I was with the agent for something over two hours. We talked a lot. We talked about how said agent likes to work with a writer, and how I thought the relationship might work. We talked about foreign rights and percentages. We talked about schedules and publishers, and we talked about ‘literary fiction’. We talked about hardbacks and digital media, and we talked about book clubs and prizes.
We talked about things that should happen, things that could happen, and even things that generally only happen to other people (my opinion, not said agent’s).
Eventually, I asked at what point said agent would consider representing “Naming Names”. I hoped I wasn’t jumping the gun, but, the truth is, I am quite keen and this does all mean quite a lot to me. The agent looked bemused; clearly I had missed something.
It turned out that rather than jumping the gun, I’d been lagging behind. Apparently, I can’t always tell when a conversation turns from speculating about something to hammering out details. I think this rather amused said agent.
I don’t know how this happens for other people, but, apparently, this agent didn’t need any extra thinking time. Clearly, the answers I’d given to questions about the book and how it should be redrafted were the sort of answers said agent was hoping to get. Apparently, the agent had no qualms on that score, and, satisfied that I would write a better book, had moved on.
I don’t know what I was expecting, but I thought the agent would, at least, want to go away and think about it. I thought the agent might even want me to go away and think about it. That’s not what happened.
I live in a very cosy world, moving at my own pace, and not expecting others to do the same. I like to think that I think fast, make decisions spontaneously, and move on without lingering. I have no one to answer to. My experience with the outside world has been that it moves rather more slowly than I do.
In this instance, at least. I was wrong.
So, after a couple of hours’ talking, once we were comfortable that everything that needed to be said was covered by one or other of us, My Agent and I smiled and shook hands.
There was very little lingering. I had to get home. There’s work to be done.