Monday, 28 March 2011

The York Festival of Writing

I just spent three days at the York Festival of Writing, where I'm known by my real name, not this pseudonym. Although I had to sneak out to play an orchestra concert (and miss the gala dinner as well as probably the best workshop of the weekend), I found it a well-spent weekend. I met with an agent on Friday and am looking forward to receiving his comments today or tomorrow. There was a mix up on submissions, so he didn't have my materials in advance. He seemed positive about my novel initially (as I described the plot to him), but fear that he may doubt its series potential. I have since come up with some ideas, but I'll wait and see what he says.

I also had a one on one with a "book doctor" for ten minutes yesterday. I dreaded this one, because I was able to get my submission to him. I sat and waited, expecting the worst. He was free the slot before me and I could see that he was reading through it. I felt better when he got to the end and nodded his head. (He didn't know that I could see him.) He seemed excited about the story and generally liked my prose. It was the end of the morning session, so we continued to talk after the slot was finished for probably another ten minutes. I'd heard of so many people being slammed in their one on ones that I can only be grateful that I emerged unscathed.

The workshops were mostly helpful, giving useful advice about approaching agents and publishers, and I was prevailed upon to read the first page of my book aloud in the first session. Again, they were positive, saying that it was "almost there", echoing comments that my wife made when she read through it before I submitted it, as well as those later by the book doctor. Those are minor changes, so I felt pretty good about it.

Now it's back to work for me.

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