As part of the Brisbane Writers Festival, a manuscript of mine recently won its way through to be read and critiqued by Suzanne Baboneau from Simon & Schuster (UK). I was so excited by the prospect of having Suzanne offer me advice and any serious criticisms of the book, I could hardly breathe for days beforehand. During a fit of nerves before the interview, I asked my husband, “What does it say about my personality that I’m thrilled by the prospect of sitting in a room to be criticised for twenty minutes?”
The day of the big critique arrived and I still wasn’t really sure of what to expect. As it turned out, I needn’t have worried. Suzanne was lovely. Better than that, she loved my work. She began our meeting by saying, “I’ve always believed that the world can be divided into two groups of people; those who can write, and those who can’t. I have to say, Rebecca, you’re one of those who most certainly can.”
The meeting could have ended there and I would have died happy. But it didn’t end there. Suzanne continued on to tell me how she loved my characters and my dialogue. She liked the plot and the fact that I knew my market. At the end of the meeting, she handed me my manuscript, complete with copy editing and big ticks beside all the things she liked! I also had the opportunity to ask ‘what next?’.
Now I’m looking for a great agent. I’ll let you know how that goes…