You have an agent!
Your agent is fizzing with mad energy over the possibilities of your book. You are invited to lunch and tell everyone that you are ‘lunching with your agent’, probably at ‘The Ivy’. It turns out to be a lesser establishment, called the The Old Goose Handler’s Arms’ or something.
‘Not exactly a gastropub darling but handy, just over the road from the office.’
At the bar she asks to borrow money, as she hasn’t had time to get to a cash machine. By the time the food arrives,you are both several gins down and your agent has launched into a mad fantasy involving publishers’ auctions and appearances on chat shows.This makes you overlook the fact that, so far, you have bought all the drinks. Please note; this is not a good sign.
When you have recovered financially and gastronomically from this lunch, you begin to feel giddy with anticipation. Now, you are allowed to get very, very excited for exactly one year.
Feel free to inform all your friends and every member of your family, including those who have so far lived in sublime ignorance of your existence, that you are about to be PUBLISHED. Get in there first with door to door evangelists, by telling them your GOOD NEWS!
Your novel is submitted to every editor that your agent feels will ‘get’ your writing. You overhear her telling one of these editors that your novel exactly resembles a fabulous collision between two current best sellers.
‘It’s Girl with a Dragon Tattoo meets Julian Barnes but with…you know; what are those South American blowey things?’ (see previous post)’
Half way through this year, your novel become officially ‘ under consideration’ with a well-known publisher. Now, you tell shop assistants, traffic wardens and random people in the street, that you are about to be PUBLISHED. No one can contain their excitement. You think about buying a few outfits for the inevitable launch and the subsequent book tour. Thought turns to action when you find yourself buying something with a ludicrous price tag on your maxed-out credit card. It doesn’t matter, you lie to yourself, soon the publisher’s advance will be swelling your bank account.
Your agent will go on to glory, her brush with your execrable prose fortunately hardly dinting her career at all. You, on the other hand will slink into your bed, curl up in a foetal position, and wonder how you will face all those dozens of friends and relations and their bright-eyed inquiries after your publishing career.