My phone rang this morning and it was a Los Angeles area code, although the number was unfamiliar. I picked up because I am headed out to LA for Left Coast Crime next week and thought it might be someone calling about that.
It wasn't of course.
She rattled on for a good sixty seconds about how a friend suggested she call a literary agent for information. By the time she paused for breath, and I could say "I'm sorry, I can't help you over the phone" my other line was ringing, and it was someone I needed to talk to. I said, "I'm sorry" again and hung up.
Of course, I got an email telling me how rude I was.
I'm ok with being called rude. Usually the people who do are the ones who don't understand how publishing works. They remind me of tourists who are offended people in Paris don't speak very good English.
And honestly, if this poor soul had just emailed me, and said "I'm totally at sea here, I don't know what to do, and I found your name on the internet" chances are I would have actually given her a suggestion or two.
And even if I hadn't, the place to get information is called a library not a literary agency. If you don't know the difference, consult a librarian.