Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Our second day in New York!

Our second day in the Big Apple started off a lot more smoothly that the previous morning. With Nancy's friend Bridget's help -- and benefiting from our mistakes of the previous morning -- we even managed to arrive at our appointment half an hour early. Using this unexpected time to fortify ourselves with coffee and a bagel, we made our way to see the third agent on our list. Her literary agency was located on the top floor of an old office building, which was constructed along classic lines, and had been tastefully furnished to make the most of this larger than life old-world style.

The agency we entered was not particularly large, but we knew from our research that it had been doing business in the literary world for nearly thirty years. A young and cheery receptionist showed us into the office of the agency's owner and namesake, offered us coffee or soft drinks, then scampered off to fill our orders. The room we found ourselves in was neat and well arranged, as was the woman behind the large maple desk. She was middle-aged and beautifully turned out, with carefully coiffed hair, perfect make-up, and a tailored suit that displayed her slender frame to excellent advantage.

The woman's manner was pleasant and very self-assured, as if she knew the publishing business inside and out. (Which, it turned out, she did.) After we'd received our soft drinks, she went over the WE INTERRUPT THIS FUNERAL TO BRING YOU BACK pages we'd sent her, then proceeded to suggest a few things here and there which should probably be changed in order for it to better fit the current marketplace. Her critique was delivered in such a matter-of-fact, pleasant manner, that it was much easier to take than the ones put forward by the man we'd met with the previous morning. And the changes she recommended weren't nearly as extreme as his had been. We took copious notes, and left her office confidant that most of the things she'd suggested were reasonable, and well within our abilities to achieve.

Our second and final appointment that day was with a younger woman who seemed to work on her own out of a very small office sandwiched between two restaurants on a busy side street. Although she seemed nice and was easy to talk to, Nanc and I had the distinct feeling that she really didn't "get" our book. It was as if she'd glanced through the pages in too much of a hurry, then jumped to the wrong conclusions. She kept referring to the manuscript as a romantic drama, which left us more than a little baffled. WE INTERRUPT THIS FUNERAL TO BRING YOU BACK, if you'll remember, was about a 76-year-old woman who is erroneously declared dead by a large funeral home, thereby nullifying all her benefits and social security. She has several elderly male friends, but the story hardly classified as a romance! At least in our opinion it didn't.

(Next: Why must everything in this business be so darn hard!)


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