selling my soul to an agent of literature

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

 

Of course, there is so much of your soul in your novel, and banding it around to the highest - no, any - bidder can make even the most stoic among us feel a little shabby.  Life as a all-too-swiftly melting particle in the slush pile can provoke desperate behaviour, such as signing up to the first person who makes an offer.  (I've heard agents spend an average of 20 seconds looking at each submission when I probably spend 20 minutes adjusting my material so it caters to their individual requirements.)  Having briefly "enjoyed" a stint in a literary agency, I can confidently say that much that what comes through the mailbox is mainly cringeworthy and it's certainly not a career I'd be "enjoying" again.  Now I see that two of the larger agencies fob off submissions - even from the good but relatively unknown writers like myself - with "Your submission is not what we're looking for right now but why don't you, in the meantime, sign up for one of our writing courses and then we may have another look" so, basically, where there is the standard "no reading fee" now there is a rather sly course fee which is a trend that could hinder the development of authors of lower income.

One must remain calm and measured, particularly as this latest novel is an amalgamation of 15 years, as a teacher on the international circuit, no mean feat.   

A couple of years ago, more teachers left Britain to work abroad than had been trained that particular year.  This "grass is greener on the other side" idea is perhaps something I'm helping to quash in my new novel, where just about everything that could possibly go wrong in an international school takes place in these pages.  Most of the material I use here I have, sadly,  been in the midst of... revolutions, teachers slacking off, retention of passports, terrible food, induction days...

So, here is my blurb, which has had some friends and family tweak it a bit - I think it's in a good state now...

Out of the blue, vain and naïve Randolph is offered the job of headmaster at a new school in a totalitarian state.
The school, Swineforth International, a franchise from a decrepit public school in England, is situated on a half-finished campus out in the desert. The food is appalling and there is seemingly no way to escape for Randolph and his motley crew of a teaching staff. Inspectors arrive from England and matters go from bad to worse when a revolution ensues which closes the school. Randolph is accused of aiding and abetting the discord and there’s little that can be done to save him...

and I have my "celebrity" review to add...
Praise for A Blindefellows Chronicle...
“A sprightly, inventive novel, rich in amusing characters and situations. I enjoyed every word of it.” 
Tony Connor, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature

When, if ever, Let the swine go forth comes out, I will keep you posted...

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