ha! word verification is nemeno, which translated into some language is ne meno, which further translated means "You are not a meano."

dawtheminstrel said...

Are you kidding? This person bent the rules, expecting to hold you hostage to your own good manners. No, you weren't rude. You were far more patient than I ever would have been.

JES said...

Oh, you weren't rude at all.

Now, in 20-20 hindsight, you might have asked for the agent's name so that you(r assistant) could contact the agent on Jane's behalf and "work out the details" (or something equally vague).

At first blush, though, my guess is that this is like those courtroom stories the punchline to which is, "A person who represents himself in court has a fool for a client."

nightsmusic said...

I agree. I thought you were very patient and, though I can't hear the tone of voice behind the conversation, I doubt you were rude in any way. If anything, the caller took it past rude to mild hysterics, which is so sad. I have to think she'll never get an agent since she's not willing to learn what agents request in submissions.

Frankly, I probably would have hung up on her right after the second time I asked for her name.

verification word: ounda = people like her make one ounda...

Colorado Writer said...

Psycho caller needs to chillax and get a real agent.

MaLanie said...

Wow! That would be akward. I think you handled it very well.

An agent asking the author to cold call is like a Taxi driver saying "Hey, you can drive for awhile, I'll just hang out in the back seat."

I wonder if she works for the IRS? She sounds like one those reps I have been talking with.

Kara said...

Wow. You were definitely far nicer than I would have been!

You weren't rude at all. She was the rude one for first making the call (and obviously misrepresenting herself to your assitant) and then arguing with you when you really tried to give her good advice.

Bradley Robb said...

Speaking from someone on the author's side of the publishing equation, I think I can aptly put myself in the shoes of Jane Smith.

As I wasn't personally on the call, nor do I know the author in question, I can only surmise what she thought or intended. It sounds like Jane was likely frustrated with the task of landing a non-traditional book. Perhaps she has an agent who has given up, perhaps she has an agent who never tried, or perhaps she has no agent at all. Whatever the case may be Jane appears to be attempting to flank the traditional printing process without having to go the self-publishing route.

In the regard, she likely was ecstatic about the chance to get a real life, major publishing editor on the phone for that dream shot of pitching her book to someone with the ability to make it a reality. When you didn't live up to her dream, it's understandable why she got angry.

Mind you, I am not saying what she did was right. At the current moment, the agent-editor relationship is the best means to place some sense of quality control on the publishing world. It's not the most fair or democratic system. It's not the most efficient system. And lord knows it's a system that's woefully against taking chances, but it is a mostly-functional system, albeit a frustrating one at times.

Bradley Robb said...

Damn, hit enter too quickly. I forgot to add, that even knowing all of that, I don't think you were rude at all.

Jane attempted to circumvent the system, and you attempted to correct her. It should have been expected.

Christine said...

It sounds like you're beating yourself up over this. You shouldn't! I thought you handled it in a very kind, professional manner. It was practically saint-like. She sounded like a fibber.

Jane Smith said...

I would just like to point out that it wasn't ME on the other end of that phone line. I am a completely different Jane Smith, and would never, ever, EVER make a phone call like this.

Unless I had some significant dirt on the editor concerned. Then I just might.


(Word verification: querhi. Which seems very appropriate.)

moonrat said...

you guys are all so nice.


(just kidding. the caller's real name wasn't jane smith, i promise.)

Stuart Neville said...

I agree with everyone else. I imagine many editors would have simply humg up the moment they realised what was happening. Definitely not something to vex yourself over.

Daniel W. Powell said...

It seems to me that you were only patient and professional, that is when you could get a word in.


Also, you can write some strong dialogue. That was a fun read (although it had to be a terrifically uncomfortable five or ten minutes).

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

Poor Moonie. Here's a cookie.

moonrat said...

Thanks, Sandra. (Crunch, crunch.)

dark_opus said...

You know, the way this scene plays out, it almost seems a very worthy post for April 1. You didn't hear muffled chuckles going on in the background, did you? Dress rehearsal maybe?

clindsay said...

You weren't rude.

She was an idiot.


Kaytie M. Lee said...

You were a lot nicer to her than I was to the woman trying to get me to switch phone service.

Now I feel a little guilty. But not a lot. :P

Alps said...

Uggh. I'm sorry you had to go through that. On behalf of writers everywhere, I'm sorry some of us are nuts. I think you handled it extremely well.

Bill Peschel said...

Just keep telling yourself that you are not responsible for other people's behavior, just your own.

The woman was not in the right frame of mind to listen to advice. One hopes that she will, eventually, if only because it's incredibly distressing to be in that position, when there are alternatives out there.

I was in a similiar situation years ago. A game designer had sent in a computer game, which I reviewed and rejected. He called and wanted to know a few more details about why I rejected it. After promising that he "was not like the others" and really wanted an unvarnished opinion of his baby, I told him.

That ended as well as your conversation.

Vic said...


What some people will do...

Words fail me...

I mean, it was beautifully handled Moonie. Don't fret. You can't help those who don't want to listen.

But I'm just... speechless. That was so unbelievably rude and stupid of her.

Some people...!

Charles Gramlich said...

how could you have a relationship with someone who starts out so serioiusly misreprenting themselves. I don't know if I could ever really trust this writer. She sounds very frustrated, but her attack posture did not serve her well and is probably part of the difficulty she's had all along.

writtenwyrdd said...

You were NOT rude. I'd have just hung up, myself.

Shannon said...

You weren't rude at all and deserve a cookie of your choice for trying to be so helpful to her. Oh, heck take 2 or 3 cookies (or the whole box if it was one of those days - no one's watching).

Sorry you had to deal with someone being rude to you when you were just trying to help.

Merry Monteleone said...


That wasn't rude at all. She only said you were as a defense to her stupidity. File it under the category of "not my problem" and forget about it.

Or, you know, find a nice St. Joseph's day table and drown your sorrows in home baked cookies.

Just_Me said...

As bad as I feel for dear Jane, I do adore people like her. It makes it easier for someone (like me) who follows the rules to look good.

I encourage all new authors to write in crayon, send out unsolicited material and request the full manuscript back, and to cold call agents and editors as often as possible. :0 )

Maureen McGowan said...

Wow. You were definitely not rude. Whether she made up the agent or not, (I think she did), she hasn't taken any time whatsoever to research the industry she's hoping to be part of.

But I get why it bummed you out. It's horrible to be told you're being rude or mean, especially when you're not.

Laraine Herring said...

No rudeness, Moonrat. I've been teaching creative writing for 15 years. There's an increasing urgency & desperation among the students. Sometimes I fear they're going to beat me up if I don't hand over my agent's name to them & get them in touch w/my editors. People are fearful. They often aren't willing to do the craft work necessary for strong writing. They often believe they are entitled to publication. I could go on and on about a generation of kids.... but then I'd sound really old and possibly as grouchy as Editorial Anonymous. :-) As a teacher, when I have an encounter w/that kind of energy it does bum me out for the rest of the day. I give everything I can to help my students. The best advice I can give: Detach. The really best advice I can give: Have a gooey cookie!

Kim Kasch said...

You were nice to try and help.

Editorial Anonymous said...

Augh! I'm rude and grouchy?!

jimnduncan said...

Calling on behalf of a literary agent? How did they think that would work? WTF were they thinking? I was thinking it had to be a prank call for a minute. Maybe an ebil agent set her up to see how many would fall for it. More than likely, I'm guessing some fly-by-night publishing/editorial 'service' told this woman to give the technique a try. Perhaps the same service that will charge a 'nominal' fee to spam every agent/editor in every known genre with a pitchless 'dear agent' query. I think this one should top the list for 'queryfail.' Care to bet on whether there's an anonymous hate mail in your inbox tomorrow, Moon? Hope you aren't stressing over this. The clueless and deceitful don't deserve your worry.

Tara Maya said...

She was caught in a lie and reacted defensively. Sadly, she probably will continue to self-justify her actions at the expense of learning a thing from the experience.

Now, if you had wanted to REALLy be rude, you would have told her, "We don't publish those kinds of books, but I know the perfect publisher for you. They're called Publish America..."

I know, I know. Two wrongs don't make a right and all that.

Marjorie said...

comment redux:
Some people really don't know how to proactively use the phone to their advantage. I would so much rather call Steve Gruberg and annoy him. And the upside is I get to hear my call live... on TV.

People are so not creative these days. I printed out sets of the first 10 pages of my book and I pass it out on the subway. Now, that's edgy.

A call to a literary agent or an editor is better than a valium. It is just not productive. You will spin your wheels.

Venus Vaughn said...

I gotta tell you, it is not easy as a new author to know what the heck to do.

I started researching the selling of my book before I finished the first one, and have continued research as I finish the second one. I joined a local writing group, I read blogs out the yingyang and I'm still nervous about how to act and react during that first query experience.

I'm not a stupid woman and I'm not afraid to take my time to do something right. Further, I do have some patience, so that helps too.

But imagine the poor newbie writer who doesn't have patience, and hasn't discovered blogs. She's written this "amazing" book that "all of her friends just love" and thinks she's going to make enough to retire, if only someone would publish it. What? You need an agent? Fine. I'll be my own agent. All I need is to talk to the right editor and I will never have to worry about the mortgage again!

It doesn't excuse her rudeness. It doesn't excuse her ignorance. And it certainly doesn't excuse her from not taking the time to listen when you tried to explain to her how things are really done. But hopefully it'll help you understand her desperation and (I can't believe I'm about to say this) forgive her her trespasses.

Chris Eldin said...

OMG! Unbelievable.... You were more than gracious, though I can't imagine how hard it must be when you're talking with someone *real time* to think about how to help them but also back away. Yikes! You handled this brilliantly.

Is there a "Kahonas for Stupid People" store around the corner from where you work? I think these people must stop there first on their way to contacting you...

benreeder said...

Talking to idiots like this is part of my day job. Has been for four years. You did the only thing you could do, and it sounds like you did it admirably. Truth is, you DID do this person a service. Or you tried.

But one thing I've learned is that while you can cure ignorance, you can't fix stupid.

Coping with an idiot like this is hard without perspective. Let me offer you some of mine. I have plenty. Who kows, it could help, or at least you might get a good laugh.

This person started off having a crappy day, and when you didn't magically fix it for them, they wanted you to feel as crappy as they did.

But...and there is always a but... they didn't walk away from that call and cry their eyes out or have an emotional breakdown.

They walked away from it thinking "I screwed THEIR day up, now didn't I? Yeah, I showed them! Their day's gonna SUCK now!", then proceeded to keep on having a crappy day, and making people around them miserable, and may have even kicked their dog.

So, no, you weren't rude. You were probably the nicest person they talked to all day. But if all of this advice and support doesn't work, go kick the assistant who let the call through. That usually works.

Nom de Gare said...

"She was caught in a lie and reacted defensively"
This hits it on the head, I reckon. It's to your credit that you cared enough to worry that you'd been rude.

The myth of the persistent, don't-take-no-for-an-answer self-starter has a lot to answer for. Some authors don't see the line between "pro-active" and "obnoxious" (let alone "crazy"). Plus, they maybe don't realise that most editors are bookish, diplomatic, self-effacing types; we tend to react particularly badly to pushy, self-promotional and/or gauche behaviour...

You shouldn't feel bad. It sounds like you were supremely generous and patient. And absolutely, if she'd read your blog, she'd have known not to take this approach!

Jane Smith said...

Moonrat wrote,

you guys are all so nice.


(just kidding. the caller's real name wasn't jane smith, i promise.)

I think I got away with it this time...!

Joan Mora said...

Moonrat--I sign your petition of niceness. Jane Smith should get a refund on her assertiveness training.

Rachel said...

Hey Moonie,

You weren't rude - you were just doing your job.
My job Before Children was as a lawyer working for for my state's Legal Practitioners Conduct Board - kinda like internal affairs for lawyers. NO ONE liked us - not the lawyers, not the clients who complained about them,not anyone. Lots of aggro phone calls. My very wise boss hired a psychologist to de-brief our team every few months, which was invaluable. Having faith in yourself, anchoring yourself in being unbiased despite what everyone else says, is what you need to do. Hold tight to that, and you'll be fine.

Jackie said...

Wow. That's like something out of "Author Urban Legends."

December/Stacia said...

Sadly, I have heard of at least one agency which purports to be legit, who tells its clients to attend conferences and pitch editors there. Not simply because if you're going to the con anyway you might as well make a personal connection with the editor to whom your agent is submitting, no. They tell them they SHOULD go to the con and pitch because that's the best way to do it.

Did you Google Jane and see if you can find the "agent"'s name? Probably not, because you're more disciplined than me, lol. That's the sort of thing that would occupy lots of my time. :-)

You weren't rude at all. It's hard to put that stuff out of your head, but do try.

Michelle Muto said...


Jeff Carlson said...

That is totally AWESOME! Why didn't I think of self-pitching my concept for comic strip toilet paper directly to editors, thus saving all commissions directly for myself!!! I'm calling RIGHT NOW. :)

Jolie said...

Moonrat! Your generosity of spirit is showing!

But still, I know you know that calling people out on their blunders (even or especially when you're doing it to be helpful) WILL make them feel defensive. I call out my friends all the time, but it's taken years to "train" them into accepting it as tough love and not sheer bitchiness. I understand why it used to upset them. Some of us are better at squashing our defensiveness than others, some of us have acquired the ability to rein it in before it gets going, some of us express it in less unpleasant ways than this caller did. But we still feel it, and too many people don't know what to do with those feelings (i.e. get over them ASAP).

Since this person (whether she had been duped by a scam agent or whether the agent was fictional) is obviously lacking in professional knowledge and common sense ... I can't say I'm surprised by her reaction to your advice. But who knows, maybe when she cooled down she was able to see that you'd given her good advice.

Anonymous said...

I found it rather sad, actually. Regardless of whether it was some scam agent who instructed her to cold call houses or in a desperate ploy to sell her book by going directly to editors. The woman came across as both desperate and pathetic. One has to wonder what is going on in her life to compel such an approach. Again, her attempt was certainly misguided. But then . . . I just feel for her.

moonrat said...

Venus--I'm like you; I'm inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt. She MIGHT have been lying, in which case she's not worth worrying about. But in case she wasn't, I hope she eventually has the mental/emotional distance to think about what I said and maybe take it to heart (well, you know... the piece I got in edgewise).

Kristan said...

Aw, I'm sorry to hear that it bummed you out all day, but I know I would have felt the same. For what it's worth, she sounds fanatic (though I suppose I can't blame her for trying??) and it sounds to me like you were professional and courteous, the latter of which you didn't really HAVE to be.

So don't let it get you down anymore, ok?!

Kerry said...

oh, ack. that made me feel all icky inside, too!

sex scenes at starbucks said...

Sorry Moonie :(

I recently came up against this with a friend, and I had to just sort of brush over it rather than give her real advice. I didn't think she'd receive reality very well.

And after some bad experiences, I NEVER write personal rejections at the magazine any more.

cindy said...

*shakes head*

Ulysses said...

You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din... and you're a woman.

I'd have been rude, and as a Canadian, that doesn't come naturally.

Wordver: nounlous -- a collection of subjects in search of a predicate.

Dara said...

Good. Grief.

Do writers like this actually take the time to do research? I'm guessing not.

Perhaps she was one of those writers who thought that she'd bypass the whole query letter thing because it wasn't working for her. Still, that's not the way to go about it.

And if she's calling companies all morning, you better believe she's probably been put on a list now. She just messed up her chances, at least IMO.

Even if she somehow landed a good publisher, I'd pity anyone who has to work with her, judging by her behavior.

robmerrera said...

It always amazes me how self-centered writers can be -- and this is coming from a writer himself. So many people choose to believe their work is the be-all end-all of books (especially with non-fiction, I'm guessing) and never seem able to grasp the subtle idea that different companies publish different work and that they have many more authors with the same self-centered attitude to deal with, so your own self-centered attitude doesn't help.

Anyway, I don't think you were rude. I think you said what needed to be said. If it was true that she had called other companies and they were not "rude" then their politeness only led her to continue her ploy until she finally was knocked down a few pegs by you.

The lesson I hope writers like her learn from this is: 1) Faking a position you do not understand cannot work (i.e. pretending to be an agent) and 2) Yelling at the person you want to help you also cannot work. Oh, and 3) Do some research. I mean really.

I've vowed to never become like that woman.

writtenwyrdd said...

"I'm inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt. She MIGHT have been lying..."

See? You ARE nice, just saying that! But the thing is, she may have been telling the truth (which I highly doubt given her subsequent behavior and statements) but the fact that this numbwit wouldn't listen to you and tried the squeaky wheel approach to browbeat you. That tells you something: You need an agent to buffer you from this person. And there's an extremely strong likelyhood they are lying.

Casey said...

All I can do is shake my head.

Poor Moon. You were exceedingly nice and helpful.

Anonymous said...

I get calls from telemarketers all the time, and I just politely thank them for calling, say I am not in the market and hang up. No ifs, ands, or whats. That is polite and very to the point. Moreover it saves them time trying to sell to someone who did not ask them to call in the first place, so I am doing them a favor by terminating the call ASAP. It seems to be it would be possible to get rid of someone like that in future without feeling guilty about it.

lizB said...

*shakes head*

Bozos like that are part of the reason unpublished authors have such an uphill battle. If there were fewer crazies out there, perhaps agents and editors would be able to interact with us more without fear of getting stomped on for trying to be not only nice, but honest.

I commend you for trying, at least.

jnantz said...

Next time ask her to meet you somewhere in person. Then, when you see her approaching, throw something shiny into traffic. You'll do yourself and the rest of the gene pool a huge favor.


christine tripp said...

"YOU'RE WRONG!" she shouted at me. "I've spoken to companies all morning, and you are THE ONLY PERSON who's been rude to me!"

Ya gotta love these nuts, first YOU are the right editor and YOURS is the perfect company for this AMAZING new best seller and then the phantom agent told her SPECIFICALLY to contact you... then suddenly she has been on the horn all morning to publishers and your the only one that's been rude!
ACK, she is the next "spammer author" in the making!

WitLiz Today said...

By and large here the advice given to Moonrat has been good support. It's the 'by' part that bothers the hell out of me, and I'm not particularly in the mood to let it go this time.

There are commenters on here that need to stop with the goddam name-calling. Seriously, if your trigger finger shoots instant judgments that easily, based on someone you don't even know, then it's time to rethink your profession as a writer.

Look, I don't know why this writer chose to go the route she did in calling Moonrat. The fact that she used deception to get through to this editor, is a clear sign that boundary issues are a problem. As in, she doesn't have any.

BUT, it doesn't make this writer, a bozo, an idiot, a crazy, a numnut, a kumquat, or whatever.... Troubled, certainly. I think that's pretty clear. And I also think Moonrat handled it as well as she could given the fact that a grenade came flying through her phone line with the greatest of ease. She had zero time to prepare.

But supporting Moonrat while tearing down another writer, makes that kind of support null and void, imho.

So I would exhort those of you who made with the insults, either to refrain from commenting in the future, or learn to post comments that edify, and don't make you look worse than the subject of this whole blog post.

Crimogenic said...

oh that jane smith, tisk tisk!

christine tripp said...

You may have forgotten this little exchange Moonrat posted,

>"You absolutely ARE rude. You are rude and egotistical and are putting me down as a cheap way of giving yourself a power trip."

"I'm very sorry you feel that way," I said, but she had already hung up.<

Now that is NOT a sane person on the other end of the line. I would also add, your giving her too much credit when you call her a writer. Everyone I have ever met seems to think that, because they have any idea at all and can put it down on paper, they are a "writer". To acknowledge their misconception is to make the title of "writer" mean nothing.
Just like anyone can draw stick figures and colour them in a childish fashion with pencil crayon, does not make them an illustrator.
A true writer will make mistakes along the path to publication but they learn from them. Most discover quickly the rules and guidelines for submission (and that it does not include phoning every publisher in the US in a morning) but if one where to actually try to cold call, I am sure they would never scream at the editor, call them names and then hang up on them.
If I give this person the benifit of the doubt as you might want me to, I would have to lump you all into her category, not gonna happen, I know too many nice writers.

>So I would exhort those of you who made with the insults, either to refrain from commenting in the future, or learn to post comments that edify, and don't make you look worse than the subject of this whole blog post.<

Hummmm... (pause for thought)... uh, nope, I've looked worse and besides, I'm not a writer so I still say she is a nut!:)

behlerblog said...

How frightfully eerie. I wonder if she hit you up first and decided to hide behind email to me. Yikes. You have my sympathies.

Laura D said...

In response to WitLiz...Duh! So you're going to generalize just like you told others not to. You say this person is obviously troubled. How do you know? You say they have boundary issues and then postulate that she has NONE. Wow, big generalization there. Pot calling the kettle black anyone?

Jeff said...

One more reason why I'd never want your job.

Kudos for the professionalism though...