I didn't have a colourful background. I wasn't a groupie in the seventies with a penchant for sequined glam-rockers, have a claim to fame or the product of a celebrity parent.
As an unknown quantity to agents/publishers I had to support my wonderful idea for a novel with a manuscript and that was judged on how well it was presented as well as written.
Now if I was any of the colourful people mentioned above, then an agent would have said: "Don't worry about it, an editor will sort it all out" and of course there is a cost attached. There is also the misconception that "Surely the publisher will iron out any wrinkles." A publisher may look at an initial sample and think: "This will take a lot of editing and it will be too high a cost and take too long."
Writing a novel is like producing an offspring and like any child it can be both a joy and a complete pain in the arse. Being too close to it will not allow the book to grow and so I step back once I have completed it and then leave it alone for a while. Like a melodramatic black and white actress from a silent movie, I wait until the wrench away has healed and then I can face my book with the ruthless precision of an interbred serial killer with a sharp knife ready to see red.
Is the book the same afterwards? No, its more than it was and it has been put into its Sunday best, taught how to walk and has had its nose wiped so that it looks more presentable.
Does it get any easier with a second child? Yes, because I knew what to expect and I knew when to let it stand on its own two feet. Now that I have a third waiting in its maturation chamber (can't help thinking of the Borg) I am looking forward to a positive result for a fourth. I wonder if I will end up like that old lady in a shoe?