Friday, April 14, 2006

Publishing houses are a bit like the military in some respect, all these titles and rankings. Many of them were explained to me today by the guy that interviewed me at Harlequin. He started out warning me that this is not an "editorial assistant" position, but rather an "editorial services assistant" that they were hiring for. It's not a creative job. He said this a bit exasperated, saying that he had to explain this to the last people he interviewed, that they were confused and thought it was an editorial assistant opening, implying that they did not bother to read the ad closely. I am glad he had a chance to clarify this before I let him know that I had also thought the job was for an editorial assistant.

And so what does an editorial services assistant do? Well, that is just Harlequin's title for what every other publisher calls the assistant to the managing editor. And what does one of those do? Apparently, they nag editors of all the various books to turn in certain sections to go to press, and they also present typesets to the editors to make sure everything's okay, and basically it's just lots of talking to people and making sure things run smoothly. There is also an "editorial services coordiantor" who apparently would be just a bit higher on the totem pole than me. Than me if I got the job, of course.

The offices are located in the Woolworth building, which I had never been inside of, but man, that is the most gorgeous lobby I have seen in New York, the ceilings and walls are covered in these intricate mosaic tiles, something that no one would ever take the time to do with a new building. I love how there was at one point in time such an attention to the details, the small details. I would love to walk through this lobby every morning. It is right by City Hall and so I would only have to take one train to get there, could just hop on the JMZ. It pays 30K and I want this job, but I think I want the scouting agency job even more, even though it is not as easy a commute, does not pay as much, and is less demanding work. The agency deals with literary fiction and if I were to advance with an organization, I would rather it be there, than at Harlequin.

But of course, this is all wild speculation, assuming that I get even one of these jobs. My interview went pretty well today. This guy was much more chatty than the guy that interviewed me yesterday, but the thing that helped me yesterday, made me seem a bit snobby today. Just a bit, I think. Maybe. The guy asked me what I had read lately and so I told him that I just finished the new David Mitchell book, Black Swan Green, and he gave me this blank stare before saying he hadn't heard of it. I was a bit surprised and tried to help him and said, "Oh, his last book was Cloud Atlas." Another blank stare. And I explained that he's a young British writer and has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize a couple times and is a really awesome writer.

I think he wanted to know if I read mass market stuff but I don't and so I told him such, and he said that that was okay, that you don't have to read the stuff and he was friendly and then kept chatting away. And while I think I did good in the interview, that's not even the end of it. This guy's just the office manager and interviewing a big pool that he is going to narrow down and then the managing editor is going to interview those people. So I have to make it to the second interview stage and do good with that person also. I really hope I get this scouting agency job so I don't have to fret about them calling or not calling me for a second interview.

I also went to an interview later for an internship at Next, the cheesy gay weekly, perhaps even cheesier than HX, because it didn't seem hard to get and it seems like an easy, not too time consuming way of getting some clips and maybe making some contacts. I am doubtful that this is something I would want to do after going to the interview. The guy was young and friendly but it would just be dealing with a part of gayness that I don't really care about.

So now it is the weekend, it is raining. I am broke and need to try to do sex work, lots of it this weekend. Easter is Sunday. My mom and her husband are coming to the city to have dinner with me on Sunday, which will be nice, and which may involve me asking my mom for money depending on whether or not sex work happens before then. Hopefully, it will not involve that because that makes me feel less like an adult. And why, oh why am I drinking coffee?

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