She was late for her lunch, which was at a restaurant nowhere near the stores. Once a month or so she has lunch with other agents and talks shop, just like writers like to do. The all commiserated with her. Each of them had lost manuscripts before, although she never has. But as she was getting her coat from the coat check girl and getting ready to leave, she saw a tiny bit of bright green among all the coats.
She asked the girl what it was. "It's Emily's bag," the girl replied, showing it to her. "Who's Emily?" my agent asked. It turned out the coat check girl didn't know either, just that someone had shown up and left the bag with her, saying it belonged to Emily. My agent asked to look inside. There was the manuscript, safe and sound, as well as a print out from an agent's assistant with the location, date and time they were to meet at the restaurant. The assistant's name was Emily.
1. In a city of 7 million people known for looking out for number 1, someone expended quite a bit of time and energy to return that which was lost.
2. My agent saw the tiny swatch of fabric.
3. On the train home my agent read it and later called to say said it was my best YA ever. (Full disclosure: I have had the other phone calls, too. The ones where her voice is full of disappointment and she says, "This needs a lot of work.")
4. While I could say that this was the only print out in the world of this book, and while that would be true, it wouldn't be the whole truth. Of course it's on the computer, too.