New acquaintance: So, what do you do?
Me: I write books. Just starting to get rejections. (usually I put in an interesting detail about the story so they ask for more.)
New acquaintance: "My brother got a bunch of them but he just found a publisher." You'd be surprised how many people connected to the industry.
I ask her a bit about her brother's book and then she asks me about mine and it's elevator pitch time.
Needless to say I got a whole table full of people asking me questions about my current WIP.
When I talk about my novel, I let my passion show through, like I'm sharing a bit of my dreams with those around me. Cause in reality that's exactly what I'm doing.