'Thanks for teaching me how to make some of my own luck and putting me on the road to Bloomsbury!'
Jon Mayhew, Mortlock, Bloomsbury, 2010
Jon came on a workshop and I remember being dazzled by the atmospheric vividness of Mortlock, a victorian gothic horror. However, as is often the case with first books, there was a fair amount to do in terms of style and story. Jon had some reports done and then I worked with him for a while prior to submitting.
Jon already had a flutter of publisher interest and when I submitted to some agents and the response ranged from 'great story but not my cup of tea' to, 'in two minds.' Then we got that hit where two agents were clamouring to represent him. Jon went with Sarah Davies at Greenhouse and we all worked editorially on Mortlock. Bloomsbury then offered a three-book deal.
When we pass through authors to agents we expect there to be editorial input from the agent and the editor - be prepared for this, especially with your debut novel.