A star act
11.10.12 | Daisy Frost
As we reached the outskirts of Frankfurt, I turned to my left—my stalker fan girl Milly Keen (junior agent from the über-hot Drummonds Agency) had nodded off. Looking down at her folder I could see her itinerary: she was booked into the Neil Blair suite at the Frankfurter Hof. Blimey.
Suddenly my austerity room at the two-star Kacken Hof didn’t seem like such a good move—but I had an idea … It was time for Milly’s first lesson in How To Win At Frankfurt. Waking her gently, I conjured up my best Oprah impression and said, “Now Milly, you need a few life lessons and they need to start now. Hotel choice is crucial. Whatever you do, don’t stay anywhere swanky in your first year. If you do, you won’t be taken seriously
as an agent learning their craft.”
Milly looked dismayed and held out her reservation like a guilty schoolgirl. I paused and told her I was prepared to make a big sacrifice and swap hotels with her. Grabbing her
rights list and appointments diary so I could make some “helpful suggestions,” I told her to meet me in the bar in an hour’s time for her orientation talk. She looked pathetically grateful as I swept into reception just beating The Jackal to the front desk. Last time I got stuck behind him and it was a nightmare—after half an hour of tough negotiation the manager offered Wylie a substantial six-figure sum not to stay there. Andrew, of course, held out and got all the money on signature plus bonuses.
As I luxuriated in the Ed Victor Suite in one of my sitting rooms, I looked at Milly’s worryingly good rights list and impressive meetings schedule. This girl was a contender.
Who knew? I sauntered down to the bar. When she joined me, I explained that tradition was important at Frankfurt and that she needed to observe it by putting her company
credit card behind the bar for the entire evening so as to entertain the whole publishing community.
I then went through the rights list with her and advised her to drop everything with the smell of success about it (“no one likes a smug agent, Milly”) and I generously gifted her a
philosophical Haiku project from my project morgue for her “hot book”. I also told her to not worry about the timing of her meetings (“no one watches the clock in Frankfurt”). In
fact, she could do a lot worse than going on a tour of German bookshops instead. Telling her to get an early night (“so important in Frankfurt, Milly”), I swiped her invitations to
parties I had only heard discussed in mythical terms and went off.
I soon found myself on the Ros Ramsay boat dancing to Scouting For Boys’ greatest hits with two able seaman who looked suspiciously like Daniel Mallory and David Shelley.
Then we all saluted as the Anne Louise Fisher helicopter landed on the deck of the Koukla Maclehose aircraft carrier next to us and the Luigi Bonomi hot air balloon floated
up into the sky. As manuscripts cascaded down on to the grateful heads of cheering publishers below, another glorious day at the Fair of the Book drew to a close.
Meanwhile, in a rat-infested hotel cupboard near the airport, dear little Milly dreamed of Miss Daisy Frost taking her under her wing. Bless.