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Updated: 2016-05-20T07:17:30.506+01:00

 



THIS IS THE HOUSE THAT DAISY BUILT

2012-11-04T18:19:25.173+00:00

Quiet month in publishing then…I suppose most of you thought that after I live tweeted last year from the Mantel Booker that Katie Price had won, they wouldn’t have me back. Yeah, what do you lot know. Oh, how I heart Doti Irving and her dream team.Dressed in a way Kate Middleton could only dream of, I swept into the pre-dinner cocktail party with such power that even Craig Revel Horwood (there as Harper Lee's plus one) looked impressed. Swaying to the mellow stylings of Booker T and MG's with Salman Rushdie guesting on vocals, we ate canapés cleverly themed after each shortlisted author. The Hilary Mantels were a slow burn but impossible to stop eating, the Alison Moore Lighthouses were absolutely miniscule, but surprisingly filling and the Jeet Thayil were addictively good - poppyseeds served on the end of syringes. I did avoid one set of canapes though like the plague - instead of theming them after Will Selfish's shortlisted Umbrella the chef had delved into his back catalogue and clever as they were there was absolutely no way I was going to sample Will's Cock And Bull. Not that early in the evening anyway. And not at all unless he won.The dinner itself saw me sandwiched in between Lady Gush and some bearded old perv with wandering hands. After much small talk with Gush about shoes and The Perv about school uniforms, His Honour Judge Stodgey stood up to announce who had been found guilty of the heinous crime of readability and who had sentenced themselves to a lifetime of being feted. But OH MY GOD his speech went on and on and on, meandering around stuff about libraries and bookshops. Blah blah blah. I finally fell into a deep sleep, dreaming vividly of Stodgey lecturing Sting and Trudy on tantric techniques before finally waking up with my face in Caroline Michel's décolletage, as Hils was summoned to receive her book token. Hoorah! I then sped off to all the parties – ending at the HC one at the Tower Of London which was amazing, in spite of Vicky B turning up at midnight, making half the beefeaters redundant and restructuring the cold buffet. What a spoilsport.A couple of days later, I popped into Kindlestones in Piccadilly after breakfast at The Wolseley for Daunt's big launch. It was certainly bold and innovative - the whole of the store had been painted gunmetal grey with all the stock replaced by a massive throbbing hard drive and a stack of Kindles. In the middle of the store ran a scale model of the Amazon river and at the stroke of nine a cardboard canoe came into view being rowed and bailed out simultaneously by James Daunt, wittily dressed in an intricate rubber turkey suit. I could see his oars were made of two giant-sized Kindle Fires emblazoned with the phrase - 'I KNOW WHAT I'M VOTING FOR THIS DEC 25TH'. As he sank underwater and his gobbling faded to a distant rumble, my iPhone vibrated. Making my excuses, I rushed off to answer an urgent distress call from a worried publisher....Arriving at the secret location near the Tate Gallery I was ushered into an underground bunker where my contact, let's call her ‘The Dame’, sat surrounded by teetering piles of pornographic images, masks, whips and chains. In one corner, a woman in a tight leather skirt was filing her nails next to another woman, prim and more smug looking than George Clooney’s girlfriend. I stood there stunned by this reckless display of debauchery as The Dame beckoned me nearer, kissing her hand as she signalled to her butler to open the trapdoor. As the light flooded in, I gasped. Below us was a sewer surrounded by sacks and sacks of overflowing notes - fivers, tenners and even the occasional fifty - reaching as far as the eye could see. A veritable money pit indeed!I looked at The Dame questioningly, who patted the footstool next to her throne. She looked distre[...]



THE CASUAL VACANCY......

2012-10-07T11:51:54.879+01:00

It was 3am on September 27th and I found myself in a snaking queue of people outside Waterstones (sic) in the Kings Road. Years ago these very people would have been dressed as wizards or wearing striped scarves and geeky glasses but now they were wrapped in red tape and holding clipboards, dressed as beige council officials and golf club secretaries holding banners urging me to Vote Miles. Tutting in their direction I smoothed down my raincoat and checked my watch - we were all now only 5 hours away from grabbing hot-off-the-press copies of The Casual Vacancy. And my becoming a millionaire.... I turned to a haunted looking man behind me whose eyes were glazed and who carried a small voodoo doll of a fat man with dark hair. ‘Everything alright?’ I said. ‘You look like someone who lost his lottery ticket on the night his numbers came up.’ The man shuddered - ‘ You have no idea….’ ‘Well, watch this space,’ I said, tapping my nose. “If anyone’s on track to win the lottery round here, it’s me.’ He turned and raised his shrimp-like eyebrows to the sky in a questioning way. 'I have had my suspicions', I whispered, 'about that J K Rowling and her agent for some time'. His grip on the doll tightened. 'The Casual Vacancy', I continued, 'sounds like Tom Sharpe on Red Bull, the cover looks like a Lower 5th art project and foreign publishers had to bid for it blind? Come on - I wasn't born two days before tomorrow - what publisher would pay the reported £523M for that? CLEARLY this is scam so with £1K I have erm.. 'borrowed' from petty cash I have placed a bet at Labrokes at odds of 100:1 that the book we are actually queueing for is...Harry Potter 8'. There was a laden silence and this clearly wasn't helping - the old man looked even more pained and I looked down - the voodoo doll's head had been twisted off and now lay in the gutter. This was puzzling.  Actually I can hardly believe I made it here in time anyway- the last-minute preparations for Super Thursday have been a shock to the system. My Fifty Shades Of Grey scratch-and-sniff knock-off almost got derailed by an argument as to what grey smelt like and the Rebecca Brooks’ memoir 'Better Red Than Shred' got postponed for legal reasons. Happily, however, the Chief Whip's MITCHELL AND PLEB joke book is set to be front of store in all branches of Evan's Cycles. My Christmas bonus is looking safer than James Daunt's this year. Hooray! As I adjusted my ‘I Love Roadworks’ t-shirt and ate another Krispy Kreme limited edition Agent Donut (15% sugar and 85% hot air) to keep the cold out, I fired off a cheeky tweet saying I had just signed E L James's husband's second cousin's er...facebook friend who was writing a space opera trilogy set on the Sun about transexual mice who solve crime through the power of song. As I slipped a card into my unhappy friend’s hand and saying, ‘Call my friend Shavata, she could do wonders with those eyebrows,’ we were interrupted by Random House ringing with an astonishing pre-empt. I have NO IDEA what appealed to them about it ;-). It got me thinking though, so I texted Bert Snitch, the tax-driver from my slush-pile who is writing an unspeakably bad novel in which the Archbishop Of Canterbury marries the Pope, telling him that if he changes his surname to Rushdie, I'm up for it. I must have nodded off then and I started to dream about whether in the light of the United Agents/A P Watt merger that we should consolidate not just agencies, but the actual agents themselves - Ed Victor could merge with Jane Gregory to create Jane Victor - a 7ft tall namedropping queen of crime with a weird beard, Carole Blake could merge with Andrew Nurnberg to create an agent who tweets constantly in 19 languages or we could engineer the triple threat of Binky Bonomi-Wylie - a charming cuddly ice-queen hit-man who has memorized every other agency's client list. That I would like to see. Finally I woke up and saw it was 07.59 and Waterstones (sic) were opening up - I fought my way t[...]



LET'S GET IT ON...........

2012-05-04T13:19:24.290+01:00




London Book Fair - The Whole Darn Story

2012-04-28T18:19:30.069+01:00

Day OneWelcome to the 41st London International Book Fair. For 3 days forget the global downturn, the phone-hacking and the fact Englebert Humperdink is representing Britain at the Eurovision Song Contest - it's Olympic year and J K Rowling has written a new book - Hallelujah! How can we fail? This year we are going for gold and I can already feel it in my bones that 2012 is going to be a classic...My first appointment was taking part in the open pitch session to a bunch of zillionaire geeks. 'My name is Daisy and I want £250k to develop the 'AuthorZapp', I explained,'It allows any publishing professional to manage their business more efficiently and has a carefully calibrated set of responses to deal with difficult authors (ranging from 'Am just getting my notes together' through 'am on the other line - will call you right back' to the nuclear option of 'I feel you need someone more in tune with your current ambitions. Good luck'. The audience lapped it up and as I left the stage to rapturous applause a man handed my his business card and said, 'You could be just the person I am looking for - meet me in the basement of Home House at Midnight'. WTF?!I raced out after this mystery man and saw him ducking into a large black limousine number plate DEAL1. Following on my Boris Bike I arrived breathless fifteen minutes later at the Saville Club. Borrowing a waitresses outfit I snuck in, kept my head down and started to serve outre canapes in bronze bowls on silver trays to Publishing types wearing gold Rolexes. Something felt wrong - I hadn't seen this much overt wealth since I went through Chris Little's bins and clearly I had penetrated some inner sanctum of the global publishing scene - containing people so important that they were only rumoured to exist and, even more shocking, a party so elite that neither Patrick Walsh or David Miller had been invited. If this was the sort of access the mystery man had to offer then I wanted it and I wanted it now.I killed some time at the HarperCollins party - hosted at Vicky's London crash-pad Home House- having my traditional conversation with some jokers from Fox who said that all my book options would 'definitely be greenlit this year' and then some banter with Nick Pearson about hair products when I spotted sexy frat-boy James Murdoch at the bar. I hadn't seen him since Zermatt so rushed over to have a catch-up but he was too busy serving drinks which was dissappointing. I left just as Vicky was getting her flipchart out and the clocks were striking midnight. Midnight? Time to meet my destiny...Hurrying down the stairs I found the Brat Pack of bemused London Lit agents standing together. I snuck in between a group containing David Miller, Gordon Wise and Jo Unwin as a spotlight hit us, discordant music rmled and the mystery man appeared in a cloud of dry ice. ' You may be wondering why you are all here'. We all nodded and looked at each other nervously. 'Well', he boomed,'One of you will emerge from LIBF2012 with a £250k job offer to run the London HQ of US mega agency SHARK Inc and the rest of you will be fired. Outside are a set of limousines to take you back to the house for a full briefing. Your first task - organise an opening cermony for LIBF2012 to rival the Olympics'.Day TwoAll hail from the Neil Blair-a-dome – sorry, I mean Earls Court. Boy, is it kicking off here. The JK Rowling auction has reached $12.9bn in Latvia alone, Barbara Taylor Bradford has been announced as the author of the new Salman Rushdie novel and there’s a lot of interest in my King Cnut trilogy (although I am absolutely NOT letting Franzen's copyeditor get anywhere near it). Today's hashtag is #iminpublishinggetmeoutofhere. Where are Ant and Dec when you need them?As you know, the first task in the Apprentice-style competition I’m in for the $250k job running SHARK Inc's London office was to stage an opening ceremony for the LIBF. I didn’t hang about, commandeering Gordon Wise (for his theatricality) and Jo Unw[...]



Miss Sarah Frost-Lund! Hei!

2012-02-28T10:13:18.597+00:00

Christmas was a confusing time. I realized a/ it was a mistake to buy my father a kindle when he shouted 'Do you have Fly Fishing by J R Hartley?' into it, b/ that my mother only sees me as one large, empty uterus (‘Susan Hicks has five grandchildren’) which is c/ why I spent most of it drunk, playing darts in the bathroom with my brother. Fortunately I was saved by a very welcome text – an invitation to Russell Brand’s New Year’s Eve party. Newly single Russell. The same Russell I hadn’t seen since...ahem...anyway.I practically ran back to London and was in the midst of turning myself into a NewYear’s Goddess of epic proportions with a Hérve Léger dress so devastating, I wished I could marry MYSELF,when my friend Izzy from The Times rang my mobile. She said they were calling round key figures in the arts, science, business and political field to ask them what they wanted for the New Year. ‘A No!No! laser hair removal system – one of the cordless ones, in pink preferably. How good are they!’ I shouted before hanging up as I had a call waiting. It was my Uncle Henry – I’m the only member of the family who still talks to him since he left my aunt for a 23 year old Thai girl he met online called Tak-Tak. This means he’s very fond of me. ‘You need to get over here now,’ he said excitedly. ‘The famous Norwegian writerJogen Jorgenson is coming to dinner and he’s looking for a new agent –  I’ve told him about you, he sounds keen.' I googled him immediately- this wasn't just any Norwegian writer - this guy had sold 20 million books and was poised to sign a film deal with Spielberg. OMG – this could be my key to agent IMMORTALITY. I texted Russell saying, ‘Something’s come up, Woolly – will call later, soz,’ and hurried to Uncle Henry’s. He opened the door wearing a hideous, scratchy jumper. ‘Quick! Give that to me,’ I said, wrestling it off him before scrubbing my face clean in the bathroom and rubbing vaseline in my hair.I emerged fully Norwayed - goodbye Miss Daisy Frost and Hei Miss Sarah Frosty-Lund.The party was in full swing. I dodged amongst the matrons talking about Dame Muriel as Russell suddenly texted me: ‘Gaga’s arrived – she’s asking for you,’ which was agony, but the stakes were too high - if this all went to plan, then next year Russell and  Gaga would be coming to MY party. I was just rehearsing my pitch and consulting my crib sheet about Jorgen’s books, when Uncle Henry whispered, ‘He’s here’, arming me with a herring snack and a shot of vodka – but instead of the bearded bear of a man with lovely eyes and a great taste in knitwear, my supposed meal ticket was a wizened little man with enormous ears and milk-bottle thick glasses. 'I’m Daisy – the agent,’ I stuttered. His eyes lit up -he was about to sign a new ten book deal and needed help, he said. God I love my Uncle Henry - what a genius. 'Mr Jorgenson, you’ve come to the right person. Norwegian crime is massive – let’s close this baby now!’ 'Crime? Jorgenson? My name is Bjorn Bjorgenson and I'm writing a history of the Norwegian fishing industry,’ he said, confused. ‘HENRY!!!’ I shouted, tearing the jumper off and scrabbling for my phone to call a cab to Russell’s. I was woken the next morning by a terrible hangover and a call from my mother telling me about today’s Times, where leading figures in the arts world were asked what they wanted for the year ahead.....James Daunt said, ‘VATon ebooks,’ Sir Andrew Motion wanted ‘renewed commitment from the government to supporting libraries’ and Miss Daisy Frost......’a cordless No!No! hair removal system in pink.’Happy New Year[...]



FROST REPORT for 2012

2012-02-28T10:06:29.037+00:00

I’ve just had a cup of loose leaf Lapsang Souchong and saw all this inthe tea leaves…Yup, it’s the FROST REPORT for 2012...Jan  - Lee Evans and James Corden receive New Years’s honours for savingChristmas while a million copies of unsold 'celebrity' autobiographiesare toes out to sea and bombed. Jarvis Cocker's appointment as Faber'sHead Of Cool sparks aflurry of copycat appointments - Picador hiresthe ghost of Tony Hart as Headof Design, Buzz Lightyear joins Gollanczto run their Science Fiction imprintand Colonel Saunders joinsHarperCollins as a cookery editor.Feb - The Man Booker Prize, sensitive to dumbing down criticism fromAndrew Kidd's Literature Prize announces that the Dalai Llama, PrinceCharles and Gloria Steinem will join Peter Stoddard on the judgingpanel.  The Literature Prize counters with God,Henry Kissinger andNoam Chomsky. Skirmishes break out at the British Library betweenrival supporters and Foyles threatens sanctions unless the situationis resolved.Mar - Anthony Cheetham launches Head of Zeus with a party on MountOlympus. When Anthony appears in the form of an eagle, the share pricein Capel and Land soars.Apr - The London Book Fair is disrupted by a plague of locusts and avolcanic eruption -  James Daunt blames Amazon. China is welcomed asthe Guest Nation, but Anthony Cheetham upsets their welcome receptionby crashing in on the back of a rampaging bull.May - Cheetham leaves Head Of Zeus after a hostile takeover bid fromTitan Books to form Hair Of Medusa. Pottermore finally launches theirHarry Potter virtual world with an e-soundtrack that includesChristopher Little screaming, Neil Blair singing 'Money Money Money'and J K Rowling previewing material for Harry Potter 8 in which Harrycan’t afford his University fees.Jun – Publishers are forced to diversify to make money - Bloomsburysets up the Mrs Dalloway school for Flower Arranging, Faber rebrandsFaber Finds as a service that locates lost property and Atlanticlaunches a cruise ship, the S.S.Corvus, sailing from Southampton toNew York. Captain Munday says it is ‘unsinkable.’July - Anthony Cheetham leaves Hair Of Medusa after a hostile takeoverbid by Perseus Books and sets up Wings Of Pegasus. The Olympicscombine with World Book Night for an unusual opening ceremony,climaxing in JamieByng being fired from a canon as a million copies ofthe Julian Assange Cookbook rain down on an international audience.August- Following WHSmith's KOBO success, rival retailers getcompetitive with JD Sports releasing the POGO for the exerciseconscious reader which changes pages as the consumer bounces up anddown. The Man Booker Prize announces its short list - all the booksare agented by Andrew Kidd.Sep - The Friday Project launches the £150m 'e-thoughts' app whichenables subscribers to access the random thoughts of key celebrity andliterary figures. It’s discontinued two days later when someoneremembers Twitter. Waterstone's branches devise their own promotions –Notting Hill pioneer the Buy A Children’s Book Get A Nanny, Croydongoes for Buy Katie Price Get Some Fake Bake Free and Manchesterlaunches its Buy Us Some Fags Because We’ve Run Out campaign.Oct - The Literature Prize and the Man Booker hold their awardsceremony on the same night - one in the Olympic Stadium, the other inAndrew Kidd's spare bedroom. The same book wins both prizes.Nov The Prize of Prizes Prize is announced by 400 disaffected confusedliterary prizewinners in the U.K. Sponsorship is secured fromcomparetheliterarymeerkat.com. The S.S Corvus chits an iceberg andsinks. Anthony Cheetham splits from himself after 'creativedifferences'Dec - The Waterstone's Amazon war escalates as twenty bare-breastedwomen break into James Daunt's office and he is forced to hide in TheWaterstones Hub. Climbing to the top of discarded 3for2 signs, hebuilds a nest in a corner with only a copy of The Slap to keep himwarm.Happy New Year and you’re welcom[...]



THE MANBOOKER PLOT FOILED!

2011-11-05T11:40:21.153+00:00

‘Matches, matches, never touch,’ I sang to myself as I ran, adrenalin charged through the tunnels below the Guildhall with one eye on my watch and another on the live twitter feed of t.v coverage from the ceremony taking place above. As Dame Stella Rimmington was emoting upstairs about the importance of literature and Julian Barnes was nervously fingered his well-worn acceptance speech, I slammed into Man Booker's Ion Trewin and Colman Getty's Dotti Irving. How was it that I, Miss Daisy Frost, had wound up in some freaking cellar for the first time since the launch of the Chilean Miners Cookbook) with the future of literature in my hands?

Let’s rewind three weeks to me sipping an amaretto sour in the Club At The Ivy – suddenly I got a strange text: 'Unhappy with the world of literature? Want to make a difference?'. It was a bit like being asked whether you wanted a date with George Clooney. I texted back 'YES and YES. Tell me more'. ‘Meet us at midnight in the basement of Blacks in Dean Street. Tell no one and come alone. The code word is ELITISM.’ Elitism?  

I hurried off to Blacks, uttered the code word and was ushered into a candle lit back room. As my eyes adjusted to the light I became aware that I was not alone. Around me sat John Banville, Pat Barker, David Mitchell, Nicole Krauss and Mark Haddon. They seemed to be waiting for something - or someone – and were chanting 'master, master, master'. Suddenly a flash of blue light flickered into a human form and uberagent alpha male he-man Andrew Kidd's appeared. With shining eyes, he spoke: 'We are here, followers, to stop the evil Man Booker prize from blighting our literary landscape with books that people might actually want to read. This cannot happen - we need to create an elite prize full of literary novels chosen only for their prose and nothing more. Readability and sales figures be damned'. 'A bit like Picador when you were running it?' I said eagerly. John Banville spat his claret out: ‘Foolish child, you know nothing of what we speak, but we need your...erm...contacts. In return we can offer you immortality. And Martin Amis' mobile number'. I was sold – we sacrificed a lamb to Andrew and then drafted a press release for the big launch for the new Literature Prize the next day.

It started well – my contacts and the press went nuts –  I got Andrew the guest judging slot on an XFactor Italo Calvino special and a chance to lecture the Big Brother house on Umberto Eco, but he mystifyingly refused them both, sneaking off to Radio 3 to broadcast to its 9 listeners. I lost my rag, but Andrew only shouted back at me 'this prize is really going to put a rocket up the ManBooker and go with a real bang'. I quit and  swept furiously out of the room, bumping into a man delivering barrels. I called Dotti at Man Booker. ‘Count me back in,’ I shouted. ‘I’m coming to the dinner.’

Two weeks later I was at the Guildhall swapping dead parrot jokes with Julian  B when suddenly images of fireworks, barrels  and Kidd with a little pointy beard and a lace collar flashed through my mind. Grabbing Ion and Dotti I dragged them away from the dinner shouting 'Trust me - the future of the Man Booker depends on you now'. Three minutes later we kicked down the door in the basement and discovered Kidd with a massive barrel of dynamite, 47,000 copies of The Finkler Question and a lit match in his hand. Upstairs we heard Julian unfold his dog eared speech and begin: 'Thanks so much for awarding me this prize for Flauberts Parrot, er...England, England...er...Arthur and George...er....'. Meanwhile downstairs Ion Trewin rugby-tackled Kidd to the floor, Dotti doused the fizzing fuse with her glass of champagne and I raised mine to Julian, to literature and to readability.  I thank you.



PUBLISHER BOUND AND GAGGED, AGENT ESCAPES TO VICTORY

2011-10-14T09:51:04.014+01:00

When we last spoke, I was dressed in someone else’s clothes and planning some mischief. Mischief of course is the DNA of Frankfurt and completely unavoidable when people leave their blackberries carelessly in their private belongings just WAITING to be stolen. Sorry Jamie....So there I was - lying on Lord Byng of Wikiwars's bed toying with his purloined Blackberry, when I suddenly heard the door opening. ‘O my God, Jamie’s come back to shampoo his chest hair, or something,’ I whispered frantically to myself before bolting into his wardrobe to hide under a pile of Wikileak Cookbooks.  I could hear him muttering about his missing Blackberry when it suddenly and horrendously rang in my hand – so with the stealth of a flying squirrel, I swung myself over the clothes rail and balanced on top of it like a cuter Olga Corbett. As he leant in to find it I dropped down, flooring him from behind and tied his wrists with the dressing gown chord before putting some tights over his head. Worryingly he seemed to rather enjoy it. Rushing out of the door, I swung the sign round to DO NOT DISTURB and slid down the bannisters to the lobby. Free at last and time for some fun!In the bar I looked through Lucy Abrahams' gleaming tresses to see which cool parties she was going to and using my stolen phone I emailed the hosts saying: 'Please add my v good friend Daisy Frost to the VIP list and make sure her glass is never empty. Love Jamie B xxx'. Mischief, thy name is Daisy Frost.Part two of my plan became operational as I passed the anatomically correct ice sculpture of Christopher Maclehose outside the Icelandic embassy party. Leaning on an enormous stalagtite and armed with my 2010 Rights List I picked the worst project possible, switched on Jamie's blackberry and fired off a strategic email to some likely scouts saying 'Darlings - are you hearing what I'm hearing? Daisy Frost has a white hot manuscript called ‘Scientology for Cats' by Euphemia Turtlebaum.We are about to pre-empt for $3m for UK. Good luck. Love you, Jamie xx'. I actually felt perky. Perky in Frankfurt. Imagine!Leaving Iceland, I swept into the A.P.Watt party just as Caradoc and Derek were on the karaoke podium duetting on a touching version of 'Georgia On My Mind'. There was a frightful commotion as the three graces of scouting - Louise, Lucy and ScaryKoukla rushed over to me to shriek 'All our publishers want to pre-empt'. I took a long sip of my Amaretto Sour and said coolly, 'Girls - the first one of you to raise me a million euros from three territories gets it. I'll be over there singing 'I Wanna Be A Billionaire' with Ed Victor.’ I had barely got to the second chorus when Louise approached with victorious fire in her eyes. 'My Germans, Italians and Dutchies will meet your demands - a million it is.’ We toasted our success in Champagne and I snuck off to call my author with the good news. It’s an unfamiliar, but joyous feeling. As I dialled her number, Gail Rebuck stood in front of me with a cheque for £1m for English Language rights. I think I made a noise like a slot machine hitting jackpot, but it might have just been Ed’s singing. Kerching.At around 3am in the lounge at the Flughagen, now on our third bottle of champers and playing Shag marry or Publish with my now very-rich author, I realised something was bothering me. Suddenly a vision of Lord Byng of Wikiwars trussed up in a hotel wardrobe at the Hasslehof behind a door marked DO NOT DISTURB flashed before my eyes. I thought about heading back  - he had made my author a very wealthy woman after all - but I really didn’t want to risk missing my flight. Still, not wanting to be totally unhelpful, I tweeted from his Blackberry 'JULIAN ASSANGE IS HOLDING ME HOSTAGE IN ROOM 239 AT THE HASSLEHOF. SEND HELP AT ONCE'. It’s been emotional. See you next year bookbitches.[...]



THE CURIOUS CASE OF THE PUBLISHER IN A DRESS - FRANKFURT DAY2

2011-10-13T09:01:32.416+01:00

The trauma of being sent to Reykjavic instead of Frankfurt clearly didsomething to my brain, or maybe it was just too much Herring, becausewhen I landed on German soil, I was actually excited. For ten seconds.And then I just screamed ‘Oh my GOD, IT’S FRANKFURT, HELP ME GOD’.Rushing out of the plane, I was greeted not with the airside runwaylimo I had ordered but with the sight of a luggage mountain so highand so massive that I assumed Caroline Michel's private jet GUSH-1 wasnearby unloading her wardrobe for the week. Actually it was just abaggage handlers strike. Either that or the Flughafen had beenintegrated into the Waterstones Hub. I looked at my watch – in orderto make my power brunch with Gail, assertive action was needed.Jumping off the stairs I leap frogged over the other passengers ontothe luggage pile, quickly snatching my monogrammed luggage and I wasaway.'Which hotel bitte?' said my cabbie, Remembering that thanks to ChloeDaisy-hater, the only hotel I was booked into was in an entirelydifferent country, I had to think quickly. 'The Hasslehof, obvs.Achtung!’ I shrieked. Heading straight for the bar when I got there, Ireplenished my fluids (one large vodka and tonic from RaviMirchandani's breakfast tray) whilst sitting on Lord Byng Of Hype'sknee. ‘I hear the fair’s in town – wanna come and see the clowns?’ Iasked jauntily. He nodded nervously as I slyly reached into his pocketand snaffled his roomkey into my Marc Jacobs bag. I then instructedhim to leave, saying I’d meet him there, before bounding upstairs tohis suite, where I ran a huge bubble bath and ordered a fruit basketin order to plan my day like a civilized person. It was then thingsgot a bit annoying. Opening my handbag, I spied not only Lord Byng'sroom key but also, wonderfully, his blackberry! Turning to mymonogrammed case I was bemused to see it contained some torn-upcomics, 47 bowties, 5 Panama hats, some red blusher, a box ofreplacement blazer buttons and several items I cannot mentionhere.This DF monogrammed suitcase wasclaerly not mine - it was anotherDF's.David Fickling’s.to be precise. Desparate for a change of clothesand already late for my keynote symposium on Tweeting with@CaroleAgent I donned one of DF's outfits, stuck a cushion in theshirt and sped to the fair dressed as a Gentleman Publisher from the1970s. Doormen bowed, Dame Gail Rebuck courtseyed and Marion Lloydeven pinched my bottom. I texted DF: ‘Meet me behind the Frankfurterconcession AT ONCE. I think you know why.’ Seconds later a beautifulbrunette arrived with a hand over 'her' face wearing a VictoriaBeckham dress and a pair of snakeskin Louboutins. Smacking her handaway, I eyeballed David and said, ‘You naughty boy - but gosh, even onyou that dress looks glorious. Well done Victoria. Now shut your eyesand TAKE IT OFF NOW.’Minutes later I emerged myself once more and stood on the balconylooking down on the fair. Somewhere down there was a publisher forevery book on my list - even the really crappy ones that I just tookon because the authors were hot or had good surnames. All they neededwere a bit of heat under them and anything could happen - this wasFrankfurt after all. If NAME REDACTED FOR LEGAL REASONS couldget laid here then anything was possible. But how was I, a mere workerant (albeit a fabulous one) in the world of publishing going to getthat heat going. I clenched my fists in frustration and then a memoryflashed into my brain. In my hand was the mobile phone of the mostpowerful man in publishing. No one would know that an email from himwas really from me… was it possible that for the first time, Frankfurtmight be ready for some Frost mischief…?[...]



FRANKFURT. DAY ONE. IN ICELAND

2011-10-12T16:51:55.084+01:00

Much like the first time you kiss someone (maybe, for instance, the gardener at school – if you’re reading this, hi Eric) it’s not easy to  forget your first Frankfurt. The big book at my first German shindig  was 'The Emperors New Clothes - A History of Invisibility' which  consisted of 4OO blank pages and was pre-empted by 4th Estate for £3m.  There was also a novel called MIAOW, written by a man dressed as a cat  who ate his food out of a bowl on the floor and ran away every time someone tried to pick him up. The novel was inpenetrable, fecund and  written backwards and predictably was sold by Canongate in 47  languages (including Complex AND Simple Persian). Welcome to Frankfurt  - a world where reality doesn't apply and where fools and their money  are easily parted. Things have been a bit slow recently (although I  did get OUP to pay £600 for a book on the neuroscience of mahogany)  but packing my essentials – iPad, Chanel lipstick, lederhosen – I  stalked off to the airport determined to make some serious cash. With  Iceland as the host nation I tried to think of all the Icelanders I  fancy. I came up with, er, none.On reflection, my first error was of course to allow my assistant  Chloe to make my arrangements, but I have been terribly busy with not  only the Amanda Knox trial, but the Jackson doctor trial too AND Wikiwars. I thought Chloe was just being facetious when she asked if I  wanted to stay in the Icehotel and go on a reindeer ride – I should of  course have noticed the trail of metaphorical breadcrumbs leading to a  sign saying, ‘YOUR ASSISTANT IS INCOMPETENT.’It was only when I was in the limo taking me to the airport (I told  them to put it on Ed Victor's account) that I glanced at my ticket.  Icelandic Air? I didn’t know they flew to Frankfurt, but I was already  pretty distracted by Carole Blake live tweeting about brushing her  teeth, so I had to run through security to catch my plane. Grabbing my  seat and looking around to see which publishing bitches I wanted to  avoid I was bemused to see only blonde business men in knitwear  reading Fishing Monthly and blonde supermodels reading novels by Arnauld Indriðason - in fact I realized I was the only brunette on the  plane. Then an announcement came on in pure gibberish and we were  served pickled herring with cabbage on a whale blubber coulis.  Something felt very wrong. I summoned the air hostess who was called  Siri Gudsmunsdottir and asked her what time we landed in Frankfurt.  She laughed, gave me a complimentary boiled sweet shaped like a geyser  and told me to have a little rest.It was when we’d landed and I was staring at frozen arctic waters, a  couple of marauding polar bears and a massive iceberg that alarm bells  really started ringing. That and the  massive sign in arrivals that  said ‘Welcome to Rejyavik.’ I called Chloe: ‘I am meant to be in  Frankfurt, but there’s not so much as a Wiener schnitzel in sight.  Instead, I am queuing for a cab behind an Arctic fox.’ But Iceland  were the host nation, she said. No, they were the guest, I said. How  was she supposed to know the difference between host and guest, she  said. ‘Chloe,’ I replied, with bearly contained calm. ‘I am in Iceland  wearing no tights and a chic, but in no way heat retaining dress. My  assets are freezing as we speak. GET ME OUT OF HERE.’ ‘Alright, I  mean, GOD,’ she said huffily.All of which is a long way of saying I may be a little late. Keep Patrick  Janson-Smith warm for me and have a Vodka and Tonic ready at the  HasselHof. Any kind of vodka will do excep[...]



YOU'VE GOT TO FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT TO PARTY

2011-10-11T09:37:57.269+01:00

What’s that dazzling glow in the sky, you may well be asking yourself? Well fellow book sufferers, it is my halo. For I have spent an entire effing week going to effing publishing parties all so YOU DON'T HAVE TO. It felt fitting that in the midst of the worse double dip recession since Tesco ran out of hummus and taramasalata that publishing decided to basically hold a series of the most lavish parties ever known to Man. That said they still managed to provide their guests with the worst, cheapest wine that ever made contact with a human palette but yes, I still managed to drink several lakes of it. Other saintly behaviour included dancing the High Discount Tango with Ted Smart (twice), eating 250+ canapés and taking Kathy Lette to the bathroom on more than one occasion. At the very LEAST, I should be beatified for that alone. Saint Daisy has a nice ring to it.The Vintage 50th party was eventful though. I arrived, fabulous in Chanel (vintage obviously) to find the bookerati hysterically queueing in the street, all bidding frantically on their iPhones for Carole Blake’s handbags on ebay. I’m not one for queuing, so , using all my saintly powers I summoned Lord Byng of Wikiwars, who arrived parting the crowds like the Red Sea. Slipping quietly under his velvet cape, leaping onto his back and holding onto his flowing locks, I dismounted from him only when I was safetly inside. He seemed pleased to see me and whispered, ‘Daisy – am I doing the right thing publishing an author against his will?’ I slapped him on the back and ruffled his hair. ‘To be honest I REPRESENT most of mine against their will – so to be honest, who cares?'. Analogue Dan then shushed the room and Rachel swept up to the podium. I didn’t hear much of what she said - I was too busy making eyes at Ian McKellen and Pamela Anderson - or was it McEwan and Stephenson? Anyway - it was obviously cotime to make my exit. Onwards!I ducked going to the Goldsboro Books party for Hysterical Writers and went instead to the Bloomsbury ‘At Home’ 25th Birthday party. dressed as Miss Daisy Dalloway wearing a false nose They seem to be living in a tent these days - post-Potter days must be really tough. Only 2000 guests too. When I got there Nigel was on his hind legs, fluffing the shareholders with stream of consciousness nonsense whilst sounding like Lloyd Grossman with the batteries running down. After the 79th mention of Harry Potter I wandered away in search of some food and stumbled across Heston and the Fat Quack team stuffing an elephant into a mouse into a gnat bathed in a cat sweat jus. Declining a unicorn ice-cream burger with owl foam I bolted, fortunately dodging an angry-looking Sophie Dahl. My idea to rebuild her grandfather’s shed by getting the public to raise 500k had been heartfelt but, on reflection, having her arrive in a private jet wearing a chocolate crown and a dress made of this year’s BFG royalty statements was possibly misjudged. The Bloomsbury going home goody bag was refreshingly different though - Heston's latest Cookbook in a hand stitched silk purse made out of a sows ears. Adorable.Later I stopped in at the Gollancz sci-fi party long enough to nab another goody bag containing a Malcolm Edwards-branded anorak and a light-sabre before heading home. As my halo hit the pillow Lord Byng called me once more to say he had a rush job on – the Wikileaks Cookbook. Apparently they had nothing on paper other than contracts from 47 foreign publishers worth £2m and they urgently needed to keep the project alive, so he wanted recipe ideas. Pronto. Yes Chef ! I fired up Tweetdeck and 10 minutes later I was staring at recipes for Wikileakandpotato Pie, Advocado with Guatanomocole, Andrew O’Hagan-Das Ice-Cream and Chicken Julian. Byng sounded ectstatic altho[...]



HOW NOT TO SIGN A NEW CLIENT

2011-09-01T22:57:35.329+01:00

I’m not a fan of August – it’s just a dressed up version of January ie MUCH too quiet. When the headline ‘Caroline Michel Buys New Shoes’ is ‘breaking news’ on BookMunch, you know publishing needs its pulse checking. I found myself so desperate for someone to play with that I even went to the book launch in Croydon Waterstones of one of my own authors, Gavin Scrote, who has released a derivative debut novel, ‘Two Days’. I’d never been to South London before (apart from a party on the London Eye – does that count?) so was excited and arrived with a home made banner that said ‘Congratulations on your debut novel!’ Unfortunately, it turned out to be his third, which I think he was pretty ungracious about, asking me beadily which bit I liked most as if I should have read it, so I had to make excuses and pretend I’d lost a fantasy contact lens to create a diversion. The event continued as all book events do – with an audience of three cross staff, two alcoholics from publicity, the author’s teary-eyed  mum and an angry poet who sat at the back eating food out of his beard. Scrote read at length over the increasingly deafening racket from outside (is the sound of smashing glass and sirens normal for Croydon? I thought) I then shouted some questions, the author signed some stock and we drank terrible wine with the manager. One book was sold – to the author’s still weeping mother and she already has a copy. I was about to dash off when another writer took to the stage – a Byronic devil called Lucien Swift – who instantly captivated us all with his amazing prose.As soon as the event finished I hunted Lucien down backstage in a stock room and eavesdropped as he bitched to Scrote about his agent. Apparently she couldn’t do anything right - apparently she once took seven weeks to return a phone call, his publisher got sent the wrong draft of the manuscript and she stood him up for lunch on four occasions. I could take no more of this – he clearly deserved more ie me. Barging my way into the room, I wanted to show what kind of agent I was, so stroked Scrote’s head, saying, ‘Who’s my genius?’ before slipping my card into Lucien’s hand and whispering, ‘I could make you a star. Ditch the witch and call me.’ I then dramatically swept out of the room before his bemused face had time to speak.Stepping out of the store, I was horrified to suddenly find myself in the middle of a war zone. Fire, armed police, hoodies, broken glass and fighting. It was like the Canongate party but without Jamie. As I stood holding a hardback of ‘The Battersea Park Road To Enlightenment’ and watched a group of hoodies drag a sack of iPads into the street as Waterstones remained untouched, I believed for the first time that the future truly is digital.The next morning on the train to Edinburgh, my iPhone buzzed as we were approaching York. It was, gasp, Lucien from last night. Clearly my act with Scrote had worked – I decided to go for it: ‘Your agent, whoever she is, is massively under-representing you. That would never happen on my watch. SIGN WITH ME NOW and discover dedication Daisy style.’ He paused.‘ There’s one big problem with this plan. I think my agent might be a lunatic.’ ‘O my God,’ I gasped, ‘She’s not only incompetent, she’s terrorized you into thinking you don’t deserve someone decent. Who is this monster?’ He paused again, ‘It’s you Daisy - or should I say it WAS you’. I dropped the phone like a hot brick. Hopefully flowers, a sweet note and an iPad should this silly misunderstanding up. Actually if I get HopelessChloe to pop down to Croydon right now should be able to pick one up cheap...[...]



Daisy Frost and The Hunt For The Golden Snitch

2011-08-05T13:06:05.690+01:00

July. The month where I should be planning my Tuscan Villa holiday for the whole of August  – but which always ends up with me stuck in London chasing money, contracts and submissions. This has all been made worse by the fact that the ChloeMonster has gone on holiday and left me with her cousin as an ‘intern’ – someone so small, she probably shouldn’t be working for more than 4 hours a day, like one of the Billy Elliots. I thought I’d break her in gently and said her first task was to get me tickets to the final Harry Potter premiere before I flounced off to my weekly Hot Chicks In Publishing lunch with Isobel, Mari, Jocasta, and David Shelley.5 hours later (after some emergency clothes shopping) I returned to discover amazingly that the child slave had magically procured two tickets for Deathly Hallows 2 - I did notice C. Little's name had been crossed out and mine written in with crayon but this was probably just some admin error. Anyhow I dressed in full Hogwarts robes and took Ed Victor as my guest (he needs to get out more) and found we were seated bang next to Neil Blair and an armed guard. I asked him why Christopher couldn't make it but he was strangely silent. Busy with all that Pottermore excitement I should think.The after party was magic – although I had no idea how I got from there to waking up on a lion in Trafalgar Square at 6a.m. Discovering a room key from the Ritz and several deeply inappropriate photos of me and one of the stars of the film on my iPhone worried me a little. Especially as I had no idea you could even do that with a broomstick. Alarmed, I checked my messages – and weirdly I had a ‘saved’ one from He Who Must Not Be Named. ‘Odd,’ I thought – ‘I don’t remember listening to that’. But the next thing was, my phone rang and it was a man called Glen from the News Of The World who said he was splashing me all over the front page describing my ‘broomstick shennanigans’ and asked if it was true that I’d played ‘Hunt the snitch’ with one of the famous stars of the Harry Potter franchise? Horrified I pointed my wand at the phone and shouted, ‘Ineedtomakeasharpexitam!’ before sliding off the lion and flagging down the nearest cab.I realized I would never live down my Potter shame once it got out so I resigned nobly as soon as I got to work and emailed my clients about my decision. This is, after all, what people do when the chips are down and your company’s reputation is at stake. Mr Cecil was a bit bemused though – ‘I didn’t realize you actually did any work, Daisy, so accepting your resignation feels rather…counterintuitive?’ he remarked. Um, I think he was just hiding his pain and I was just thinking about my father's face on Sunday. None of my clients even replied. Bastards.Still in my robes, I moped along to the HarperCollins party at Vicky's Kensington crash-pad to drown my sorrows at Rupert's expense. After 13 Down Under cocktails, I forlornly looked around the room at the mad, bad and dangerous to know, shedding a tear on the back of Janson Smith's blazer. ‘Farewell, publishing family,’ I whimpered. Suddenly I heard Vicky mention my bete noir - the News Of The World. Surely she didn’t know my broomstick shame yet? I blushed...but no! She was announcing to the world that the red top was no more with IMMEDIATE EFFECT.With one leap I was free and I ran screaming from the party desperate to reclaim clients and my job before ChloeMonster was annointed as my successor[...]



Miss Daze e-Frost does it digitally

2011-07-09T21:20:41.340+01:00

As far as I am aware, Godparents serve one purpose – to buy you an  expensive lunch once a year to make up for all the birthdays they’ve ever missed. After three hours of boozing at Shoreditch House with my fairy godfather ‘company director’ Sandy, he reached into my bag snatched up my business cards and threw them into the nearby pizza oven. ‘Daisy’, he slurred, ‘you have got to innovate – forget the lit agent thing and start thinking ‘Miss Daisy Frost I.P Executive Vice-President of Self-facilitating e-trepeneurial Imagineering’. I  would, I said – if I had any idea what that meant. ‘Get out of books  and into digital AS SOON AS POSSIBLE,’ I think he replied. Before we  both passed out.  Sandy’s words were still echoing in my (very sore) head the next night  at the Agents Association secret meeting, where all chat was about  ‘Should Agents Be Publishers?’ Beards were pulled and someone shouted  ‘We’re only becoming e-publishers because there’s no viable  alternative for our old books’. Just as I was about to get up and  shout, ‘O, who gives a f***’, I changed my mind and suddenly said, ‘WRONG. Let me tell you about, er…Jonty books..they pay...um...£1Ok  advances per book and 80% royalities’ The words 'advances' and ‘80% caused an actual stampede and I was crushed under a scrum of enthused  agents. It was slightly awkward, seeing as I’d just made the whole thing up, so I ran out of the room shouting, ‘Details on Twitter later!’ Hysterical with excitement I rang my brother, Jonty, screaming, ’Crank up your MacPad - we are going to be millionaires. All you need to know is I am a genius and we will be outselling all print books within a week. Just keep my name out of it’. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have ignored the fact that he sounded really quite drunk, but I tweeted his email address anyway and went home. Three days later he texted me to say he was being deluged with deliveries of moth eaten old Pelican paperbacks and was freaking out. I helpfully suggested he hire some interns, get them to photograph each page with their iPhones and call it epub5 or something. 48 hours later our launch list of 500 books went live featuring Colonel Mustard’s Fishing For Condiments, 27 early novels by Gyles Brandreth and 400 selected titles from the mentalists at the AAA. Keenly priced at £58 we would be millionaires by Friday  I realized he was perhaps less on top of things than I would’ve liked when I found myself back at the AAA 2 weeks later in a distinctly frosty meeting. Whisphering to Carole Blake, ‘What is going on?’ she replied, laughing scarily, ‘Don’t you read the trade press Daisy? Jonty have defaulted on all their contracts - pirate copies of every title are now freely available, the P.R company has stopped returning calls, the AAA membership is collectively owed about £2m in advances, clients are threatening to sue and it’s all YOUR FAULT’. With this loaded gun pointed in my face, I did what any sensible girl would have done. I burst into hysterical tears. ‘I can’t believe you’re blaming me for their failure. I have personally lost MILLIONS....I mean...for my authors. I mean, et tu, Bruté?’ The silence was shattered by a massive crashing of glass – someone wearing a balaclava (or it may have been a beard) swung into the room holding a piece of paper in his hands. ‘STOP RIGHT THERE’, he shouted. ‘I have researched Jonty Books at Companies House and it makes VERY INTERESTING READING INDEED’. My face went white. But then something wonderful happened - the agents grabbed the bearded man and bundled hi[...]



BITCH SLAP

2011-06-03T10:23:25.040+01:00

Publishing has gone a bit Carmen Callil over the last few weeks. After the relative calm of the British Book Awards (apart from my being refused entry for some ridiculous technicality – something about not being a nominee/ guest/ wearing a I PREFER IT DIGITALLY t-shirt) I settled down for what I thought would be a quiet couple of weeks laughing myself stupid over the slush-pile (‘I have novelized the film Pride and Prejudice etc’) and excessive tweeting. O, how wrong. How very wrong.On submission with a dead cert (hot chick, posh surname, high-concept book about a gay fish who reverses the effects of Global Warming) I set my auction date and waited. And waited. Total #fail - with not even Jamie Byng camping on my doorstep or a totally unnecessary £500,000 pre-empt from Simon and Schuster. I felt wretched and I realized right then that this job was impossible – a bit like trying to manage Geri Halliwell – and that it was time I ditched it for something cushy and well-paid like editing or bookselling. I started putting feelers out…Suddenly I got a call from Colin Firth, as one does, begging me to take him as my plus one to the hottest ticket in the publishing world tonight. I said I would see what I could do. Ever since I gave him such successful career advice earlier this year, there’s no getting rid of him.The first job call I made was to a man with Russian accent who told mehe was about to buy ‘Vaterschtones’ and needed someone to head it up. ‘Look no further’, said I, ‘I once worked in a Pound Store and I have a strictly vodka only diet.’ He sounded very interested but when he asked me about my national strategy I was confused. ‘National strategy? You mean there are OTHER stores than the Piccadilly one’. The phone went dead rather too quickly…I then got straight through to Gail and said I was a dead cert to take over from Kate Elton. ‘Whatever makes you think you can head up Century?’ growled Gail in a honey-over-gravel voice. ‘Well I love reading books covered in pink glitter or dripping with gore and the thought of spanking Ben Dunne when he gets out of line makes me feel all warm inside. There can’t be any more to it than that surely’. Dead line AGAIN.Finally the Big One – heading up Amazon Publishing in the U.K. As long as I didn’t have to work in a big drafty warehouse full of brown cardboard boxes I could really go for this one. It can’t be that hard – choose books with bold covers and screw people for ‘marketing contributions’. Sort of like running an Oxfam shop in Sicily I imagine. I tried in vain to find Larry Kirschbaum’s phone number and had to resort instead to filling in a drop down box, selecting Superprime option to deliver my C.V before being asked if I wanted to giftwrap it. I then gave up in frustration as an email pinged into my box ‘Daisy – customers who applied for UK CEO of Amazon also bought ‘You’re Fired’ by Lord Sugar.Later I did let Firth come as my date to The Big Event because I’m nice like that. Parking at the back of a warehouse in Swindon we made our way through the rubble until we found a group of people in a circle in a rubble-strewn patch of land. Surrounded by the ghost of Catherine Cookson, a red-faced Tom Sharpe and several other authors (whose names are subject to super-injunctions) I could see Susan Sandon and Sonia Land smacking the living hell out of each other using only e-readers and rolled contracts as weapons. Forge[...]



MY ROYAL WEDDING

2011-05-06T16:14:28.794+01:00

To be honest, getting an invite to the Royal Wedding was actually easier than becoming accredited for World Book Night. I am an excellent and attentive niece to Great Aunt Daisy – watering her plants (and secretly staying) in her Belgravia mansion flat when she’s in Zermat – so when one morning I saw an appealingly stiff envelope from Buckingham Palace arrive on the doormat I grabbed it. An invitation to the Royal Wedding, indeed! So Great Aunt Daisy really was as well-connected as she said – I always assumed those stories about her, the Duke Of Edinburgh and the naked safari were made up. I replied AT ONCE confirming my attendance. Great Aunt Daisy need never know.After weeks of showing off about my invite, I woke up at 5am on the morning of the big day shouting ‘God Save The Queen’, before falling out of bed and trying on 74 outfits – finally settling on my Grandmother’s vintage Chanel suit, plus the patriotic additions of a blue garter with Prince William’s face on it and a pair of union jack pants. By the time I got to the Abbey, I was hysterical – I hadn’t been this excited since the last Jilly Cooper launch, even though that was much grander and had more Royals. I queued up with the Beckhams, stroking Posh’s bump and David’s OBE medal as we speculated about The Dress and whether the royal couple would be able to afford a bigger house than Beckingham Palace. Everyone agreed this was very unlikely. Guy Ritchie joined us and said he was thinking of casting Prince Harry as a notorious gangster in his next movie and there was a hair raising moment when someone whispered, ‘What the hell is Mohammed Al Fayed doing here?’ but fortunately it turned out to be the sweet old King of Tonga. I mean, separated at birth or what?As for the ceremony itself, I mean, there are no words. I considered climbing up one of those Maple trees for an aerial view of the beautiful bride in her exquisite dress, but settled on getting a leg up from one of the van Cutsems. It was magnificent and all that work Pippa’s been doing on the pilates reformer really paid off – knowing 2 billion people are going to be checking out your arse is some incentive. There was one slightly awkward moment during the ‘does anyone know of any just impediment’ bit when my phone went off, playing ‘It Should Have Been Me’. I couldn’t find it in my bag, so I ended up having to stamp on it in a desperate bid to make it stop. Harry stifled a giggle, Sir Elton shot me quite a cross look, but Jecca Craig turned round and mouthed, ‘My sentiments exactly’, so I felt better.The reception was phenomenal and by the time we got to the friends only dinner, I was WELL away. I was seated between Jamie Byng and someone called Itchy Legge-Bourke, I think, but I’m afraid the last thing I can remember is getting into what I believe had been Princess Margaret’s bath with that very naughty red haired chap, singing ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ whilst saluting and pouring a bottle of Champagne over his head. According to a photo I’ve just been emailed from Guy Pelly’s iPhone, that is.On Saturday I was woken up by a furious voice message from Great Aunt Daisy asking why a tweet from ‘Wedding guest Miss Daisy Frost’ was quoted in The Times. OMFG. I fell out of bed to discover I was at the Goring Hotel, wearing an officers cap, with several medals pinned to my dress and with ‘Call me – H xxx’ and a phone number scribbled in pen on my arm. I just wish I could remember how my pants found their way up that flag pole outside my window....See you at the British Book Awards. x[...]



MISS DAISY GETS ALL MISTY EYED ABOUT THE FUTURE

2011-04-13T10:14:45.759+01:00

Book Fair dinners – you know the drill: a cellar somewhere in East London, where on average, two people never show and two are never mentioned. You sit between two people you’ve never met, who behave as if you’re invisible and the two people you want to flirt with both sit too far away. The food arrives when everyone is drunk and five people have left by the time the bill arrives. Battle lines aren’t clearly drawn, so  the opportunity for social disaster is immense. Last night I was in a noisy cellar, talking to some guy who said he worked for Quirky Books. ‘God, bad luck’ I said loudly, ‘how is that dreadful old perv, Geoff?’ A terrible silence descended at the table as ScaryScout turned to me and said, in cut-glass tones, ‘Daisy – I don’t believe you know....Geoff...from Quirky Books '.  ‘Gosh, I have to run,’ I gulped, ‘got a window I’ve got to ram my head through,’ throwing £100 on the table and racing out of there to cab it over to the safety of the Canongate party. Great as ever – Kate AND William on decks were a high point.As soon as I arrived at the fair on Tuesday, people started consoling me for not being included on the shortlist for the Literary Agent Of The Year Award, which is very kind, but I want to use this opportunity to publicly announce that I withdrew my name at the last minute. Yes, I have a conscience and a deep sense of justice. What chance did anyone else stand if I was in the running? I’m quite like Meryl Streep in that sense – I should probably be nominated every year, but I’m happy for my work to stand alone, I don’t need the affirmation of a massive trophy to underwrite my sense of self or the outstanding contribution I have made to this industry. Colleagues, you’re welcome.After a busy day I stood with the LIBF’s Arch-supremo, Alastair Burtenshaw in the IRC gallery late on Tuesday musing on the fun to be had, swanning about between the stands, bumping into friends /pushing over enemies. As we admired the terrain, it suddenly dawned on me that publishing was standing on the edge of an abyss and that if something wasn't done, there might be an Armageddon.An idea hit me and I turned to Alastair. ‘Al - you know publishers are looking to cut overheads?’ ‘Yes’, he mumbled, – looking nervous. ‘And you know that publishers are looking for ways to innovate in a tricky market?’ ‘Yes’, he said – sounding concerned at where this way going. ‘Ok Al, start getting excited - why don’t we just get every publisher and agent to sell their offices, buy Earls Court and have the Book Fair 365 days a year?’ He looked stunned, but strangely exhilarated – a bit like a judge to whom the concept of lap dancing had just been explained.  I rolled with it, continuing – ‘Jamie Byng is too busy saving mankind, so I will step up and turn this idea from straw into gold. I don’t need awards or Earls Court to be renamed The Frost Building - my rewards will come from my maker.’ His face started to flush as a smile broke out and ‘Jerusalem’ swelled over the tannoy. I went for it: ‘Forget Disney World, Al- we could build PUBLISHING World – a literary theme park with a Career Rollercoaster, a Pulp flume, a Pitch To Publication Ghost train and even a little stall where editors could get all their ducks in a row before making an offer. Good God, if we bought Earls Court 2, we cou[...]



LIBF - JUST ANOTHER MANIC MONDAY.

2011-04-12T10:00:58.140+01:00

If there’s one thing I can’t abide, it’s a queue – we all know this – so turning up to Earl’s Court on Monday to see more people than had turned up to touch the hem of Jamie Byng’s garment on World Book Night, I began to back away, sweating. Momentarily distracted by the sight of Dame Gail Rebuck’s helicopter landing, I bumped into someone next to me, as both our badges fell to the floor. I grabbed mine crossly and breezed through the fast track queue where a puzzled- looking man scanned my pass, eyeing me curiously. ‘Deals to make, chop chop!’ I shouted, snatching my pass back as I headed for the IRC. Elbowing myself passed the men in cord jackets with leather patches (clearly from educational publishers ), intense scrubbed little women (self-help editors?) and fabulously glamorous goddesses (chick-lit - obvs) I got some very odd looks. People smiled, looked down at my badge only to look up again, confused and move away. Maybe yesterday’s column had caused a diplomatic incident? It was only when I got to the ladies room and stood in front of the mirror that I saw my badge identified me as Christopher Little. Which meant that somewhere Chris was unwittingly outing himself as Miss Daisy Frost to the whole of Earl’s Court. Fine by me – as long as he sorts those eyebrows out and gives me all his millions. Outside the rights centre, I spied some badly-dressed people holding manuscripts and looking a bit lost. Ever the girl guide I stopped and asked if they needed help. ‘Yes please – we are authors and we want to get agents. What do we do?” Authors at a bookfair? That’s like finding a herd of cows going on a daytrip to an Abattoir.  I slyly suggested that they should just go into the IRC, break into any meeting they like, shove the other person out of the way and sit down. ‘Start at the Wylie table’, I suggested, ‘he is always so friendly and he’ll welcome your eagerness and determination’. They scurried off, all fired up. ‘Andrew – you’re welcome,’ I muttered.In one corner of the IRC, bedlam had broken out – agent Carole Blake seemed to be talking into six mobile phones, live-tweeting and holding five meetings simultaneously as a team of assistants mopped her brow with a big sponge and kept her intravenous drip of essential nutrients topped up.  At the end of each half hour, five press releases were immediately beamed to Bookbrunch as newsflashes. As I stood there her stories buzzed onto my iPhone - ‘Carole has a client,’ ‘Carole has a coffee’ and ‘Editor publishes book’.  As I was pondering this detailed and selfless contribution, there was a commotion, where I saw the herd of authors being pursued by a furious looking Wylie who was pointing at me and shouting. Time to make myself scarce.I slipped off to the Charkin/Franklin debate ‘Will Authors Need Publishers In the Future?’ but was diverted from my path by the scent of glamour and stardom drifting from the BAFTA Film Networking Drinks instead. Shouting, ‘Yes, Harvey – I’ll talk to Colin if you want, but I’m not promising. We want Kidman for the project too, but Diaz will do,’ into my phone, the red rope was lifted and I got stuck straight in. The more I reduced my book pitches, the more excited the film types became, especially with my sensitive 1000 page coming of age dystopic novel set in [...]



LONDON BOOK FAIR - SUNDAY

2011-04-11T09:30:54.966+01:00

DObra-ye OOtr’ Comrades! Or ‘Hello from this year’s London Book Fair! Excitement!’The theme of LIBF2011 is of course RUSSIA so, naturally, my first port of call on Sunday was the Russian Embassy in Kensington – a building so large it has its own postcode. Channeling the spirit of Julie Christie, I dug out my grandmother’s mink and sledged over. HarperCollins’ John Bond and Sheil Land’s Piers Blofeld were outside practicing their Russian folk dancing, until Comrade Nurnberg (looking smart in his medals) waved us through the VIP lane.The Ambassador’s residence was incredible of course but very disappointingly there were no Ferrero Rocher to be seen anywhere. We pretended to honour Russian writers and artists and Uri Gagarin (who was, I think, the first man to bend spoons in space) whilst bolting 14 flavours of vodka, wincing on Beluga caviar and hoping the goody bags contained Faberge eggs. I WANT to say I got confused between water and the neat vodka I was licking from the statue of Boris Yeltzin, but it might just have been the combined effects of the Cossack dancing and the Pickled Herring  because things started to take on a strange sort of unreality. The room swayed and the minutes I spent talking to Lord Weidenfeld felt like hours. Either I was drunk or just in ‘The Age Of Miracles’. There was then a tug at my sleeve - ‘What do you do?’ asked a bear-like man politely. ‘I’m an agent, actually – but don’t tell anyone,’ I said, tapping my nose and then falling over. He looked gravely at me. Before he could say a word, I grabbed John and Piers who were loitering nearby. ‘Of course you must know Mr Bond and Mr Blofeld’. The Bear paused and backed off  -  ‘I see….it has been some time since there were any significant diplomatic incidents between our two nations, I hope it remains this way,’ ‘I’m quite sure I don’t know what you mean!’ I laughed, hurling my Borsch-in-a-shot into the air.Unfortunately, it landed on the bald head of a distinguished looking gentleman, to whom I apologized profusely before snatching a napkin and giving his head a good rub. ’Gosh, I’m so sorry, it appears to have stained a little,’ I said, biting my lip. ‘Is no matter,’ came the gentleman’s response, before someone gently ushered him away, muttering, ‘Andrew Nurnberg is ready for you now, Mr Gorbachev.’ I sensed I was outstaying my welcome, so I grabbed a cello from the string quartet and snowboarded down the staircase, through the exit into the back of John Bond’s sleigh and we sped off to Freedom and the HarperCollins bash.Something was wrong at Home House when I arrived. After the intrigue of Russia, it all seemed too quiet and too normal. Patrick Janson-Smith was dressed as Bertie Wooster, Nick Pearson was asleep in an ornamental hedge, Caroline Michel was on heels so high that waiters were having to offer her drinks from a ladder and Christopher Little and Mark Smith were playing tiddlywinks with real gold coins. Same old, same old. And then it happened – Lady Barnsley grabbed a microphone and announced that because of ‘severe market conditions’ she was restructuring the party with immediate effect. The waiters were promoted to guests, editors rebranded as ‘imagineering operatives’, agents were consolidated into a ‘rights village’, and all aut[...]



IDENTITY CRISIS

2011-03-31T22:12:36.087+01:00

When you find yourself on a cold March night at 10.30pm hiding in a wheelie bin at Norwich station car park from @benjohncock with your iPhone telling you that you’re 5 hours late for a meeting at UEA just before it runs out of juice, you have to ask yourself- ‘what went wrong?’But before that - I now have some more ‘life firsts’ to add to first kiss, first book deal and first client being poached by the Wylie Agency, thanks to World Byng Night. These include wrestling Maeve Binchy into her lycra abseiling gear for the descent down Nelson’s Column, explaining to Alan Bennett how to pronounce ‘Booyakasha’ and helping Ish, Amis and the James Paterson triplets on to Harper Lee’s shoulders for the human pyramid we made for the finale. As the crowd sang ‘Feed The Word – let them know that we love Jamie’ we all looked skywards as Byng and the Pope dived 10,000 feet from the Quercus Blimp as riot police held back hysterical crowds. I signalled to Colin Firth to pull the lever releasing the million books and they shot into the airspace over the UK ready to land in pre-designated spots. The pigeons in Trafalgar Square weren’t that pleased – or that alive - afterwards (Boris – you’re welcome) and I had to leave before the after-party as I had 25,000 copies of Life Of Pi to deliver to my ‘contact’ on the North Peckham Housing Estate because they make great coshes, apparently.After a morning altering all my unsold thrillers to take place in Sweden not London and adding those weird forwards slashes to all the letters ‘O’, I headed off on the train to my ‘Lick The Agent’ session at UEA. Having forgotten to buy a copy of Heat, I thought, ‘what the hell’ and decided to sort my manuscripts into two piles: pretentious and preposterous. My favourite was, ‘a coming of age novel which re-imagines Catcher In the Rye in a post-apocalyptic landscape reminiscent of the future we are struggling to remember’. My note was: ‘set in Sweden? Better?’I soon lost interest and succumbed to the siren call of Twitter. After a bit of banter with @DruceyDrama about prose, @CaroleBlake about shoes and the whole world about what total Hell authors are, the train ground to a halt, so I crossly tweeted ‘stupid train has broken down just outside Cambridge’. Within seconds I had a reply from @BenJohnCock:‘DAISY – I AM ON THAT TRAIN TOO’. COMING TO FIND YOU’.I actually hemorrhaged. Daisy’s reign as Secret Agent would be over. I would be cast out in a hail of stones from the publishing community, drowning in an avalanche of lawsuits and – worst of all – probably lose my Groucho membership. I threw myself down the corridor and into the loo as Ben barged into the carriage, managing to lock the door just as he banged on it. When we finally pulled into Norwich, I squeezed myself out of the window and jumped straight into the car park wheelie bin. However, the lid was thrown open and before I knew it, Ben had busted me on his iPhone camera shouting ‘GOTCHA!’ before I could cover my face. Alas, les jeux sont fait.I have now spent the last week agreeing to his every increasingly ridiculous blackmail demands (it started with him wanting to write a book with James Paterson but now we have progressed to the insane order of an invite to Kate and William’s wedding) and he tells me that he is going to reveal my identity to the world today. So to pre-empt that I have taken the big decision to do it myself on Twitter at 11.59 This maybe be the end of my relationship with The Bookseller but I w[...]



THE BYNG'S SPEECH

2011-03-31T22:01:01.001+01:00

So yes, obviously I did go to the BAFTAs this year again. No speech by Orion's Peter Roach but still worth attending. Seeing as we are in such good shape with The King’s Speech, I wanted to show my support for King and Country, so I sidled up to Colin Firth (we go WAY back) on the red carpet to see how he was coping with the expectations of a nation. He said he was a bit worried that everyone thought it would be a forgone conclusion. ‘Listen, Firth,’ I said, ‘You’ve been riding off the success of a wet shirt for too long now – look at Portman. She’s raising her game with all that dancing. Listen to Miss Daisy Frost - bring Uncle Oscar home and get those abdominals stirring – a dance movie next? ’ He bit his lip nervously, nodding. Let’s just hope this invaluable advice sinks in.There are of course many mysteries in publishing – and I’m not talking about why Nigel Newton and Lloyd Grossman haven’t ever been spotted together. The big one recently has been the contents of Catherine Eccles forthcoming ‘The Secret Of Publishing’ e-book. I HAD to know the answer. I rang all the usual loose tongues, but no dice. Eccles wouldn’t send out any review copies or do any press – she would only tell me it was a one word answer. Frost? Maybe not. Baffled, I sought help. Self-faciliitating media node Damian Horner speculated the word might be 'freemium' (and then invoiced me £250), Lord Maclehose Of Sweden said it was quite obviously 'Steig' and I called everyone at Faber but they never got back to me. I was about to tweet for answers when the phone rang - it was Lord Byng of Hype who wanted to meet urgently for lunch.Jamie needed my help on World Byng Night for his megabash in Trafalgar Square. I protested until he told me I had been suggested by Stephen Fry - a bit like being told God has suggested you might want to build a cathedral, so I accepted. My brief: go A list. My calls to Obama, Heaney, Harper Lee and Pynchon did not render the results I was after.They’re ALL busy? Things did not improve when ChloeMonster rushed in to say Kathy Lette had phoned 15 times to volunteer her services. ‘Chloe, things are quite THAT bad yet.’ I said coldly, ‘But maybe dig out Geri Halliwell’s number to be on the safe side.’ By the end of the day I had a maybe from a self-published sci-fi poet, a probably from an octogenarian erotic fiction writer from Rhyll and a definite from  Martina Cole. Maybe the Eccles word was ‘desperate’ but I texted her and she just replied ‘not even close’.Despondent I hurried over to Ishiguro’s annual fancy dress. Ish looked dreamy as Annette Benning and I slipped an eyepatch on and went as Jeff Bridges in True Grit. Watching the Oscars live, the room went wild when Colin stepped up to claim Best Actor. ‘I have to warn you', he said - clutching the award, ' that I am experiencing stirrings somewhere in the upper abdominals that are threatening to form themselves into dance moves,'. Good boy! I sighed to myself and send him a little text - 'Firth, you’re welcome. love Daisy'.Apparently Colin has been talking about me at the Vanity Fair after party – I know this the next morning my blackberry suddenly went nuts with RSVPs to Jamie’s party – all of a sudden: Obama TICK, Heaney TICK, Harper Lee TICK, Rowling TICK. Even Steig said he might pop in. As I was sitting there it struck me like a Harry Potter bolt of lighting – the Secret Of Publishing word wasn’t ‘passion’or ‘originality’ – it was something much[...]



HAPPY NEW YEAR

2011-03-31T21:58:47.825+01:00

It’s time for me to announce something life changing to you all. Please be upstanding for my new venture: Daisy Frost Creative.The DFC will be a nurturing academy where would-be writers can hone their craft safely away from the horrors of publishing’s commercial realities and in time, emerge as fully-formed literary beings. Forget ‘Daisy Frost – agent of this parish’ and start thinking ‘Daisy Frost – Literary Dr Barnardo.’ It’ll then only be a matter of time before the inevitable ‘Dame’ Daisy, which should enable me to look Dame Ellah Allfrey in the eyes once more. Financially speaking, my thoughts are that the Bronze Package will cost about only £10k, buying regular email contact from one of our highly-trained tutors (failed author Barry Slouch), an exclusive 24/7 private helpline (Hopeless Chloe's mobile) and a chance to win a year’s invaluable (unpaid) internship at the agency addressing my slushpile / dry-cleaning. For an additional £5k you might get to watch me (via webcam) having lunch at the Wolseley and for a further £10k, possibly get your book launched via our revolutionary e-publishing scheme (ie posting a word document on our website and linking to it on twitter).And so to my week.There I was, staggering down Albermarle Street in my stunning high heels on the way to the Costas when I noticed a formation of people queuing up in an orderly fashion in front of a smart building. They weren’t just ordinary people though – they fell into three distinct groups: 1/ distinguished grey-haired men with expensive suits – the type who always LOVE me 2/ Anna Ford stylee women ‘d’une certain age’ with Princess Anne hair sporting long amber necklaces and 3/ young girls with perfect complexions and the kind of optimism that only comes from old money and knowing they’ll get an invite to that wedding on 29th April. I wondered curiously whether this was a Conservative party dinner dance but then saw sweet old Roly Phillips in the doorway, smirking like a policeman clapping eyes on Alan Johnson’s missus and holding a plate of cupcakes. It was, of course, the John Murrays Authors party and yet again, I was NFI. I cannot believe another year has passed with my selling Roly something - although we did come close with Lady Cynthia Arbuthnot’s collected correspondence with the unknown sixth Mitford sister, Tracey. He was pipped at the post by Patrick at Blue Door 's £275,000. So every cloud etc.......Respect to Team Costa – they might have downgraded from the freshly ground black tie event of previous years to this more instant coffee vibe, but you cannot fault them for the caliber of guests. The place was PACKED with the elite of London literati – I’m talking Natasha Kaplinsky, Gaby Roslin and yes, H from Steps. The Man Booker gang need to up their game and get on to Louis Spence and Chardonnay out of Big Fat Gypsy Weddings agents as a matter of urgency. In their wisdom though Costa had opened a shop ON THE STAGE so every one of Andrew Neil’s words was drowned out by clouds of hot air and bubbling sound effects worthy of Frankenstein’s laboratory. When Jo Shapcott was finally announced as the winner, you could have heard a rhyming couplet drop, as people stood there, open-mouthed in disbelief, until the cheering slowly started to build along with the pretence that they loved reading poetry. I immediately texted all my clients,‘URGENT– ignore previous instructions to turn your unpublishable novels into object-bas[...]



2011 - THE YEAR AHEAD IN PUBLISHING

2010-12-21T11:58:07.677+00:00

I still have 19 Christmas parties to go to, but there is just time to rub my crystal ball and tell you what 2011 has in store….January – ‘New Year, New You’ promotions clean up with Anne Widdecombe and the Pope’s ‘I Got Rhythm Method' and Waterstone’s launches their own cinema chain with a publishing version of Inception, in which Steve Jobs inhabits a world where physical books exist only in the mind of a chosen few.February – Quercus’ Mark Smith announces profits of $19bn but delays the shareholders’ dividend until the autumn so as not to imbalance the world’s tenuous economy. Michael McIntyre signs with Penguin for a £79m sequel entitled ‘Life and Laughing All The Way To Bank’.March - Waterstone's announces a groundbreaking partnership with Carole Blake and India Knight to launch an in-store shoe shop. A restaurant called 'EMPERORS NEW CLOTHES' opens in Spitalfields - it has one table, no menu and is run by two ex-traffic wardens. Ed Victor sells the rights to Bloomsbury for £9m.April - LIBF is consumed by a massive plague of locusts and frogs, only warded off when Heston Blumenthal turns them into ice cream and Waitrose sells out in a record 25 minutes. The 9-day long Royal Wedding coverage boosts the book trade and Dave Starkey’s History of Royal Executions goes to No.1.May – World Byng Night sees a million clones of Jamie Byng released into the book community to generate hope where this was sadness and hype where there was ennui. GlaxoSmithKlineCanongate start secret experiments to create a master race.June – Kate Wilson’s Nosy Crow launches an imprint for rude out-of-control kids called Noisy Cow, Random House decide to wrest market share back from Hachette by injecting James Patterson with Byng D.N.A to create an author who never sleeps and can produce 100 books a weekJuly – Hutchinson announce they have signed a 51-book deal with Sebastian Faulks to follow up on ‘A Week In December’. Hodder trumps them when David Nicholls signs a 364-book follow-up to ‘One Day’.August – Ebury’s Aleksandr Orlov launch their new ‘Zoo’ imprint with Bambi’s tragic memoir ‘The Deer Hunted’ and Bug’s Bunny’s hypochondria book ‘What’s Up (With Me) Doc?’ 4th Estate part company with their copy editor after an unfortunate mix-up over a reissue of Turgenev’s A Month in The Country.September – Waterstone’s start a promotion in which scantily clad authors sit in shop windows waving at passers by. Trade soars in the Amsterdam branch. Widdie’s reimagining of Madonna’s Sex book is a flop until repositioned in the horror section where it sells-out immediately.  The race for the Booker starts with Bloomsbury deciding to up its chances by not submitting any books at all.October – Frankfurt is nearly scuppered by Ed Victor’s helicopter being 15 minutes late and Andrew Wylie being in a good mood but the theme nation Bolivia’s opening night party proves addictively popular. Four agents are disqualified from auctions after failing to give a urine sample.November – Quercus announce that Top Gear’s The Stig will co-author a series of thrillers with the Far Side's Gary Larson. Vince Cable declares a national holiday – but then changes his mind. Greg’s The Bakers ‘The Steak Bake Bible’ is sold by Ed Victor to Bloomsbury for £9m and Kate and William’s unborn child signs with Scholastic for a series entitled ‘HRH Gaga’.December – Nigella’s TV series ‘Sa[...]



DAISY'S CHRISTMAS CAROL

2010-12-09T14:27:25.737+00:00

So I’ve been on a bit of a celebrity roll recently. I am locked in battle with Mark Lucas over the 32 Chilean Miners (the score is currently 21 book deals to me and 11 to him) and I am hoping to persuade Kate Middleton to sign up for ‘The Real Princess Diaries’. Chloe my enemy (I mean assistant) has been whingeing about wanting a Christmas bonus (AS IF!) and her constant request to have some days off between Christmas and New Year are really getting on my nerves. How many times do I have to tell her that I need her here in case I want anything sent urgently to me in the Maldives. Stop going on about it!On Monday, I was about to leave for the Bad Sex Party when I noticed on Twitter that Stephen Fry’s face had now taken on the ghostly appearance of the long dead founder of our agency, Jacob Cecil. ‘What manner of mischief is this, @stephenfry?’ I tweeted, anxiously. ‘@missdaisyfrost, it is I, Jacob Cecil – be warned, there are things you must see’ was the ominous response.At that moment, Peter Mayer appeared before me  ‘I am the ghost of Publishing Past – there are important lessons you must learn,’ he said gravely. Suddenly, we were in the editorial department of Penguin Books and I was watching my 18 year old self earnestly reading a massive pile of scripts in my lunch break, while everyone else played drinking games, the air thick with cigarette smoke. An extremely handsome American boy approached me – ‘Daisy, I’m totally in love with you, like all the boys here – be mine?’, he said, falling to his knees. ‘I’m sorry, I just don’t have the time,’ I said gently, ‘I am dedicating myself to literature. This is my life’s mission’.I gasped. Literature? What kind of fresh hell was this?. Mayer sighed,‘That boy went onto to invent the ipad and is now worth £1.5billion. You could be living on a yacht now and you turned him down because of your publishing dreams.’ ‘But my authors!’ I shouted,’ Keith Chegwin’s hilarious memoirs and the Loose Women Book Of Sex Tips - the world needs‘… but the ghost had suddenly changed into the Ed Victor - the Spirit of Publishing Present, who took my hand as we flew over the rooftops of London, passing Katie Price doing a signing at Westfield before landing on a tiny garret window where four authors (MY AUTHORS) were huddled together burning their manuscripts just to keep warm. One mumbled, ‘Did you hear from Daisy this year?’ As they all shook their heads, Ed disappeared and Amanda Ross - the Ghost of Publishing Future - grabbed me and took me onwards.I suddenly seemed to be at a very small cramped desk, reading a copy of HEAT magazine in horror – its headline declaring a global celebrity deficit crisis and the end of reality TV – and therefore, the magazine too. Online I saw the Christmas Number 1 was a Latvian novel called THE POTATO and that the highest rating TV show was called I’M A NOVELIST – LET’S DISCUSS POST-MODERNISM’. The door swung open and a face I recognized screamed at me ‘DAISY – IT’S 7 A.M – WHERE IS MY YAK MILK SMOOTHIE?’ as she threw a pile of manuscripts at me and flounced out. It was Chloe – AND I WAS HER ASSISTANT.At that point, I think I haemorrhaged. Or maybe I just woke up.I have decided to heed this warning and have acted accordingly. Chloe will indeed have Christmas day off AND boxing day and I have given her a signed copy of Gok Wan’s ‘Through Thi[...]



BYE BYE FRANKFURT - YOU'VE BEEN GREAT

2010-10-10T14:22:53.620+01:00

Me and my massive gob. My memoir is already getting me in trouble and out of trouble and it’s not even written yet. It started with John Makinson startling me out of sleep (not like that) with an order to immediately vacate the HassleHof’s Davidar’s suite forthwith, settling the $14,291 bill on my way out. Anxious to dissolve the wrath of MakoMan, I whispered in his ear that he could have a floor and topping rights in my memoir THE GIRL WITH THE HAND OVER HER FACE if he just let me go. I stroked his arm like a cat and laughed loudly at everything he said, as he mulled it over before agreeing. It shouldn’t be this easy, but I don’t make the rules. I shimmied off to my last day at the fair almost feeling sad. Then I remembered I had put a pair of Louboutins and a Hermés bag on the bill and perked up.It is a truth universally acknowledged that you can tell the prosperity of an agency or publisher by the production values of their Rights List. Apparently in the early days of the Wylie agency, The Jackal brandished a thin photocopied sheet of paper (with maybe a staple if it had been a good year) – then it became a ring-bound volume and now you just help yourself to a gold 64gb iPad preloaded with his list and with Andy’s face as a screensaver. The engraved mantra is a nice touch - 'if we don't represent the author you are looking for please let us know and we can resolve that within 24 hours’. As I was helping myself to a few extra iPads (they make such good gifts), I was alerted to the sight of Sarah Chalfant sprinting over, so I immediately ran myself. I vaguely heard her shouting, ‘We hear BIG things about your memoir – THE GIRL WITH THE HAND OVER HER FACE – Andrew needs to talk to you RIGHT NOW’. As I streaked through Hall 8, unease set in that this lie was starting to catch up with me.Hurdling over the Free Massage area, I fell into the open arms of a well known sleaze-tastic publisher (you know who you are), who wrapped up his amorous advances in a cloak of 'considerable interest in your extraordinary memoir’. I do find it enormously tiring to have to go through this sort of thing with these silly old men who take a smile and a pretence of interest in their boring conversation as The Green Light instead of just good old fashioned manners. He stroked my arm like a cat, laughed loudly at everything I said (alarmingly karmic), asked if I'd 'ever been a model' and then said, 'Gosh, I hope you don't mind me flirting with you like this,' 'O right, I didn't realize you were,' I said, lacing my half smile with a lashing of steeliness. You've hurt my feelings!' he said, pulling a mock sad face. 'O right, I didn't realize you had any,' I said, reaching for another large drink, whilst disengaging myself from his grip. I mean, really.Later I went to host my agency's Michelin-starred family dinner at the Steigenberger Hotel. My 23 sub-agents looked on nervously as I addressed them about market conditions, but their little eyes lit up when I said that we couldn't work without them. They cheered and handed over their immaculate annual reports, as we settled down to champagne cocktails, hilariously expensive food and yes, prolific questioning about my memoir. It was while I was eating a snail and chocolate canapé that I realized each mouthful cost more than an entire Croatian book deal (let alone the commission) so I slipped away to the airport and texted the[...]