This is quite a long story, so let me give you the punchline: I’ve approached an agent, she’s expressed an interest, we’ve had a meeting. Before I go any further though, I should say she has not signed me. She’s asked for a rewrite and will read the new draft; but, if she doesn’t like it, it will go no further. Having said that, it’s the first time I’ve had a face-to-face meeting with an agent. So, I’m treating this as a definite ladder.
Ironically, I first met her at a conference about self-publishing where she was one of the guest speakers. Someone asked what she looked for in a submission and she said, ‘Fiction and comedy.’ My second novel is about stand-up comedy. I always take envelopes with the three-chapters-and-a-synopsis along to these events, just in case. So I went up to her just before the tea break, handed her one and said, ‘It’s a fiction about comedy.’ Then pitched the story. She seemed interested and when she left, had the envelope tucked under her arm. For the rest of the conference I was dreaming about her coming back and saying, ‘Where is Paul Gapper? This is the best thing I’ve read in years, etc. etc.’
Instead of which, at the end of the day, there was an email on my phone, saying, ‘Thanks for pressing this into my hand. I read it on my journey home, and I liked it!’
Imagine my shock and excitement. After a quick exchange of emails, I sent her the whole novel, and a couple of months later, she asked to meet up.
We met on Friday and talked about what I need to do next. Fortunately, it had occurred to me she might be interested in knowing what else I am writing. I had therefore printed off three chapters and synopsis of my new half-completed novel. Thus looking tremendously professional.
Generally, it was a good meeting. I managed not to spill my drink, say anything too weird, or set the fire alarm off. And I liked her.
So, interest enough to offer a next step. Which right now, is fine.