Monday, March 9, 2015

Ask an International Guy of Mystery:
Special Writing Conference Advice!

Dear International Guy of Mystery,
I’m thinking of attending a writing conference, but I don’t know if anybody there would be smart enough to recognize the unique genius of my work. If I decide to go, how can I get the most out of it? Besides selling the novel, I was kind of hoping to have sex.
Hesitant from Hillsboro, Oregon

Dear Hesitant,
If your aim is to stand out as a genius, which is something that I have done successfully at various conferences, I’m going to let you in some secrets. The most important word bears repeating: Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!
About two weeks before the event:

1.       Study the website carefully and learn as much as you can about the agents or editors you plan to see. Impress them by saying you know exactly where they live and what their children’s names and ages are and where they go to school.
2.       Stop bathing: A literary genius rarely bathes, and agents know this from experience. Don’t shower, brush your teeth, or change your clothes for at least two weeks. Wear something slovenly and intentionally out of fashion, which says that you are beyond mere fashion.
3.       Carry a hip flask of Southern Comfort and stay tipsy during the conference. Raise your voice whenever an amusing thought occurs to you. Interrupt speakers with disdainful remarks that exhibit your intellectual superiority.
4.       Memorize your pitch, which could be as simple as: This is a book that can make your career, and if you screw up and don’t represent it, you will regret it for the rest of your life.

Item two above may limit your auxiliary goal of having sex with a stranger, but you might encounter a kindred spirit. I suspect that you will easily find each other in the crowd!
  Bon chance, mon ami!

International Guy of Mystery

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