My poor blog, along with everything else in my life, has been a little neglected as of late. Late July/early August has been a whirlwind: several trips (including one to meet my lovely and amazing agent in London!), an online class, tutoring, writing/editing, and preplanning week at school. Now that it’s all listed out like that I’m starting to wonder how I got any sleep. No wonder I’m exhausted!
But now I’m starting to catch up (tell that to the pile of laundry haunting my hamper), so no more blog neglect. I have a couple of things I want to post about, but since the most exciting thing that happened was London that gets top priority.
It started with a whim. I get regular emails from Delta airlines with info about sales, and one came the first week of July advertising a sale for one day only, and only to London from certain cities. Long story short: the rates were bargain basement, the timing was right, and Atlanta was one of those cities. How could my husband and I not go? So we booked it—completely oblivious to the fact that we’d be going the day after the Olympic opening ceremonies. I was 100% focused on the fact that I’d actually get the chance to meet my agent, Clare Wallace of the Darley Anderson Agency, in person.
My husband spent a semester abroad in the UK, so he chose the hotel and we were off. Clare generously offered to take me to lunch, so I met her at the agency on Tuesday afternoon. I presented her with a bottle of champagne and chocolates for the agency to share, as well as genuinely tacky “Georgia: Peach State!” shot glasses for Clare and Vicki. A good Southern girl never shows up empty-handed.
I got to meet a couple of people, including Darley Anderson himself (though sadly some of the agency was out of town hiding from the Olympics, so I didn't get to meet everyone). I got to have a nice conversation with him, as he was kind enough to drive me and Clare to our lunch. He is really such a fascinating man, a wealth of information about publishing. Even in a twenty-minute car ride he had a lot of great advice to offer. The agency is currently preparing for the release of the Jack Reacher movie, starring Tom Cruise and based on one of Darley’s client’s books.
As Clare and I had lunch we discussed the latest iteration of Blessed Among Women. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor when she said it’s ready to go out to publishers. I know that’s always been the endgame, but it always seemed so abstract (a separate post on that later). Now it’s happening: Blessed is going out to editors in September in advance of the Frankfurt Book Fair in October (again, I’m feeling a lot of feelings about that, they’ll get covered in a later post).
The thing that struck me most as we chatted was that I couldn’t have dreamed up an agent that would suit me better than Clare. She really gets my writing and feels so passionately about her work. As we discussed it I could tell that she understood on a deep level what I was trying to say with the novel, how I wanted to present the characters and their world, their triumphs and failures. I’m going to stop gushing, but I’ll just say if I was happy to be working with her before we met I’m ecstatic now.
Okay: gushing over. London was spectacular, although the closest we got to any of the Olympic events was the TV at the pub (hey, we just wanted to experience the games like true Brits, okay?). We did get to spend several hours at the British museum, which is where I spotted the plate in the picture at the top of this post. Guess who that is? That’s Diane de Poitiers. Of all the treasures the museum could contain, and of the very few I got to see, I stumble on a portrait of my inspiration. And it’s probably a plate she owned.
I like to think it’s a sign.