Unearthing a gem of a novel or an idea that no one else has spotted, developing an author into a household name, or helping a writer make a change in direction in order to find a new readership – these are the reasons I love what I do. Nothing beats it.
My list is diverse, comprised of award-winning and bestselling authors in both fiction and non-fiction, literary and commercial. Recent prize winners include Cynan Jones (Granta) for The BBC National Short Story Award and Vaseem Khan (Hodder) for the CWA Historical Dagger for Crime Writing.
I read widely and my list spans from literary to genre, including crime and thrillers and historical fiction. I also can’t resist books with a strong emotional charge, books that pull at the heartstrings and leave you feeling better than when you started them. I also love speculative fiction. But throughout all the above, the elements that most speak to me are strong storytelling, distinctive voices and imagination.
In non-fiction, I’m interested in working with experts in their field and helping them turn their ideas into something that will appeal to a broad readership. Areas I’m interested in are history, science, technology, politics and nature. I also love memoir – there’s nothing as interesting as someone else’s passion for something totally obscure!
I also represent the Estate of Flann O’Brien who, along with Joyce and Beckett, makes up the Holy Trinity of modern Irish literature.
My list is open so do send me your novels and ideas.
Here are some of the books that I’ve been reading and loving over the last few months – THE MERMAID AND MRS HANCOCK by Imogen Hermes Gower, LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE by Celeste Ng, THE SHEPHERD’S HUT by Tim Winton, SNAP by Belinda Bauer, THIS IS GOING TO HURT by Adam Kay, and PRISONERS OF GEOGRAPHY by Tim Marshall.
I am a former committee member of the Association of Authors Agents. I also help to judge the Peggy Chapman First Novel Award as well as speaking regularly about publishing at Creative Writing courses and Book Fairs.