Players and Quitters

Levi Asher reports on yesterday’s book publishing panel with Sarah Weinman and Akashic‘s Johnny Temple: “Next up was a young woman with a forlorn Fiona Apple look who said she’d once written a novel that had sold 5000 copies. But she’d lost her footing in the publishing world and was now completely lost, unpublished and angry. She played the pathos card, almost starting to cry, and like the previous questioner did not seem satisfied with the realistic responses her question received. Sarah Weinman counseled her to not give up hope, but the woman replied that this answer was ‘just bullshit’, at which point Sarah began to visibly sneer and both publishers on stage began to draw big imaginary ‘X’ marks over the poor woman’s head (‘X’ being the code for ‘Do Not Publish This Writer Under Any Circumstances’).”


  1. Sneer? I honestly don’t remember doing that, but I was taken aback (for the record, the young lady in question came up to me after the panel and apologized, making it clear she didn’t take what I’d said personally.)

  2. Don’t fib, Sarah! Countless are the times I’ve seen you sneering, smirking, sniggering, curling your lip, throwing daggers with your eyes, and generally making like Veronica Lodge from the panel dais.

  3. Absolutely. Levi’s account is foolproof. I remember very well the reconstructive surgery shortly after last year’s BEA and the pain that shot through my body for the next three months. I won’t go into the details. You, Sarah, know them too well. Needless to say, I have been terrified of eating cake since that fateful week. And I will have an entourage of trained assassins accompanying me at all times while in Washington DC this May.

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