Tuesday

Edgy Killer Bunny

By popular demand (okay, so only TexMom has demanded, but, near as I can tell, she's the only one reading, which pretty much makes the demand a unanimous consensus), I'm taking a few moments to explain why I am the Edgy Killer Bunny.

Let's start with the Killer Bunny part. A few months ago, I was assigned to edit a novel by a returning author. She has been publishing with us for a number of years (which she so kindly liked to remind me of every three or four e-mails). To be honest, I'm not a fan of her work. Her protagonist is a spoiled, jealous, annoying little twit who is dang lucky she landed the wonderful, patient, and kind husband she did.

Anyway, I wrote her my little revision letter, approving it by my managing editor first. (I have been known to lack in the tact department.) My manager thought it was a great letter. I sent it. The next morning, I come to work with an attack letter from the author. Her responses to my requests are in red. And bolded. And she basically tells me that she's not going to make any of my changes.

Because I'm a good boy, I let this sit and don't respond right away. My experience is that one should never send out a knee-jerk e-mail response. E-mail makes it far too easy to lose one's composure. I let it sit all morning and carefully compose a response to one of her main points of rebuttal. Again, my manager reviews my e-mail before I send it. It is very calm and rational.

I come in to work the next morning to have another e-mail from said author. Apparently she hadn't bothered to read the entire revision letter the day before, because she's off on a whole new set of tirades. I throw my hands in the air and tell my manager that I can't work with this woman. (I probably used a different word, what with my potty mouth and all.)

My manager smooths things over and the author sends an apology. Sort of. Author writes:

Truce!! [Manager] explained where you were coming from and I explained where I was coming from and she promised that I would be absolutely delighted with your marvelous editorial skills. So I promise not to write any more poison pen e-mails and not envision you as a killer bunny (in case the term isn't common up there, it means young, innocent looking editors who kill your careers because they don't like your work and can't relate to your generation!)

In all fairness, I guess I am young, albeit one could argue against the innocent-looking; I wouldn't mind killing her career because she's pretty much a hack; and, when it comes down to it, her protagonist is younger than me, so really, it's Author who can't relate to my generation. Regardless, I wear the title like a badge of honor. It's not a publishing term, and none of my publishing friends in NY have ever heard of it, so I think it's just the delusions of an older woman. (By the by, that was far from her last poison-pen e-mail.)

As a side note, I don't fear I will ever have the archival problems addressed in Sunday's New York Times ("Literary Letters, Lost in Cyberspace"). I keep all my correspondence with my authors. This may be cause for concern for them though.

And, on to the Edgy bit. I had my semi-annual review a few weeks ago. I am, admittedly, rather liberal for the company. I know I'm not the only one who didn't vote for Bush in November, but I am the only one who openly didn't vote for Bush. Anyway, during my interview, which I found out about an hour before the review on a casual Friday, Big Boss tells me that Company likes me and my skills and what I bring to Company, including my personality, which is a bit edgy for company, but not nearly as edgy as Big Boss's son's friends, what with their gauged ears and spiky hair and painted nails.

To this day, I still haven't figured out what "edgy" means and whether or not "edgy" is good or bad. I don't know if it's my facial hair or my fauxhawk or the orange T-shirt and boot-cut jeans I was wearing for my interview. Perhaps rumor of my potty mouth (which I don't really try to hide either) had gotten to Big Boss. I don't know. But apparently I'm edgy.

Anyway, now you know. And knowing is half the battle.

7 comments:

Credit Profits said...
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Desmama said...

Wait--no freakin' way! He said you were "edgy"? Those were his WORDS? I have to call you about this. I don't remember you telling me this. I think we just decided between us you were edgy because you were liberal. Were you and Peter the only ones who didn't vote for Bush? Or is there someone else I don't know about?

Th. said...

.

In my opinion, an orange shirt makes everything okay so everyone should just lay off.

Nectar said...

I'm really surprised. I was sure the idea for "killer bunny" came from the movie "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

Master Fob said...

It's official: Edgy is exactly the word my coworker used to describe my new fauxhawk. Does that make me the new you?

santorio said...

just read your comment to Ben, inviting him to your book club. for years I have been jealous of my wife's book clubs, even offering to go instead of her when she doesn't like the book that month. would you accept a long-distance member. I'd read the book and email a comment the the day before and maybe get some feedback.

i know there must be online books clubs, but it's not the same as knowing or having something in common with other members.

Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings said...

Very funny story and I love the bunny!