How to talk to your literary agent
By Michael Caines
There are many wonders in this week's TLS – letters from Napoleon Bonaparte, for example, and the return of Yorkshire's prodigal son, David Hockney – but for authors troubled by literary agents, or at least literary agents with impertinent assistants, perhaps most wonderful of all is the prolific and self-possessed Georgette Heyer's demonstration (as quoted in Matthew Dennison's review of Jennifer Kloester's biography) of how to put such creatures in their place.
Observe how Heyer, the beloved author of Bath Tangle (romance) and Why Shoot a Butler? (target practice, Georgette?), among many others, replies to the lowly being who imagines that she need pay attention to what the reviewers say about her books:
“My dear good creature, do you really picture me with a pot of paste and a pair of scissors eagerly sticking press cuttings into an album? I’m thirty-three & I’ve been writing for thirteen years – no, sixteen years!”
There’s more to the “Queen of Regency Romance” than a sharp eye for period detail, it would seem . . . .