There’s nothing like a blog to demonstrate to an agent what writers go through regularly: the terror of the blank screen, waiting for words.
It’s both a very busy time and a weirdly quiet one – MIPTV this week, and the London Book Fair next week. Add the end of the financial year, royalty statements arriving by the bushel, and HMRC’s new payroll software, and you can imagine the screams of terror around the office.
A number of directories must have been updated, too, since I’ve had a sudden flood of approaches from writers. I’ve been a bit under the radar up till now, but the numbers are going back to what they used to be before I started the new agency. It’s nice to be approached about stuff but there are two habits which make me have to repress annoyance so I can read the submissions with an open heart.
1. Am I looking for new clients? Actually, it’s very rare for an agent to be in this position. A couple of agents I know seem to clear out their list and take on a fresh bunch of clients, as a poker player might cash in some cards, but I think they’re in the minority. The usual answer to this is No, but an agent always make space for someone amazing.
2. Does this sound interesting and will I get back to them if I’d like to see it? Please don’t give me two jobs to do, when you can just give me one. It doesn’t cost anything to attach a file to an email.
I’m off to buy a new handbag this weekend. While I was having a smoke outside a professional do, I dropped my cigar into it when startled by a writer and set it on fire. I hadn’t ever thought this was also a hazard of the job.