After years of dealing with literary agents and publishers (or as I think of them, the agent slash publisher – a single beast with two heads and one heart, or at least a place where the heart should be) it's nice to know I'm still not so inured to their bullshit as not to be able to feel chagrin, indeed, ire. Thus, I was forcibly reminded recently on reading this article on the subject of J.K. Rowling's parting from her agent, Christopher Little, described as the man who had stood fiercely and loyally by Rowling for years.
It is indeed news that Rowling had at any stage been under siege requiring the fiercely and loyally standing by thereto, or that Little's reaping fifteen per cent off the back of Rowling's charmed life – charmed by her own talented hand – could possibly be seen as wading into battle. It wouldn't be thus interpreted by most – outside of publishing. Ah, but then I'm reminded we are dealing here with a creature that inhabits a rarefied world, much like the richly imagined world of Rowling's childish characters. It doesn't take long before we get to the agent slash publisher's well-worn conceit, the old I made you what you are. Here we go: