I Finally Meet My Agent
The bad news upon waking was that it was blowing a gale and rain was falling from the sky by the bucket load.
The good news was that, having decided to randomly empty my handbag, for no other reason than to pretend I am an organised person, I discovered £50 in an envelope at the bottom.
The cash had come from my Mother who had reimbursed me for my youngest son’s Christmas present.
Being the ‘organised’ type that I am, I had completely forgotten about her payment the month before.
But, hey, what a stroke of luck to have £50 land in my lap when I least expected it. An auspicious sign, perhaps?
I met my agent later than planned because, being the ‘organised’ individual I am, I went to the WRONG beachside café.
Luckily she was late!
However, in walking the 400 steps from the café/restaurant I’d initially thought I should meet in, to the one I was ACTUALLY supposed to attend, I became soaked.
I’d had the foresight to take an umbrella but, for all its goodwill and dedication to duty, it couldn’t compete with the gale that was blowing up from the beach.
It blew inside out at least five times and I arrived at the beachfront venue drenched, with my shoes and tights covered in wet sand.
Call me fussy but, after the flattering haircut I’d paid for the day before, drowned rat was not the look I’d been aiming for!
With my dress hitched up under the hand dryer in the ladies’ loo, desperately trying to dry myself out, who should walk in, but…
Of all the first impressions I have given in my life, this is probably the most bizarre.
It was certainly an ice-breaker as I fell about laughing. Since my agent was similarly drowned, she could see the funny side.
She laughed wildly, we hugged and I trotted off to order two pots of tea while she attempted to dry herself under the hand dryer too.
So, I finally met my agent in a ladies loo, looking wet and dishevelled.
It wasn’t the first encounter I had imagined or hoped for, but it WAS an episode I shan’t forget.
The lunch itself went smoothly as we got to know a little more about one another. The good news was that the story she had asked me to amend to a counting story had gone down well with her.
She informed me she would be meeting publishers in London the following week and would pitch it to them.
I politely forgot to mention she’d said she would virtually guarantee to sell it, if I made the changes she had suggested.
A wise move, I considered, as it’s a mere four weeks’ notice on either side should she wish to discontinue our working relationship!
The bad news was that another rhyming story I had thought was virtually perfect, still required work.
Her explanations were cogent, well meaning and supportive. Her fresh eyes helped me see areas where I could improve the story flow over page turns and increase the humour still further.
I didn’t get a sinking feeling, but rather a desire to re-work and address the issues, spurred on by her obvious enthusiasm for this story.
“I’m really excited by this story,” she had told me during lunch.
How fabulous she could see the same potential and comic humour that I could.
Humour is SO subjective that if someone ‘gets’ your work and loves it, that’s a massive lift for any would-be children’s author.
Our meeting lasted nearly four hours, with lots of humour and anecdotes, and, by the time we came to leave, the gale had subsided a little.
I strolled back to my car with a better-behaved umbrella in hand and spring in my step.
Even the Bournemouth traffic warden who had slapped a £50 penalty notice on my windscreen for over-running my parking stay by 40 minutes, didn’t irritate me.
After all, I had fortuitously discovered an unexpected £50 note earlier that morning.
Despite the abysmal weather, I left the seaside feeling the meeting was auspicious.