I have many people to thank for their help with Consent, which is called Read Me in the US. In some cases it was their job to help me, but there’s a difference between doing your job and doing it with the skill and patience that they showed, as some of my own past bosses could confirm.
I’ve written about David Miller elsewhere. He took me on as a client in April 2016, sold the book to Faber in August, then died in December. He was an extraordinary man, who seemed to shuttle between certainties on a daily basis, but his high opinion of Consent remained more firmly fixed than mine did. He was the book’s first advocate, and he found me a great publisher. I must also thank Matthew Marland, David’s assistant at the time, and now an agent in his own right.
At Faber, I owe the greatest debt to my editor, Louisa Joyner, who pounced on Consent within hours of reading it, and has never let up since. Her cleverness helped me shape the book and her energy brought it to readers. Thanks also to Tamsin Shelton, copyeditor, for allowing me the long comma conversations of my dreams; Anne Owen for her elegant alternatives to speech marks; Lizzie Bishop, Emma Cheshire and Camille Morard for their superb work selling the book abroad; Katie Hall for her ingenious marketing ideas; and Sophie Portas for performing several miracles of publicity.
Throughout this time, Sophie Lambert, my new agent, has been attentive and wise. If it’s been irksome for her to pick up where David left off, I haven’t noticed. I hope, but doubt, that I can make my next novel as good as she deserves.
Thanks to my friend Gudrun Young for her advice on legal matters, and other friends Joseph Hutchinson and Chris Bell, for their dependable honesty. Thanks to Daniel Dennett for noticing, mercifully, only one philosophical mistake and suggesting a correction.
Finally, above all, I must thank my wife Sarah. Coming home to a writer means a lot of listening. When awake, she’s been my rock.