Thursday, 18 October 2007

Saved by the bell

You might not know it, but you were saved today. Earlier I had written a rather depressing blog entry in Word, all ready to whack up on this site when I had a chance. Well now is the first chance I have had and I have just re-read it and whacked it firmly back into the dark where it belongs.

This obviously leaves me without a subject, so I will instead share my shock that apparently literary agency PFD is on the brink of collapse. Perhaps it would be better to explain… five years ago I thought I had THE novel idea (not this one, did I tell you I have a few up my sleeve?) and embarked on a feverish 20,000 word outpouring of mainly gloop to be honest. The main problem was that the story had a nice beginning and middle, but no ending – but hey, that didn’t stop me! I also hope I have improved my writing style since then, but on the whole (she says, striving for objectivity) it had some funny moments and still holds my attention, if only I knew where it was supposed to be going. Oh, and it fell into the genre of 'chick lit', books of which were flooding the shelves at that point in time.

I sent it to literary agent Simon Trewin from PFD and I actually got a reply, which said ‘this was very well done indeed, and I would certainly have been very interested in this a couple of years back but the market for this genre is rapidly contracting alas’. How’s that for a nice encouraging rejection? I also got a personal reply from publishers Hodder and Stoughton which was spot on - ‘the synopsis seems bright but it doesn’t have such a good ending…’ Too right, it had no ending to be fair.

Going back to PFD, I also did an illustrated children’s book a while back, and sent it to children’s list agent Alison Kain. Her response was even better, ‘I discussed your book with my colleague and I’m afraid we were not quite convinced by the text although we like the idea. You seem to be bursting with story ideas so maybe you’d like to send a couple of texts to us – up to you!’

Now that is a lovely perfect rejection, that is. Sadly I was giddy with delight and rushed a few ideas towards her, when I should have taken more time to be honest, which she again rejected in a very charming and encouraging manner. I decided I rather liked PFD if all its agents were so nice to unpublished authors.

But now – gulp. See, the plan was always to get back in touch with Simon and PFD when this novel is roadworthy, give them first chance to either love me or hate me. But now, according to this feature in The Independent, he appears to have left, and the future in general seems a bit rocky for PFD, although I am sure they'll pull through. There is also talk of a new agency being formed by some of those that left PFD, United Agents, although this is just what other articles say, nothing having been announced, or so I can find. I'd still like to stay loyal to my original idea though, I guess I shall just wait and see what way the wind is blowing by the time I get to agent stage... if I ever will, says the voice from the dark.

Oh bother it... Tomorrow I will write something on the novel, even if not feeling right. I can just copy the amazingly talented sadly missed Douglas Adams and write 'I am a fish' over and over again if I am stuck.

No comments: