• Tom  Killingbeck

    Tom Killingbeck

    What I’m looking for: I specialise in nonfiction, seeking fresh, expert perspectives on history, science, nature, politics, big ideas, economics, and arts and culture, especially music. I am particularly interested in writers who can open readers’ minds and help them see the world differently, through untold histories, ground-breaking science, or revelatory journalism. But equally, I love books that are simply a pleasure to read, be they a hilariously gossipy memoir or a gripping true crime investigation. As an agent with over a decade of experience as an editor, I relish working closely and creatively with academics who want to reach the broadest possible readership for their writing, and journalists and memoirists with the storytelling abilities of the best novelists.

    You can read about some of my recent deals on the Bookseller website.

    About me: I joined AM Heath as a literary agent in 2022. Previously I was an editorial director at Penguin and HarperCollins, where I worked with an eclectic group of authors including Dame Jane Goodall, John Preston, Bella Mackie, Isabel Hardman, Sarah Langford, Guy Shrubsole, Will Storr, Ed Caesar, Kathleen Hanna, Bimini Bon Boulash and The Modern House. I also helped to launch the 4thWrite Prize.

    I have worked with authors who have won or been shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize, the Costa Biography Award, the Royal Society Science Book Prize, the Telegraph Sports Book Award, the William Hill Sports Book of the Year, the Wainwright Prize, the PEN Ackerley Prize and the Penderyn Music Book Prize.

    I was a Bookseller Rising Star in 2023.

    Twenty books from my shelf, old and new, to give you an idea of my personal taste and what I’m looking for:

    Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

    Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

    How Music Works by David Byrne

    Quiet by Susan Cain

    23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang

    Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

    Islands of Abandonment by Cal Flyn

    The Ruin of All Witches by Malcolm Gaskill

    Debt by David Graeber

    Leviathan by Philip Hoare

    How I Escaped My Certain Fate by Stewart Lee

    A Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer

    The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter

    Femina by Janina Ramirez

    Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake

    The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd

    Who Owns England? by Guy Shrubsole

    Just Kids by Patti Smith

    Spoon-Fed by Tim Spector

    Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer