Saturday, September 17, 2005

Ra Cunning Plan for Fame and Fortune!

1:50p.m. Saturday afternoon.
Have to hand it to Boddingtons. Had eight cans last night (3.8% alc/vol) and managed to post and everything when I got home. Wakening up in the cave in the Unheard of and McDonald Islands this morning and felt really good! The penguins on the beach still look frisky, goosestepping with the nazi flipperbands, despite Adolf calling them bad names. Thank God they don't speak German!

If you're here to meet other panty sniffers or are looking for wet teeshirt competitions, you want to have a look at this post and try to get into ra bliss!

Apart from the masai warriors and spam robots who visit this blog, sometimes writers come looking for stuff about agents. Here's what I know about agents and the kidbook trade.

I tried to get a book called Light in the Dark published a few years ago. It was written for kids who could read, anyone from about ten years old up, I suppose. I tried it out on kids at the secondary school where I worked and such was the fantastic response that I was certain it would get published. (During this I was writing a second kidbook called Bugtown, which got a similar response from kids at the school though I don't think it's as good.)

I couldn't get any children's publishers to read it at all, despite sending them screeds of commendations in questionnaire form from kids who thought the books were written by someone called Alison Main, not me.

After wasting ages doing this, I was contacted by Nicky Singer who wrote a brilliant kidbook called Featherboy. She told me I wouldn't get read by a publisher unless I had an agent and I probably wouldn't get published unless I was represented by one of the six 'killer' agencies.

I might have managed to get Light in the Dark read by two agents in three years. Some of these agents are apparently getting two hundred submissions as week, but I thought I might get a look-in because I had books and plays done in the past. No way. The best chance I probably had was getting Rosemary Canter, an agent with PFD (big agency; big client list full of known names; must be one of Nicky Singer's killer agents, thinks I), but she knocked it back. I assume she read it, but I don't know.

A few months ago, I reconnected with Rosemary Canter and asked her to put up two books against my two books and I'd do a blind test with new first year kids, who would think my books were written by Alison Main. Got five copies of Wind Singer and Missing, the books she put up and was almost ready to go last week with the reading group. So I sent her an email a couple of days ago and said I was ready to go.

I should say here that everyone likes different things. Wind Singer would be a great book for kids who like fantasy fiction, a wee bit like Lord Of The Rings. I loved the Hobbit and thought Lord of the Rings was awful. Hundreds of millions of readers thought it was great though. I haven't read Missing by a Scottish writer called Cathy McPhail, but I am looking forward to it. I might be a better book than either of mine, but I've been dishing books out to kids for twenty years and the reactions to Light in the Dark and Bugtown were exceptional. Light in the Dark beat Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone four to one in the previous blind trials.

The response I got from the email I sent Rosemary Canter surprised me, to put it mildly. She said don't be rude and piss off basically. Adolf thought his uncomplimentary remarks in the comments on the blog might have been contributory to this, but unless she's a spam robot or a Masai warrior, I doubt it. She won't be wasting her time on blogs like this. But if you're a writer trying to get represented by Rosemary Canter, don't send her an email anything like this!

Hi Rosemary!
Remember wanting to bet your authors' books were better than the two kidbooks I'd written? You knocked back Bugtown about two years ago.
I'm half way through Wind Singer. If that's your best shot (I haven't read Missing yet, the other book you recommended) then you haven't got a chance! I'll eat my hat if the kids don't put my two books ahead of that. Anyway, I don't expect you'll want to punt my stuff after you've got whacked in this contest, but I may ask you for the names of the other five killer agents that Nicky Singer told me control the kidbook world.
Totally confident here in Edinburgh. Have you got a hat to eat or would you rather lose some money? Doesn't matter to me. The satisfaction of feeling smug will do me. I am enjoying this. I don't think you will as much somehow. Hotboy.

Is that rude? Compassion and altruism are the basis of the path. I'm saying nothing more.

While surfing the net looking for stuff on kidbooks, I came across John G. Sutton, who did manage to get a kidbook published without an agent. He said no one in that editorial department had ever dealt with a book without an agent before, but he said it was possible.

Check out John's site if you're interested with near death experiences. He has a story about PJ Proby which is brilliant and should be made into a movie!

What I'm going to do now is go ahead with the reading group in some form or other. If the results favour me, I'll contact all the other kidbook agents in the Writers and Artists and see if I can get them to read the books. If I draw a blank on that, I'll contact the kidbook publishers and ask them to put up their best current book against Light in the Dark in a blind test with school kids. I'll get Light in the Dark published somehow. But it's easy to see why folk just give up. I'm sure some of the best books in the world are never published. Roll on the end of books and better internet cataloguing!!

I meditated from half nine today till half twelve. Really brilliant blissful meditations once they got going. I won't bother trying to describe them. Flatheids will never get ra bliss!! I'm off to the hut to meditate the rest of the afternoon away. Still the most fortunate of fortunate creatures!! HotboyMadyamikaSurfingTheOceansofBliss.


Blogger Crazy Me said...

I don't think your e-mail was rude at all.

4:09 PM  
Blogger hotboy said...

Hi Angela! I didn't think it was rude either. Maybe I could do rude. What do you think? I'm supposed to be trying to be nice, but if you could think of something rude, I could try that. I'm retraining myself here. Or restraining myself. Adolf, my agent in the souther n hemisphere could come up with some real rudeness if he had a mind. Hotboy

1:13 AM  
Blogger Lee Ann said...

I am sorry she thought your email was rude. I am glad you had blissful meditation. I think you must have great control to meditate that long. I think I would get too antsy. Hope your weekend is going well.

1:29 AM  
Blogger robmcj said...

I'm told some people can't read humour as humour, unless every sentence has a smiley at the end ;-)

How about collaborating on a cuddly kids' fantasy fiction book, a sort of Watership Down meets Lord of The Rings, full of penguins with cute names, like Uberleutnant and Arbeitsunfahigkeitsbescheinigung?

10:02 AM  
Blogger hotboy said...

Adolf! Heil! Is that last word rude? How dare you be rude! May you have rude good health! Hope this helps. Hotboy

1:17 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

May you get all your books published and make tons of cash....then give it all away and go down in history as one of Scotland biggest and blissfullest philanthropists...

2:21 PM  
Blogger hotboy said...

Eric: Nice to have support from the military! See you enjoyed Dharma Bums. Guess I'm one too! Hotboy

2:40 PM  
Blogger Carslemane Foraix said...


Does your buddy Brian Wilson know that he can find many likeminded music lovers through Blogger profiles at this location.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Lee Ann said...

Just in case you do not go back and read the post comments of Ra Rudeyness! on the 15th, I somehow read the post and thought I was reading the most current and made this comment:

Lee Ann said...
hahaha ~ you guys are cracking me up! robmcj: "r" Then hotboy saying "r is an odd comment, Adolf!That might be counted as your second spelling mistake." Then Menzies Milngavie III says "I say..." (I adore that exclamation). I would love to hear the way all of you talk, I just know I would love your accents and words.

I was laughing so hard thinking about this conversation.

3:56 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

I have to admit that I enjoy your blog's preamble about the current beer being savoured. I too happen to enjoy the occasional brown pop...

In Canada, we have numerous micro-breweries offering very good brews. I must recommend "La Blanche de Chamblis" (from Quebec, the last remnant of French colonialism in North America). For common fare, I enjoy Kokannee, made from glacier run-off in British Columbia.

By the way, I am Heather's partner. I also am the most anti-military member of the Army. What a waste of money...

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, Angela!
I agree with the rest, it's a pity she kept your e-mail was rude or offensive.
But I was wondering if you could tell me the e-mail of Nicky Singer's, or an e-mail where fans of hers could send comments and questions. I know this has nothing to do with your actual topic, though it was interesting to read, but this is important. I know this comes right out of the blue, for I'm just a random passer by, that seriously needs to give out her thoughts after reding something that thouched her heart.
If you only could be so kind to give me the information I need, or maybe ahint where I could find this e-mail address, I'd appreciate it more than you can think.

If not, them I'm sorry to bother you, but I hope you good luck on your way and success on everything you're up to.


2:32 PM  
Blogger RaBadBoy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have got to see this. Obama playing on XBox. Funniest video ever.

8:41 AM  
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