Hello, hello! I've had a fairly exciting couple of weeks, which I've kept quiet about so far because everything has been in flux. But it looks like things have settled down again now (into a new and better pattern) so I'll spill.
Firstly, last Thursday I went down to London (a fairly long and gruelling trip for me, as I live in the distant misty North) and talked up Shadows on the Moon and the reissue of The Swan Kingdom at the Walker Books sales conference. An author only gets the chance to do this once very few years (last time for me was 2006) and it's important because it's your chance to try and generate 'buzz', to get the sales reps and marketing people and the company in general excited about your book so that they can go out to booksellers and places like the Bologna Book Fair and really sell you with conviction. I took special presents for everyone, talked about where I hope my work fits into the current YA market, and compared myself to Cassandra Clare and Suzanne Collins. No one ever accused me of thinking small.
However, while I was preparing for this trip to London something rather less fun happened, which was that I came to a parting of the ways with my former agent. It was sad, because we'd be working together since 2005, but I think it was inevitable. So the following Monday I was in London again, visiting one of my wish-list agents, who (unbelievably) was interested in representing my work. I had a couple of phone conversations with another wish-list agent who, again (unbelievably) turned out to be interested in me. I then faced a heart-rending decision over which one to chose.
In the past I have read the blogs or journals of authors who have taken care to arrange things so that they have three or four agent offers on the table before they make up their mind. I can only conclude that these writers have some sort of special Anti-Guilt Gene that I lack. I was in this amazing position of having two wonderful, top-notch agents waiting to hear from me, but instead of being excited or thrilled I felt terrible, because picking one meant rejecting the other. Eventually I made the decision, but...wow, I hope I never have to do this again.
Well, actually I'm SURE I won't, because my new agent is fabulous. She is Nancy Miles of the Miles Stott Childrens Literary Agency, who represents the UK interests of such authors as Cassandra Clare (see what I did there?), Holly Black and Libbra Bray, and UK authors Frances Hardinge, Dominic Barker and Cat Clarke. I'm so happy and relieved to feel that I'm in a really safe pair of hands, I could nearly melt.
Finally, I was intending to answer some reader emails on YouTube, but I've run out of time today and frankly I want a nap. So instead I'm posting a little teaser trailer I made for FrostFire, just to concentrate my own mind about it, which I thought you might all like.
How has everyone else's week been?