Early on in our LifeBytes project, Mariann and I attended the International Women’s Writing Guild (IWWG) weekend writing conference. Sunday afternoon featured a “meet the agents” session. Mare and I attended, eagerly clutching our book proposal, ready to sell our idea to a literary agent. We were, and still are, enamored of our anthology concept and excited to offer it to an agent for representation. After all, how could they not LOVE this idea.
We made our way to the hall where the agents had set up tables. We had approximately four minutes to pitch our proposal to each agent, and we had about three that we’d targeted as being good agents for us. We thought we’d sail in there, make out pitches and chill out over a glass of wine while the bidding war waged on. HA.
First, there were hundreds of women on line to pitch various agents. Apparently ALL of them had stellar books to propose (of course, ours is better…:). So, we queued up on a line. By the time we got to our first agent “Lucy Litqueen” our feet hurt, but we were undaunted…history was about to be made. We began our pitch.
“True stories about the ups and downs of online dating. Like Chicken Soup for the Soul, but without all the touchy-feely stuff. More real-life stories. Fun, Exciting. Sexy. Playful.”
Lucy put her hand up, raised her head slightly, and waved said hand in a limp-wristed imitation of the Queen’s Royal Wave.
“Hmm, anthologies are hard to sell. But there is one coming out that seems to be good. It’s about…”
Mare and I glanced at each other…about singles? Dating? Something akin to our exciting romp in the online dating world??
“BULIMIA. Do you have any stories in there like that? Eating disorders are very big these days. OH…and do you have any stories by celebrities??”
And thus began our long and continuing trek through the land of literary agents.
We did, that evening, chill out to a glass or two of wine. Although instead of pondering the results of a bidding war we ended up laughing hysterically at the pitch letters we could send to celebrities, asking for submissions:
Dear Obscenely Skinny, Single Movie Star,
We understand from the National Enquirer, that you are bulimic AND suddenly single again after a long 3 week marriage. We were quite thrilled to hear this as we are editing an anthology about bulimic online daters! We don’t know if you’re actually dating online or just having your agent pimp you out to single Hollywood, but you are Bulimic and that’s half the battle! If you are interested in contributing a story to our book, we’d set you up with a Match.com account so you could start compiling some skinny-ass dating stories. We could even get Snooki Polizzi from “The Jersey Shore” to ghost-write it for you. We heard that she wrote her book “all by herself” you know ;).
To this day Mariann and I are still at a loss as to what the connection between a book that’s “Fun, Exciting. Sexy. Playful” is to Bulimia – but you can’t say we don’t have a sense of humor about it.