It’s a new month, the tax returns are finished and optimism reigns once more in the house of Grant. I’ve been doing quite a bit of research into sending Certainty to some US agents, and it appears this is a very good idea. More than one writer person I’ve talked to has told me that British stuff is “hot” in America at the moment (no doubt buoyed by Simon Cowell, the continuing success of House, the buzz that’s followed The King’ Speech everywhere, and so on), and so over the past couple of days I’ve attacked the possibility of success in the US with the kind of feverish determination that’s particular to crazy, obsessed madmen.
Having bashed my US query letter into super-slick shape and added enough personality for it to walk the tightrope between voice and professionalism, I sent it off to some promising-looking agents and waited for responses. I woke up this morning to a nice result with the first reply – a request for the first 50 pages of the novel, which in US parlance is known as a ‘partial’. This is a good sign that my query, at least, is solid. I have no doubt that for some agents my novel will be too British, and for others there won’t be enough exciting happening in the first few pages, but I’m hoping to hit the sweet spot before long.
What’s great about the US agent market is that there are so many more possibilities than the UK when it comes to agencies that will accept thriller/high concept submissions, and the increasing ubiquity of the internet has broken down geographical barriers to the extent that it really doesn’t matter where an author lives, as long as their material is compatible with the market they’re approaching. I don’t care which country my eventual agent resides in, either – all that will be required is for them to represent me well, so either side of the Atlantic will be fine. After all, the dream ticket is for Certainty to be sold in more than one market.