Frances Bissell, The Times’s former cook, has had a remarkable change of career. Helping an author looking for a publisher has turned her into a literary agent.
Bissell lost her job with The Times in 2000 after 13 years as its freelance cookery writer and the following year lost an employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal.
Recently, a long time friendship with Steve Cash, lead singer with the Seventies country rock group The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, which hit No.1 in the charts with Jackie Blue, led her to offering to help him place his first novel – part one of a trilogy.
She sold the book, entitled The Meq, to Macmillan. Since her first foray into the literary world she has taken on another two authors and become a fully fledged literary agent.
Cash is in London this week for the book’s launch. “We have already had some interest from a film company. It is a big, powerful story,” said Bissell.
A trade paperback, The Meq is a fantasy book and is priced at £10.99.