It's a marathon, after first completing a slow jog with a dead leg from Bloomsbury to Soho via Dusseldorf.
Or so it seems at the moment.
For anyone wondering if I was alive or not, yes I think I am. And ready to continue the saga of my quest to turn from TV to novels. To continue where I left off, I have now signed with an agent. Not the mega agent but the other good but less high profile one, for reasons that I will now bore you with.
Back in the summer (remember that couple of weeks?) I got line by line notes from mega agent. The other agent had suggested that I alter the structure of the book, and while I understood his reasons, it wouldn't have been the book I wanted to write.
Yes okay, I can hear the snorts of 'prima donna' but hell, I've spent 10 years writing shite at the behest of others and don't want to spend the next ten doing the same.
So I put the other agent on hold and duly did the line by line notes for mega agent who had no concerns about the structure. Soooooooooome time later, I got a reply from mega agent saying she wanted to pass me on to another agent there because she thought it needed more editing for description and this agent was a whizz, and was that okay with me?
In principle it was. Everyone needs a good editor. I think the original title of Mein Kamph was something like 'My four and a half years of struggle against lies, stupidity and cowardice'. I don't think it would have been quite so popular with the original title, possibly because some words have two or more syllables.
But... I was then told (cos I asked) that the suggested agent/whizz editor hadn't yet read the manuscript. I mentioned that there was another agent who wanted to sign me and holding him off was making me a litttle uncomfortable, so a little haste would be appreciated. I got a message back that the suggested agent would read the first 50 pages overnight and get back to me.
Three days later ....... not a dicky. One thing that 10 years in the Tv trenches has taught me is that you go where the love is. By this point I was feeling like the spare prick at a whore's wedding so decided to go where the love was.
I called the agent who wanted to sign me and told him of the problems I had with his notes. He suggested a meeting the next day. The meeting went like this :-
Me - My difficulty is that the notes you gave me would make a great book. Just not the book I want to write.
Agent - The only reason I made those suggestions was it would make it an easier sell. An absolutely archetypcal thriller if you will. Personally I love the book the way it is.
Me- How about I finish the draft I'm working on with the current structure, give it to you for notes and then we put it out to a few publishers for feedback. If it comes back that they want the structure changed, then I'll change it.
Agent - Fine by me.
Forms signed, hands shaken, meeting done. Okay those were the highlights after the chit-chat, but as a synopsis that was pretty much it.
I've just finished the draft and sent it in. Once again awaiting notes, but this time the marathon is extended yet again as the agent is jetting off on holiday for the whole of December, hey ho. Hopefully I'll get the notes back before he goes and can work on the book so it's ready to go out in January.
Did I say via Dusseldorf? Try Tokyo.
Anyway, what did I learn? Well, the fact that mega agent liked the structure gave me the confidence to stick up for it with the agent who suggested I change it, so I can't say that the months of delay before signing was wasted time. And I'm extreamly happy with my agent, well respected agency, a guy you can talk to, loaded with integrity, business savvy, the bees knees.
I learned from my beautiful and talented girlfriend who hooked up with me just before I started this entreprise that, contrary to my own self-image and denial of others opinions, I do indeed have a kamikaze streak and so it's a good job I'm a well hung stud-muffin who's fantastic in bed or I'd be dumped. ( She doesn't know I write this blog so I can get away with a little exaggeration. I don't really think she'd dump me)
I guess the next thing of note will be when and if the book goes to a few select publishers for feedback. There will be another post then for anyone who isn't sick to death of the longest suicide note in history!
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