As of yesterday, I am represented by Gemma Cooper of The Bent Agency. Which means that, as of yesterday, I officially have a literary agent.
I still can't believe I get to type that sentence.
I'm already concocting a longer post about how my real life suddenly began to look a lot like the crazy dreams I've been making up in my head for years (no, really. I've had so many visions of an agent coming up to me and saying, I love your book! I want to help you publish it!, and now this is something that has actually happened to me).
For now, though, the important bit: the book.
Gemma is a children's agent, and the manuscript that I submitted to her is a 1930s-style murder mystery for teens, set in a girls' boarding school. As my original query letter says:
When Hazel Wong, pupil at elite girls' school Deepings, discovers her Science Mistress Miss Bell lying dead in the school Gym, she's horrified. But when she goes back to the spot five minutes later the body has vanished. Can Hazel and her crime-mad best friend Daisy Wright not only solve the murder, but prove that a murder happened in the first place?A MOST UNLADYLIKE MURDER is a 1930s-style murder mystery, Enid Blyton with a twist. It is based on my own experiences at a girls’ boarding school and half a lifetime’s obsession with Agatha Christie and her contemporaries.
I know that I wrote it, and thus am a bit biased, but I really love Hazel and Daisy and I love their story. As soon as I met Gemma, I felt as though she loved them too - but in a way that was also very clear-eyed about what didn't work in the manuscript I had given to her. She got very excited about my novel, and then she gave me an enormous list of things that I need to change. This was slightly dreadful but mostly very exciting, because she is absolutely right. With her help, I think I can make A Most Unladylike Murder a whole lot better than I could ever have done on my own.
Obviously, this is just the beginning. Ahead of me looms an enormous mountain of edits - and after that, things will probably get even more difficult. But, all the same, I'm so excited to have been given this opportunity, and I can't wait to find out what's going to happen next.
I'll keep you all updated.