Today, the latest round of edits for “Naming Names” went back to my lovely agent.
I have high hopes for this lot.
When I first wrote the novel, I did it just for me. OK, that’s not entirely true. I did it because I felt that compulsion a writer sometimes feels; I really needed to write this particular book. I felt I had to get it off my chest. I also thought it was timely. I thought the World was ready for a book on this subject, a book like this, and, when it was done, I thought that it was good. I thought that I’d done the subject matter justice.
Other people liked the book too. Other people thought it was good. People like Jane Alexander and Kaaron Warren took an interest in “Naming Names” and read bits of it and supported me, and I appreciated it.
Finally, it was the Mslexia competition and the judging panel, and Sarah Waters in particular who really gave me the impetus to seek out my lovely agent, and it is she who has really nurtured me. Real faith has been invested, real time and energy has been spent.
My lovely agent has already worked hard on the novel and given me invaluable notes, and Sarah has also commented pretty thoroughly, and I have done my very best, with their help and guidance. While I thought my first attempt was exactly what it needed to be, I think this draft is better... I think it’s really very much better, and that is because these lovely women have a wealth of experience and they know of what they speak. Other people bring a fresh eye, a reader’s perspective, a professionalism to all of this that I, as yet, lack.
I take my hat off to them, I thank them, and I hope, sincerely, that one day I can accrue the sort of knowledge and experience that might just allow me to offer a helping hand to someone starting out on this adventure as I am starting out now.
In the meantime, I am crossing my fingers and hoping that I actually have done what I set out to do, and ticked every box on those lists of edits and comments that these wonderful women compiled so that “Names” can safely go off to numerous editors neat and tidy and in the best possible shape to blow their socks off.