Seventies Nostalgia

Monday, November 13, 2006

Hustling To Get Frantic Published


I was a gossip columnist in the Old Days, which meant I had to go Out from morn 'til night, which enabled me to meet and pester luminaries in the publishing business, all of whom had the power to help me get 'Frantic' published. But, although I determinedly left no stone unturned in my determined quest for publication, not one of the trapped UK agents or publishers I persuaded to look at my spec manuscript, was enthusiastic enough to want to publish it.

In my role as a prolific freelance journalist, I was also a film critic. After screenings, the film companies would habitually host a sit-down lunch for the film critics to interrogate the visiting Hollywood filmmakers about their newly released movies. I was so single-minded about trying to get "Frantic" published, that I quickly dispensed with interrogating the producers and directors with pseudo-intellectual questions about their latest movie, and quickly moved onto informing them about my newly finished novel. Without fail, they were all extremely helpful and generally recommended top, American literary agents. I consequently almost bankrupted myself by sending "Frantic" in multiple-submissions to the USA, where the manuscripts languished in the agents' slush-piles for the rest of eternity.

In the end, I became so desperate, that after a famous London film critic erupted with fury when I blew smoke in his face, I knew no shame and begged him if he knew of any good British agents. After he advised me to stop smoking (which I did shortly afterwards), he called a famous literary agent crony of his on my behalf. I was excited when she wilingly agreed to read "Frantic". By this time, it was the Eighties and she herself was in her eighties, and didn't see the point of my novel set in the early '70's, which focussed on drugs, sex and rock'n'roll (in that order).

After I had shown "Frantic" to 'everyone' on both sides of the 'pond', I was resigned to a twilight existence as an unpublished novelist. I threw the second draft into my filing cabinet where it languished for another five years, before I decided to re-write another draft.

Copyright: Frances Lynn 2006

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