Literary Agent Trolling. Extract from Written Off

Hugo let out an exclamation as he checked his timeline. ‘Arsehole. Being bloody trolled again.’

Now it was Emily’s turn to be amused. ‘Another of your fans, Hugo?’ It was no secret that Hugo had a tendency to court controversy within this most popular of social sites. Agents and editors like Hugo and Emily had no trouble attracting thousands of followers on Twitter – most of them eager to have any form of contact with the literary world they were so desperate to join. Professionals like Hugo and Emily never followed back – this was strictly a one-way transaction. Since Hugo had found himself in this position of power he could be icy and sharp – pompous – when it came to expressing his views and opinions on Twitter. He tried hard to be affable and chatty – many of his numerous followers continued to be baffled by his ongoing comments on cricket – but if it’s true that sentiments set down in writing can often be misconstrued then the restricted canvas of 140 characters was an amphitheatre of misinterpretation.

‘Some idiot attacking me saying I singled him out to make a point. As if.’

Suzie looked at her timeline to pick up the thread. ‘Did you?’

‘Never bloody heard of him. I put out a tweet earlier saying that one of the things that really got my goat in submissions “was, the, over, use, of punc-tu-a-tion”. This nutter thinks I was having a go at him and is accusing me of personally humiliating him. “I should use generic examples, not specific ones etc.”’

‘But you don’t mention anyone by name.’

‘Exactly. The guy’s paranoid obviously. Bollocks to that.’ He took up his mobile and responded. ‘Sorry, if, you, thought, I, meant, you. But, you, clearly, think, you’ve, got, a, problem, so, you, may, need, help.’


Written Off by Paul Carroll is available in paperback and as an E-book from Amazon and usual sources.