Sunday, 14 September 2008

The Long Haul

The road to publication wasn't easy. A few years ago I had an agent, the late Maggie Noach. I thought I'd arrived, especially when she was so enthusiastic about 'The Dark Threads'. She said she was up late at night reading it, found it riveting and coudn't put it down. Imagine a leading London literary agent saying lots of encouraging things like that about my work. She invited me to her house for a meal and she was lovely. Her cat, Mittens, who jumped on my knee for a cuddle, also helped put me at ease.

Maggie tried to place my book with big name mainstream publishers. I waited and waited... Nothing. Just nice comments and a bunch of what I think are called 'rave rejections'. After I'd become unagented again, two more mainstream publishers asked to see my full manuscript and showed interest but, several months later I had two more 'rave rejections' to add to my collection, and both told me I should 'get an agent'.

Get an agent. Yes, but how? An agent who'd been interested at the time I got Maggie said, no, not now that my manuscript had 'been around'. Okay, I see, all the nice guys want a virgin. I tried a few other agents who held similar views. One did ring me to say she liked my writing and would be happy to look at something else. Trouble is I hadn't got anything else ready to show her then, and I wasn't ready to give up on 'The Dark Threads'.

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