OK – apologies, everyone. I’ve been a bit of a “ tease” lately with my news – trying to keep my head down. To be professional and discreet ‘n all.
The truth is I’ve had a very exciting time – with several lovely agents wanting to rep my new novel. (Yep. I can’t quite believe it either *pinches flesh *) So after lots of chats and angst and weighing up whether I wanted to be with a boutique agency or a big name corporate, I am delighted (cue trumpets) to announce that I have just signed with Madeleine Milburn whose gorgeous and very dynamic boutique agency will now represent me.
I try to be honest here – to help other writers who may be in the same boat - so here’s the story. The hardest thing? Taking the agonising decision to leave a previous agency which had championed my early fiction. I am loyal by nature and so this was tough, tough, tough. But there had been a lot of staff and other changes and I knew in my heart that for my new manuscript, I needed to take a deep breath and move on.
Scared? You betcha. I resigned from that agency (and parted amicably which was important to me) not knowing whether I would get someone else to sign me. Everyone knows how difficult it is to get a literary agent so I lay in bed at night, sweating. Was I completely bonkers? Getting too big for my blessed boots?
For all that, I just had this good feeling about the “big idea” behind my new book and felt that I had to go for it. All or nothing. The truth is I’ve been serving this “apprenticeship” in fiction for a very long time now and am just hoping and praying that it is finally my time.
I’m not going to tell you what the new book is about just yet – more teasing; sorry, sorry - but this is the novel the first draft of which I wrote very quickly, inspired by Stephen King’s advice that once you have a passion for an idea, you should just put your head down. This I did and regular readers may remember I blogged about that exhausting but also exhilarating way to work here and here.
Re the script itself? I did a substantial amount of editing before deciding I was ready to start querying afresh. Loads of interest very quickly thankfully. Five of my target agents requested the full manuscript. I nearly fainted.
Then – after a horrible spell when I had to try very hard not to stalk them all on twitter - one offered representation. And another….and another…
To be honest I found this totally unexpected scenario of choosing between agents both wonderful but also quite stressful. Here were people I really admired telling me my book was “special”.
Amidst all this excitement – Madeleine Milburn and I had a get-together.
The truth? I knew very quickly that this was the agent I wanted to work with. Passionate. Professional. A strategist. Also – just lovely. Exactly what I need.
To be fair and professional and all that jazz, I let the other offering agents know about my decision very quickly and so here I am. On team Madeleine Milburn!
I couldn’t be more thrilled – especially as there are some super authors at the agency ahead of me already doing wonderful things. I feel v lucky to stand in line with them…..hoping and crossing my fingers to properly earn my place there and finally get a deal.
So – it’s all systems go which, of course, means… more editing.
* Enjoy your own writing and have a great week!
Teresa Driscoll - journalist, author, mother of two and lover of great coffee.