(With apologies to any agents who may be reading this!)

Erica:        I hear you’ve snagged a new author?

Dominic:   Yup. Huge talent.

Erica:        Exciting. What’s the elevator pitch?

Dominic:   Vampire lover of the Machu Picchu Mummies chats up girl on train.

Erica:        Wow!

Dominic:    I know. Vampires. Sex. Desiccated bodies. A girl and a train.

Erica:        You lucky sod.

Dominic:    She’s promotable, too. Young. Photogenic. Married to a neuro-surgeon.

Erica:        And all I’ve got at the moment is a talking caterpillar…

Dominic:    Tough.

Erica:        Though maybe the vampire thing is losing its edge…

Dominic:    My publishers reckon it still has bite. The mummy thread unravels a bit, but that should be fixable.

Erica:        Providing she’s co-operative, of course.

Dominic:    True. When they first get an agent, writers think them the best thing since chocolate fudge cake. Sadly, that doesn’t last.

Erica:        Tell me about it. The minute you want to edit their manuscript, you become Godzilla.

Dominic:   Yeah. Ask them to cut fifty thousand words, or tone down the sado-masochism and stick in a werewolf, and they go all Jane Austen on you.

Erica:        Writers, eh? But I guess we need them.

Dominic:   I know. The dream. Finding another JKR. Earning enough to buy that yacht – and never needing to plough through another mountain of bloody awful submissions again…