Elspeth Cooper

Purveyor of fine fantasy adventures

Tag: publishing

London Book Fair 2011

Day 2, openingOn Tuesday 12th April, I went down to London Book Fair. I’d been invited  by Orion to meet up with those of my foreign publishers who were in town for the Fair, and they’d very generously thrown in a hotel for the night, so how could I possibly refuse? I’ve never been to the Book Fair, and I wanted to go and see what it was all about.

Plus I quite like travelling on the train. EastCoast actually make a reasonable cup of tea, and the shortbread fingers aren’t half bad.

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Literary lunch

On Thursday, I travelled down to London to meet my agent and publisher.  This, I thought, would make everything official, and I would henceforth be able to call myself a Proper Author.

Despite hailing the one and only cabbie in London who *doesn’t* know where the Dickens House museum is, I arrived safely at Ian’s offices so we could get acquainted.  He apologised for his visitor’s chair, a chrome and leather contraption in which authors have been lost, never to be seen again, and we exchanged tales of how book collections outgrow their shelves and having climbed the walls begin to colonise every available flat surface in one’s home like some sort of literary fungus.

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What’s in a name?

Quite a lot, actually.  A lot of to-ing and fro-ing, trying to find one that looks right, sounds right, balances well on a book cover and isn’t too hard to pronounce (so you don’t end up with lots of confused readers in the bookstore who want to buy your book but don’t know how to say your name and are too embarrassed to go and talk to the girl on the Customer Service counter in case they get it wrong and look like a plonker).

In the opinion of my agent, it is not dissimilar to the naming of cats.  I’ve always maintained that cats should be named something you wouldn’t be embarrassed to yell down the street at midnight to get the wretched thing to come home, and my subconscious immediately presented me with an image of a group of agents wandering around Bloomsbury trying to round up their authors after one of Gollancz’s legendary parties.

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A week is a long time in politics…

…but a fortnight is a bloody long time to keep your lip zipped when you’re sitting on astonishing news like this.

Lest I get too big-headed about this, I shall let theBookseller.com tell the story:

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/98263-gollancz-signs-new-fantasy-series.html

Yes, that’s me she’s talking about.  Little old me who’s been scribbling away for mumblety-mumble years on a rag-tag collection of reporters’ notebooks,  A4 pads and the backs of old envelopes.  Who wrote the first draft of the opening chapter twelve years ago in a haze of rage and pain, and who wrote the entire siege of Chapterhouse in one sitting (read the book and you’ll understand what a big deal that was; go on, read it!) and bawled her eyes out as she killed off one of her favourite characters because It Had To Be Done.

Me.

As Nanny Ogg said, “Well I’ll be mogadored!

 

I hope you’re sitting down

That’s what the email said.  The email just received from my literary agent, currently on holiday somewhere hot with unreliable internet access.  The email that said my agent has received a bloody handsome offer to publish Songs of the Earth and the next two books in the Wild Hunt series.

Fuck.

 

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