As part of my "see what LJ can do for you" spiel, I did a lot of research on how syndication works. Learned how to code RSS just as I discovered that LJ does it automatically. Sigh. Oh well, new skills are never a bad thing, right?
So I wouldn't feel like I'd totally wasted my time (don't ask me to explain the sense behind my logic), I found this website which makes customized RSS chicklets instead of those ugly orange buttons and registered with Feedburner:
So I get a phone call from Ann Crispin, my writing mentor, and as it turns out, a funny thing happened to her on the train. No, wait, that sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. Um, so anyway, she's on this train and she's chatting with one of her fellow passengers, passing the time, and the topic of conversation turns to their respective occupations. As it turns out, the person she met works for Simon & Schuster in their children's subsidiary rights division, and they both chuckle when Ann reveals she's an author. They talk some more, Ann learns that S&S are in the market for middle-grade fantasy, and brings me and my manuscript up. Ann's new friend expresses interest and says that she'll give the editorial division a head's up to expect a submission from my agent and provides Ann with a trio of names.
Of course I immediately fire off an email to my agent, who is going to prep a couple copies of my manuscript to send out ASAP.
Wow wow wow.