Meet the Team – Laura Heathfield

What is your role at the agency?

Assistant to Tanera Simons.

How did you get into publishing?

I studied law at university and then worked in aviation for 20 years until I decided to pursue working with my real love – books! I started as an intern here at Darley Anderson before becoming Tanera’s permanent assistant.

What’s the best part of your job?

I feel lucky every day to come to work with such a fantastic team of people who are all so passionate about their authors, books and the publishing industry. I really enjoy reading submissions, you can’t beat that feeling of excitement when you find a gem and are desperate to get your hands on the rest of the manuscript!

What do you look for in a book?

It’s usually a good hook that draws me in – one line that sums up the heart of the book or a question to pose to the reader that makes you want to keep reading to find the answer. I love to be transported – either to a different location, time period or even a professional setting I know nothing about. I look for interesting characters and complex relationships between them. If all of that is topped off with beautiful writing, I’m sold!

What’s on your to read list?

The stack by my bed doesn’t seem to get smaller and is constantly being added to…Currently waiting for me is A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin, The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley-Heller, The Maid by Nina Prose and I’m working my way through the Bridgerton books and The Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas.

Who is your favourite fiction character?

Do I have to pick just one?! Kya in Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, Marie in All The Light We Cannot See, Mrs Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, Scout in To Kill A Mockingbird, Neville Longbottom in Harry Potter.

What is your go to reading snack?

Honey roasted cashews or if I’m after something sweet, dark chocolate-covered raspberry marshmallows can often be found on my desk.

What soon to be published book are you most looking forward to reading?

Some of the many books I’ve got on pre-order are: All the Broken Places by John Boyne. His book A Heart’s Invisible Furies is in my top five books and I recommend to anyone that asks for a book to make them laugh AND cry. Day One by Abigail Dean as I couldn’t put down Girl A and it was a thriller that really stayed with me. Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid as I have devoured everything she’s written.

It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover as I recently jumped on the TikTok made me buy it-bandwagon and discovered Colleen (very late to that party!) and Parenting Hell The Book by Rob Beckett and Josh Widdicombe – their podcast brought me some much-needed light relief in lockdown and I still listen every week.

What book do you wish you could read again for the first time?

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Wow! You sound really well-read. You must be a fast reader. I’m not so fast, so prefer audio books, which is where I am hoping to find a publisher for my audiobooks. All the best Laura, and happy reading!

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