I never decided to be a writer. I didn’t wake up one day, pick up a book, and there and then grow a large chunk of determination to become published. I always was a writer. Whether I eventually become published or not isn’t the point (although I DO want to become published, let’s get that straight). I think it’s simply in my genes. I get the distinct impression that if I had started out on the road to publishment (is there such a word?) with the idea of making money, I would have quickly become lost down a side street, never to be seen again. I write for a living. Not a bad living. But not the living I really want. I write ad copy. Good ad copy, I might ad.
But somewhere along the line a bunch of characters insinuated themselves into my head by the back door, and pestered the hell out of me to write about them. And so was born my first book. Heaven Help Us.
I thought I’d done the hard bit in writing the book. Oh boy…..if only.
I wanted to do things the old fashioned way. Analogue. Not digital. I wanted paper between my fingers. I wanted a publishing house to bite my hand off all the way up to my elbow. But most of all, I wanted a Literary Agent. Not just ANY literary agent, mind you. I wanted one who could look at my manuscript and see behind the words. I wanted one who empathised. Who got excited. Not just by the thought of sales…but by the story itself. And beyond that…the writer.
There are lots…and lots…and LOTS of writers out there. Many of them good. Some of them very good. A few of them great. And they might not get published in the good old fashioned way. Not because of lack of talent. But because the hunt to find the right Agent wears you down. But that’s ok…because now they can e-publish (anyone can and everyone is), and cut out the middleman. It even makes them more money (well…some of them). But they’re missing out on something akin to finding the holy grail. Something that’s a bit like the missing link. Someone to watch over them. Guide them. Advise them. Prod them. Hell, even occasionally kick them where the sun doesn’t shine if they need it.
All because we writers basically just want to write. Sure, we love the book signings and the meet and greets and the readings and the recognition and the sight of our efforts sitting on booksellers shelves…then disappearing very quickly. But I’ll say it again….we love to write!
So…to all you writers out there who have tried…and tried….and TRIED, but haven’t yet found the ‘holy grail’ Agent…the one who loves your work for what it is…I have this to say. It’s only my two cents worth, but to me it’s as valuable as gold dust.
Keep on looking. Persevere. Be stubborn. Be obstinate. Be hopeful. Be patient. And never…EVER give up.
Just because you can’t see the Agent who’s right for you, doesn’t mean they’re not there. Your paths merely haven’t crossed yet. But one day… one day…
Bryce Main, UK
first couple of chapters ONLY of the hiliarious Heaven Help Us on Facebook