I am lucky enough to represent a wonderfully eclectic and talented list of authors, varying from on-topic commercial women's fiction to beautifully lyrical literary fiction. I also look after some fantastic non-fiction authors, from an Old Bailey judge to a journalist writing about social services to medical frontline workers.
I don’t believe in 'commercial or literary', simply in very good writing and great characters, and clear storylines. Great examples are Tall Bones by Anna Bailey, The Most FunWe Ever Had by Claire Lombardo, Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins and An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. In non-fiction list, my taste is on the personal side; Think With the End in Mind: Dying, Death and Wisdom in an Age of Denial by Kathryn Mannix and I Am I Am I Am by Maggie Farrell. I also will never forget reading Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for the first time.
In fiction, I am currently focusing on finding a big-hearted family saga (The Most Fun We Ever Had is a great example) and a female-driven book about overcoming obstacles with a satisfying ending (not necessarily the traditional ‘happy ending’ that focuses on romantic love) and offers us a great dollop of escapism – think Lessons in Chemistry. It would be lovely to feel warm and perky inside after the pandemic delight we have all experienced. I would adore for people to submit to me smart, relatable and upmarket fiction that makes us think about our existence and the way we behave – Such a Fun Age and Small Pleasures really did this for me. Still Life was one of my top reads in 2021, and I would be thrilled to receive a submission where the characters are similarly exquisitely drawn. A sophisticated horror / chilling drama (think The Nesting by C J Cooke) would be right up my street as well.
For fiction submissions, please send the first three chapters/10,000 words of your material, a synopsis and a biographical note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In non-fiction, I am very keen to find a strong topical book that addresses important societal issues, and has a strong and compelling narrative strand.Behind Closed Doors by Polly Curtis and Unlawful Killings by Old Bailey judge Wendy Joseph QC are both great examples of books I have worked on recently and want more of!
For non-fiction, please send a detailed proposal.
I look after a number of successful authors whom I have nursed through from their debut novels, several through to the Sunday Times bestseller list and Richard & Judy bookclub picks as well as various prize lists. I am very proud to represent several Curtis Brown Creative alumni, such as Kate Hamer, Wendy Joseph QC, Rachel Marks, Fran Quinn, Anna Bailey, Alex Hay and Catherine Bennetto. An especial highlight was being the first to discover Jane Harper through Curtis Brown Creative, and representing her first four books in the UK. It is a privilege to work with authors from the earliest of days. One of the very best things about my job is editing with authors to get their book from a great place to something superstar – I take real pride in working hand in hand with authors.
I also love to take on authors with well-established careers who may feel in need of a fresh pair of eyes. Working with authors to revitalise their career is immensely satisfying, and great fun too.
So I may focus on my authors, I have recently resigned from my role as founder and head of the podcast and audio department at Curtis Brown. It was a fantastic role which gave me a unique insight into the consumer market, and kept my brain truly sharp!