Late Jan. 2011
At a recent literary festival, Sophie Hannah talked about the importance of being on board with your Agent. This is a critically acclaimed author and poet, her work has been recently televised on the BBC in the UK, who was revealing how she had been compelled to part ways with an Agent when they couldn’t agree the changes to her first crime thriller.
Turning my book into a marketable product was proving to be a compromise and I wasn’t sure how far I could, or indeed needed, to go to meet my Agents requirements. It wasn’t that he wasn’t approachable; he had seemed like a great guy when we had met a month earlier. But this was a new relationship and we had never worked together before. As a potential debut novelist, I didn’t want to upset the apple cart, but I also didn’t want to lose sight of my original vision for the novel.
I methodically worked through the points that he raised. Some were incredibly astute, great ideas, others I struggled with, slept on, mulled over.
Eventually I decided that I must be true to myself. If I really believed that an event, a character, a sub plot, was vital to the whole story then I politely argued its case. I bent as much as I could but I wasn’t prepared to break. So I made changes where I felt the book would benefit and, on the areas that I couldn’t agree, I gave my reasons why.
Then I sent back my revised manuscript and waited with bated breath…
Jane Isaac is very much a Newbie, she doesn’t even have a website yet (one day…) and with a day job, a family and a very demanding black Labrador, she squeezes her writing into every spare moment she gets. Join her on the rocky road from pen to publication – hopefully!