I might be completely shooting myself in the foot by saying I'm only sending it off to my dream agent firstly. The agency is very prestigious and it's a long shot but I have to try or else I'll never know.
I've pulled together the following pack:
500 word synopsis
First three chapters
SAE for the return of the manuscript
The envelope is sat, burning in the corner of my eye on the side board. Posting it tomorrow and then I've got the long wait for a response. I know it's silly to put all of my eggs in one basket at the start but I'm going with my gut feeling.
I've been running around like a mad woman all day today and in-between furiously wrestling with the printer, I've been attempting to make the flat look presentable for Dos' fathers visit tomorrow.
I sat down for a minute about an hour ago and caught up with my text messages and I had a lovely one from Dos' uncle saying how sorry he was to hear we'd split up. Biting my lip, I threw the phone onto the sofa and sipped my tea, the sound of the kitchen clock echoing around the room. That's when it hit me. I really am done, aren't I? In the time I've been writing the book (started drafting it for a laugh four years ago), I've changed cities, changed jobs, got a promotion, watched my parents divorce, made good friends, lost touch with others, moved in with my partner only to split earlier this year. All against the backdrop of the book.
There's a paragraph I wrote for Driving Exile about guitars and although I promised myself I wouldn't bore any of you with extracts from the book, I'd like to share it:
“I understand what a guitar means to someone and what an important investment it is. I know that when someone finds the guitar they love…” I trailed off, thinking about Dad. I swallowed and felt my eyes fill with hot tears, “They’ll have it forever. And no matter how shit life gets,” I wiped away a stray tear and saw another drop onto the table with a splash. “No matter the mistakes you make, the guitar’s your haven and your sanctuary. It’s a friend. No, wait, it’s more than that. It’s a soulmate.”
That's been Driving Exile for me. I've been bawling my eyes out all evening at the realisation of how much it's meant to me - often to the detriment of other things in my life but I wouldn't change it. Not for the world. Seeking comfort in imaginary characters probably makes me borderline insane but they've been constant amongst the madness and now it's almost as though I have to wave them goodbye and stop tinkering with them just so that I have some form of contact.
The time has come to leave it alone now and concentrate on getting it published.
This is my love letter to the thing that's kept me afloat over these past few years and made me smile when I should have cried and gave me a glimmer of hope when things were looking particularly lacking in that region.
Driving Exile - I'll be eternally grateful and forever in your debt.
All my love,