Dont get drunk

• Don't order the most expensive thing on the menu just because she's paying.

• Don't make a pass at her no matter how cute she is and how studly you are (or any variation on the gender thing).

• Listen more than you talk. (Yeah, I know I already said that, but I wanted to be sure you remembered it. It's the most important rule.)

Finally, hanging out. A few more rules.

• Don't hog access to the editor; you won't be the only writer at the party (or fair, or whatever) and others will want to hang out with her, too.

• Don't get drunk. This one comes up a lot, really. Where there are editors, there tends to be free booze in almost unlimited amounts. You would be wise to go very, very light on it; I have seen otherwise cool writers do incredibly stupid things when they got drunk. And anything you do not only can be held against you, but tends to show up on film, and in conversation between other editors and writers forever after.

• Don't talk business. Business time is for business. It's why you get to deduct your phone calls to New York. Hanging out is for fun, and editors like to have fun, too. And you still get to deduct hanging out, because you are Networking and developing Meaningful Relationships with Colleagues. I got to deduct the balloon fight at the SFWA party, as well as the rest of that glorious trip. Granted I sold three books that weekend, but even if I hadn't, I met some wonderful people, and still work with many of them.

That's my take on how it's done. Now go, write, submit. Brace yourself; your editor awaits.

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