Friday, July 29, 2005
Report NOT from Reno; Editor/Agent Appointments or the Time Traveling Cuke that resembles Oded
Ah yes, the highlight for many writers at RWA. The editor/agent appointment. Having been on the writer's side of the table many times, I thought I'd imagine a scenario from the editor's side of it. The nightmare pitch.
Writer comes to editor’s little table, smiles politely. Starts talking about how great the hotel is, the bar, and so sorry, she didn’t mean to STALK Editor in the lobby last night, she was just getting a feel for what editor looked like so she could best prepare for her appointment and did Editor know this hotel has simply marvy pina coladas? Editor says very politely that she doesn’t drink and asks writer what she is working on.
Writer: “I have a story about a time traveling cucumber. A woman, who prefers natural relief over battery-operated, keeps this very large green cuke in her fridge. One night as she is fetching it, she notices the cuke bears a distinct impression of Oded Fehr’s face. She says, “Oded!” and suddenly she is transported back in time to ancient Rome where she meets this barbarian in a toga who used to be a Navy Seal, but he traveled back in time. So now he’s a gladiator and he gets into the ring with these big guys who all are converted Christians and they refuse to fight, but the gladiator HAS to fight them or he’ll be slain by the mad hippos that the Romans let loose in the arena…”
Editor: “Hippos? Um, the Romans sent lions into the arena to eat Christians.”
Writer: “Oh yeah, but that is BORING. So I’m changing history. So anyway the Christians run away from the hippos but the Navy Seal barbarian gladiator escapes from the ring and the hippos, who end up eating the Christians…”
Editor: “Hippos are herbivores. They don't eat meat.”
Writer: “Oh? Okay, I can change that. Maybe they just maul them to death. Well then the Navy Seal barbarian gladiator finds the heroine, who is clutching her cucumber and he realizes she’s from the same time period and they get together and start talking about sushi and how they both like to watch the Jerry Springer show.”
Editor: “Um, um, where’s the romance?”
Writer: “With the barbarian gladiator. Oh, and he resembles Russell Crowe.”
Editor (gritting teeth and smiling): “Okay, what about the conflict?”
Writer: “It’s all about a fight over the magical traveling cucumber. See the hero, the barbarian gladiator tries to get it back from the heroine so he can travel back to his day and age because he was on a mission to fight union terrorists in Reno. They’ve taken over the casinos and every time someone gets a triple 7 on a slot machine, the slot machine spews red paint all over their clothing and a programmed voice shrieks, ‘Stop buying imported clothing made in Guatemala! Look for the union label!’
So the heroine and the hero are fighting all over the cucumber, and then they get into bed and have great sex and the heroine realizes she doesn’t need the cucumber anymore, because the hero is much better and besides, no refrigeration needed. Then after sex, they smoke a cigarette and have a snack.”
Editor: “Uh… What happens to the cucumber?”
Writer: “The barbarian eats it.”
Editor (frantically glancing at time keeper and praying the five minutes is up): "Well, it sounds, er, interesting, but we publish only contemporary inspirational romance that do not have any loves scenes and I think…"
Writer: “Oh, but you see, my book is all that! It’s got a heroine who lives in contemporary times before she time travels and then it’s got Christians as well! Virgin Christians!”
Editor: (feeling the beginning of a migraine) “But the hippos eat, er, I mean they maul the Christians to death.”
Writer (looking thoughtful) “You do have a point there. Maybe I can have the hippos spare the Christians after the Christians convert them. I think you should publish this book. It’s got everything and I know if you publish it, I’ll get on the NY Times best-selling list and it’s sure to be nominated for a RITA.”
Editor (looking desperate) “I need a drink.”
Writer (frowning): “I thought you didn’t drink.”
Editor: “I do now.”