I thought I was the lucky one, finally landing an agent. And then at the first meeting I found myself at odds with her.
"Look, Janet, I don't know what your problem is with EE but..."
She cut me off. "It's not a problem. I don't want to hear you calling it a problem. I just do not think you should be submitting your novel to the Evil Editor." She crossed her arms.
"But why not?" My voice rose in a whine. "The minions will be amazed. It'll make my reputation. They'll comment on my Face-Lift and post messages about me and ..." my own voice dropped a notch, "...even come and read my blog."
Janet shook her head. "Listen, I've dealt with this guy before, I'm telling you."
I crossed my arms and gave her a belligerant look.
She frowned and then leaned forward, dropping her voice. "He'll take your words, that stunning prose you've spent the last ten years writing, and he'll chop it up. He'll take your first words and add random endings to it. He'll scribble fake plots in the margins. He'll add in random story starters to every chapter ending.And that's before he even gets the blue pen out." She shivered.
I tried to argue but she waved her hands in my face and cut me off. "You think it's all a game, a fun little website and a group of you calling yourselves minions - one big joke, huh? Well, ha ha ha." Her face grew ugly. "Evil Editor, he plays for keeps."
I shook my head. "Listen, I think you've been working too hard. He's just a man."
"No." She shuddered and leaned in real close, her final words a whisper. "The truth? He's the owner of Publish America."
"No!" I shouted.
"It's true," she told me, "and once he gets a hold of your manuscript, he'll do everything in his power to stop you. In the end, you'll be so desperate, you'll stop at nothing. You'll..." She shuddered violently as she spat out the words. "You'll self-publish."
"You lie!" Her words echoed behind me as I ran out of the door. I didn't look back but I knew she was standing there, watching me.
And that's how I lost my first agent. And honestly? I'm thinking self-publishing doesn't sound so bad. At least not if Evil Editor will be involved ... or at least touch my manuscript. Who needs agents, anyhow?