Dylan Birtolo takes the mic:
Let’s see, I submitted to the Edge of Propinquity out of the blue because I had heard about it, read it a couple of times, and thought it would be a good match for my writing style. So, I submitted and was rejected. I tried again, with a separate story, and was rejected again. But, both times they were nice rejections where she said she wanted to see more.
I wound up meeting Jennifer at GenCon the following year. I was working in Author’s Avenue and she came by to talk to authors. We talked for a couple of minutes and her name was familiar. When she handed me her business card I loudly proclaimed “Oh! I know I knew you – you rejected me a couple of times!” It was a very interesting and amusing way of introducing myself to her and she was a little red-faced. We talked and she told me that she really liked my writing and spoke about what exactly I would need to do in order to get accepted. We talked about a story idea I had, and then I wrote the story and submitted it to her and was accepted!
From that point, we exchanged a few emails and she was generous with sending links and opportunities my way that she thought I would be good for. She is a very generous person that way. When she joined me at Author’s Avenue, I tried to return the favor with my previous experience.
I think my favorite smile-inducing experience was at GenCon this past year and having her, pitching her stories, saying to random passerby’s “Are you interested in some mastication?”
Jennifer Brozek responds:
Oh, come on, who can resist a little mastication? I masticate all the time. Alone and with people. Sometimes with many people. I will admit, though, I usually don’t masticate in bed. Most of the time, I masticate with my husband in the family room.
(For those who don’t know, I have a chapbook out called Mastication. It is ten stories about things eating people. My husband is the one who pointed out that I seem to have a thing about writing stories involving odd things that eat people. We had taffy to give away as part of the luring in of potential buyers.)
Yes, meeting Dylan was first for me. He was the first author I did not know who told me I had rejected him—twice. Most people don’t know but one of my greatest fears is to have someone I rejected come yell at me about it at a convention. I’m not sure what I would do if that actually happened.
But Dylan wasn’t that way. He had a huge smile on his face when he said it and his smile only got wider as I told him I remembered his stories and talked with him about why they weren’t accepted. He was a good first “rejected author” to have. He didn’t yell. He listened. He smiled and when he did submit again to The Edge of Propinquity, he wrote a story I bought.
Check out more roast posts on the Jennifer Brozek Roast Landing Page.