Agent – Editor

The great thing about Agent Jane is that she reads my manuscripts with the eye of an editor as well as an agent looking at the book as ‘will it sell?’
So, The Perfume Maker. She has read it twice and is sending me notes. The main point I think she makes as in me making changes, is drive. This is a character driven book as opposed to plot and I need to keep the reader turning the pages and I haven’t quite done that enough.
So, some more work. I feel disappointed, but I like challenges and I will crank up tension and drive and clarity and make the reader care about Tessa and turn every page to see what she does next. Give me strength!!!


Manuscript to Agent Jane

TessaWell, this final, final, final and another final edit has taken longer than I thought and I think because of this, I’ve been reluctant to let The Perfume Maker (working title) go. Anyway, it’s 16.14 and it’s gone, emailed over to Agent Jane to print up and read. Will she like it? Will it be what she expected and hoped? She said perfume is sexy, people will love a story about perfume. But it’s about more than perfume, it’s about perfume, sherry and liquorice and women and Paris and Jerez de la Frontera. Don’t panic. Agent Jane will read it and honestly tell me what she thinks and I have a title to come up with.
She’s taking it to The London Book Fair, so it had better have a belter of a title. Now where’s that list…….?

Painting with Words

I’m editing the perfume/Coty book to get to Agent Jane for early next week and reading Henry Miller’s ‘Dark Spring’ at the same time. I love the energy of his writing and his free flowing descriptions painting a scene…
‘The city is panting with a five o’clock sweat. From the tops of the sky-scrapers plumes of smoke soft as Cleopatra’s feathers. The air beats thick, the bats are flapping, the cement softens, the iron rails flatten under the broad flanges of the trolley wheels. Life is written down in headlines twelve feet high with….the stunchions gleaming, the hawsers tight, the slips grunting, the moss splitting and spelching in the ferry slips. A warm sultry haze lying over the city like a cup of fat…’

I like non-sentences and evocative images. Think a little of this has slipped into my writing. Thanks Henry Miller 🙂

Breaks from Writing

I’m on the computer a lot this week. When I’m writing, I tend to sit in the kitchen where the light streams through several windows and write in long hand. Then I type it up, make changes on the computer, print up and edit again…then this week, I’m typing in all the changes. I hate this part of the process, my head is heavy by the end of the day and sometimes I want to scream!!
It’s time for a break.
So, this is where dancing comes in. Being in the head all day, sitting on a chair, I need to move and let the mind go.
This week, had Tap on Monday, lots of stamping to great music, Tuesday, Samba and Samba Reggae to uplifting tunes, followed by partner dancing in Cuban Salsa, lots of laughter in all these classes too, a great relaxant, and then last night, watching the Birmingham Royal Ballet perform Romeo and Juliet. A great story, the setting and costumes, strong and impressive and evocative of Italy and families, church and heat. The two leads, well matched. Their conflict, universal. The end, tragic. A classic. Smatterings of humour a must in a tragedy, and they were there too. The choreography brought out the humour and the pain of the story, absolutely superb dancing. Transported for the night.
And today…at the computer. Refreshed.