Jenny Rae Rappaport
I opened up my gmail account this evening, the one that's connected to this blog, and found that someone (I've got their e-mail address, but won't give it to you), sent me this delightful message.

Jenny: Are you in to literature or just blogging and futzing around. I'm trying to peddle a book. And yes, it would be great to be 26 again. More power to you. [name deleted for privacy]

People that write things like this don't seem to realize that it comes off as rude.

Let's recap, shall we? I have just done five conferences in six weeks. It should have been six conferences in six weeks, but I had to cancel out of one of them because of the double ear infection I picked up. You know, the fun thing where my balance gets thrown off and I get dizzy and nauseous and take antibiotics, while being irritable and unable to concentrate.

So, besides the fact that I've been ill, which is never any fun, I've been mentally and physically exhausted from these conferences. When I go to a conference, it is almost always on the weekend, which means that I'm working six or seven day weeks. And at a conference, I always have to be "on". I'm there as a guest of the conference, so I feel that it's only natural that I put my best face forward and try and interact with as many of the conference attendees as possible.

So after six weeks of conferences, I decided that I would like a break. And so I took one this past week, due to being ill and needing to rest and decompress.

Do I need to tell you guys any of this? Not really. But I'm annoyed that some people don't seem to realize that agents are people too, and like everyone else, we need downtime.

And now, some good news. I hired an intern today. =) I interview another potential one on Monday, so keep your fingers crossed, and I may get to have two!
16 Responses
  1. I should copy that query down. That looks like a great way to get an agent's attention.

    If you're "in to" ticking off prospective agents, anyway...


  2. Kim Says:

    How about if I started my query - "Since you're not too busy, would you read my fiction novel of 300,000 words...?"

    **ducks**

    I surrender! :)


  3. KingM Says:

    What a jerk. It doesn't matter how good that book he/she is trying "peddle," you can tell this person would be a major pain to work with.

    Miss Snark, who blogged an insane amount of posts used to get the suspicious emails, too, from people who insisted she couldn't be an agent because she spent too much time on her blog. Given that most writers manage to write their novels between jobs, families, and everything else that constitute real life, you'd think they know better. We can always find time for something important to us.


  4. Well, let's start with the congratulations for the intern(s).

    As for your message-sender... sounds like you and (s)he wouldn't be a good fit anyway. Why worry about the bad fits when there are good ones to be found?


  5. grrluknow Says:

    Is Mr. Ellsworth still interning for you?


  6. grrluknow, yes, Spencer Ellsworth will still be handling our electronic slush, and is working for us.

    The intern I hired is a local college student, who's very nice, and didn't seem scared of the giant pile of snail mail slush that she'll be helping me go through. =)


  7. Williebee Says:

    Dear Jenny, I've translated War & Peace into Mayan heiroglyphs. Since you aren't up to much more than blogging, would you mind spell checking it for me?

    Congratulations to your new intern. A number of us out here can assure her that she's getting a good gig, in a thoughtful, progressive literary environment.


  8. Xakara Says:

    I know there are peole out there like the one who sent you the message, yet someone I'm always surprised when I hear about them.

    I guess I just thought most people were raised better than that. Or at least smarter than that.

    At least you got a brave new intern. Congrats.


  9. Karen Says:

    On behalf of aspiring writers everywhere, I would like to apologize. All I can think is that he/she was so desperate to stand out from the crowd, he/she didn't realize that can be a Bad Thing.


  10. Kelly Swails Says:

    People are such morons sometimes. What I don't understand is this: if this person obviously doesn't respect the work you do (and blogging is, on some level, work) why on earth would he/she want to you to represent him/her? Even if they wrote a masterpiece your working relationship would be strained from the get-go. Idiots. Go on, cut off your nose to spite your face, I dare ya!


  11. Jill Says:

    Glad you're feeling better. Congratulations on the new intern.


  12. Jenny,

    I was at the Nebula awards. I came down with an ear infection and a wild case of vertigo.


    Was some bug going around or riding up and down 30 floors in the elevator did it?

    Cheryl DuCoin


  13. Alethea Says:

    "Dear Name Deleted -- Yup, I'm just futzing around. Best of luck with your stuff. Enjoy the blog! xox Jenny."


  14. kiwi Says:

    I agree with Williebee, "Congratulations to your new intern. A number of us out here can assure her that she's getting a good gig, in a thoughtful, progressive literary environment."

    As for the "fun message," I guess there is a school of thought out there that says you have to differentiate, push yourself forward, standout, jump the queue etc. Most of this looks like pretty wrapping (and not so pretty wrapping in the case in point). Perhaps more time researching the does and don’t of the industry, and a realization that what will get you published is the quality of your writing and a good dose of patience.

    I think it’s a little harsh to call this person a moron. I agree with Dr. Schweitzer: “The greatest good is to preserve life, to promote life, to raise life to the highest value which it is capable of. The greatest evil is to destroy life, to injure life, to repress life which is capable of development.”

    Whoever, this fellow is, word of advice, think about the response here, learn from it and try again. Don’t give up.


  15. Eileen Says:

    Dear Name Withheld- are you trying to be a professional writer or just futzing around? I'm guessing futzing based on your query. Professioanl writers don't "peddle" anything and they also treat their agents with the respect that their business partner deserve. Futz on my friend- it's where you belong.


  16. Writerious Says:

    Funny -- he says "blogging and futzing around" like its a bad thing.