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14 October 2007
I wrote a few entries back about W. Aytoun of Bon Gaultier fame (or at least, 19th century Bon Gaultier fame). I recently heard from one of the descendants of Lewis Carroll's brother Wilfred, who said Aytoun had died in the very house he now lives in, Blackhills, in Scotland. From its website Blackhills looks like a fab mansion and it had apparently been rented out from the Duke of Fife and belonged to the royal family until early in the 20th century

As Aytoun's verse so obviously influenced Carroll, Carroll would probably have been interested to hear he had died. How much more interested would he be to know that the house he died in would one day be inhabited by a member of his own family? That's a question - I don't know the answer to but I dare say that, being a teeny bit of a snob, he'd have liked the idea of the family owning a house which had once belonged to royalty!
13 October 2007
I heard about Miss Snark's literary agent blog for years but I never read it because I didn't want to be writing fiction with publication in mind. Sounds stupid, but....after being a journalist for so long I was tired of looking over my shoulder and trying to suck up to those shadowy imaginary figures you have to please before your work sells. A bit like trying to write for a pantheon of not very likeable gods.

07 October 2007
You spend so long trying to get an agent and when you do, you think it's all over bar collecting your cheque. Really, it's just the beginning.

Carroll paid for printing and illustration, supervised everything himself and Macmillan simply published and distributed it under their imprint in the usual way. I'm sure he would have sent an agent mad. He almost sent Macmillan's mad, although in a way I think they rather liked him a bit the way that it can sometimes be quite nice to have an itch if you can scratch it..

Anyway, if the figures I have been seeing in "The Author" about the economics of publishing are correct, we made almost as much money publishing our small-run "Lewis Carroll In His Own Account" than many authors collect from legitimate publishing houses. It'll be interesting to see how much I make from this biography, if it ever gets out there!