I’ve written my first full sized novel and I’m now looking at compiling a list of agents. My question is that I’m UK based, however I’m soon going to be leaving the country to go travelling to the other side of the world. This is envisioned to be at least a year, but could end up being two of three. Ideally I don’t want to wait that long to get this project started and I will be contactable through the internet. So if my work landed on a agents desk and caught their interest, would my current situation mean that any working relationship between me/agent/publisher would be impractical?
You should go travelling! In this day and age, people don’t need to be in close proximity to work on books together. (I have clients in Australia, who I’ve never met, but with whom I’ve worked closely editorially, as have their US and/or UK publishers.) As long as you can access good wifi on a fairly regular basis, there shouldn’t be any problems.
The only time you are likely to be needed back in the UK is at publication time, should you get a book deal. That is because publishers like their authors to be ‘on the ground’ to promote their books if possible. This is especially true when writing for children or Young Adults, as school visits are so important.
However, given that it generally takes 12-18 months from receiving an offer of publication to actual publication day, you should head off. After a year’s travelling, you’ll know whether you need to be back or whether you can carry on for another couple of years. I think you may be in a win-win situation!