Saturday, June 6, 2009

Speaking of Conferences...

I was The SCBWI New Jersey Annual Conference yesterday, and guess who sat next to me at lunch? Editor X! I couldn't believe it. There were like 20 tables and we were given table assignments. What were the chances?

So, she sits down right next to me and of course, I go into panic mode. "Hi, I met you in March," I say. "I sent you THREE NINJA PIGS." "Yes," she replies. "I still have it." No kidding! At this point, I have no idea what to say next. "Um, yeah, um... I am hoping that's a good sign." "Well, I like it. It's a good story, but... the picture book market is very character driven right now. Not sure it's a good time for a fractured fairy tale."

I am completely stumped for a reply. I don't want to ask if she'd like to see something else. Obviously, if she did, she would just tell me. So, I mention that an agent has asked to see it with minor revisions and babble like a lunatic about the conflicting advice I have had from various professionals. Oh, God. She probably hates me now. I feel like I sounded whiny and very negative about the industry. UGHHH! Why couldn't I have just kept my big mouth shut! Leave it to me to turn a great opportunity into a liability.

11 comments:

Yat-Yee said...

I know that feeling, but it probably was not as bad as it feels like to you.

Don't despair.

Kelly H-Y said...

I completely know what you mean ... and, no worries ... I bet you did just fine. It's just hard when you keep replaying it in your head!

Corey Schwartz said...

Thanks, I hope you guys are right!

B.J. Anderson said...

Awwwe. I'm sure you were great! Although, I know what you mean. It seems every time I have an agent interview or something at a conference, I come off sounding like a crazy person. And then later I scold myself. Bleh.

PurpleClover said...

Aww, don't worry. We are our own worst critics. She was probably more worried about what she was saying than what you were.

:)

T. Anne said...

I agree with purple clover we are our own worst critics. Besides self deprecation is becoming right? ;)

Lisa and Laura said...

I'm sure the encounter was a lot worse in your head than it was in reality. And at least now you know where she stands, right? That's WAY better than limbo. And you never know, she still might write and mention that she'd like to see other work. Do not despair!!!

The Book Chook said...

I have a question. What exactly do you understand her to mean by "character-driven"? I mean, I haven't read 3 Ninja Pigs, and I know it's a pb, but I also know you're a great writer and would have developed the characters. If you had to pin it down, what do you think she is looking for? (Besides not a fractured fairy tale).

Corey Schwartz said...

Book Chook, I think she means "Fancy Nancy." Kids have fallen in love with HER. They will buy anything with her picture on it: puzzles, games, dolls... my daughter's friend actually had a Fancy Nancy come to her birthday party.

Hardygirl said...

Whew!

But how serendipitous for her to sit next to you. And, for you to get to talk to her . . . and she didn't say that she wasn't interested in your book . . . she's obviously thinking about it if she still has it AND remembers that she still has it.

She's probably trying to decide whether it's would be worth it to go against the market because your book is such a gem.

sf

J.L. Finnell said...

What a story, Corey! At least you had the guts to speak up. I would have just sat there, sweaty, silent, eating my lasagne, wasting the opportunity to interact with her one-on-one out of sheer terror. I admire your courage!! And at least you found out what was going on with your ms.

p.s. I was at the conference too. Sorry I didn't get to meet you.