No. of phone calls with agent: 1
No. of pitches to seriously big commissioning editors: 1
Ah, soo. I called agent this morning, heard my script has arrived safely. He is in the US for 2 weeks now so I can have 2 weeks grace without going through agony of waiting to hear his opinion. The reason he wanted to talk is because he's moving agencies and wanted to let me know rather than coldly e-mailing. He says it won't alter anything, I will go over with him and so there we go! the closest yet he's come to saying he WILL represent me. It's another high-profile agency and I wasted no time rifling through my Writers & Artist's Yearbook to check out the score.
The book launch last night was fun. I arrived quite early and after giving author my best wishes I was at a bit of a loose end, grabbed a glass and hovered amongst the books. Both mine were there, novel 2 face out. The good thing about parties in bookshops is you can always just stand and read something. I was too vain to wear my glasses though, so found myself scrutinising Jo Jo Moyes' fuzzy acknowledgements without much joy. Had a nice chat with bookshop owner, who talks to me like I'm an author which is quite odd after all this time. She also works as a sales rep for a big publisher, we talked about sales and selling and how books are ranked A's and B's and C's in the shops like Waterstones and how selling isn't the same any more as all the decisions are made at their head office. Then she introduced me to an editor from her big publishing house. 'Ah!' we went. She said she thought of a line in my book almost every morning when she was getting ready to go out. (Why, oh WHY didn't you sign me then? I wanted to ask.) She was the very editor who'd given me the most rave rejection of my life for book 1:
To agent: "it was a really good call on your part in many ways, I loved it, it could have been written for me. Because I'm so familiar with the territory I wondered if this is why I enjoyed it such a lot.. ... so after much thought I am not going to offer on this, as much as I did enjoy it and as much as I would like to meet Amanda Mann... I like her sensibility."
These kind of letters are the most heartbreaking, so near but so far. Like getting five numbers on the lottery, but worse because it's years of your life and you are so close to achieving your dream but at the same time just as far away.
SO this was her! Cool, cool, play it cool I said to myself and bookshop owner and I continued talking for a long time about sales repping and things until, after asking who my agent and publisher was now, she drifted away. ('um looking for a publisher actually') But later she was back, on her own right next to me, so I just leapt in with something crass like, 'so, are you looking for authors at the moment?' Anyway, we had a good chat, I did my marketing talk and she liked the sound of the book. So! I don't think it's very good form, really, to pitch at another author's event, but as it was this woman I'd often wondered about contacting individually again anyway, as she liked the sound of me so much, I would have been daft not to.
Now, back to the quotes.
Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.