It's 11.46 am. He's here! Then the sound of heavy A4's hit the tiled floor...

I rush to the door. "This is it," I announce, alone in the house. It’s a publishing contract with lots of noughts on it, I ponder, dreaming…

...I should mention, and Kate, my landlady will confirm this, our letter box is in the loo. True!

I remember the agent on our induction day, having a little banter with me, (no doubt the same banter he used on the previous tenants), “Just imagine what you can do with all that junk mail,” he said, laughing at his tried and tested joke.

I didn’t want to say, but personally I preferred to utilize my ever-growing pile of rejection letters. Softer and much more flushable! After all, you can recycle junk mail.

By the way, the A4's were brochures; new windows, new roof, new everything...until you wonder why someone hasn’t suggested you demolish the damn thing and simply start again.


I recall my first response from those people called ‘agents’ (not the MI6 sort). Literary agents are much worse!

It was an on-line application. This guy…his name was John, asked me for my full M.S (that means manuscript for all you laymen and layladies out there) until his partner got wind of it and made him turn me down.

I said, “Look, John. You don’t have to listen to her. Don’t let her tell you what to do. Be a man, for God’s sake!”

“Can’t, Wendy,” he said. “She’s the wife.”

Another online submission took me to a chap (Andrew) who asked me to provide him with a whole page synopsis per chapter. With thirty-five chapters it was no mean feat.

Jake (that’s my hub) granted me leave for three days, while I completed the task that I was sure was going to get me published.

We were in France then, so he set up an office for me in the pool house. It was forty degrees outside, so I needed somewhere shady. He put a tiny fridge next to a make-shift desk and filled it with water and wine (the fridge that is). There was even a corkscrew. (They don’t have screw-tops in France).

Then he set up my laptop and printer and also provided a sun-bed for when I needed to take a nap. I think he even plumbed-in an electric fan. It was adorable.

I slogged my way through that work, while the kid’s frolicked in the pool outside my door and after three days I had my thirty five page synopsis. Proud I was!

Then he turned me down.

And I always liked the name Andrew. Isn’t there a toilet roll called that? Nope, just checked.

It’s Andrex!


I have spent my whole adulthood saving up my rejection letters. In fact when I was a songwriter (lol) Actually I thought I was very good. Unfortunately no one else did. So rejection letters flocked through my letterbox on a weekly basis. Virgin, EMI, Polydor, etc etc....You name them and I'll shame them. "See you next tuesday," I would curse, as I slowly fed them through the shredder. Man it hurt!

But not anymore! I have hardened and that resilience is my barrier against the dreaded RL. So don't get down about it. Just think what may happen if your writing really had to get serious...Phew!

As long as they're not using your MS's to wipe their coffee stains off their tables. Ignorance is sometimes bliss!

A bien tot


Your cover letter is your buoy, it keeps you above water, and sounds a clear tone that hiring managers can navigate by.


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