The call went amazingly. She likes the book - really likes it, in fact, and said some amazingly complimentary things about my writing, all of which I managed to humbly swat away with the air of a seasoned professional by saying 'Mrghghg. What? Wow. Um. Ha. Ha. Megh?'
The book has some problems, she thinks, but the story has really struck her and the style stood out. In its current state, though, she's worried that there are too many small problems for it to sell to a publisher. And yet she's interested...
In the end, she wanted to size me up to see how open I am to revision. Could we change the format a bit? How would I feel about providing more information about the father? Did I mean to hint at a past resentment with this scene? How about here? And... could we change the name?
Some writers get offended at suggestions of change - the agent herself admitted she's often wary, and likened it to telling a friend, 'Well, yes, your kid is pretty cute... but he'd look so much better without a head, don't you think?'
I'm over the moon. She e-mailed me a couple of pages of notes and suggestions, and we've e-mailed back and forth with thoughts about style and direction. If I can make these changes, and rework the book to be better than it's ever been, she wants to go further with it. That's a real chance, right there - a shot at landing representation.
So now - I'm rewriting. Whole scenes are shifting and growing and shrinking and morphing, but the book is getting better and I feel like I can really do this.
She said such nice words at me.
And hey - I and my wife and my brother- and sister-in-law are going to England at the end of April! Tickets are now booked, and this gives me a great goal to aim for. I'll have the book back to the agent in maybe 4 weeks, and hope that the Writing Gods are appeased, and I can maybe - maybe - even meet her. Who knows?
Few people realise that the whole of London is actually built on a 30 degree tilt...