Regular readers will know that I’ve been faffing about with the manuscript for Death Will Find Me for what seems like forever. The last piece of real news was that a few months ago an agent that I was really keen to be represented by, sent me some editorial notes and suggested that I take another pass at it and then let him see it.
Well, I did revise the manuscript again and sent it back and he loved it and offered me representation which was brilliant. I’ve enough writer friends to know to be sensible, so I asked the Society of Authors to check over the agency agreement (in case you didn’t know – they will check an agent or publisher contract for free even if you’re not already a member). I didn’t anticipate any problems – the agency has a great reputation and my agent was recommended by the late and much-missed Carole Blake.
So, I have an agent – the rather marvellous David Headley at the DHH Literary Agency.
I am so happy, and so excited* and have been driving everyone mad. I think it will be a long time before I tire of referring to ‘my agent’. I’m also feeling a little over-whelmed – you focus so much on finding representation that when it happens, and you let go of that breath that you’ve been holding so tight, the enormity of the mountain still to be climbed hits you. What publisher? What sort of deal can be had? What rights will be sold? Will anyone want to publish this book?
And I have to crack on with Book 2, which feels like a lot of pressure even though it’s a very nice position to be in. I don’t like uncertainty – I tend to over-think things and I get very impatient. Give me an actual situation, however bad, and I’m great. Ask my brother about the time we came across a road traffic accident. But when I have time to think about all the hypothetical possibilities…? So I’m concentrating on Book 2 and trying not to think about those.
And I’m going to get back to blogging properly as I’ve missed it while I’ve been concentrating so hard on editing. There are some great books I want to tell you about and all manner of other things. So I’ll see you in a couple of days with a review of a marvelous crime novel that you need to rush out and read if you haven’t already.
*A note on being excited. Writing friends know how big a deal getting an agent is. And your family and close friends know because you’ve explained to them at length. But some people don’t. Some people will assume that you just pick an agent and that’s that. Those people’s jaws will drop just a little when you explain that your new agent gets 400 submissions per month and takes on a handful of writers per year. But they won’t know that and so when you post on Facebook because you’re soooo excited, they won’t get it. So don’t be hurt when they don’t even click like because they think it’s the equivalent of choosing a new pair of trainers.
And some people, who do know how big a deal it is, won’t congratulate you because they feel that applauding someone else’s success diminishes their own, or because they’re not the sort of person who sees support and encouragement as a two-way thing. And that’s fine. But someone very wise – and the interwebs seem unclear on who it was – once said ‘pay close attention to the people who don’t clap when you win.’ I’d advocate that but I’d also add that you shouldn’t pay that much attention to them and not let those hurt feelings spoil your happiness.