Tuesday, 15 December 2015

What are the Best Children's Books of 2015?

Well, according to a couple of authors quoted in this Guardian piece, Abi Elphinstone's The Dreamsnatcher is one of them!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Deal News

It's so exciting when deal announcements are made for authors I represent and last week there were TWO!

First up is Natalie Flynn's THE DEEPEST CUT which is a moving YA novel. It will be published on Accent Press's new YA list in May 2016 - Here's The Bookseller announcement

And in another exciting deal announcement Headline will publish three books by Adam Hamdy starting with PENDULUM in November 2016.

Find out more about the authors I represent here.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Canon Tales: Slide 20

This charm was given to me by Tanya Byrne when her debut published – it says Once Upon a Time…

Everything we do is the beginning of a story – whether it’s what inspired me to work in publishing, how a particular author got their agent and publishing deal or the story contained in the book they wrote.

Stories speak to people, inspire emotion and can be transformative. This is why I continue to do what I do.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Canon Tales: Slide 19

Submitting my first debut author project was terrifying. As an editor going into an acquisition meeting you already know you have supporters in other departments. But as an agent you’re going out alone, saying, I love this; I’ll rest my reputation on it.

This is a postcard I sent ahead of my first submission to attract attention and thankfully, my reputation is in tact – I secured a lovely deal for the author with S&S. 

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Lovely New Books

One of the best days in the life of a literary agent is the day finished copies of a book land on your desk...today is such a day - look at this beauty from Keris Stainton - Lily and the Christmas Wish comes out next month and is a gorgeous, magical Christmas story with a talking pug...what's not to love?

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Canon Tales: Slide 18

This image is a bit tongue in cheek – but, I do aim to be a top Literary Agent in terms of looking after my clients and helping them build careers.

I made the move because I wanted to be able to spend more of my time working creatively with authors to develop ideas and it seemed that the more senior I was getting in house the more of my attention was spent elsewhere. So far, I couldn’t be happier – I get to concentrate on what I love.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Canon Tales: Slide 17

Coming back to my childhood ambition to be Nancy Drew… in a lot of ways I see being an editor as similar to being a detective. And not just in searching for talented authors the way a detective might search for suspects…

When I’m helping an author develop a novel I’m looking for the holes in the alibi plot…Asking the questions that haven’t been covered yet, ensuring everything’s as clear and true to the story as possible. 

Ambition achieved.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Canon Tales: Slide 16

Authors get frustrated by endless rejection. But it doesn’t always mean your book isn’t good. Maybe you just haven’t found the right team.

When the shiver of excitement an editor gets as they read a fantastic submission (as I had with the opening line of Tanya Byrne’s Heart-Shaped Bruise) spreads across other departments then you know you’ve got the makings of a great word of mouth book and that’s what really sells – passionate people talking about what they’ve read.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Lily and the Christmas Wish by Keris Stainton

Delighted to see Keris Stainton's Lily and the Christmas Wish highlighted in the November Children's Preview in the Bookseller (28/8/15) as 'magical, funny and heartwarming' - put it on your Christmas wishlists now.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Canon Tales: Slide 15

What I’d really like to convey to hopeful authors is that the people in publishing are incredibly passionate and willing to do the most ridiculous things to get to work on the right project...

This is from a pitch video I persuaded the Headline team to join in for the Glee TV tie in titles. We rewrote the words to Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing and sang & danced our pitch to send with the offer. I dread the day the video goes public.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Canon Tales: Slide 14

In 2007 YA fiction was a growing market and I joined Headline to run their YA list. The teen years are all about pushing at the boundaries of your world and YA fiction reflects that which I love…

My list was informed by my own teen reading – a mix of horror, mystery and contemporary. What they all had, and what inspires everything I work on, is a fantastic story with characters I really care about.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Canon Tales: Slide 13

This is the first book I ever commissioned. Thinking about why I fell in love with it – the best answer is that it could so easily have been a Point Horror…it’s a chilling urban legend.

But commissioning a book is more than just loving it and I had to pull my sales ammunition and commercial arguments together in order to get this through – nerve wracking! But such a great feeling when I knew I was going to be able to make an offer. Even better when our offer was accepted.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Canon Tales: Slide 12

As Marion Lloyd’s assistant at Macmillan Children’s books I discovered she’d published Nancy Drew early in her career… I learned that Carolyn Keene didn’t really write all of the books (or exist!) – they were packaged. I was devastated.

But there were highs! Marion was Judy Blume’s UK editor. I wrote the Young Picador reading guide for Forever and found myself actually working with one of my teen heroes!

Monday, 27 April 2015

Canon Tales: Slide 11

Almost accidentally we set up a publishing company – Brodie Press. We published four poetry pamphlets initially, one won a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice award and I got to go to the announcement of that year’s TS Elliot award.

We didn’t intend to continue but projects presented themselves and we published a further three full volumes. Jobs have taken over now so it’s been a while since the last book came out…never say never though.

Friday, 10 April 2015

THE DREAMSNATCHER in the Daily Mail and Sunday Times

There is so little space for children's book reviews in the national papers anymore that getting not one but two national press mentions for Abi Elphinstone's THE DREAMSNATCHER makes me the smiliest agent ever!

*happy dancing*

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Canon Tales: Slide 10

The Liver Bards was the culmination of our editorial endeavours. It was my first experience of taking a book through the full publishing process.

James and I did all the fundraising, visited printers and negotiated prices for a perfect bound volume, I typeset the book using self-taught Quark, and James and I copyedited. We also became the sales force, managed the publicity and organised the all important launch party!

Friday, 27 March 2015

Exciting New Agency Deal

So excited to announce that mother and daughter writing team Perdita and Honor Cargill have secured a deal with Simon & Schuster for their book WAITING FOR CALLBACK. You can read more about the deal here.

The team at Simon & Schuster were super enthusiastic and sent Perdita and Honor these cakes with their offer...happily for me Perdita and Honor saved me a couple.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Andersen Press buys debut story of survival...

I'm delighted to finally be able to talk about the fact that I've secured a deal for my client David Brazier with Andersen Press for his debut book ALONE. 

This is a wonderful story about a boy trying to survive alone in the Amazon after his plane crashes - there's also a gorgeous friendship with an otter cub. What's not to love?

You can see the press release here 

Monday, 16 February 2015

Canon Tales: Slide 9

I decided I needed more publishing experience, so I offered to put together an anthology as part of a creative writing group. We had a committee to go through submissions (from across the city as well as the university) and we held evening meetings in co-editor James’s bedroom – he always supplied Vol au Vents…

Here I discovered the thrill of fighting for a piece of work and convincing everyone else it was worthy.

Monday, 2 February 2015

THE DREAMSNATCHER - Children's Spring Highlight

Delighted to see Abi Elphinstone's THE DREAMSNATCHER (out Feb 26th) named in THE BOOKSELLER as one of 10 titles not to miss this spring!

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Canon Tales: Slide 8

With a publishing career in mind I joined the staff of The Reader, a literary magazine based at the university (what started as a magazine is now a national reading organization and founder, Jane Davis, has been a real inspiration).

This was my first experience of discussing literature from a commercial perspective – judging not only what was good, but what would sell as well as what fitted the magazine’s brand – all important lessons…

Friday, 16 January 2015

The Dreamsnatcher - Trailer

Almost exactly a year ago I sold a book by one of my agency clients, Abi Elphinstone, to Simon & Schuster.

At the time it was called Oracle Bones and it was a very exciting moment as Abi was the first debut author whose book I'd sold to a publisher. Since then Simon & Schuster have been working hard editing, designing the cover, coming up with a new title - The Dreamsnatcher, putting together marketing plans and creating a wonderful trailer.

The book publishes on Feb 26th and today the Guardian has launched the trailer on their website! Go watch it...