Saturday, April 14, 2007


I love this bit of the Paris Review interview you did with you:


Let's talk about the women in your books.


There aren't any. No real women, no love.


Is this worth expounding upon?


It's a mechanical problem. So much of what happens in storytelling is mechanical, has to do with the technical problems of how to make a story work. Cowboy stories and policeman stories end in shoot-outs, for example, because shoot-outs are the most reliable mechanisms for making such stories end. There is nothing like death to say what is always such an artificial thing to say: The end. I try to keep deep love out of my stories because, once that particular subject comes up, it is almost impossible to talk about anything else. Readers don't want to hear about anything else. They go gaga about love. If a lover in a story wins his true love, that's the end of the tale, even if World War III is about to begin, and the sky is black with flying saucers. "

Re my own little world of writing here, I got down to business immediately re new agent query. I spent ages finding the right words. 'It's out at the moment, but when they reject it I'd love to send it to you,' didn't seem like a good idea. I ended up with, 'it's currently under consideration' and 'if it's not taken up'. I then spent even longer composing e-mail to agent who had it.

'I'm really sorry to be a nag, but as it's been nearly 2 months now, could you possibly just confirm to me that my novel is still in your reading queue? My problem is I had a request in yesterday from another agent and I don't want to cross wires.'

I got a response later that day, a rejection, but a very pleasant one, saying how enjoyable my novel was and that the writing style was snappy and appealing but she has too many commitments at the moment etc etc. This was a lot more cheering than the last effing printed form telling me how to write a synopsis, and am feeling generally bouyant all round.

The weather helps of course, the UK is having the most brilliant spring. Have completed my work work and have been out and about meeting friends for long lazy coffees and picnics. Two days ago took daughter and friend to Richmond Park's Isabella Plantation & we're off there again today, if we can get a parking space. A friend went there on Easter Sunday and tried for an hour to park before eventually giving up. Why is everywhere getting more crowded? Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.


Anne Brooke said...

Sorry about the rejection - the fools! the fools! - but get it out to the next set of agents at once. At least 10 at a time, you know!



Storey Clayton said...

So it goes.