30 AUGUST 2012
A TOUCH OF TWITTER MAGIC
My last blog (Sob Story 20 August) was rather downbeat. I’d had a disappointing experience with an agent and felt somewhat deflated. I don’t suppose I’m the first person this has happened to and I don’t suppose I’ll be the last but it struck me quite hard. To begin with, I dismissed it as merely another incident in life’s rich pageant but as the days went by the true significance of it slowly sank in as I realised that I was obliged to return to the depressing process of countless submissions and the inevitable rejections. Not only that, but the fact that I’d been round the block once already and failed would probably count against me.
I’m about to go on holiday to America (a well-deserved break – my son has agreed to house-sit) and rather than leave on a sad note, I thought it would be nice to have some good news to report before I depart – something to lift the spirits while I’m away. Fortunately, we’re in luck ...
My article gained a good deal of attention – situations such as these don’t come round that often – and visits to my website visibly increased. It also attracted some sympathy from my fellow writers and I had a number of encouraging messages on Twitter. For a media that is often completely impersonal this came as a pleasant surprise and I would like to express my thanks to those who showed support. One in particular hoped that although Birds of The Nile had ‘fallen off its perch’ it would soon find somewhere new to ‘roost’. This struck a chord with me for reasons I will explain later.
My immediate writing buddy, Wendy, responded by volunteering to read the work and see if she could be of help. A day or so later she sent a tweet to the effect that it would be a shame to let such a piece go to waste and challenged the publishing industry to pick it up. I had already circulated it to a number of new agencies and the hope was that someone would put two and two together. Within twenty-four hours I had an email ...
Suffice it to say that the full manuscript is now with a new agent who has asked to have it for consideration on an exclusive basis for a period of 30 days. I am only too happy to grant this as I will be away for most of that time and can do nothing anyway. Their initial reaction has been favourable but not decisive and I will have to wait until I get back before knowing the outcome. So where there was despair, there’s now hope – although hope, as we know, can be an unfaithful friend.
As to a new ‘roost’, my wife studies History of Art at The University of York. As an MA student she is entitled to a ‘perch’ ie she can inhabit her desk for the day but must clear away each night. PhD students on the other hand get a ‘nest’ and are allowed to leave their work permanently in place. For the moment, Birds of The Nile has found somewhere to ‘perch’. It needs to graduate.