A gift from the department of travel karma
So a funny thing happened on my way to Wiscon. I mentioned that my flight was oversold and I volunteered to go on a later flight, right? The airline gave me a food voucher so I wandered over to the nearest kiosk. As I was standing in line, a woman said, “Mary Robinette Kowal!”
I turned, in some surprise. She looked familiar, but I couldn’t immediately place her so I cleverly said, “Um… yes!”
“I’m [editor]. I just had lunch with your agent.”
My jaw dropped. She’d spotted my name on my luggage tag as we were standing in line. And this, my friends, is a good reason to have a distinctive name.
We realize that we’d actually met at World Fantasy last year and ridden back on the same train. This time we did not have the same destination, so running into her was totally random. She was on her way with her boyfriend to spend the weekend with his family. And then she said, “Your manuscript is one of the ones in my bag. It’s sort of Jane Austeny, isn’t it?”
“Jane Austen with magic!” I said.
“What could go wrong with that combination?”
“Well, lots of things go wrong. Chaos ensues. And then matrimony.”
So the lessons learned today are:
- Volunteer to be bumped
- Distinctive name is good.
- Have the elevator pitch ready.
I mean, now I’ve got a free round-trip ticket from the airline and had the bonus of making a connection with an editor right before she reads my manuscript. I think that’s worth the price of being late to WisCon.