Friday, 23 December 2005

In the end I had a slight change of plan, and only sent my two-chapters-and-a-synopsis of Lord Alexander's Cipher; or, the Bridekirk Behemoth to one agent as an trial attempt. This was to my first choice agency - first choice for various reasons, to do with both the clients that they represent, and the fact that I had met them, and we got on OK (and that makes it so much easier to do a query letter). So the package went into the post, and they said that they would be back in touch within four weeks.

They came back in about four days, to ask to see the rest of it.

An instant combination of elation and panic. Elation for the obvious reason; panic because I hadn't checked the rest of the typescript as thoroughly as I might have done, and I knew that there was some work needed doing. Luckily my employers were understanding and allowed me to take some leave at very short notice and I scrubbed through chapters 3 to 11 as thoroughly as I could. Out went a couple of thousand words, in came about six thousand more. Names were changed to protect the guilty (me - I had called the great man "Wellington" in the early spring of 1809, when he was still General Wellesley). There is a limit to how much better one can make a draft in a day and a half, but I think that it was improved.

With the Christmas post what it is, and the agent being not too far away, I biked the package over to the agent this afternoon, had a very pleasant chat, and came home feeling really rather optimistic. They'll get back to me in a couple of weeks, which leaves me time to work on the various Christmas Quizzes that I have picked up about the place, to read plenty, and perhaps to make a start on Lady Cardington's Folly; or, the Limehouse Leviathan.

There may even be time to run the rule over one or two more heyeroines.

11 comments:

Mandy said...

Have bike, will deliver ms on time (though it would have been more interesting to have arrived on an elephant).

Four days must be a record for getting a reply, here's hoping the next reply is just as favourable.

Liz Fielding said...

Breath is appropriately baited.

Bookwormom said...

Found you via a link on Smart Bitches. Congratulations & best wishes on your submission. I'll return to see what happens.

Merry Christmas, happy Boxing Day (I'm American, is it ok to wish you H.B.D?) etc.

Niles said...

What great news. WD old chap, happy Christmas.

Alex Bordessa said...

Fingers crossed for you!

Have a great Christmas :-)

Stephen said...

Thanks for all the kind wishes - and Amanda, I am quite content to be wished a happy anything (within reason) whether it is an event I celebrate or not. Today it might be the Anniversary of the Treaty of Ghent (gosh, was that really 191 years ago?) on Monday it could be Boxing Day, on the 9th of January it might be Plough Monday, and so on. If it's an excuse to crack open a bottle of Rheims' finest, I'll take it.

Gabriele C. said...

Best wishes for the future of Lord Alexander.

Saskia Walker said...

Great news. Fingers crossed for you!

Mags said...

Congratulations! :-)

Nell Dixon said...

Hoping you get good news!

Liz Harris said...

Belatedly picked up your news about the agents' response to your first two chapters. How exciting!

Fingers crossed for you.