As I shop for a new literary agent, I do so with renewed gratitude for all the feedback I’ve had so far on Looking for Bono.
I entered a competition to have the first 50 or pages critiqued by industry veteran, Kate Barker (so lovely. Perhaps I should harangue her to take me on as a client), and here’s what she had to say (I redacted some passages):
And here’s a couple more…
This one is from relatively high-profile agency (they’ve got some big television and literary personalities on their list. Even better; said list is crazy-ass diverse – hurray!).
(By the way, I redacted a few sentences from this email, too).
Last, is it wrong to say that I hope they sign me on account of the fact that I really, really like the agent’s warm smile on her publicity shot?
Here’s another well-known agency…
… even if they decided to not go further with my manuscript:
How to survive the search for a literary agent
I’ve been around long enough to know the time pressures that agents are under. And for them to take time out from their schedule and comment on my manuscript, even if some of them eventually decide that I’m not a good fit for their agency, is, like my nephew would say: ‘A big, freaking deal.’
Looking for Bono is my love letter to myself. It’s the first time in my author career that I’ve ever written a book without giving a damn about the audience. In other words, I gave myself permission to write freely and creatively.
The result is a chaotic smorgasbord of boobs, Bono and bonkers, with a side of ludicrous (I did say that I wrote freely…).
I started writing the book a few years ago, but it wasn’t until I started reading (but didn’t finish) Paul Beatty’s audacious Sellout that I dared to believe that maybe there was a place in the world for my novel, Looking for Bono. And even if there wasn’t, I didn’t care; I was going to write the book anyway. It was that important to me.
Like I said, the manuscript is still doing the rounds with literary agencies (edit: it’s found a home! More on this later). But the initial feedback is enough validation for me to know that sometimes, it’s ok to not follow the herd, and to be brave enough to write a novel about Bono and boobs (boobs play an important role in the book).
Frederick Douglass: ‘I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.’
Translation: Sometimes, you just gotta step out of the boat and swim to the shore, even when you can’t see the shore itself.