Legend and Candy

Right, so I started blogging earlier, and I had to stop because the Intern showed up. What the hell. She was supposed to work from 10 to 12 each day, and she shows up at 12 because her bus was late. Geezus and rice, even if she lived on the edge of Dundee she could have walked to work in two hours. Where the fuck does she live that it takes her two hours to get to work. Dundee is so small, it doesn’t take two hours to get anywhere. She is so taking the mick.

And, she’s such a kiss up. She brought Lorainne a ‘Congratulations on your Retirement’ card. She’s known Lorainne for like what? A week? We invited her to the drinks do, just out of courtesy, but thank god she didn’t come. I don’t know what it is about her, but she just kind of works my nerves.

She’s about 19 or 20 years old, has long really shiny brown hair, and is always dressed in these sort of Kate Middleton knock off things. Little print flower skirts with a light blue cardigan. Does she think that by dressing like a 40 housewife, I’ll think she’s miss innocent. I mean she’s 19 or 20 years old. She should be in jeans with big ridiculous funny coloured hair. And this whole prim-Kate Middleton thing is ridiculous. She over sleeps for work and blames it on the bus. If you’re hung over, tell me you’re hung over. Don’t lie. I just feel like she’s really fake.

Anyway, I didn’t finish tell you (or actually telling myself, because I don’t think anyone reads my blog anymore, which is absolutely fine, because now I can really dish the dirt…on myself).

So, where was I. Yes, Aberdeen.

I went up to Aberdeen on Saturday night and crashed at the Hilton in town. Ordered room service, watched telly, and spread out and took up the entire bed. Even though I had to be at the client’s house by 8am, it was the best sleep I’d gotten in ages. No one snoring in my face and pushing me out of the bed with his ridiculously long legs.

The author was first published when people could actually make a living off being an author. She is more than a seasoned writer, she is a living legend. Her work is on University syllabi and she is an inspiration. I was a bit start struck to be honest. No, I was more than star struck, I was terrified.

Lorainne had been my agent, and Legend (that is now my boggy coder name for her) was handed over to me for no other reason than the fact I’m in Scotland. (Or soon to be in London, but will at least be in Scotland every weekend.) Honestly, I think London would have been a better choice, but they all insisted I take her on.

Maybe it’s because she’s an easy client. She writes clean manuscripts, her publishers love her, she gets great reviews, and she’s a guaranteed money maker.

But, I’m still terrified. As an agent, it’s my job to weed through the client’s novel ideas, pick out the ones I think will sell, and take those to the publisher. Granted Legend speaks mostly with her publishers directly, but I’ll still be involved. And it’s my job to work with her on her manuscripts, but what can I say to someone who has University literature courses named after her? How could I possibly edit her manuscript?

Legend doesn’t actually live in Aberdeen, but its the closest airport to her house and since she was flying out that day, we met for a coffee near the airport. We’d met previously, and I’d already talked to her on the phone about why I wanted to see her.

We met, I filled her in on Lorainne’s departure, the sale of the Agency, and I told her that while she has the option to go to another Agency, we would like to keep her. And that I would be her agent.

When I said this, she looked me up and down, took a sip of her Chi Tea and said, ‘But you’re younger than my grand-daughter.’

True. There’s no doubt that was true. What could I say? Why the hell would she stay with the New Agency when all she’d get was me.

So, without thinking, I said, ‘Publishing is changing. Quickly. A lot of long standing authors aren’t getting the attention they deserve from the publishers, which means that they may not be new readers. You can’t rely on the same people to read your books, or else eventually your audience will die out and you’ll have no one left.’

Shit. I can’t believe I just said that, I thought. What the fuck. Back track. Back track.

But before I could pull the foot from my mouth she said, ‘That is actually my worry. I do feel like [name of her publisher] is taking me for granted. They tell me that I’m getting a new generation of readers as I’ve now become part of Scotland’s literary society, but I’m not convinced. I don’t think the younger generation are picking up my books.’

She then talked about a very famous author who’s audience was literally dying out. The author has retired from writing, and essentially her audience is gone. Everyone who would have bought her books already have, and are now literally dying off. I knew who Legend is talking about. Everyone in publishing knows who Legend is talking about.

She then added, ‘I don’t want that to be me. I have a lot left to say.’

Then I gave her my chat. How I could bring her a new audience through social media, how we could pair her with new and emerging artists as a mentor, which would in turn bring Legend a new readership. How the Agency (or New Agency) as a whole could get her back on the couch of the talk shows for her upcoming book, and how we can start looking at moving her from a name on a course reading list to a ‘I can’t wait for her next book to come out’ author.

She agreed to stay on with the agency, and I walked out of that coffee shop with my knees shaking and terrified that I now needed to keep some really big promises. I was over the moon and scared at the same time.

After the meeting I was on too much of a high to go home, so since I’ve not spent much time in Aberdeen before I decided to go exploring. I did a bit of shopping and then took a walk along the beach and then the river. Before I knew it, it was late and I need to catch the train home. Despite the misty grey weather in Aberdeen it had been a fabulous day.

I entered my flat ready to tell HP the exciting news. That I’d managed to keep Legend, the one author all other agencies had their eye on. But he wasn’t home.

I texted him to find out when he’d be back and I heard his phone beep in the bedroom. He’d been home and left his phone on the bedside table. I thought maybe he’d gone to the shop, but when he was still gone another three hours later, I started to get worried. He never goes too far without his phone.

At about ten thirty the door to the flat opened and in came HP with a female guest trailing behind.

‘I have it somewhere,’ he said to her, as he went digging through his DVDs. He then pulled out a case with his own scrawled handwriting across the front saying, ‘Red Dwarf.’

‘I knew it. I knew it was in here somewhere.’

And she took the DVD, thanked him for the great 24 hours, and walked out the flat as if I were nothing but a ghost.

‘Who was that?’ I asked.

But, unable to grasp nuance, HP just said, ‘Our new neighbour’ and went into the kitchen.

‘Great 24 hours?’

‘Yeah. She knocked on the door last night, as she was moving some stuff up into her flat, but the electricity had been turned off. She needed a torch. I gave her one. Helped her move and we’ve just been watching movies since. I’m beat. Going to bed.’

‘You watched films. For 24 hours. Without electricity?’ I asked.

‘We had electricity. She stayed here last night. And today I went and had a look. It was just a fuse. She’s nice.’

And off he went to bed.

I have absolutely no reason not to trust him. He’s really not that type. And he doesn’t have the social skills to cheat. But, I was…am…not okay with this.

A woman, a very sexy woman, with very long tan legs, thick dark satiny hair, and a perfect almond eyes, in her mid 30s, spends 24 hours with your boyfriend, watching movies, and even spends the night. No. I’m not okay with this in the least.

I follow him to the bedroom. ‘That’s all you have to say. “She’s nice.”‘

‘What’s your problem. We watched Saturday’s Dr Who. Now you don’t need to watch it with me. I know how much you hate them. You’re off the hook. I’ll watch them with Candy.’

Okay. Her name’s not Candy. That would be a stupid stripper name. But this woman looks like a middle-aged stripper. One that’s really hot, but any day now the estrogen’s going to dry up and she’s going to suddenly look bad, really fast.

Once HP’s asleep there’s no waking him up to continue with a fight. I’ve learned this the hard way. But, believe me. This is not the end of the argument.

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