London literati's first glimpse of Keri Beevis

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The Independent Online
London's literary establishment got its first glimpse of the Keri Beevis travelling circus yesterday.

The young author, who had reportedly signed a record deal of between pounds 600,000 and pounds 750,000 (according to varying accounts) for her first book, came to town for a television interview, while her support team checked out one of Britain's biggest literary agents and a venue for the book launch.

Ms Beevis, a 25-year-old Norfolk woman who works for a travel agency, has been packaged, processed and promoted in a massive publicity campaign.

The size of the advance she is said to have recieved from the little known publishing company Buckley-Bennion has been greeted with scepticism by many in the publishing world.

Yesterday, the man orchestrating the media campaign, artist and publicist Paul Trevillion, flew in from the US to take personal charge of the project which will, he believes, make an international star of Ms Beevis - and a lot of money for everyone involved.

Mr Trevillion, whose claim to fame had been as "British speed-kissing champion" and "DJ Bear, the Panda of Peace" was dismissive of literary agents A P Watts and publishers Andre Deutsch, which had declined an association with Ms Beevis. "They have made the biggest mistake since Decca turned down the Beatles," he declared.

Ms Beevis said: "I saw that one literary agent said in the paper that my work was probably crap. Well it is not, I have complete faith in my books and I am going to prove them wrong."

Mr Trevillion held a meeting with Jonathan Lloyd, the managing director of literary agents Curtis Brown yesterday afternoon. Afterwards Mr Trevillion said: "He is very enthusiastic, and he will be good for us. I am sure we can do business together."

Mr Lloyd said: "They are not my clients, I've just held a meeting with them. A lot of expectation has been built up, so the book would have to be triplely good - it would have to be dynamite." Kim Sengupta

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