This story of my fruitless (so far) search for an agent to represent my novel, is turning into something of a shaggy dog story! In my previous post, (see below) I explained how I’d approached Tindal Street Press, and, at first, had been encouraged by their response, asking to see the complete manuscript.
July passed slowly, and as August drifted away into September, I began to fear the worst.
A couple of weeks later, I received a letter from Luke, telling me that, although their reader ‘found this an appealing story, told with energy and insight,’ they would not be publishing my book, because ‘he thought there were too many problems with the plotting.’
The good news was: their reader thought my manuscript had promise - and I might want to take advantage of an offer of further editorial advice. They’d been asked by the National Association of Literature Development to choose some promising manuscripts to send to…(and here is where I experienced a strong case of déjà vu) …The Literary Consultancy for a free read. (See my post, so near and yet…)
For a while, I wondered if I really wanted to take on yet another person’s helpful suggestions for changes, and then, if I was lucky, have the TLC’s reader recommending my book to the same agents who had turned down my previous novel In The Lamb-White Days. I was finding it hard to get rid of the song that had been reverberating in my head since reading Luke’s letter: ‘There’s a hole in my bucket, dear Lisa, dear Lisa….’
But I find it almost impossible to ignore a genuine ‘free offer’. On top of that, I had been told to contact Sibyl Ruth, the Literary Officer at the Midlands Arts Centre at that time, if I wanted to accept the offer – and I had a particular reason for wanting to bring myself to Ruth’s attention.
(This is where Me-as-Poet wants to take centre stage, but the story of Single Travellers, my small poetry collection, will have to wait for a while.) As will, my account of Late Shift’s performances at the EdinburghFestival in 2003
Ruth was very encouraging, and The Dangerous Sports Euthanasia Society was packaged up again, and posted off to London.