Sunday, January 14, 2007


In yesterday's My Mentors column (Guardian, 13th January) Lindsey Davis wrote about the people who helped her to get published. Firstly her boss in the civil service knocked her English into shape. Then a judge of a writing competition wasn't able to give her the first prize, but took an interest. The judge also advised Davis not to give up the day job, but it was too late by that point. The judge was an editor, who eventually gave her a list of recommended agents. She put the best one at the bottom of the list, as she expected that agent would be too busy to take Davis on. After working through the list, Davis came to the last one, who took her on. Twenty years on she is still Davis' agent. Davis also still has the same editor that the agent found for her - he's more interested in plot, whereas Davis focuses on characters, so they work well together.

One of the reasons Lindsey Davis had such difficulty finding an agent was that twenty years ago the Romans were considered "difficult" but she fortunately found an agent who had the vision to see that what Davis was writing had a future.


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