Revenge of the Interviewer

Interviewer:  May I come in?

Me:  What are you doing here at my home?

Interviewer:  I didn't like the way things ended during our first meeting, and there's a few things I felt needed to be said.

Me:  And you had to confront me in my home?  If you would have called, I would have come back in.

Interviewer:  Are you going to let me in, or not?

Me:  Sure.

Interviewer:  What are you smiling at?

Me:  I just find it humorous that one of the tips everybody hears about interviewing for a job is to imagine the person your speaking to not wearing any pants on the other side of the desk.  And lo and behold, here you are, not wearing any pants.

Interviewer:  It's a warm day.  Isn't that a Henschel Deerstalker your wearing?  The hat Sherlock Holmes wore.

Me: Yes.

Interviewer: And a Calabash Pipe?

Me:  They help me think when I'm writing.

Interviewer:  Do you have a magnifying glass as well.

Me:  What is it you wanted to say?

Interviewer:  I wanted to point out to you that even though it doesn't require social skills to write a good book, that isn't all there is to becoming a successfully published author.  Landfills are full of worthy manuscripts that have never seen a publishers desk.  Its a cut-throat business and it increasingly takes more than raw talent to break through.  You have to be willing to become a champion for your work.  Pitching both it and yourself to skeptical editors at a steady stream of writers conferences and literary retreats.  Are you capable of schmoozing in order to establish the necessary connections?

Me:  I . . . ah . . . I hadn't --

Interviewer:  You hide in your solitary world because you, in part, abhore rejection.  Well you had better overcome that fear, and fast, because a title wave of negativity is headed your way if you pursue this.  In order to find the one agent that feels the same way about your book as you do, you'll have to wade through a pool of indifference.

Me:  But --

Interviewer:  And if by some quirk of luck you do find representation and land a publishing deal, are you willing to do what it takes to promote the book so it earns back whatever amount the publisher advances you?  Will you sit at that small table inside the tiny bookstore in a city whose name you can't pronounce on a Sunday afternoon for a book signing that nobody shows up for?  Can you do that?

Me:  (Silence)

Interviewer:  You look rather pale.  Do you feel okay?

Me:  I'm not sure.

Interviewer:  I'll be going now.  I've said what needed to be said.

Me:  I guess this means I didn't get the job.


InterviewerOn the contrary, I've read your book and I think there's potential there.  We'd like you to start today.


Me:  Why do I feel like there's a huge BUT coming?


Interviewer:  Once you make a commitment to us you'll basically have no free-time, constant pressure to produce, your work will become our work, and all of that for a salary of zero.


Me:  Can I think about it for a while?


Interviewer:  Isn't that what you've been doing for months now?

Me:  Thanks for coming by...I think.

Interviewer:  There is one more thing though.

Me:  Yes.

Interviewer:  Having an active imagination can be a bitch sometimes, don't you think?

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