|Dot Lumley (left), with Gill Stewart |
at the RNA Conference in Penrith.
Dorothy Lumley, agent at Dorian Literary Agency in Torquay, sadly passed away a few days ago.
Dot will be remembered by many writers across a number of genres, in particular for her incisive insights and her willingness to spend time helping aspiring writers to pinpoint weaknesses and rectify them. She once told me she hated a novel I had written, and why. She suggested I leave it, but first go through the exercise of doing a chapter-by-chapter analysis of what I had written so that I could see the flaws in the structure.
I took her up on the challenge, wrestled with it, replanned and reshaped, and decided to rewrite as well. The result? She wrote to me, 'I've now finished reading your book and I have one word for it: Fab-u-lous!'
Sadly, though, the book was not snapped up, and a couple of years later Dot and I parted company by mutual consent. I promised I'd buy her a drink when that book was published and I'm really sad that this will never now happen. I learnt a great deal about writing, thanks to her patience and willingness to coach, and I owe her a great debt.
When this blog started, Gwen Kirkwood, Gill Stewart and I were all represented by Dot, while Linda Mitchelmore shared the same writing group with her, in Devon. I'm sure they all have memories to treasure.