Agency Newsletter


It’s time for our monthly newsletter and my word do these seem to come around fast now.

April has been a fantastic month for the agency with new faces, bestsellers and, best of all, the Bologna and London Book Fairs.

The Olympia centre was turned into Book Kingdom for three days and the buzz of excitement was electric…and exhausting!

We’ve got lots of good book news for you to read about this month just in time for the bank holiday weekend. Please do follow our Facebook and Twitter pages if you haven’t already, our authors have some fantastic (many bestselling) novels you need to know about.

Happy Friday!


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Agency Newsletter

Hello everyone

It’s beautiful today here in London, I think that we are finally seeing the back of winter, hurrah!

This is the agency newsletter for March (a little late, sorry). We’ve had a brilliant and busy month with a wealth of fantastic books launching and excitement building up to the Bologna and London Book Fairs.

Remember to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for news about our talented authors, so you can keep up to date with all of that good book news.

If you think of anything you would like to see in the newsletter or on the blog, please do leave your comment below. I will be sure to read and write back to all of them!

Happy Friday!


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Arise, Knights of the Borrowed Dark!

On Tuesday night we had the pleasure of attending a very special launch for the highly anticipated Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden.

For those of you who have not yet heard about KOTBD, you are in for a real treat. It tells the story of orphan Denizen Hardwick who discovers that he is part of a secret army that protects the world from an evil shadow realm.

It’s a fantastical, thrilling adventure of light versus the darkness. It’s a timeless yet contemporary classic and the world that Dave Rudden has created firmly imprints on all who read it. Trust me, you will never think of the ticking of a clock the same way again…

The wonderful people at Puffin Books and FMcM put on an unbelievable show recreating Seraphim Row, the safe house of the Order of the Borrowed Dark, in an eerie, candlelit Georgian house. Guests were free to explore the rooms and meet the characters, training with weapons expert Corinne D’Aubigny and even coming face-to-face with a Tenebrous, a monster from the shadows.

Puffin will publish in the UK on 7th April so you have plenty of time to get your pre-orders in, and if you’re lucky enough to live in Ireland, you can go out and get your copy today!

The response so far has been incredible and can all be attributed to the phenomenally talented author. Eoin Colfer, Irish Children’s Laureate, says ‘Dave Rudden is more than a rising star – he is a shooting star.’

Be sure to check out the other outstanding early reviews here and follow Dave and all the KOTBD news @d_ruddenwrites

Here’s Dave with an extremely proud agent, Clare, and some pictures of a real night to remember.



final edit


Dave, the team at Puffin Books and Malleus Vivian of the Order of the Borrowed Dark!

stationary ed.jpg

Stationary headed with the Order of the Borrowed Dark emblem


Mary getting her book signed by man of the night, Dave Rudden

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Agency Newsletter: February

Hello all you bloggers out there,

I am very pleased to present you with the first Agency Newsletter, a roundup of all the exciting things that have been going on at the agency and with our lovely authors.

I’m Kristina, I recently joined the agency as the Rights Assistant, supporting Mary and Emma who work incredibly hard securing the foreign rights for our talented writers.

There is so much amazing stuff going on at the moment we couldn’t fit it all in! So make sure to follow us on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave comments below and let us know what you would like see in the newsletter or on the blog.

Happy Friday!


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Why send your submission to our agency? It’s all in the name.

Darley Anderson is personally well known for talent spotting debut writers who have become top bestsellers worldwide. Amongst others these include Martina Cole, Lee Child, John Connolly, Lesley Pearse, Tana French and Chris Carter.

His latest major discovery was an unknown, unpublished 36 year old thriller writer living in Colorado whose first novel, an adventure thriller, had been turned down by 50 New York Agents.

Darley was the only London Agent to show interest in the MS and to promptly sign up the writer, Erik Storey.

Darley then worked editorially with Storey before submitting it to all the major UK publishers. All but one of these publishers turned down the novel. And the only offer Darley received was so derisory that he refused to accept it.

Knowing he had something special, Darley then chose his ideal NY Editor, Rick Horgan at Scribner’s, and sent it exclusively to him.


Erik Storey, debut author at the Darley Anderson Agency

Rick was the first person in publishing to share Darley’s belief and enthusiasm for Storey. Now his Clint Eastwood-like central character called Clyde Barr will feature in a series of novels by Storey.

Rick paid a very substantial six figure advance for Storey’s first two novels and worked tirelessly with Storey to make a ‘good’ novel ‘great’.

Says Anderson: “If there is a better Editor in World Publishing than Rick Horgan I certainly haven’t met him/her. Rick has been simply outstanding. He’s the Max Perkins of our time.”

Erik’s novel now entitled NOTHING SHORT OF DYING is being readied for publication in the US for August this year.

Anderson is pleased to announce that Simon and Schuster in the UK have now bought the British and Commonwealth Rights for a substantial advance. And Foreign Rights are being snapped up.



Top selling authors, including Lee Child and Jeffery Deaver, who have read early proofs of NOTHING SHORT OF DYING, have been raving about Erik’s talent!

“Very, very good. It’s all here. Reacher is keeping an eye on this guy. In the rear-view mirror for now, but that’s closer than most.”
–Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Make Me and other books in the Jack Reacher series.

“A singular new talent! Storey’s Nothing Short of Dying is nothing short of brilliant. It grabs you from page one and simply doesn’t let go. This man is a born storyteller!”
— Jeffery Deaver, #1 international bestselling author of The Bone Collector and The Coffin Dancer.

Nothing Short of Dying is a relentless thrill ride that hurtles the reader into dark and interesting places. Erik Storey’s somebody to watch…and read.”
— Robert Ferrigno, New York Times bestselling author of Prayers for the Assassin and The Horse Latitudes.

“Nothing short of thrilling… Erik Storey is a gene splice of Lee Child and Joe Lansdale.  In this modern-day gunslinger classic everyone is a bad guy and Clyde Barr is the baddest of them all.”
–Scott Sigler, New York Times bestselling author of Contagious and Alive.

“Jack Reacher fans will delight in meeting the shrewd loner Clyde Barr, but it’s his fearless companion Allie who will sass her way into readers’ hearts. Highly recommended!”
–Kira Peikoff, author of Living Proof and No Time to Die

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Delving into the DA Authors’ Inspiration – Part Two

Now it’s Friday, and we are officially starting to count down to Christmas (!!), we wanted to continue what we started last week with all of our wonderful Adult authors… it’s time to share how some of our Children’s authors got to writing…

Cathy Cassidy, Puffin’s bestselling author for girls and of the CHOCOLATE BOX GIRLS series:

I was scraping a living as a teen mag agony aunt and freelance mag journalist but had never managed my dream of writing a book-length story – until a new friend’s disbelief that I wanted to be a writer goaded me into finally getting past chapter three. Her tough-love comments pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me to achieve that dream.

Fortune Cookie

Polly Ho-Yen, author of the award-nominated BOY IN THE TOWER (Random House Children’s Books):

It started slowly for me. I have always loved books and working with books but I simply didn’t think that I was good enough to write one, let alone for it to be published. I started writing just for my own pleasure, with no ambition of what might happen, and quickly found that I enjoyed it so much that I couldn’t stop. When ‘Boy in the Tower’ was published, I still had the nagging feeling that I wasn’t good enough to make it as an author.

However, when I was looking for a new job, I realised writing was the thing that I liked doing most in    the world. I was also encouraged by my lovely readers, who told me to keep going and who were endlessly enthusiastic. I suddenly knew that if I didn’t give writing a chance then it never would be my career and, though it was perhaps scarier than other paths, I was more afraid of not giving it a go. Now, I can’t imagine having a day without writing in it and hope that I won’t have to.


Dave Rudden, author of the upcoming KNIGHTS OF THE BORROWED DARK (Puffin):

 I first started writing when I was seventeen. Fanfiction, actually – grimdark far future military sci-fi with lots of glorious last stands and lantern-jawed heroics. I used to lurk on a website called Imperial Literature. Reading stories graduated to the occasional comment, and the community was so welcoming that eventually I put up my very first piece of fiction. Just five hundred words, just an experiment to see if I could. Looking back, I don’t mind admitting that it was dreadful, but every comment I got was kind and constructive until finally someone commented ‘love this. When’s the next one?’

 The question had never occurred to me before. When’s the next one?

 Helen Grant, author of THE VANISHING OF KATHARINA LINDEN and THE FORBIDDEN SPACES trilogy (Random House Children’s Books):

 I’ve always wanted to write. When I was 10, our school teacher asked us what we wanted to do when we grew up, and I said very firmly that I wanted to write. He looked at me and said , “And you will.”

For a long time other things got in the way: university, first job, travelling, then two babies. Then in 2001 we moved to Germany. The children started at kindergarten and all of a sudden I had my mornings free. On the very first day they were both out of the house, I booted up my PC and started writing, and I’ve carried on ever since. My first book was published in 2009. 


 Caroline Crowe, author of PIRATES IN PYJAMAS (Little Tiger Press):

I’ve written silly rhymes for friends since I was at school and I knew by the time I left University that I wanted to be a writer, but the two things didn’t come together to make a picture book text until a few years ago. After I graduated I was very lucky to get work experience at a national newspaper and ended up never leaving. It wasn’t until 10 years later when I decided to go freelance that I started writing texts for children. I love picture books and we have a huge collection at home. I don’t think there was one defining moment, but as soon as I had the time, writing picture books was exactly what I wanted to do.

Pirates in Pyjamaas cover

Olivia Levez, author of the upcoming THE ISLAND (Oneworld):

 Definitely the morning that I walked into my head’s office and asked for a sabbatical from teaching. I had a wonderful creative year in which I joined SCBWI and went on my first conference,  went to art college to do my foundation, and most importantly, wrote my first book, which I’d been trying to do for years and years.  Although that first book was pretty dreadful, it did get a request for a complete from an agent, and that gave me the confidence to carry on writing.

The Island B.indd

Kim Slater, author of the Carnegie nominated SMART (Macmillan Children’s Books):

For the last three years since securing my first book deal, I’ve stuck doggedly to the same routine; wake up and write 6-8 am each morning, then off to my day job as a full-time self-employed school bursar.  On top of this, I’ve also written in the evenings, at weekends, on holidays (including my recent honeymoon!) and at Christmas-time.

To me, writing isn’t a chore, it isn’t a job – it’s something I love to do and I ache when I can’t do it. The greatest luxury for a writer is having the time to think, to simmer ideas and well, to write.  So, this summer, when the opportunity came to write full-time, my resounding response was, YES PLEASE!

Smart jacket small

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Delving into the DA Agency Authors’ Inspiration – Part One

Have you ever wondered how some of the Darley Anderson authors got into writing considering their diverse lives and careers? Want a sneak peek into the secret life of an author? Ever felt like you might have a book in you somewhere and you might just need the inspiration to do something about it?

Cesca Major’s heartbreaking debut novel, The Silent Hours, was published to huge acclaim in June (about to be published in paperback on 5th Nov) and Woman & Home featured the inspiration behind her getting into writing. Inspired by this article we decided to ask our adult brilliant authors about their own journeys into writing…

Woman & Home - 1.10.15

Jane Costello, author of nine bestselling novels including the RoNa nominated THE TIME OF OUR LIVES (Simon & Schuster):

As a teenager I became hooked on that feeling when you’re so engrossed in a book that you just have to keep turning the pages, no matter how late at night it is. It was that feeling that made me want to be an author, yet saying that felt as fanciful as, ‘I want to be the next X-Factor winner’. So I became a journalist, which at least gave me the opportunity to write. I loved my job, but my secret ambition never left me and for years I made repeated clumsy attempts at writing a novel, none of which were ever finished. 

 Then I had my ‘eureka’ moment, while in a pew at a friend’s wedding, watching her walk down the aisle followed by her bridesmaids. I thought, why has nobody ever written a romantic comedy called ‘Bridesmaids’ – one about the dramas, the friendships and the sheer fun of something most women experience at least once in their life? I decided there and then that if nobody had done it, it had to be me. I started writing the next day, never dreaming it could turn into the best-seller that it ultimately became.


 Rosie Blake, author of HOW TO GET A (LOVE) LIFE and the upcoming HOW TO STUFF UP CHRISTMAS (Corvus):

I used to write endless diaries which were all full of angst and TMI about who was looking at me funny or who I wanted to kiss that week. They were for my eyes only but they got me into into the habit of writing regularly. The first feedback about my writing was from friends. Before social media (*stares at you over reading glasses, readjusts dentures) I used to write very long emails to a group of friends when I was travelling. I tried to make them amusing (“I’m being stalked by a parakeet” “I got chased by a monkey – LOL” etc) and really loved writing them. The more absurd the better. Some people asked for more and I started to believe I could write. I moved onto writing short stories and won a couple and started working on a novel. It went from there…

HOW TO stuff UP XMAS final

Phaedra Patrick, author of the upcoming THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER (Harlequin Mira):

I’d always, secretly, wanted to be a writer from a very early age, however I told myself that ‘people like me’ didn’t write books. In my mid-twenties I visited a tarot card reader with friends. I’m not a big believer, but when he told me (without prompting) that I would be a writer and sell lots of books, I took this as the sign that I should follow my dream and put pen to paper.

 With a lot of hard work, experimenting, research (and many rejections along the way), I got here in the end. I now write full time and The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper will be published in eleven countries during 2016.

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper final cover UK

B.A. Paris, author of the upcoming BEHIND CLOSED DOORS (Harlequin Mira):

 ‘You do it, Mummy!’ Those were the words that spurred me to write. One of my daughters had told me that she had an idea for a book so when I came across a competition for an 80.000 word novel, I was really excited for her. But when she checked the rules, she found she was too young and encouraged me to enter instead. I had always wanted to write but imagined myself as a writer of children’s stories rather than novels, so the thought of writing 80.000 words was daunting. That night I had an idea for a story and the next day, I began writing – and found I couldn’t stop! It became an obsession. Freshly-baked cakes and neatly-made beds became things of the past and I began to resent anything that took me away from writing, even the teaching job that I loved. It took me about a year to calm down and integrate writing into my life rather than letting it take over. But six years on, if I could spend all day, every day writing, I would!  

Behind Closed Doors

Tim Weaver, author of the bestselling David Raker series (Penguin):

I’m not sure if this is a defining moment in terms of choosing to become a writer, because I always wanted to be a writer from as far back as I can remember, but I’d say it was the difference between getting published, and not getting published. I’d spent almost eight years trying to get anyone interested in Chasing the Dead, and the more rejection letters I got, the harder I’d tried to work at it – editing, re-editing, editing, re-editing. But the absolute best thing that ever happened to me was taking a six-month break from the manuscript after my daughter was born. Coming back to it after some extended time away allowed me to see the work-in-progress for the less-than-stellar piece of writing it was, and after spending a year rewriting it – pretty much from the ground up – I found myself an agent (Hello Camilla!) after only three months of trying. So, if you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to get some distance.

What Remains UK

 Lee Weeks, author of the bestselling Johnny Mann and the top 20 Ebony Willis series and the upcoming COLD JUSTICE (Simon & Schuster):

When my twenty-year marriage was coming to an end I began examining my life. It was when I was looking at my own collection of poems, that I came across Morning Market, a poem I had written whilst living in Hong Kong, at a time when I hit rock bottom. The poem sums up the brutality and desperation of my life at that time. I used it as inspiration to write a semi-autobiographical story.

 When the end of my marriage actually came, I had a ‘this is my time’ moment. I decided to give writing a proper go. I worked on my story, bringing out the Hong Kong detective who had tried to help me at the time, and the Johnny Mann series was born.

Cold Justice

 James Carol, author of the acclaimed Jefferson Winter (Faber) series:

 I wrote my first novel back at the turn of the millennium. At the time, I was just curious to see if I could actually do it. I’d always loved reading, but writing one… When I got to the end, I discovered a curious thing. I wanted to write another. And when I finished that book, I wanted to write another. See, that’s the thing no one tells you. Writing’s an addiction. It’s a drug. The days when the words line up exactly how they should are pure joy. That’s the high you’re chasing. I’ve been writing novels for fifteen years now and I love doing it. I can’t imagine doing anything else. The truth is I don’t want to do anything else.

Prey cover

Lesley Pearse, bestselling selling author of 23 women-in-jeopardy novels including the No.1 bestseller WITHOUT A TRACE (Penguin):

 My career in writing began with a humorous letter to Woman’s Own about the contents of my fridge (or lack of edible content really) To my shock they not only printed it as letter of the week but paid the princely sum of £25 for it.  Somehow it altered my whole outlook. realising I wasn’t likely to be able to make a career out of letters, I started on short stories, including doing a home study course on short stories. As soon as I began the first of 16 lessons, I knew it was my thing. Nothing stopped me writing, not three small children, a business and home to take care of. It was to be many years before I got my first book Georgia published,  3 other books banished to the dustbin. But I see that time as my apprenticeship and like any focussed apprentice I never allowed myself to doubt I wouldn’t get there in the end.

Without a Trace PB

 Jo Platt, author of READING UPSIDE DOWN (sold in 6 territories worldwide):

I have always enjoyed writing, and my preference has always been for comedy.  Maybe it was because my focus was on making myself and others smile, that I for so long viewed writing as a guilty pleasure, and far too much fun to be a potential career.  And then, one afternoon, I was having a cup of tea with a friend at her kitchen table when she mentioned a spoof school newsletter, which I had written and circulated to friends, to cheer us all up at a rather bleak time.  She was laughing over something I’d written when she suddenly said, ‘Why don’t you write something longer, Jo? A book.  We all think you should.’

 It was such a simple, perhaps throw-away, comment and yet that was a defining moment, perhaps the defining moment, for me in terms of my writing.  It felt as if I had been given permission, a mandate, to make writing a greater priority and to take it seriously.  As a result, I went home and started drafting Reading Upside Down that same evening.

 Of course, since then, there have been other moments and events which stand out for me and which I will never forget.  The extremely assertive friend, threatening me with menaces until I had promised her that I wouldn’t simply leave the finished manuscript to rot at the back of my knicker drawer, but would instead send it to an agency.  And, not long after that, the moment I received an email from my now agent, Camilla Wray, telling me, with great enthusiasm, how much she loved my book – an enthusiasm and belief in both myself as a writer and in Reading Upside Down as a novel, which she has never lost.

 But, before all that, came those kind and encouraging words over a cup of tea at a kitchen table, without which I would still be scribbling and giggling away in secret, instead of being out and proud as a writer.  And for those kind words – and that cup of tea – I shall remain forever grateful.


Before I started writing novels, I was a journalist and one of my jobs was reviewing books for Candis, a national women’s magazine. The more I read, the more I thought I’d like to have a go at writing my own novel. I was ridiculously naive about how hard it would be to stay motivated to finish a book, let alone how hard it is to get published. However, one of the things that really helped was taking an online novel-writing course with the University of California, because it provided immediate feedback and deadlines. As soon as I started the course, I felt so excited and passionate about writing again – something I’d lost over the years of working as a journalist. It took me a few years to summon up the courage to give up journalism completely and write novels full-time but I don’t regret it at all – it’s a luxury to inhabit a fictional world where you make everyone do what you want! 

the island escape final

 Emma Kavanagh, author of the critically-acclaimed FALLING and HIDDEN (Arrow):

 I’ve written my entire life. For as long as I can remember I have been constructing stories. I had never, however, written a novel. There’s something about that word, the sheer vastness it implies, that makes it seem impossible. How do you manufacture 90,000 words out of thin air?

 Then, one day, I was standing on a police firearms range, taking part in close protection (bodyguard to you or I) training for firearms officers, and a story came to me. I attempted to shrug it off. I was busy and, frankly, if I didn’t pay attention, there was a chance that I would get shot. But the story remained. So, I decided to try it, to just see if I had it in me to right something that could be considered a novel. As it turned out I did. It wasn’t a very good novel. But it was enough to convince me that 90,000 words could in fact be manufactured if you just give yourself the chance.

 The logical next step was to continue with my business (a consultant in police and military psychology) whilst I attempted to write a book worthy of publication. Unfortunately, logic is rarely my strong suit. Instead, I scaled back my travel, began limiting the jobs I took on, and threw myself into writing. It was the writer’s equivalent of putting everything on black. I am, however, an all or nothing kind of woman. It was a massive gamble, but, thankfully, one that paid off. I remember hearing Lee Child talk about his career. He said it worked, because it had to. And for me the same was true. I had no choice but to be successful.

 I had to answer a question earlier – what is your greatest ambition? And my answer was, this. To keep doing what I’m doing. Not many people are lucky enough to say that!


 Part two coming next week featuring Darley Anderson Children’s Book Agency authors…

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