On the flip side, certain things will turn him off right away.
The two concepts are different in that you can do your research with pitch sessions—and, unless it’s a “speed dating pitch session,” of which I do know those exist, you can usually choose whom you’re pitching at an event.
What you do not want to see are their eyes glazing over, or worse, casting a dragnet over your shoulder at the next in line. Despite competition from hundreds of writer-wannabes, I was able to meet with them in my order of preference.
If all goes well you exchange email addresses and…ding…time is up. You are not looking for a date; you are looking for a literary agent. After more than 30 years as a working scientist and thousands of interactions with other people ranging from clients to regulators to scientists to project managers to lawyers, I still felt the butterflies churning in my stomach as I sat in front of my first potential agent. I had written many a published paper and hundreds of reports as a scientific consultant, but here I was trying to sell my idea for a book. All five said they would be interested in seeing my proposal, though I sensed that their interest tailed off after the first two, coincident with the tailing off of my own interest in working with them.
His personality struck me as a bit too bubbly, his interest just a bit too saccharine.