I’ve a friend, call him K, who I’ve known for 40 years or so – and only today, for the first time, have I really envied him.
Not for his women; there have been plenty even before he made his pile, beauties too; some he made his wives.
Not for his money; he's probably a millionaire.
Not for his latest desirable residence, succession of ever more expensive sports cars or his regular holidays to tropical paradises.
What I envied was the pleasure he experienced this morning on learning that a literary agent liked the opening chapters of K’s novel so much she wanted to see the rest of the book as soon as possible.
He phoned me to share the news – not to boast but, as I was the only person he knew with similar literary ambitions, I would be able to understand his euphoria. And I did; his joy so infectious.
We meet a few times a year to compare notes on the progress of our respective literary efforts. The conversations have got a lot more one-sided; I haven’t had a project on the boil for about three years.
K has laboured with the same book for about 20 years revised so many times it must have little resemblance to its first draft. Perhaps K will see it in print.
I say perhaps because I have been twice where K is now. Two agents represented a novel of mine. Neither succeeded in convincing a publisher of its merits.
K, I didn't remind you of this. I wouldn’t rain on your parade. I only tell you now to encourage you to make this book your crowning deal.
Maybe writing a novel is like childbirth with a lot longer gestation period. The difference is when a baby’s born it’s enough that you love it. When it’s a novel others have to as well.
Good luck, K, remember to invite me to the launch party.