THE BIG ONE THAT GOT AWAY


In the 1970s, I had a brilliant idea, as I was sure,  for a book.  But back then in the pre-internet age, for an unpublished writer, getting work in print was a daunting task .  I sent outlines to a couple of publishers but was turned down.  Then a  friend suggested  I contact a former mutual banking colleague who had married into the book business.  And so I sent my outline along to John Hawkins who was with Paul R. Reynolds, a leading literary agency in New York City.    I showed up on John’s doorstep one day, by appointment  of course.   Apologizing  for my ‘over the transom’ approach, I begged past comradeship in the halls of finance,  Then, as I remember, with a glimmer of optimism, I awaited his verdict on my proposal.  He was however not encouraging.  So I slumped  back in my chair.  On friendly and safer grounds, we turned to our  days at Bankers Trust and the crowd we mixed with. I told John that I had been out of circulation and had just discovered that the ex-wife of our mutual friend, Claude Lazard, was now a very successful author.  He laughed and told me a story of the one  that got away  (somewhat reminiscent of the recent J. K. Rowling  saga).

It seems that Danielle (then Lazard, nee Steel) had come to his office one day to discuss a book manuscript she had sent him.   Danielle usually seen in the chic uniform of a young well-to-do Manhattanite was garbed otherwise that day:  jeans,  flannel shirt and coiffure to match.    He told Danielle that he had read the book.    And as he put it to me, he gently suggested to her  that she continue in her enviable role as a young woman about town and cast aside any ideas about a  writing career.

Fortunately for her millions of readers; Danielle Steel decided  to  ignore his advice!

P.S. My book never got published. But I still have that outline somewhere. Anyone interested?

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