It’s a little intimidating being the only non-author regular contributor—you all have such great stories about your inspiration and what made you start writing! But I do have a funny story about how my journey at Sourcebooks began. On the day I received the call to come in for my interview with Sourcebooks Publicity, I had quite the adventure…
That morning, I had an interview for another job. I got ready, making sure I looked cute and professional. I decided to take the train because the job was downtown Chicago, so it wouldn’t be a far walk from the station. Well, I have no sense of direction and ended up walking about 6 blocks (6 city blocks = 1 mile) in the opposite direction. Like any distraught young lady, I called my dad and he told me to just catch a cab; there was no way I’d make it on time. I quickly found a cab and could feel the huge blisters forming on my feet.
Enter my strangely talkative cab driver—he was incredibly jolly and had a lovely African accent. He wasn’t giving me the normal chit-chat, but he was really interested in what I was doing downtown. He asked me why “such a little lady (’m only 5’1”) is going to such a big building (a skyscraper).” I told him I had a job interview. Then he asked where I had gone to school, and what I studied. I told him I went to Bradley University and studied English, to which he wondered, “Well, what do you do with an English degree?” I’m sure I said something smart, but indulged the rest of his questions, which began to take on a much more spiritual nature…
When we pulled up to my destination, he said to me “Because you are so nice, I will not make you pay, but I want you to have something to give you direction in your life journey,” and hands me a copy of the Qu’ran with pamphlets on why I should consider Islam as my religious path. I was caught off guard, but happy for the free cab ride!
So, I go up to my interview, and probably would have done wonderfully, but all I could think about was how embarrassed I was to have a random copy of the Qu’ran sticking out of my bag, blisters forming on my feet, and by that point of the morning, it was already sweltering in Chicago—so I was sweaty. Great first impression.
Once my horrible interview was over I quickly changed into the cheap flip flops I threw in my purse that morning and limped to do some shopping. The blistered agony took hold, and I decided to go sit in the garden at the Art Institute of Chicago. I bought a sandwich from a deli and sat down to read when I noticed the most beautiful bike messenger I had ever seen sitting across from me. He smiled my way, I smiled his, trying to look somewhat cool balancing my sandwich and my book on my knees.
Here’s where Sourcebooks comes into the picture—my phone rang and saw a number I didn’t recognize. I answered and to my delight, it was Sourcebooks; they wanted me to come in for an interview! I was beyond excited, trying to pull out my small day planner and a pen, fishing through a purse full of high heels, lip gloss and gum wrappers. The entire time I noticed the bike messenger snickering to himself at my awkward display…
Finally, I found a pen, situated my sandwich on one knee, my planner on another and pen in hand, looking to the week ahead when I was available—when all of a sudden a BIRD POOPED ON MY KNEE. Inches away from my sandwich, leaving a mess on my skirt. So here I am, on the phone with my future employer trying to stay collected when I have bird crap on my favorite skirt and a hot bike messenger watching the whole thing. And laughing. And I don’t mean chuckling, I mean full on LAUGHING.
But somehow I persevered, kept my cool on the phone and made a date for the interview. When I was off the phone, I had an audible freak out, making a few of the people near me move away for disturbing their lunch. And the bike messenger would not stop laughing or staring at me while I tried to wash away the bird mess on my skirt.
However, I read somewhere that bird poop is a sign of good luck—and it must hold some truth, because a week later I had a fabulous interview, and a week after that I had a job with Sourcebooks, and it eventually led to a lead publicist position for Sourcebooks Casablanca. I’m happy to be a part of your blog, getting to know all of you and offering what I’m discovering about romance PR!
Now if I see this strange “job interview interlude” show up in any of your books, I expect some sort of recognition! So here’s my question—a lot of you have or have had various jobs before or during your writing careers. Do you have any horror stories? On the job, on an interview, or anything? I can’t wait to hear what you all have to say.