I had the best time on Friday night at the agent’s party. Goatee booked us into a room at the Caledonian Hotel in Edinburgh. It is such a gorgeous hotel. We had been upgraded to a suite; a suite with a bedroom so huge I could have parked a Smart car in it.
The Caledonian used to be attached to a rail station — when railways were grand architectural works. The place has so many of its original features, and there was this big grand staircase that made me feel like I was ascending and descending into a time warp.
The party was at the agent’s house in Morningside. A giant old Victorian that had been refurbished into an open style plan, but it still had all its old features. The host provided staff with drinks on trays and hors d’oeuvres, and there was soft jazz playing in the background. But it wasn’t the house or the nibbles that made the evening great, it was the people.
A point was made that the weather kept a lot of people away, but – as far as I was concerned – the best people were there. Without name dropping, there were authors I studied in school, there were founders of publishing companies, editors of major magazines, screenwriters, publicists, and even one film star. I spent the first hour with my mouth open, nudging Goatee.
As usual, he was incredibly gracious, introduced me to everyone, and didn’t even tell them that I was the intern. He simply introduced me by name and said that I was his ‘Associate’ at MNM. A few people enquired on my relationship with Goatee, and it was all very civilised. No one snickered, and no one made ‘pen in the company ink’ jokes. This is the best profession.
MyAuthor was there. She gave me a big hug like we were old friends, then she took me around and introduced me to everyone that Goatee had missed. I was being kind of shy, when she whispered in my ear, ‘You’ll need a job in a few months. This is how you find one. Learn to network.’
So, I stood up straight, shook hands, and I made connections. Actually, I mostly listened to people’s stories, but I also made good chat as well. In fact, this blog has turned out to be a bit of a God send. There was a lot of talk about epublishing, the new Google ereader coming out, and the future of digital books. Also, there was talk about new writers coming up through the ranks, and the best way of finding new writers. One publisher said, ‘I think the slush pile is dead. We need to move forward.’
Sounds a bit like some of my posts, and, because of all the research I’ve done for this blog, I was able to state my opinion with confidence. I think MyAuthor was impressed.
The party eventually wound down, and MyAuthor gave me another huge hug. The agent who was throwing the party gave me the double kiss, and said ‘Give me a ring the next time you’re in Edinburgh. We can grab a coffee.’ I don’t know if he meant it, but it felt good to be taken seriously.
Oh, and I forgot the even best part. NFEditor wasn’t there. (Boobs couldn’t come because she didn’t have sitter.) A few years ago, NFEditor made such a tick of herself at one of these parties, she’s no longer invited. Well, the invite for the Christmas party is to MNM in general, but it’s well known that NFEditor isn’t welcome. Goatee said he wasn’t there the year NFEditor embarrassed herself, so he doesn’t know exactly what happened, but it was definitely something drunken and sexual.
It must have been pretty bad, because an agent will do anything to be in a publisher’s good graces; by not inviting her to his party, he risks alienating himself from MNM. Since being banned from the parties, NFEditor has tried to shun this agent’s authors from MNM, but Boobs and Goatee always over ride her.
I love industry gossip.
After the party, Goatee and I headed back to the hotel. He ordered a bottle of bubbly for the room, and filled the Jacuzzi tub. Of course, one thing lead to another in that steamy hot tub. The bathroom was covered in mirrors, which was kind of unnerving at first, but after a while it was kinky fun.