Thursday, April 06, 2006

Jonny Geller is a big yellow wobbly cowardy custard.

Actually, Jonny Geller is a big famous literary agent. But he failed to turn up for a conference yesterday at the London College of Communication on the subject of new writers, with specific reference to the Macmillan New Writing initiative. He's on record for saying that it didn't have a hope in hell of succeeding, or something.

I had an interesting question I was dying to put to him. But it will have to remain unasked, apart from here on the plog:

"Mr Geller, you are well known for negotiating huge advances for your writers. Which excites you more: a manuscript from a marketable writer (eg a famous journalist) that's cynically written but easily placeable and for which you are certain to get a 6 figure advance, or a manuscript from an unknown that has genuine literary merit, but will be difficult to place, and might only ever get a nominal advance?"

Or maybe I would have gone with Charlie Williams' suggestion: "How do you do that spoon bending trick?"

So why didn't he show? I think he heard that there were going to be a lot of MNW writers there and was frightened he wasn't going to get out alive. Silly man. You couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch of people.

Launch party tonight, by the way. There's a rumour Jeffrey Archer is going to show. I shall let you know.

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