Yes, that’s me standing by the bin outside Foyles Bookstore in London’s Charing Cross Road. Thanks to a good friend I have made in Cyberworld, I was the proud owner of a much-coveted ticket giving me the chance to speak to an agent at Foyles’ ‘Discovery Day’ today, in a kind of speed-dating exercise. Living in Suffolk we’re not too far from London, and Sam is used to driving in London traffic, although I think he would have preferred it if I had sat on the back of his bike, but hey….speeding along the M11 at 70 miles per hour on the back of a bike doesn’t do it for me…
On arrival at Foyles, this rather pleasant sign greeted Sam and I:
We made our way to level five, where it seemed the world and his wife were waiting to see one of about 15 agents. The queue snaked down from level 6, past the café on level 5, and down the stairs to level 4. There was even a ‘Wild Card’ bench where sad souls without a ticket sat quietly hopeful and prayed that somebody would not turn up. Undaunted at the amount of people present, I checked in and joined the queue while Sam sat in the café with a green tea and read his bike magazine.
As I neared the head of the queue after about half an hour, I could see the agents sitting at individual tables in the auditorium on level 6. We were under instructions not to take up more than 6 minutes of an agent’s time. I had typed out my 7-line pitch, an excerpt of my manuscript ‘Repent at Leisure’ for reading, and a one-page synopsis. All around me nervous writers were reading their pitches over and over again, and so I thought I’d join them. It was something to do in the queue!
Finally it was my turn. I was introduced to an obviously unwell agent encased in a giant scarf, who read my pitch and excerpt, said the plot may eventually need some re-working, but joy of joys …..advised me to send in the manuscript. I’m not sure if he was saying this to everybody because he felt ill and wanted to go home, but it does give an aspiring writer like myself at least a modicum of hope that the 2 hour journey from Suffolk had possibly not been in vain.
I’ve sent off the manuscript and we shall wait and see. Thanks again to my good friend for the ticket and the chance to have another very enjoyable day out in my London. You know who you are! x