Nathan Bransford, Author


Monday, February 8, 2010

Drop-Ins Not Allowed

This one falls into the "Yes, it needs to be said" category. I know 99% of you wouldn't think of doing this, but hopefully this will reach the other 1%.

We had a bit of an incident the other day here at Curtis Brown San Francisco as someone came to the office wearing sunglasses and a black hat, refused to provide their name, and asked to see me without an appointment.

Now, I don't know whether you would have come out of your office when the receptionist called and said, "There's a guy here wearing sunglasses and a hat and he'd like to see you and I don't know who he is," but I believe my exact quote was "Absolutely not."

Then the person refused to leave for a while. Eventually he gave the receptionist a query and left.

Now, let me be clear: I'm sure this person was just trying to show initiative, probably lives in the area or happened to be here on vacation and was thinking, "Hey, what the heck I'll stop by and maybe make a personal connection." I'm sure it was all completely well-intentioned.

But this is not like other businesses - we don't take drop-in appointments. We also have no way of knowing if someone who shows up at the office unannounced has received one query rejection too many or just thought they'd pound the pavement to show agents they're serious. So we're probably not coming out of the office. I take this stuff pretty seriously.

Save yourself a trip - just send me a query. If I love your work there will be more than enough time to meet in person.






112 comments:

Anissa said...

Wow. Just wow. I wouldn't have come out either. Now if has been a top hat, I might have considered it...nah, still wouldn't. People are nuts.

Jonathon Arntson said...

Gross.

Anissa said...

The real question is: What did you do with that query?

Deniz Kuypers said...

I think the real question is, "Sunglasses in San Francisco?"

Jen said...

Yikes, I would never be so bold... or stupid, whatever you would prefer.

The waiting is frustrating at times, but showing up un-annouonced has the chance of having you be rejected forever rather than just waiting for the opportunity... shame shame

Jen said...

oh and I'm with Anissa on this one! What did you do with the query?

K said...

Oh dear that's creepy as hell. Here's to hoping the crazies stay away. Was it a good query at least?

Melissa said...

Yikes! After that, I can't believe he still left a query. Between you and me, I'd have run it straight through the shredder.

Tiffany Neal said...

Dang it guys...I just wanted a chance. Give me a chance!!!!!

Hahahahaha! I am so sorry, but I can't help but laughing at this. I can picture it my head, right now.

Wait. That gives me an MS idea...

Vacuum Queen said...

Ooh how scary! What would you have done if the query was fantastic? I'm assuming it wasn't.

BTW, I was just thinking your next contest should be to throw out a bunch of facts about a MS and then have the readers make a good query. But then I thought...oh the pain of reading MORE queries for you! ARGH! Ha ha. I don't suppose that'll be the next contest topic. :)

Christi Goddard said...

*cancels plane tickets and rental car*

Dangit, and I thought we had just a good rapport going.

Marilyn Peake said...

It definitely wasn’t me. I have been wearing sunglasses – but only because I’ve been photographing blindingly white snow in my snowed-in neighborhood. And we’re getting more snow! One of my neighbors dubbed this SNOWPOCALYPSE 2010, another dubbed it SNOW-MAGEDDON. Good luck with all your queries.

Layne said...

Nathan: did you read the guys query afterall?

T. Anne said...

I suppose the query would close down the mystery as to who this person was. It's not a tactic I would have chose and perhaps lends to the impulsive nature of this person. Maybe years down the road we'll hear a query story from some author who deeply regrets setting foot into your office to give you a hand delivered query. ;)

I have to say a blog creates a certain amount intimacy in the familial sense. I worked in psych long enough to know it doesn't take much for people to feel intermeshed with one another in inappropriate ways.

Nathan, you've reached celebrity status in the query world. Soon writers will be hunting you down on the street just to have their picture taken with you. Sorry you had a bad experience.

Laurie said...

I could say "only in San Francisco," but I'm afraid that this probably happens in New York publishing houses too. And anywhere else.

Nathan Bransford said...

Re: the query, I only respond to queries that come through the proper channels.

Shelley Sly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Wow. How frightening.
And sad. Probably, the intention of the person was just to get a connection.
But in this scary world, (and with vampires), you have to be invited in.

Anonymous said...

Strange is truer than fiction.

Shelley Sly said...

Even if it was unintended, that's certainly creepy and a definite "no" from an agency. Ouch for them.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Things like this bother me...a lot. *shudder*

Josin L. McQuein said...

I've actually read this as "advice" on a writer's site (it was jumped on pretty quick, but it pops up now and then.)

Some new member will join and make a post about their "secrets' to success with agents/editors. And said secrets are usually along the lines of:

Show up in person (because it's harder to tell someone "no" when they've shown initiative!)

Just call the agent on the phone. (And be persistent when that pesky receptionist won't put you through. Agents are starved for attention and LOVE to have real human interaction!)

Send them a gift (you'll stand out from all those losers just trying to use them!)

Send them a photo - as an attachment (let them see how studious/serious/beautiful/commercial you'll look on the back of a book!)

Attach your whole novel to the email query. (Guidelines mean nothing! They're looking for risk takers, not those too timid to try!)

Email and ask them what they want in a query/submission. (This should come back as a point-by-point bullet list.)

Email everyone at the agency, from 2 accounts (cover your bases and beat those pesky spam filters!)


Yet, with all that advice, the givers of it seldom report any success in their query process. Usually because they're too controversial, too intelligent, ahead of their time, and the agents all hate books and only want to steal their ideas for their established clients to use.

All Adither said...

That's INSANE. He might as well have just pulled on a rubber clown mask for how creepy he came across. Ick.

Limari Colón said...

Scary... Thank God for living on a 100 x 35 miles island.

Andy said...

I'm embarrassed just reading about this.

Also blogger's inability to function reliably with OpenID drives me crazy!!!

Not crazy enough to show up at an agent's office in person though...

Lily Cate said...

What the...?
I thought the briliance of the internet age was the ability to do all the work from home. Why make it more complicated by taking a trip across town/the county/the country?

Elizabeth Rushing said...

What a complete loss of etiquette. What has happened to the ability to follow directions?

Livia said...

I guess I'll have to scrap that plan of getting a window washing scaffold, lowering myself to your office, and pressing my query to your window.

Richard Mabry said...

I'm assuming that you don't consider a query delivered by a man in a black hat and sunglasses as coming through "proper channels." How about a Stetson and a bandana over the lower part of the face? (That's how we do it in Texas).

We can joke about this now, but I know it was a scary moment for you. Thanks for sharing this. I think about twenty of us are already thinking about how to incorporate it into a story.

Anonymous said...

I have to be the devil's advocate. "Not like other businesses" ?? You're right, it's smaller than many, less is at stake.

I'm not defending this doucebag, but how many agents do you know that HONESTLY have been physically assaulted?

I guarantee most industries have higher percentages.

Stop-bys (or drive-bys) happen in EVERY industry only, in others, more is at stake. Employment rejections means someone's kids might not have medical, food, or a house.

Again, not defending this idiot, but come on. Not like other industries?? Most industries don't have this kind of "they'll hurt me!" until you hit single incomes deep into tens to hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

I respect and enjoy your blog immensely. But, I've have seen that compared to industries such as energy, computing, telecommunications, etc... agents in publishing have a touch of... drama.

Having said all this, I agree people are crazy. :)

Nathan Bransford said...

anon-

I'm not saying that this industry is crazier than any other industry. Heck, I never even said this person is crazy.

I just mean that I'm not like a doctor, hair stylist, tanning salon, etc. - agents don't take drop-in appointments. That's what I meant by "not like other industries."

Scott said...

And just when I thought I'd heard it all . . . Geesh!

Deep River said...

Literary agents aren't the only ones who receive awkward vistors.

Back in my old avertising days, we had a gentleman show up at the front desk requesting to see the person in charge of the X auto company account. Namely me. Since our receptionist is isolated and alone (access to the interior is secured by cardscan locks; we handled a lot of banking data), I went down to see him.

Seems he didn't like receiving mail offers and proceeded to share his feelings on the subject with not a little warmth. Sent the receptionist away on a pretense to get a "List Removal Order Form" so she could call the cops.

Kept him busy on the nuances of list management until the cops arrived.

Turned out he was armed with a 9mm gun loaded with hollow points.

One never knows.

Deaf Indian Muslim Anarchist! said...

"I WILL NOT BE IGNORED, DAN!!!!"

-Fatal Attraction

Anonymous said...

Question:
Would a person dropping by to inquire about employment positions (preferably with an ID and not wearing a dark hat and sunglasses) be also alarming?
Many office buildings in my area now require that people sign in and identify themselves and their car on the main floor when they come in and sign out when they leave. If they don't have an appointment and it's not a drop in kind of business,
they don't make it to the elevators.
Likewise, you can't even take a purse into the football stadium anymore. It's a different world.
Sadly, because you are so popular, do you worry about crazies at writers' conferences too? That would be a loss for those of us who look forward to meeting you and your kind of book pros in the proper ways.

Anonymous said...

OMG, Deep River! That is scary stuff!

Nathan Bransford said...

anon@2:25-

I'd also prefer that someone inquiring about employment just inquired via e-mail. I know there are some old-school ideas about showing up in person, but as you say I think attitudes have changed.

I'm definitely, definitely not worried about conferences about anything like that. I'm really not paranoid - like I said, I think this person was just well-intentioned but maybe wasn't thinking through how it would come across.

And Deep River, wow, that's terrifying.

GalaktioNova said...

Oh my, you're in a dangerous business!

Holly said...

Next time, I would call the police.

If you ask somebody to leave, and they won't, and you don't know who they are, that's why we pay taxes for police departments.

Karen Schwabach said...

Laurie--
NYC publishing houses have major security. I've assumed this is to prevent just this sort of situation.

Tina Lynn said...

Okay, so I understand the whole "taking the initiative" thing. It might be a rookie mistake, but an understandable one. What I DON'T get is the hat and sunglasses. I mean, why?

Christi Goddard said...

I work in the insurance industry, and we have a secured building, but still people come into the parking lot and break our windows. We have even had employees run down in the parking lot, and a couple of months ago, someone tried to shoot my coworker in the parking lot, but shot out the window of the car behind her.

Marsha Sigman said...

Am I the only one that feels a little sorry for the Receptionist? She's like on the front line of the war against crazy.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Nathan, didn't mean to imply you said he was crazy. I was jokingly agreeing to someone else.

I think that the economy's stability is inversely proportional to the number of desperate measures people are willing to do.

I feel sorry for those who resort to such deeds. Not giving his name? That is odd.

Watch, some day down the road, the next John Grisham will tell the story of how he was in your office with sunglasses and a dark hat.

:)

Laura Martone said...

That's just creepy, Nathan. For the record, I wouldn't have emerged from the office either - unless, of course, my secretary was in danger from the crazed queryer.

But, on a positive note, my beloved Saints won! They freakin' won! Oh, if only you all could've been in the French Quarter last night - it was incredible!!!!

Okay, I'm done... for now. :-)

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

wow. scary for you. and sad for the poor guy who didn't know proper etiquette.

Victoria said...

Boggles the mind. I imagine this stalker will eventually head back to the blog - I mean he/she would have to be a blog lurker, wouldn't they? - and then will find out how seriously uncool that was. There's no excuse for that behaviour in the era of casual shootings.

Bane of Anubis said...

Yes, but what if sunglass, black hat man gave himself the name Omri Casspi?

Susan Quinn said...

Man, that's creepy.

It's hard when 99% of people are sane...you're not really expecting the strangeness to find you. :(

Anonymous said...

A few years ago, we helped our (very sweet, clean-cut looking) daughter get a stack of resumes with her picture on it and sent her to a bunch of professional office buildings to politely leave her resume hoping to find a secretarial position. A lot of the places she went to really liked her approach and complimented her and a few had wanted/needed secretarial help that they hadn't gotten around to advertising for.
She heard from none of the e-mails she sent out, only from the ones she personally dropped off resumes with.
I am wondering, if we should counsel her that this approach is no longer a good idea in the future?
We no longer answer the door to strangers either. Maybe its just become an antiquated custom.

Matt said...

Good thing you stayed in your office. It could have been worse, you could have been in the men's room. It's happened. Please don't think I'm shamelessly plugging my own blog with my first ever comment here, but you might find this account amusing. My friend Joe did exactly the same thing. Against my advice, of course.

http://pensivesarcasm.blogspot.com/2009/10/still-looking-for-agent-did-you-try.html

I wish I knew how to hyperlink in comments.

Christi Goddard said...

Did you look at the name? It could have been Michael Chabon incognito.

JustineDell said...

Okay, that's just scary.

Note to self...don't go mass murderer type on an agent. Got it!

I've seen people do the same thing with resumes, but they always say their name. That was the creepy part for me.

Brandon said...

Creepers.

Steve Fuller said...

Why are you guys freaking out so much about this? Some of the comments are cracking me up with the drama. Why is it so unreasonable?

Nathan has his rules, so I have no problem with him saying no. We are all allowed to define how we interact with others, especially at work.

But seriously, the dude was just trying to take some initiative. You are all acting like he had a bomb strapped to his stomach.

I agree with anonymous from 2:14.
I am a professor who hands out my fair share of F's, but my office door is always open. My fiance is a foreclosure lawyer. Now THAT is some scary stuff when you take away someone's home, but no one is trying to kill her. You guys have read/written too many murder mysteries to think authors are going around attacking literary agents.

I am now picturing Nathan (in his orange shirt) escaping through an office window while his secretary distracts the mystery man. Run, Nathan, run! :-)

D. G. Hudson said...

It's a sad fact that we must be on our guard in these types of situations. Too many people these days won't take no for an answer, and too many people can be armed.

Frisco used to be a laid back place, where one could be unique in approach. I would agree that the unknown author probably just wanted to take a chance on meeting you. After all, Nathan, you remain more approachable than many other agents. A lot of would-be writers just want to jump the turnstile and move up in the slushpile. It's good to know what to avoid.

Nathan Bransford said...

matt-

Yeah.... sorry, I don't believe that story, or at least that it led to anything other than a "craziest person who tried to pitch to me" story for the agent.

Deep River said...

It was only scary after the cops took the nutter outside and found the weapon. Up to that point I found the interview mildly amusing (but politely laughed on the inside).

This was also at the start of the web boom, (Netscape still had 95% marketshare), so my mug wasn't plastered all over the internet. Blogs didn't exist and modems connected at 28.8k.

The point is that I went to see this cat because (1) I didn't know what he wanted and (2) I didn't want to leave our receptionist alone to deal with him. I never dreamed of any personal danger.

Back then anonymity protected me. That day is long gone.

Loss of anonymity is one of the fundamental changes in our society enacted by internet connectivity, social networking, and whatnot. The need to be highly visible - authors, agents, Realtors, salespeople, public officals, etc - exposes us to new risks. We must be conscious of this.

Had Nathan's visitor been a nutter like mine, the visitor could have perpetrated an outrage without warning... had Nathan gone to see him.

Back then, dealing with my nutter in person was the right thing to do, if only to allow our receptionist to retreat, so to speak. Nowadays, the receptionst must be the shield.

Nathan and other agents are correct to insist on no univited visits. It's not just an issue of polite respect for another's time... it's an issue of safety.

Who is Felicia? said...

Drop in = minor annoyance. Refusing to give his name, hiding behind sunglasses, not leaving when asked = seriously disrespectful.

The word verification (captcha) I was required to type to post this comment was "wizedumm."

Adam said...

Wait... you get thousands of queries, and 1% of them are potentially crazy? That's still a few dozen a year!

You should invest in some security. Or bodyguards.

Or maybe a double...

goldchevy said...

Sorry I keep comparing your profession to teaching but it reminds me of the times I've had parents show up at my classroom door and demand to talk to me even though it's obvious I'm in the middle of teaching 35 15-year-olds, and I can't exactly just leave them to their own devices to have a nice little chat about somebody's grade. I think people just get really desperate and don't see the repercussions of their actions.

Jille said...

"I'm sure it was all completely well-intentioned"
Nathan you are very generous. I don't think anyone wearing that get-up could possibly have anything but shady intentions.

Nick said...

Aww, and here I was hoping to sneak into your office in the middle of the night wearing a black gi and surprise you with monkeys trained to make hot chocolate.

DebraLSchubert said...

I'm just glad you and your receptionist are alright. You can never be too safe these days. Plus, anyone serious about their writing career knows better. If you do even the slightest bit of research on how to query agents, you find out quickly that "unannounced drop-ins" are never permitted. (Or, like the old SNL skit goes, "Bad Idea Jeans!") Obviously, he knew he was doing something wrong, or he would have come clean (i.e., taken off the shades) and given his name.

Colette said...

There's nothing special about the publishing business in this respect - most businesses would not take a drop in appointment like that. The only difference is that in many other businesses there would have been a security guard called to escort the visitor out of the building.

T.R. Patterson said...

yikes that is not good at all...

there are other, less creepy ways to show initiative ( if that is what this person was going for )

Proper channels are there for a reason... could you imagine if all of your queries came in person... you would never get anything done... sheesh.

Angie Muresan said...

You might need to buy yourself a gun. It could be a stalker.

lotusgirl said...

It seems like if it was innocent he'd have given a name. Creepy.

Julie Roads said...

The sad thing is, if he had dressed up nice and given his name and acted normal, you might have come out, right? Even if it wasn't 'how it's done.'

And, I've always thought we (writers) were more inclined to hang ourselves as the result of too many rejection letter, not go postal.

Matt said...

Nathan,

The story is true. But no, quite obviously, the agent didn't sign the guy. It was a few months ago. I never updated it.

wendy said...

Oh, the poor guy. He's no more scary than the American Idol contestants who want to go to Hollywood so desparately. Some are difficult to eject from the room after an interview. They want to argue their case and beg for another chance. He was just trying to get on.

If I wasn't a shy person, I'd love to drop by just to meet you, Nathan. But never fear, I live on the other side of the world. *g* However if your secretary announces one day that a woman is waiting outside with freshy baked blueberry muffins, you'll know who it is. :D

Terry Burns said...

I can go you one better - I had a guy come here to the house and knock on my door. I asked him in what universe he thought that was a good idea as I did my best to keep my Brittany Spaniel from chewing his leg off.

abc said...

This sounds like a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode. Except Larry would have had many a painful run in with the person.

Kaitlyne said...

Okay, that's scary. I'm glad everything turned out okay, but that's still freaky. Especially given that he wouldn't tell his name.

J.J. Bennett said...

Wow... I just can't imagine!

Nathan Bransford said...

I should clarify that he did eventually give his name with the query. And again, I really do think it was well-intentioned. Just not the way to make a first impression.

Tracy Hahn-Burkett said...

I used to work for a U.S. senator. I was in the D.C. office and we didn't get this sort of thing much, but the state offices did. Without question, a guy who walked in wearing dark glasses who refused to give his name and then refused to leave would have been escorted out by the police. (There was a panic button under the receptionist's desk.) Seriously, in today's world, you never know what's really going on when something like this happens.

And hey, this is starting to look like a writing prompt. Hmm . . .

Arabella said...

I haven't read all blog comments, so maybe somebody's already mentioned this, but I have to stand up for this guy. It's not as if he went to your house. He went to a place of business. And he left a query, not a bomb. All you had to do (and probably did do) was throw it in the trash. Hand delivering a query is very much like sending it snail mail, so his biggest fault was not reading your guidelines.

Deep River said...

@Arabella: Normal people who might hand deliver a query would provide a name, stae his/her business, an allow the receptionist tosee his/her face. All would have been well.

This joker decided to act like a bank robber.

ella144 said...

I completely understand not wanting to come out and engage with this person, but I have to ask . . .

what about the receptionist? You just left him to deal with it? I hope he wasn't alone with the creepy visitor.

(sorry, but I've been in that position before and it's not good to be the receptionist saying, "Dude, he's not coming out to talk to you. Ever.") Creepies don't take that news well.

Other Lisa said...

This reminds me of when I worked at the film studio, and a guy tried to drive onto the lot in his old American beater sedan, because he had a very special screenplay and wanted to give it to the studio president personally.

I was in a really crappy mood that day, and I just shouted out something like, "Do you really think you're gonna get discovered this way?!" And the guy beams at me and says, "It could happen!!!"

Kristin Laughtin said...

Well-intentioned or not, why didn't he think to just add a ski mask to complete the bank robber ensemble?

m clement hall said...

I think most persons who conduct a professional office would have made the same decision. When an unknown presents with the clear intention of being confrontational, don't confront him. Hard on the receptionist, but she has to handle it.

Tricia said...

It wasn't me ... Just sayin'

Emily Ashton said...

Just wanted to add a different point of view. Wonder what the guy is telling his friends/family/blog readers right now?

"Well, I went down there and stood my ground. That secretary wanted my name and I just refused to give it to her. I would have waited longer, but I decided they would remember me so I gave them my query and left... I am sure he'll be calling in a few days... maybe sooner..."

Lorelei Armstrong said...

One manager/producer I visited when I lived in L.A. (I had an appointment, honest!) had an unmarked office, no windows in front, nothing but a keypad on the wall beside the door. Don't know the day's Secret Number? You won't be coming in.

Sissy said...

I actually wondered what the policy was if I was ever in the area! Of course, I live in North Carolina, so the chances of me being in California are slim!

howdidyougetthere said...

God! I hope Nathan doesn't see the Guinness I spilled on my white shirt during my Get Psyched Power lunch...or the whiskey, or the amaretto and coffee.

Better keep this coat on....hope my eyes aren't red from the cigar smoke. I'll just keep these dark glasses on, just in case...

God, I have the best friends in the world, they said my query letter ROCKS! Now I KNOW Nathan will be excited when he sees it...I'm sure he'll be out any minute...ZZZzzzzzz

Brian Crawford said...

Thanks for sharing; I wondered how often that happened.
I live in the area but would never consider doing that. Now, putting my query in a parking ticket envelope and placing it on your windshield, on the other hand…

Anonymous said...

I think that privacy vs platform is an interesting topic and would appreciate more blog posts around these.

Have been thinking a lot about the writers who choose to keep their privacy, such as Salinger and Pynchon and those who are all out twittering hither-nither.

I have very mixed feelings about the personal publicity writers are encouraged to develop, even agents.
It seems like we are auditioning for "America's Next SuperWriter" and the fifteen minutes of fame required.

I see a LOT of agents do not put their pictures out. And even fewer put out pictures of their families or pets (although some–Miss Snark remembered fondly–only put out pictures of pets or were those decoys??) I enjoy them. The photos do connect people. But then where is privacy given a boundary?

P.A.Brown said...

Probably harmless, but scary nonetheless.

Inkjunkie said...

That is terrifying. It gave me goosebumps!

Nathan Bransford said...

anon4:41-

I agree, it is an interesting topic and one I've thought a lot about as well. It's not something I ever really anticipated or thought about when I started the blog. I'm mainly content to sacrifice privacy to raise my profile as it seems necessary to me from a career perspective, but at the same time it does come with drawbacks and exposes you somewhat. And since authors are now expected to really put themselves out there it's almost a decision that's made for them.

Maybe a discussion for the forums?

Robert McClellan said...

But I thought we were FACEBOOK FRIENDS! Didn't you recognize me? I wore the sunglasses in my avatar.

Deep River said...

@ anon4:41

I agree, which is why posthumous publishing has grown so appealing to me. It avoids all of the hullabaloo.

ryan field said...

He should have tried this with Lucianne Goldberg :-)

Kay said...

Oh my God.

I wouldn't have come out of my office either. I do collections for my employer, and I'm always fearful someone's going to show up at my work with shotgun in-hand ready to put a halt to my calling them (permanently) for payments.

Super scary.

tjpfau said...

Anon. 4:41 makes a good point which gives rise to another.

There is no farm-team for writers.
The pulps are gone, more and more, it's super-stardom or hobby writing. All or nothing usually loses.

Blogs like yours sell hope, Nathan.

I'll say up front that I approve of that. The odds against a first-time novelist are daunting and encouragement is not easy to find. You deliver it daily and most of us know that we are playing in a game with lottery level odds.

But there are more and more people who live inside their own heads, 24/7. Some of them write and that can be an especially solitary occupation. They don't have anchors in their lives to keep them grounded.

For such people, hope dashed is contrary to everything they believe, passionately and wrongly, is true.

That can be dangerous for themselves and others depending on who they decide to blame.

Please don't let them deter you, but use appropriate caution.

Jemi Fraser said...

Yikes! Little scary. Hopefully unintentionally, but def a little scary.

Stephanie said...

Um. WOW. Can we say desperate? I bet he doesn't have a girlfriend either.

Sara McClung ♥ said...

okay that's soooo creepy!

JTShea said...

Sorry, Nathan. The Devil made me do it. Seriously, it could have been the ghost of J. D. Salinger. Or Winston Churchill. More seriously, you could put on dark sunglasses and a hat and stalk the address in the query.

Ben-M said...

Only bad guys wear black hats.

Andrea Franco-Cook said...

It takes all kinds of people to make the world go round.

Anonymous said...

You mean we can't hide in the bushes outside your front door, either? Dang!

Corey Schwartz said...

Wow! I would never even drop in on my own agent without an appointment.

jongibbs said...

Was he carrying a violin case? ;)

lora96 said...

Oooh. Hi My name is Creepy McTerrorist would you like to read my query? Or just, um, swab it for explosives?

The Polar Princess said...

I have to agree with Nathan about publishing not being like other businesses. Editors (and agents, apparently!) have to be concerned because there are writers out there who consider a simple 'no thanks' rejection to be a judgment of their worth as a human being. Unfortunately, some people take rejection and editorial advice as personal attacks. Thank heavens these folks are a minority!

june said...

This just confirms my suspicions that there are crazy people out there that seem particularly drawn to literary endeavors for some odd reason. I'm sure the slush pile is evidence of that.

amy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nathan Bransford said...

Hey everyone, I really appreciate a lot of the sentiments and points of discussion expressed here, but I'm going to close the thread. It was never my intent to question this person's character or drag this person through the mud, even anonymously, and I feel like the comments are getting harsh.

For the record, again, I really think this person was well-intentioned and just thought they'd give it their all with an in-person meeting. Hopefully this post provides a glimpse into how it looks from the other side of the phone. But let's not get overboard - it's ultimately not that big a deal.

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