Dear Miss Snark
Somewhere in 2005 you talked about expectations one can have for agents, one of them being the agent is not your friend, no invites to the beach house for a long weekend, nothing involving your bunny slippers etc. You also mentioned somewhere that you would know your client’s cat’s name. LOL. Awhile back I was a technical recruiter and had long notes on anything a candidate ever told me about their personal life, including spouse names, pets, kids etc. So I understand why this is important for maintaining a friendly yet professional relationship.
In the interest of remaining professional with your agent, what personal information does an agent really want to have about their client?
For example, say I’m a night person, do my best writing at night and am usually not out of bed before 11am. I will not be up to check emails but will answer the phone at any hour, even from a dead sleep. I would be hesitant to tell that to an agent as it is personal and maybe something I should keep to myself.
Or say I suffer from migraines and take medicine x and medicine y. Having migraines may hamper my ability to write. Medication may hamper my ability to be up-right and typing.
This is information I may not want to reveal with the risk of seeming like an unprofessional mess. Do agents want this sort of information? Does it matter? Besides pet’s names, what personal info do you truly want to have on a client?
***BTW praises to your snarkiness. It fucking kicks ass***
There's a huge difference between knowing the info that helps me communicate with you best, and being Sex In the City Brunch buddies.
I ask prospective clients about the best time to reach them. I'm a night owl and I don't want anyone calling me before 10am for any reason except the imminent arrival of the Risen Lord.
I keep track of spouse's names, kidlet names, contents of menagerie cause it's more polite to say "how is Uncle Fenster" than "how is that nefarious feline that lies on your manuscript pages and drives KY to a frenzy".
If someone tells me they are on meds I really don't pay much attention. How you get your work done, and when isn't my concern. Meeting your deadline is the only thing I care about. If you have a situation that affects the deadline, tell me. I don't need details of why.
What I mostly can't stand are people who don't understand this is a business relationship and I need some emotional distance from clients. I can't be your best friend no matter how much I like you cause it's NOT in your best interest. I'm a good agent and that means sometimes I have to kick your ass. And sometimes you're not going to like it one damn bit. And it helps a whole lot if "how can you say that; I thought we were friends!!" isn't one of the phrases hurled at my head.
You don't need more friends. You need an agent.