Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday scamduzzlery

Let it be noted that there was no coffee in the pot when THE INTERN showed up this morning.

Kindly Editor to INTERN: "Would you mind running up to the fifth floor and borrowing a stapler from Wusiness Beek? Ours just broke and we can't find the other one."

INTERN: "No problem!"

INTERN has never actually been to the necktie-studded environs of the Wusiness Beek office, though she frequently runs into WB editors in the lobby. Putting on her most professional air, she skips up two flights of stairs, pushes through a heavy fire door and arrives in a chrome-and-mahogany receptorium with the words WUSINESS BEEK displayed prominently on the wall.

A young man, presumably an intern himself, is sitting at the desk. Although THE INTERN has never seen this young fellow before, his eyes sparkle with (menace?) (recognition?) when she appears.

INTERN: "Hello there! I come from [publisher redacted]. May we borrow a stapler?"

Nemesis Intern, smiling: "Do you have an inter-office loan form?"

INTERN, flustered: "No. I can run get one, I guess."

INTERN turns around to leave.

Nemesis Intern, producing high quality stapler from a drawer and setting it tantalizingly on the corner of his desk: "That's OK. You can just leave your phone number."

INTERN suddenly gets the impression she is being messed with. But she hasn't had any coffee this morning, so it could just be her mind playing tricks on her. She scrutinizes the young man. He is reclining in his chair in a posture of relaxation and ultimate leisure. His tone of voice suggests flirtation.

INTERN set to destroy.

INTERN, real life: (snatches stapler and runs away).

INTERN, fantasy life: (in perfect femme fatale I'm-gonna-bust-some-heads voice) "Sure. Do you have an inter-office phone number retrieval form?" (takes out battle axe and reduces Nemesis Intern's desk to rubble).

INTERN is now hiding out in the warm bosom of [publisher redacted] hoping Wusiness Beek doesn't send down their goons to retrieve that stapler.

In other news, it's generally a bad idea to hire a "talented illustrator" to make sample illustrations for your book before it's published, or to illustrate your self-published book in the hopes of making it look more professional. 99.9% of the time the illustrations are not what a publisher would have in mind anyway, and it just make everyone feel sad that you spent so much money.


  1. Poor Nemesis intern. He's probably feeling very insecure right now. :)

  2. Awesomely awesome blog. Just read the entire thing, via tip from editorial anonymous.

  3. hilarious! do you suppose they PAY the Wusiness Beek intern??? (and that's how he can afford to be cheeky?)

  4. Hi Intern. Your blog is my new favorite. I'm the anonymous guy from EA's blog. Tell me, do you interns really have the power to request partials and then request fulls without even the agent/editor knowing? Or is it usually that they tell you to request it and you just write the email. So eager to know the truth. Is that your picture there?

  5. Haha, I LOVE your blog! As a FORMER INTERN myself, I can definitely appreciate the stories! Best of luck

  6. Wusiness Beek intern gets paid in neck ties.

  7. I'd brush up on my fatalities if I were you. Do the one where you rip the skin off your face and spit fire out of your skully-jaw mouth.

  8. short review and recommendation of INTERN blog up at

  9. I found you through EA. Love the blog! So funny.

  10. Love your blog! Read it yesterday from top to bottom...I'm adding you to my feed. Your witty writing hooked me. The tidbits of ALL Things Publishing are a juicy bonus.

  11. I've heard this advice about illustrations many times. No axe to grind (I'm not an illustrator and don't know any), but my heart sinks. I can imagine Tolkien with illustrations by people other than the man himself, because I've seen them (the horror). Can't imagine Beatrix Potter illustrated by anyone but B.P. Edward Gorey? Randall Jarrell? It's one thing if such talents are rarely seen because such talents are rare; another, surely, if they're rarely seen because those with such talents are told not to bother submitting.

  12. Good point, Helen. Yet it's true that (from what I've seen) sending in illustrations with your book, if it's not a children's picture book, is generally a faux pas...because the publisher probably has a different vision for it altogether. I think the best way to get around this hangup if you're truly phenomenal (like Beaxtrix Potter), is to send in the writing, then send in the pictures later (once pub has shown interest)?