It is simple: do not submit any work to an agent or publisher when you are high on hallucinatory drugs. Ever.
That is the only explanation for the extraordinary example of mania that an agent has shown me.
No, let me be fair. I am going to think about this more carefully. There are some other feasible explanations, and I offer them all to you here:
- the writer was in the grips of a quasi-religious seizure - this could be the right explanation, as it did contain references to the notion that God had called him to a writing career. Well, I think it did, but it was a bit hard to make sense of. God did come into it anyway. (And please don't tell me God comes into everything and that God is everywhere. God was definitely not with this guy when he wrote the letter, unless He wished to knacker the guy's career before it started. Which is actually not a bad idea. So, maybe it was a religious seizure...)
- the writer was at a particularly difficult and intransigent stage of severe mental illness. Now, this I am very sympathetic to (not through personal experience, but through general human sympathy) and such situations are very tragic. However, this is really not the time to submit work to an agent. Or anyone at all.
- a mad axe-man had burst into the writer's garret and was threatening to cut his head off unless the writer submitted the work right NOW and under conditions of extreme stress.
People, submit your work when sober, clean and stable. Do it only of your own volition, not because forced to by either God or an axe-man.
And now, unconnectedly, I bring you some photos of the first couple of days of the Edinburgh Book Fest, including, by popular demand, some never-yet-seen photos of The Yurt.
Day One and Two of the festival, and the sun shines. See!
Now (below) we approach that glory of glories, the Yurt. First, the peaceful bit outside, with authors relaxing in the sun:
And here the entrance, which is deceptive, revealing none of its hidden mysteries.
In the background is the Press Pod.
Below is the entrance again, at a busy time, with Roland, the programme manager, looking important. Which he is. He looks as though he's smoking a pipe, but of course he's not: he's saying "over and out", or something equally technical, into his radio thing.
Here is the hospitality table, with, remarkably, no one there.
The roof of the Yurt, which never leaks.
And the carpet of the Yurt, with some rather fetching shoes.
The children's book tent
A shelf of my books, the non-fiction ones. Sadly, I could not photograph my daughter's handiwork in giving me prominence in the fiction section, because there were too many people in the way. What nuisances readers are.
And the tail end of some party or other - can't remember which. They blur ...
And just to show you that the sun always shines on my blog: Not a drop of rain or gust of wind have we had. Trust me, I'm a novelist.