But occasionally it happens slightly differently.
I first met Dan Tyte in 1999. I say met…I know we were at the same freshers welcome meeting to the Liverpool University English department because, well, we must have been.
After that I kind of knew who he was (there were only about 10 guys doing English, I knew who they all were) and we ended up in some of the same lectures, maybe the odd seminar group and definitely some of the same parties but that was that. We were never really friends. I can’t even say for certain that we ever had a conversation.
I left uni, moved to London, started working in publishing and, other than occasional sightings on Facebook through mutual friends, I didn’t really give Dan another thought (Sorry Dan!).
But then last September a mutual friend emailed me to tell me that Dan had written a book (Half Plus Seven, published by Parthian) – having read it he was a little annoyed by how good it was and how much he’d enjoyed it.
Intrigued, I looked Dan up on Twitter and followed him. I also downloaded the book and started reading (and more importantly, enjoying) it. Half Plus Sevenattracted a lot of great reviews and was described by the Daily Mail as a ‘coming-of-age novel snorting with energy’ – you can see a clip of Dan reading from it here. I was also impressed by how much Dan was doing to promote his work – from a slot at Hay Festival last year to starting his own literary night in Cardiff, Pyramid Scheme – it was clear Dan was prepared to work hard.
Dan had followed me back on Twitter and noted that I was now an agent and when he was ready he submitted the opening of his next novel. Alone, Togetheris about how our lives play out online and it really spoke to me. Dan has a unique way of looking at the world and he writes with wit and sharp observation. The subject matter also seemed somewhat fitting to our reconnection – online, when in person, despite three years on the same course; we hadn’t ever really connected offline.
When we did finally meet up offline it was clear that Dan and I would work well together and he signed with me that afternoon. He’s now busy finishing Alone, Together and I’m excited about submitting it to publishers later this year…
watch this space.
Follow Dan on Twitter
Visit his website
And to submit to me, read and follow my submission guidelines here.