Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cunning Stupidity Strikes Again!

I find a message on my voice mail from someone "representing" a manuscript. In faith and courtesy, I return that call, only to discover that the manuscript was written by the caller.

In short: This person has deliberately deceived the editor they'd like to work with, in a way that is then immediately revealed to the editor.

What exactly do you suppose is my reaction?
((To those people (who I suspect will never see this blog), I ask:
Do you ever justify saying something because you perceive it as "sort of" the truth?
Do you think that counts if the person you say it to perceives it as completely a lie?
If lying to people to get what you want (eg, a call-back) is is worth it, is it worth it if it means you won't ever get anything else?))
Well, I'll tell you: While on the phone, I'll be perfectly pleasant, because I've had enough of being yelled at by defensive, petulant strangers as I ever care to. (And that's what you get when you call dipshits on their mistakes, fyi.) But no matter how fantastic your manuscript is, I will never, not ever, work with you.

There's just nothing as bad as a devious imbecile.


Vacuum Queen said...

I LOVE the way you let loose here. I say you should put those goobers through some sort of hoop just for your entertainment (as if you had the time). You know..."I LOVE your ms. If you reworked chapters 1-12 I'd consider signing you" type of busy work. And then when they get it done, find some sort of "I'm sorry, I only represent the genius agent you want to work for, but I'm not actually her." Click.

I'm sure you can think of better...but it would be fun.

MitMoi said...

The more I hear about these tactics - the more I want to go stab the "gurus" who tell people to be "audacious"n, "dream big", "don't accept no", and "be creative".

Do that on your OWN time, not when you're trying to get a job. Or agent, or editor, or publishing contract.

I don't want to do business with you - and I SURE as heck don't want you doing business with my clients. If you'll use these tactics for "good" ... what's left for "bad"?

wv: adjjoute - French for idiot

Anonymous said...

EA, you mean you answer your own phone?? Someone left a message and you CALLED THEM BACK?

Don't you have, like, people to do that for you? An intern or something, as discussed a few posts down?

EA, down-to-earth-and-willing-to-believe-at-heart, snap out of it. Wait, sign me up for a three book deal, and THEN snap out of it. :)

Jo Treggiari said...

Boy, what a waste of your time!

Glynis Peters said...

How rude of them. I think you must get really fed up of callers like that.
I do like Vacuum Queen's answer :)

green_knight said...

MitMoi hits the nail on the head - 'don't follow the rules' etc - these things might work for some, but they sure as hell make life harder for the rest of us who would like to come across as professional and make it as easy as possible for editors to want to work with us.

Sigh. Blogger informs me that I have flagged this blog for objectionable content. I certainly did not. I *would* like to flag it for helpful and interesting content, but that option isn't given. I'm trying to get that flag removed, but so far haven't been able to work out how, and blogger has, in the past, been singularily unhelpful in sorting anything at all. Sorry about that.

Sam said...

Maybe she was using the term "representing" in the hip-hop sense.

Steve Brezenoff said...

Was it Jane Smith?

Brenda said...

So funny! Perhaps the writer had read The School Story and was trying to live that out in real life.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Lack of ethics strikes again.

*sigh* At least now you know one name of a lying imbecile. Sounds sort of like the Darwin Awards for publishing. How stupid can you be while getting yourself blackballed?

Trixie said...

Is it these kind of calls that keep you away from the blog? It's outrageous and egregious.

Wilkie said...

I agree with MitMoi, although I think that one can "dream big" and "be creative" WITHOUT being deceitful. Perhaps the problem is with people interpreting 'dreaming big' and 'being creative' to mean making any rules they want, regardless of consideration of the other party or how their actions will reflect on themselves.

shell said...

Sigh . Maybe it was this deluded soul's version of a salesman doing whatever he can to 'get his foot in the door.' Forgot that lying is not the best way to do that.

suzie townsend said...

People are so ridiculous!

Adam Heine said...

Western culture has this weird thing that if the words out of our mouth are technically true, then we are being honest. It's a lie we tell ourselves all the time.

The truth is anytime we intentionally allow someone to believe something untrue, we are lying.

Lynne Kelly said...

This reminds me of people who call my relative who works in a bookstore and claim to be a "publicist" for an author. They'll ask her to order many copies of a certain book for a book tour or something, and after she asks them a few questions she figures out they have no idea what they're talking about, and that they are actually not a publicist but a self-published author trying to get her to stock their books.

moonrat said...

oh my god, this reminds me of an episode from a couple months ago in my life. although the person told me she was "represented by an agent" on the phone and then when i pushed and asked who she got all blustery, started yelling at me, and told me i was rude. riiiight. because THAT's going to be the start of a good author-editor relationship.

Joanna said...

Um, I'm an agent and writers have tried to woo me with calls and letters from their "representation."

I don't usually use this, but...WTF??

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