I'm not clear on whether you see this is a pitch session (i.e., with the explicit goal of interesting the publisher in your novel), or simply an opportunity for a one-on-one conversation. Either way, though, I think the best way to go here (and to get through your nervousness) is to take this excellent advice from Janet Reid, classily entitled: Pitch Sessions Are Spawn of Satan. Whether or not you're actually pitching, Reid's article makes clear what she considers the greatest benefit of a one-on-one session: the opportunity for the pro to share their expertise, attention, and assistance. So that's what you want to ask for.
In a nutshell, Reid contends that the most productive thing a pro can do is to give detailed feedback on the sample or pitch. If you're a debut novelist, and I'm an established publishing gatekeeper, the best thing I can do is give you a "run-through" of how I'd react to your work, and why. And then there's this:
Writers might still be nervous, but if all they have to do is hand an agent a query, and take notes on what she says, and ask questions, I guarantee there will be less vomit involved.
Here's the thing: in your situation, the publisher is the expert. You shouldn't be required to guess what questions you should be asking. Heck, if you know what questions to ask, you'd probably be able to find the answers on your own! No: the publisher knows all kinds of interesting stuff, and will probably be a better judge than you of what might be the most helpful. (Particularly if you feel, to begin with, that you don't have specific questions or problems that are bothering you.) And the sample you're providing gives this publisher plenty to work with, to gauge where you are and what advice will be appropriate.
So your basic approach can be this:
- You want to give the publisher enough information about you and your writing that he has something to work with. That's your synopses and sample pages, and it's also how you introduce yourself: "Hi, I'm ((name)), I mostly work in ((genre A)) and ((genre B)), I've written ((number of short stories, novels, and WIPs)), and the goal I'm working towards now is ((to get a big-publishing contract/to get a small-press contract/to self-publish/to find an agent/to make my English teacher proud/OTHER))."
- Explain exactly what you'd like to get out of the session. "I don't have a list of questions; I mostly want feedback on my pages, feedback on how effective my summary and my synopsis are, and maybe if you have some more general career advice or details about publishing you think it'd be good for me to know, that would be terrific too."
- Let the pro give you feedback. Listen well; don't argue with anything; take notes. (Don't argue -- not because the particular pro is necessarily right about everything; just because you're here to hear his reaction, not to start arguing.)
- If after a few minutes you feel like you're not getting much from the pro, take a moment to consider why that is, and then raise the point politely, and ask to switch focus to some other helpful thing.
- "Listen, I want to make sure we have time to look at..."
- "I'm sorry, you're using some terms I'm not familiar with, could you explain what you mean by..."
- "I understand your point about this passage, and I don't think I need more explanation there. I'd rather move on to your next thought, is that OK?".
- "You're being a little vague and general, can I ask you to show me a particular example in my writing of what you're talking about?"
- ...and so on.
That's it! All you want to do is let the pro guide the conversation, and let him know that that's what you want. With any luck, everything should be smooth from there on.