One thing I often recommend to would-be authors is that they attend a writers’ conference and meet editors and agents in person. Even in those cases where it doesn’t result in a book deal (as below), it’s still good to put faces to names and to come to understand that those powerful gatekeepers are just plain ol’ human beings like that rest of us.
I’ve redacted the title of the book ’cause I might use it someday! I was disappointed by this rejection, of course — I remember thinking I’d really connected with the editor at VeriCon. But you know what? That’s OK. The editor’s kindness in person and in this letter made me less intimidated and angst-y about my next submissions.