The deadliest, jelliest site ever. Brought to you by Niamh Shaw

My Agent

I’m so excited about going to Ireland at the end of this month, I got around to booking flights last week. We’re both looking forward to the break – Husband will join me for a couple of months mid-August. That’s if his passport turns up – oh, don’t even get me STARTED.


One date is fixed: I need to be in London on 1/8 to meet My Agent. Sorry, did I forget to mention? After submitting the full manuscript on request, My Agent said he would love to represent me because My Agent thinks Smart/Casual is very funny. My Agent said he’d take me for lunch in Piccadilly. My Agent said not to get too excited, because My Agent cannot guarantee publication, so I’ll just leave it at: Woohoo! Waaah!


But seriously though – oh, hold it, I feel another woohoo coming on. WOOHOO! WOOHOO! Sorry, I didn’t realise there were two. You’re right: that was over the top.


Mixed with the excitement is a not insubstantial amount of pure terror. Before submitting, I was aware that Smart/Casual had a number of flaws: choppiness in the first third of the book mainly deriving from not having half a clue what I was at when I first started it; one-dimensional characters; not enough variation in tone; charges of OTT humour from my tendency to take a joke too far and then turn around and bring it all the way back again.


Instead of offering me a squillion-figure publishing deal, My Agent asked me to address these problems before sending it off to publishing houses.


I had always assumed interest from an industry insider would give my self-confidence a great licking, but the effect has been the opposite. (Although if you figure out what the opposite of a great licking is, I would be grateful if you could let me know, thanks.) For about four days I was all over the place, before I levelled out in a flat spin. I still indulge in a lot of quivering and the occasional histrionic. These tend to be all-singing, breakdancing, booty shaking spectaculars, so I save them for when Andrew is around.


For a while I considered simply deleting the first third of Smart/Casual – it was a close thing. I spent the last couple of weeks renovating it in between full-scale panic attacks.


I know there is no guarantee of a publisher agreeing to take on Smart/Casual, but someone in the industry believes in it enough to put it out there and I am just so proud of my book!

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