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Editorial Meet the DA team Submissions Uncategorized

Meet the Team – Rebeka Finch

It’s the start of 20Beka Headshot20, so to ring in the new decade we’re doing a Meet the Team series. The final years of the 2010s brought lots of changes to the Agency and a number of fresh faces have joined the ranks. In this series of posts, you’ll get a little insight into who we are and what we all do here at Darley Anderson.

So, without further ado and to start us off, we speak to Rebeka Finch, assistant to Darley Anderson himself.

First of all, what is your role at the agency?

Newly minted at the Agency, I have just started as Darley Anderson’s Assistant. I read through and engage with the numerous submissions made weekly, as well as with editors, publicists and authors to keep Darley up to date on the latest news. I also work with my colleagues across Children’s Books, Rights and with our other Adult Fiction agents to help ensure the smooth running of the Agency as a whole.

How did you get into Publishing?

I’ve always wanted to get involved with Publishing but I had no idea where to start, especially in such a competitive industry. However, after doing some initial research into the types of areas that I found interesting, I realised that working at an agency means that you are right at the centre of author and publisher relations, as well as working with publicity, contracts and rights. I also love that as an assistant I have the opportunity to engage with submissions, to see the development of new novels, and to chart the progression of new authors at the Agency. Fresh out of university, working at Darley Anderson is a fantastic place to start my career.

Which book changed your life?

Whilst a great many books have stayed with me far beyond the final page, there is only one that holds the place of ‘game-changer’. Prior to my discovery of The Thieves of Ostia (the first in the series), reading was a daily chore that consisted of parental negations back and forth that forced me into opening a book, let alone enjoying it. However, Caroline Lawrence offered a unique take on ancient roman mysteries that 15 years later has still maintained a coveted place amongst my shelves. For a more adult appropriate read, I loved Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches. The storytelling and the historical settings offered a unique take on fantasy and historical fiction, the perfect way to lose yourself for an afternoon.

What do you look for in a book?

I love historical fiction, having studied History at university. I love books that really engage with the historical setting and are thoroughly researched. I find it fascinating to think about the streets of London in the 15th century, or Paris during the Revolution. However, I also look for books that don’t attempt to rewrite history, but to engage with it and accompany the events of the day.

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Newsletter

Agency Newsletter

Hello!

There’s always a lot going on at the agency, with authors, rights, submissions etc. but we always want to keep you in the loop.

The newsletter is, again, packed with news. August is usually a quiet month in publishing – but not for the DA Agency.

Our debut authors are enjoying immense success around the world, our much-loved established authors continue to grow from strength to strength and we welcome new faces to our DA Children’s Book Agency.

We have a brand new Twitter account for DA Children’s so make sure your following (and on Facebook too).

Enjoy the rest of sunny summer days!

Kristina

 

  • Make sure you download as a PDF for the best quality.

 

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Newsletter Uncategorized

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!

Kristina

Categories
Interviews

An Interview with Beth Reekles

Beth Reekles is the teen sensation behind THE KISSING BOOTH, officially one of the world’s most influential teenagers and the newest author to join the Darley Anderson Children’s Book Agency, agented by Clare Wallace.

Beth Reekles - teen sensation
Beth Reekles – teen sensation

At fifteen, Beth began uploading her debut novel THE KISSING BOOTH to story-sharing platform Wattpad, where it quickly accumulated over 19 million reads. She was picked up by Random House UK at the age of seventeen while she was still doing her A Levels.

Now studying Physics at Exeter University, Beth has already had THE KISSING BOOTH, ROLLING DICE, and OUT OF TUNE all published with Random House along with being shortlisted for multiple awards, receiving the Scout Birthday Honours Writing Badge and having been named one of Time magazine’s 16 Most Influential Teenagers in 2013 she has just been listed at No.6 on The Times’ Top 20 Under 25 list.

The Times August 2014 close up USE
Here’s a picture of the article irl, just in case you’re not subscribed…

In celebration of Beth joining the agency, Emma Winter was able to grab a moment with Beth to discuss the realities of being a published author, where she gets her inspiration and what she’s reading this summer!

Emma Winter: When did you tell your parents that you were contributing to WattPad? Were they surprised by your success?

Beth Reekles: I told them about three months into posting my first story on Wattpad that I was posting a book I was writing online and it had maybe twenty thousand reads at that point. They didn’t really know what to say – and had nothing to compare the number of reads to, so didn’t think much of it.

When The Kissing Booth started getting 400,000, then 900,000, then two million, then five million, reads, they started to take more notice. They were certainly surprised when I revealed I’d been writing avidly since they gave me a laptop when I was twelve, and I hadn’t told them all that time!

EW: Has being a published author been anything like you expected?

BR: It’s been a complete whirlwind, and it’s all happened very quickly! I don’t really know what I was expecting from being a published author, but it’s certainly been very exciting – meeting other authors, being on TV to talk about my books… and I still go looking for my book every time I go into a Waterstones!

EW: Where did you, or where do you, get your inspiration from?

BR: I’ve always written the kind of books I like to read. When I was younger, I wrote more fantasy, but the last few years I’ve preferred teen romance. I look to teen movies, YA books, and movie and TV soundtracks when I need inspiration. And, I’ve always admired JK Rowling, and find her a huge source of inspiration.

JK Rowling - inspiring generations
JK Rowling – inspiring generations

EW: Do you ever find inspiration hard to come by? If so, what do you do when this happens?

BR: Sometimes if I get stuck on a book, I try watching movies or reading books in the same genre as I’m writing, but if that doesn’t work, I’ll put on some soundtracks to something like Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, or Pirates of the Caribbean – usually they’re exciting and motivational enough in themselves to get me writing, but they also make for great background music.

EW: What were your favourite bits to write in your novels?

BR: I love writing dramatic scenes – when everything seems to be going wrong for the protagonist, it’s always the most fun to write.

EW: What was the hardest bit?

BR: The hardest bit is almost always the start. I’ll come up with the ideas for the novel, and have an idea of where I want it to go, but I always find it hard to figure out the best way to start the book. I must’ve had a dozen different first chapters for The Kissing Booth before I found one I could work with.

EW: Where’s your writing space and what’s your writing process like?

BR: I usually write in my bedroom. When I was in school, I couldn’t write in the daytime, so I used to write later on in the evening and at night. And as for my writing process, I’ve never been able to plot stories – I always end up with a two totally different stories! I tend to come up with a blurb for the story and my characters first, and work from there.

EW: What would your top three YA romance films be?

BR: John Tucker Must Die, 10 Things I Hate About You, and Easy A.

Author-approved films by Beth Reekles
Author-approved films by Beth Reekles

EW: How did you feel when you were listed on Time’s ‘Most Influential Teen’ list of 2013?

BR: It was incredible! I had no idea about it beforehand, so when I saw it online I ran around my flat at uni waking people up to tell them. It was brilliant to be on the same list as people like Malia Obama, Malala, and Lorde.

EW: What are you reading this summer?

BR: I’ve read 23 books this summer already, and I’ve still got a huge pile left I’d like to get through! At the top of my to-be-read pile is Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder, Solitaire by Alice Oseman, and A Dance With Dragons by George RR Martin.

Wow, that's a lot of books. Better write faster, George.
Wow, that’s a lot of books. Better write faster, George.

EW: Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you

BR: I do a lot of knitting in my spare time. My grandmother taught me when I was little and I took it up again about two years ago. It’s really relaxing, and I’m working on a massive cable-stitch blanket.

EW: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

BR: Write, write, write! They say practice makes perfect, and if you want to write, just write. Even if you never show it to anyone, it’ll be such a great feeling when you finish your first book. I’d also recommend posting some of your work up to a site like Wattpad. It’s really encouraging to see people reading and enjoying your work, and the communities are really supportive.

EW: And one last bonus question – Can you pitch each of your novels in a tweet?

BR: What would you do if you fell for your best friend’s brother? That’s what happens to Elle – but can her friendship with bestie Lee survive? (The Kissing Booth)

The Kissing Booth

Starting a new school is the perfect time to reinvent yourself. But does Madison stay with the cool kids at school or stand by the nerd? (Rolling Dice)

Rolling Dice

Ashley’s life is perfect on paper, but new boy-next-door Todd is going to make her realise that none of her life is as it seems… (Out of Tune)

9781448172849-large

THE KISSING BOOTH, ROLLING DICE and OUT OF TUNE are available to buy now. Get your copies today and follow Beth on twitter for all the latest updates.

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Meet the DA team Translation Rights

Getting Into Publishing – Emma Winter Rights Assistant

Emma journey to publishing

‘Don’t worry, you’ll get there soon enough’ and ‘If it’s worth getting, it’s worth waiting for’ were among the many platitudes that kept me going  whilst trying to get a job in publishing.

Having graduated in 2011, with a BA Hons in American Literature and Creative Writing, there was nothing I really wanted to do more than work in publishing, even though I’d had little experience of it. I did know that it wasn’t all Daniel Cleaver and see-through tops, though.

Sadly, university doesn’t really prep you for the hard slog that is getting your first job. You have to equip and motivate yourself to actively seek things out; being in publishing is a very proactive career path and, almost always, starts with interning or work experience. There is one thing I would go back and tell University Emma: do some early internships during university holidays, it’ll help in the long run and allow you to get where you want to be faster than the two years it took Graduate Emma.

In the last ten years or so, it seems that publishing has become a really desirable career. And quite rightly – it’s hugely exciting, constantly evolving and pretty darn wonderful. I started interning immediately after graduating with a lovely boutique literary agency based in Pimlico with authors such as Andy Stanton and Yvvette Edwards on the books.

The two months turned into three months and I was absolutely hooked. I even got to work with an author on a very special teen book which I submitted to publishers (not under my own name) and it was signed up for a three book deal. Since then the book has been shortlisted for a national book award! It was an incredibly special feeling and one that has stayed with me throughout.

I sailed out on a high into a second internship in another agency, based near Carnaby Street, and quickly realised I had picked up a lot more than I thought, or even realised. As a slightly bigger agency with an in-house foreign rights team, it allowed me to experience another exciting side of agency life.

After that was finished, I went to a children’s publishers where I spent time (again in a small team) with all the different departments and got a feel for how publishers work.

Shortly afterwards, I did something slightly different to be able to fund future internships, and managed a restaurant which turned into an 18 month stint. During that time, I also interned in the publicity department of a huge publishers and in the editorial department of another children’s publishers.

I finally left my restaurant job in May this year, having decided to take a leap of faith and move to London. I was asked to return to my very first internship to help out part-time and loved being back in the loop at an agency again.

When that finished I went to a scouting agency, my very first experience of this rather secret sector of publishing, and enjoyed every minute. It was very busy and involved huge amounts of reading, which doubled by the time Frankfurt Book Fair came around. I also really loved the foreign rights aspect – I attended an international school for seven years so it almost felt like home; I’ve always been drawn to international affairs. After a hectic three weeks of preparation, my colleagues descended on Frankfurt Book Fair and I stayed behind to look after the office. Being on my own during that time really proved how far I’d come and how much experience I’d earned.

During the two years I spent looking for a job post-graduation I accrued 25 interviews and 25 rejection emails, with some more helpful than others. I laughed, I cried, I hoped. I had some very near misses, including getting down to the last two of 300 applicants at Penguin as well as some flat out ‘We know you’re not right’s . Some of the time it was hard to remain positive in such a competitive environment, and having received mostly positive feedback from my interviewers it was hard to see where I was going wrong. There was only one thing I could do and that was to carry on.

With internships becoming just as sought after as actual jobs, I felt the end was nigh and I might have to give into encouragement to find a job in another sector. But, I’m no quitter, and I kept going.

It proved to be worth every moment when, one day in rainy October, the lovely Clare and Mary interviewed me for the role of Rights Assistant at Darley Anderson. And I was offered the job.

Entirely surreally, that day feels quite blurry and nothing felt cemented until I’d had my first day here. It still didn’t quite feel real that after two years I’d secured a job in exactly what I wanted to do and at an agency – somewhere I knew I was destined for. Having settled in now, I’m having a great time and feel very lucky to be part of such a fantastic agency with a brilliant and supportive team.

So, to all you hardy interns and people looking for first jobs in publishing, my tips are:

  • Be an enthusiastic intern. Help out where you can and never forget to smile, even if it’s only photocopying. You don’t know who is watching.
  • Prove to employers why they should hire you – get involved in things that demonstrate your passion for publishing i.e. blog on the side, volunteer with local libraries or reading groups, set up a book club, network. You need to set yourself apart from the other hundreds of people who probably have similar experience.
  • If you haven’t already, join Twitter. Invaluable, invaluable, invaluable. You can follow the right people, read the right things and hear about things that you wouldn’t necessarily have access to otherwise.
  • Read, read, read. You need to demonstrate that you know what’s out there. Why should a publisher hire you for a children’s book role if you have no experience of the market, or what even makes a good book?
  • Do your research. Look at what an agency/publisher does, who their big clients are, what they specialise in, what’s important to them.
  • NEVER GIVE UP. It’s a long game, play it and you’ll reap the rewards.

Emma often tweets about entry-level publishing jobs @MsEmmaWinter and she also blogs at: emmareadsstories.wordpress.com

Categories
Darley Anderson Authors Illustrators

Lorna Scobie makes a difference with The Art of Ping Pong

LS_FrontIt’s almost time for BBC’s Children in Need and our illustrator Lorna Scobie has been doing her bit.

Lorna has joined eight of the UK’s top artists and illustrators in teaming up with Fivefootsix and designing a ping pong bat for the charity.

The bats (kindly supplied by Topspin Sports) will be auctioned from today until Friday 15th November. So get there quick to bid on Lorna’s amazing design.

You could make a positive difference to the lives of disadvantaged children right here in the UK and get a really stylish ping pong bat in the bargain.LS_Back

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Competitions Editorial Submissions Translation Rights

We’re Back!

Welcome back to the Darley Anderson blog after our summer/Frankfurt Book Fair break.

Did you miss us? We missed you. Hope you’ve all had a brilliant time in the sun reading only great stories and that the writing process has been kind to those of you who write.

We’re excited to get going again and we’ll be hitting the road running with the latest in the 11 Ways Not To Start Your Novel series any minute now.

But first, we’ve had some great responses to our challenge to name those five novels that start with their protagonist waking up. (If you haven’t yet had a chance to play go back now to 11 Ways Not To Start Your Novel No. 6 before we give away the answers.)

To set your minds at rest here are the authors and their books responsible for those opening lines:

  1. Cormac McCarthy’s The RoadWhen he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he’d reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him
  2. Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus: The Lost HeroEven before he got electrocuted, Jason was having a rotten day. He woke in the back seat of a school bus, not sure where he was, holding hands with a girl he didn’t know.
  3. Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis and Other StoriesAs Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect
  4. S J Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep The bedroom is strange. Unfamiliar. I don’t know where I am, how I come to be here. I don’t know how I’m going to get home.
  5. Douglas Adams’ Life, The Universe and Everything The regular early morning yell of horror was the sound of Arthur Dent waking up and suddenly remembering where he was

Did you get them all? Have you read them all?

Excellent. Then we’ll continue…

Categories
Editorial Meet the DA team Submissions

Getting Into Publishing – Vicki Le Feuvre Agency Editor

Graduation day! 2 - Copy (2)

What do you do with a BA in English?
What is my life going to be?
Four years of college
And plenty of knowledge
Have earned me this useless degree.
Opening lines of Avenue Q

As I sat in the Noël Coward Theatre part way through my first year at Royal Holloway University of London listening to these words I felt a cold chill run over me. I hadn’t even opted for the full English degree. I’d gone half and half with Drama of all things.

“What have I been thinking?” I thought. “What on earth am I planning to do with two halves of two frankly useless degrees? What am I expecting someone to hire me for? Is there much calling for someone who can convincingly look like they’re sword fighting while simultaneously quoting the opening lines of every Jane Austen novel? Surely not.”

So I did what any sensible grown-up trying to ready themselves for the sensible world of grown-ups would do:

I took a summer job at a trust fund type serious grown-up place.

You can tell by the fact that I can’t even remember the official title for this place of employment that I was not a great fit for it.

Seven weeks I worked there. Monday to Friday. That’s 35 days. 9.00am ‘til 5.30pm with a consistently full lunch hour. That means I worked there for a total of 262 hours and 30 minutes. I counted.

It wasn’t that the people weren’t all lovely. It wasn’t that I didn’t earn some essential office experience. It was just a terrible, terrible fit for me. An awful terrible horrible awful terrible fit.

The good news is it galvanised me. I knew that I had to avoid that place otherwise known as The Finance Industry. (In my mind ominous chords accompany those last three words, possibly followed by a crash of thunder.)

One thing I did with this galvanisation was to go on a proofreading and copy-editing course. It took up four days of my time and it was invaluable experience. It didn’t hurt my CV either.

After this, however, the problem was that I come from Jersey in the Channel Islands, home of (ominous chords) The Finance Industry (thunder crash). My first summer after university I got a job in Jersey handing out leaflets. For me this was preferable to the previous summer’s job to the extent that walking around with a small stone in your shoe is preferable to jumping off the Empire State Building and landing on a bicycle with no seat. Yet it still wasn’t quite where I wanted to be.

I needed to get out if I wanted to use my useless degree. I needed to head to (drum roll) London (jubilant chords). The place where the musicals lived and, as it happened, the publishing industry.

So I did what any less than sensible grown-up trying to ready themselves for the less than sensible world of grown-ups would do:

I moved in with my cousin and her husband in Croydon to look after their two toddling kids for them while they moved into and pretty much rebuilt their new house.

It was great. I spent my days watching Disney films and catching up on the latest picture books. My lovely cousin’s lovely husband even got me some proofreading experience where he worked. Ok he worked in The Finance Industry and it was unpaid work experience but there it went on my CV telling potential employers that I really, really wanted to edit, pretty please with a cherry on top.

When the wind finally changed I moved to extort hospitality off another lovely family member, this time my lovely Auntie Cathy. I rocked up at her Buckinghamshire flat in late November and didn’t leave for just under a year.

Thus began the time of sitting around in my penguin pyjamas and sending endless CVs off to every corner of the publishing industry I could think of. This earned me a total of not two, not three but one interview for an actual job. Which did not exactly go well. It was for a foreign rights position and this happened:

Interviewer A: “So you can speak Spanish and Italian, was it?”
Interviewer B: “And French, I think was?”
Me: “Um… actually just French and not exactly… fluently.” (I cannot speak French.)
Interviewer A: “Who speaks Spanish, Italian and French fluently then?”
Interviewer B: “Oh wait, that’s the next person we’re seeing.”

Do you ever get that creeping sensation that things aren’t about to turn in your favour? Yes? That.

Still it’s all experience. And that’s the point I’m gradually working towards here. It’s all experience.

Over the course of that year my lovely Auntie Cathy helped me get some work doing something close to editing for the Salvation Army and I snapped it right up. Someone very helpful who worked in publishing got me in touch with someone who needed someone to input information onto excel from what was effectively a phone book for musicians. It was a tedious job but someone had to do it, I needed the money and most of all I wanted that helpful person in publishing to know they could count on me.

As I say, I sent out about a gazillion letters carefully crafted for each individual who might read them, politely asking if I could come and do their filing for free. Sadly, there was a recession on and the best thing I gained from this was a lot of experience writing covering letters and receiving rejection. But hey, it’s all important experience.

The contact that finally got me my ‘in’ was actually a lovely friend of the lovely cousin whose lovely daughter I had sometimes helped look after while in Croydon. She knew two equally lovely people in top literary agencies to whom she mentioned me and gave me their contact details. I sent them each my most carefully crafted covering letter and by the New Year I had two unpaid internships set up at two of London’s best literary agencies.

The experience I gained there was worth the world. Both agencies were so helpful and gave me such great opportunities to learn what makes this business go.

Yet, the most important thing I learned from these internships was this one important phrase:

“Oh not at all, please let me know anything else I can do to help.” Preferably accompanied by the widest, most enthusiastic grin you can muster.

Your two main goals at an internship are:

  1. to extract as much knowledge and experience as you possibly can.
  2. to make yourself as useful as you possibly can. Ideally make yourself so useful that the thought of you leaving fills them with dread. Failing that, make yourself useful enough that they might think of you in the future if a job comes up, any job.

My first bit of paid work in the publishing industry was working in the accounts section of David Higham Associates. Yep, I’d stumbled towards The Finance Industry side of things again but I was so close to where I wanted to be and I was still learning things and being useful.

So I was there when they needed someone to cover reception for a few weeks. They knew they could count on me when they needed someone to keep the foreign rights department running during the London Book Fair. I was around when someone wanted a second opinion on a submission and when they liked what I came back with they started to use me as a reader from time to time.

It was the same at the Darley Anderson Agency, the place where I found my home.

I was there when Camilla Wray needed a bit of feedback on some opening chapters. I had just finished a huge stack of photocopying and was about to get lunch when Madeleine Buston asked if I could take a look at the children’s submissions for that day. And they liked my feedback and I found some exciting talent and eventually they gave me the opportunity to try my hand at writing my very own reader’s report on a full novel.

Interning in publishing can be tough and I am so lucky that I was able to keep my head above water financially and rely on the hospitality of various lovely family members for long enough to be available when my potential employers needed me.

On top of this, moving from an internship in publishing into a job in publishing can often be about doing both jobs at once. If you’re there to do admin you have to keep getting the admin done while simultaneously taking every opportunity to show off your knack for talent-spotting or what you hope are your keen editorial skills.

It’s hard work and you have to be in the right place at the right time ready to work hard on the off chance that this might be the moment when things will turn in your favour. But when they do, if you’re ready, it’s all worth it.

I don’t think anyone can ever really be that good at a job they hate. They certainly won’t be a joy to be around anyway; as I’m sure I wasn’t at that trust company type serious grown-up place.

That’s my second favourite thing about publishing; I don’t know anyone who is here just because they were pressured into it or they didn’t know what else to do or they just needed the money. (Incidentally, if you are going into entry level publishing for the money you might want to reconsider.) Everyone is here because they want to be. Everyone in publishing is here because they were at the right place at the right time ready to work hard and hopefully show off their talent.

So if you’re sitting in a crowded theatre somewhere thinking that it sucks to be you and worrying that you don’t have the right degree or experience or contacts then stop. All you need to get started is to want it. After that all it takes is to go out there and do whatever it takes to get all that other stuff so that when your moment does come you’ll be ready.

Oh and read. Getting and keeping a job in this industry requires an awful lot of reading which, as it happens, is my first favourite thing about publishing.

Categories
Meet the DA team

Getting Into Publishing – Keshini Naidoo Crime & Thriller Reader

Kesh BlogGrowing up, I was the classic ‘child-that-loves-books’, continually accompanied by a paperback or two and finding time to read when I was brushing my teeth, eating dinner or walking down the street (ouch, lampposts). I feel really lucky to now work in an industry in which book obsession is a veritable asset, rather than a hindrance! I’m definitely an example of how working in retail can cross over into working in publishing and that it’s not all about ‘knowing someone who knows someone’ (which I think it can sometimes feel like from the outside…).

After finishing my degree at Leeds University, I was a bit clueless as to what I wanted to do – I wanted to work in publishing, but didn’t really have a clue how to start. I wasn’t brave (or knowledgeable) enough to have applied for internships, plus I was still living in Leeds, so the thought of moving down to London to work for no money was terrifying! Then I started working at Waterstones and I can truly say it was my first step on my path to publishing. I came out of university with a degree in English and Classical Literature, able to talk about Cheever, F.R Leavis, Juvenal and Catullus – but with absolutely no knowledge of what books were at the top of the Sunday Times bestseller list! Working on the front line of bookselling (fist-bumps to my fellow booksellers on the grind), putting twenty-five copies a day of Atonement and Harry Potter through the tills and advising customers on the latest Sophie Kinsella title, all helped me to gain a real awareness of current publishing trends, which helped me enormously when it came to applying for jobs.

I’d advise anyone wanting to work in this industry to always be aware of what’s in the bestseller charts – you may only want to work exclusively with niche literary fiction or hard SF, but you still need to know that Fifty Shades of Grey is breaking sales records and inspiring the re-emergence of erotica in the UK market.

One day I answered an ad in the back of The Bookseller (the publishing industry bible, and still one of the best sources of information, job adverts and gossip!), and after an interview in that there London, I landed a job as a buying assistant for crime/thriller fiction at BCA book clubs. I loved the thrill of meeting publishers, getting to see the upcoming fiction from all the major houses (my desk was always awash with proofs) and negotiating deals for our main selections with rights managers (as we bought the rights to produce our own World hardbacks and QPD editions. Yes, those oddly-shaped small editions you always see in charity shops nowadays.).

I eventually left BCA, having worked my way up to buyer for crime/thriller and literary fiction (even more proof copies on my desk), and was lucky enough to have my name passed on to HarperCollins, who were looking for someone for their fledgling Avon division to work across the board in sales and editorial. This was probably the best introduction I could have had to working at a trade publisher – I got to learn from two of the best in the business in retail and editorial and we were setting up a whole division with just three people so it was vital to be able to handle a variety of different tasks; from presenting our books to buyers at Sainsbury’s, representing HarperCollins on industry-wide projects with libraries, trying to secure review coverage with newspapers and magazines, to handling the editorial process from acquisition all the way to production stage. I think this kind of multi-tasking is more and more common in publishing and it’s important to keep abreast of innovations in the field, especially as the digital revolution has changed the landscape so much. Now editors have to be even more marketing-savvy to ensure their books stand out in a crowded market.

By the time I left Avon in 2011 I was a commissioning editor, working across women’s commercial fiction and crime. I now work as a freelance editor/proofreader for a number of major publishing houses, as well as people looking to self-publish. I was fortunate to have my name recommended to Darley Anderson when they were looking for a crime/thriller reader and I was leaving HarperCollins. I have been working here part-time since January 2012 and I love it! I do the initial assessment of the crime/thriller submissions, passing anything suitable on to Darley and offering editorial guidance to some of the authors we represent. I feel very lucky to actually get paid for reading and the thrill of discovering a manuscript with potential never diminishes.

While there’s no denying that editorial jobs at major trade publishers are definitely sought-after, if you’re passionate about books and are prepared to work hard across a variety of tasks, you’ll be rewarded with a fulfilling, dynamic and stimulating job that never really feels like work.

Use all the resources available – for example, The Publishing Training Centre in London runs industry-accredited training courses on editing and proofreading, and if you’re from a BME background, Equality in Publishing (Equip) offers advice, case studies and advertises job vacancies and The Bookseller carries current vacancies. And once you’ve got that foot in the door, network all you can and ask advice from those who are already doing your dream job. Most people will be happy to meet you for coffee and allow you to pick their brains. It’s a small industry and you never know who will have the perfect vacancy for you. And most of all, never lose your passion for books! I still read when I’m brushing my teeth and feel panicky at the thought of a journey without at least one book in my bag …

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Meet the DA team Translation Rights

Getting Into Publishing – Mary Darby Rights Executive

Don’t you have to know somebody who knows somebody who knew somebody else’s Grandfather’s niece? No. At least, not always. My job search, for example, didn’t involve anyone but countless internship enquiry letters and me. James Caan would have been proud.

Having recently returned from a year working as an English teacher in a far-flung corner ofPicture for blog BARBADOS the Caribbean, I was keen to steer my future career down a foreign path if possible, and fell in love with foreign rights. So I submitted my enquiry letters to a few choice publishers and waited. And waited…

The waiting was dreary and each rejection made me question my decision but at last an offer came in: A 6 week placement in the Rights Department at Bloomsbury. I was absolutely over the moon! But, I had to wait 8 more months! So I lived and worked at home in Norfolk to save my pennies.

The placement was to be part-time, temporary, and unpaid (enough to move to a new city for?) so I got myself a Saturday job at Stanford’s Map and Travel Guide Book Shop in Covent Garden. This Saturday job soon turned into a FridaySaturdaySundayMonday job so I was working 7 days but loved it all. Working at Stanford’s was absolutely brilliant experience. I enjoyed meeting customers (and travelling vicariously…) and learned a lot by talking to the buyers and floor managers, as well as the publishers’ sales reps. I also loved getting books into the hands of paying customers!

My 6 weeks interning were soon up but I was delighted to be kept on as a part-time assistant to the Bloomsbury rights team on a temporary basis. While I was there, the Darley Anderson Literary, TV and Film Agency sent out an email which the kind rights people at Bloomsbury forwarded to me (okay, then I knew somebody who knew somebody).

I came for an interview for the part-time Rights Assistant job and have been here ever since! I continued at Stanford’s part-time, but was offered a full-time role at Darley Anderson after two months and went back to just doing Saturdays which I finally stopped completely after about 18 months.

Maryfbf.jpg blogI have now done three London Book Fairs and two Frankfurts and enjoy each one a little more than the last. The months before the fair are an incredibly busy time (I have just scheduled six meetings for this year’s Frankfurt and it’s only June!). Between reading all our new manuscripts and meeting with Scouts to talk about our new titles, we juggle what feels like a million things at once. And, as you can imagine, by the time the fairs come around, we are quite frazzled! But energised and excited too.

One of the things I value most about my job in foreign rights (apart from having a job in publishing) is working with such friendly and interesting people from all walks of life from all corners of the World. This includes authors, editors and everybody else in the industry. I also enjoy the social side of my job and I get to attend book launches, publisher parties and the odd film premiere and, to top it all, my home is filled to the brim with the latest releases which I am encouraged to read!  I feel very lucky indeed and not once have I had those Sunday Night Blues.

So, if you would love to work in publishing, start by finding out as much as you can about the role you are looking for and decide the kind of books you want to work with.

Approach specific people within organisations; if you want to go into foreign rights, or marketing and publicity, don’t contact the editor in chief just because theirs is the first name you found. The internet has made this task easier than ever, plus there are endless blogs out there, and agents and publishers are often on Twitter so get online and do some research.

Then be patient. Waiting can be stressful and the rejections disheartening. But, if you can, use that time to read read read (after all it could be the last opportunity you have to read ‘non-work books’).

Once you have that first foot in the door, get involved, take on over-time if you can, go to networking events and company meetings, ask questions, and be helpful. And, like I said, working in a book shop is a brilliant way to experience the completion of the publishing process.

It really isn’t all about being in the right place at the right time, most of it is persistence, determination, positive thinking (and a high tolerance to a pasta-pesto diet… ).

Much the same as what is needed to be an aspiring author. Funny that.

Categories
Meet the DA team

Getting Into Publishing

Have you ever wondered how on earth anyone actually gets into publishing? Are you yourself currently struggling to get your foot into any book-related door possible? Or do you just want to know a little more about us and our employment histories?

If you answered ‘YES’ to any of these questions then you’re in luck! In the upcoming weeks the Darley Anderson Blog will be letting you in on how we each came to be right where we are now.

They’ll be tips on how to make your way in publishing, irreplaceable insight into the inner workings of the industry and hopefully a nice overall feeling of everyone being in the same sort of boat together.

We will begin on Monday with our Mary’s story of how she became a Darley’s Angel.

Categories
Darley Anderson Authors Interviews

What are The Odds? Ask Adam Perrott

First of all, in the form of a tweet could you tell us: what are The Odds?

The Odds are a family of Meddlers, or Professional Pranksters, whose job is to cause mischief and mayhem wherever they are. (I even had 18 characters to spare there!)

How did you come up with the idea of ‘professional pranksters’?

We all misplace things we had in our hands a second ago, or lose things we’re SURE we’d kept safe. Meddlers are definitely all around us, in every country in the world, I’m just the guy telling their story. Meddlers just popped up, to be honest, as Meddlers will. I wanted to create something, a new species, if you will, like Wombles or Moomins or Borrowers. Now we have Meddlers: creepy little snot-bags who trip you up and hide your stuff. But to be precise, a Professional Prankster is a Meddler fully qualified in Prankery and Prankification, those who haven’t yet are merely Trainee Tricksters.

The Odds is such a funny, entertaining read. How do you judge that your jokes will take off on the page? Do you run them by anyone? Or is it all your own finely-tuned comedic instincts?

My editor (for book 1 Katie Jennings, for book 2 Michelle Misra) gets first look. I don’t let anyone read anything before them (and my agent and agency editor at Darley Anderson, of course!). For me it’s a case of throwing enough gags at the page and hoping most of them stick. But I’m surrounded by supportive, encouraging guides at Stripes and Darley Anderson offering genuinely invaluable advice and I seriously would be lost without you all.

We love to hear about how our writers write. Accordingly, here are few quick questions about your writing habits.

Where do you write?

I have a study. Not an ‘office’. A study. It’s filled from floor to ceiling with books old and new, pristine and tatty, as well as old bottles, candles, knick-knacks, quills and inkpots and other miscellaneous paraphernalia I’ve hoarded over the years. It is my sanctuary but, as it’s by far the most eye-catching room in the house, my children find it fascinating and treat it like a museum.

When do you write?

Usually when my daughter (2) is asleep. Now it’s the summer holidays, though, NEVER! I also have an incredibly supportive wife who will take them out for entire Saturdays so I can work. Though I suspect they have a better time out and about without me lagging behind sulking and muttering about all the great works of literature that won’t ever exist if I don’t write them.

Do you have any rituals?

Actually, yes! The kid goes to bed, I make a cup of tea in a sort-of flask so it stays warm and I smoke a pipe. Yes, you read that correctly, I am a pipe-smoking gent-about-town. Sorry ladies, I’m taken…

Do you need silence? Or do you prefer noise?

I never write with any music or anything. Usually the noise is from my family screaming or fighting – with comedic crashes, bangs and whallops at regular intervals. I tried writing to some classical music once – Vaughn Williams, A Sea Symphony, but I don’t know if it made any difference to productivity. I know a few authors who write to music depending on the scene/style of their writing at the time – like fast music for fight scenes, etc., or film scores and soundtracks, but for what I’m writing, I think silence is best. I like to hear the voices in my head think.

Do you favour pen and paper? Or a computer? A classic Underwood No. 5 typewriter? Quill and parchment?

I bought my first and only computer over ten years ago from PC World. It’s an emachines laptop, as big as a breadboard, has zero battery life and no internet connection. I have no Microsoft Word, merely Microsoft Works Word Processing which the woman in the shop gave me when I grandly announced, “Woman! I am writing a book. Fetch me a computer to do it on!” It’s a piece of trash, but it’s my piece of trash and I love it.

What is your least favourite part of the writing process?

I don’t know if there is one. Editing can be hard work, especially when you lose a battle to keep something in you really wanted to keep. They say ‘pick your battles’ and that’s a good motto with editing. I have picked them, and lost a good few! That’s quite difficult. But it’s all for the greater good of the finished book and trust in your editor is essential. When they’re as good as the Stripes and DA crew, you’re laughing!

What is your most favourite part of the writing process?

Finishing a book, no matter how short or how bad, is a incredible feeling. I still feel achievement when I finish reading a book, so finishing writing one is that times a million. I love starting a book, too. Knowing you can go anywhere, do anything, play god with the little people in your brain. Power-tripping, I think they call it.

During your brief spare time between writing and sleeping what else do you like to do?

I really really like writing! If I have a spare second, I’ll be jotting like an excited trainspotter. I’ve so much I want to write. I do like going out for walks, though, especially with my boy now the nights are lighter and warmer. He’s turning into quite a little adventurer, so getting lost in the woods with him is fast becoming one of my favourite things to do. I was in a band years ago and even though we’re all grown-up now and all responsible and that, I still play now and again. Though my repertoire is more The Grand Old Duke of York and CBeebies themes than Purple Haze, I can still rock any playgroup you could name.

If they enjoyed The Odds (and they will) what other books/authors would you recommend to the followers of our blog?

You know all the big boys: Andy Stanton, Philip Ardagh, Roald Dahl. Tommy Donbavand writes funny horror in Scream Street, Barry Hutchison writes darker, but still funny (as in witty/sarcastic) horror with Invisible Fiends. My fellow Stripester Andy Robb had the honour of being Stripes first ever teen writer with his Geekhood book about him being a geek and that when he was a kid. I also love The Clumsies by Sorrell Anderson.

What was your favourite book as a child?
Matilda by the Dahlster. I just loved it most of all of his and I don’t really know why. When I worked in a bookshop, parents often wanted recommendations – especially for boys. They would worry that boys wouldn’t read books about girls, but I swear it only occurred to me in that shop that Matilda was a book about a girl. I’m not mental, it’s just that to me, it was just a brilliant book. Funny, grotesque, it had practical jokes in (which probably sat in my subconscious until now when I was writing The Odds) and it just consumed me. It would be 3am on a school night, but I would go and pick it up off my shelf and start reading it again for no reason. I still have my very first copy.

What do you think makes a great book for children?

I do. JOKE! And lots of things. In all honesty, who knows? There are brilliant books that no one knows about and very average books that people go mad about. I think finding an original voice is the most important thing. It’s been said before, but finding your style is the most important thing. The Odds wasn’t the most original idea in the world, but the publisher rejections all mentioned the style/tone of the book and how ‘fresh’ they thought it was.

We all get at least a laugh a day here at DA from following you on twitter. Could you share your own personal top 5 tweeted one-liners with us? (You should all be following @RealAdamPerrott on twitter. Trust us.)

Tough one. I love jokes, puns and one-liners, despite the bad rap they get and the inevitable ‘groan factor’. I love wordplay in general, especially nonsense and try to tweet an original joke at least once a day. Some days I can’t, other days I do three or four, so it kind of evens out. Here’s a rough top five. You can all use these, but tell people where you got ’em, ok?!

5. Tarmac is right up my street.

4. Quasimodo. Ring any bells?

3. I once did a GCSE in honey-making. I got a B in it (followed by “I did another in bonnet-making. Got a B in that, too” – bonus joke there!)

2. Tried to catch fog. Mist.

And my all-time favourite joke…

1. Two giraffes have a race. Neck and neck all the way.

Before we go, what would be your advice for aspiring writers?

Write like you! Sounds crazy, but if you’re funny – write funny. If you’re sad – write sad. You like big, fancy words that no one understands? Write big fancy words that no one understands. That goes for a covering letter and CV too. I’ve got to places and met with people a man of my formal education should not get to or meet, but taking a risk and writing what you know in YOUR style can make a world of difference to your writing. Be you – it’s all you’ve got.

And what was it about DA that made you feel we were the agency for you? (No need to spare our blushes, we can take it.)

It’s extremely well-documented that Darley Anderson is home to the best-looking all-female team in publishing (except Darley, I know he’s a man). I just loved the general ethos of the agency. You really seemed to care about talent, especially finding new talent and making them a success. You have some of the biggest names in publishing on your lists and yet your drive to discover new voices is genuinely refreshing and unlike any other agency. So many don’t even accept unsolicited manuscripts, or you see them on Twitter or Facebook badmouthing the lack of ‘good’ or ‘original’ stuff they receive which I think is very bad form, yet DA openly clamour for more manuscripts. That’s a special thing. Everything about you is encouraging and guiding, some of the greatest, most encouraging and helpful advice I’ve ever received was from the Darley Anderson Literary Agency and it is still an honour to count myself as one of your authors.

Lastly, tell us, will we be seeing more of The Odds in the future?

There will be at least one more next year which I’m very excited about. Personally, I’d love the series to run and run, which I think it definitely could and should! But it all depends on my beautiful, beautiful publishers… There are lots more adventures the Odds can have yet, and I’m very eager to tell them!

The Odds by Adam Perrott, published by Stripes, is out now!

Categories
Meet the DA team

Getting to know Rosanna Bellingham – Financial Controller

First of all, what is your role at the agency?

The Agency is alive with deals being done all over the world and it is my job to document these at the point when they appear here in ££s, €€s and $$s, swiftly transmit the funds to our authors and handle all associated admin, reporting and care.

Which book changed your life?

Eric Berne, Games People Play.  Who knew??

 What book are you waiting for?   

 The next Reacher. (Not sucking up. True).

You are stranded on a desert island. You can choose one luxury item to take with you, one celebrity guest to join you and you will be granted one wish (which you cannot use to wish yourself off the island). What and who do you pick? 

I am reluctant to whisk anyone to a desert island with me – I am scared of mice and not practical.  So, possibly someone dead who might be glad to be doing anything again, maybe Christopher Marlowe, Henry Fielding or Dostoyevsky. Or a childhood companion like Diccon from The Secret Garden in which case my wish would be to be 7 years old. Or I could get over myself and choose Dougie Poynter or Patrick J. Adams and wish to be 17 years old.  My sister would probably ace the luxury item with a spring of fresh water but if it’s allowed I’d choose my bedside table which is equipped with cigarettes, pens, books, a candlestick, phone, writing paper, make-up  – and Volvic.

 Share your favourite quotation:

‘This too will pass.’

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Editorial Meet the DA team Submissions

Getting to know Camilla Wray – Crime, Thriller & General Fiction Agent

First of all, what is your role at the agency?

I’m the crime, thriller, mystery and general fiction agent at the agency.

Which book changed your life?

This is such a tough one…can I change it to what three books changed my life? I can definitely answer that and can still remember exactly where I was when I read the following books.

Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell was my first crime book and instantly got me addicted. I read it when I was 14 on holiday near Brighton and from then on I was an addicted crime/thriller reader. Cornwell balances character, spine-chilling story and an incredible insight into forensic pathology brilliantly. And she opened up the market to female writers in the genre. 

Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy is my next favourite and I have read this book about 30 times. Maeve’s characters get under my skin every time. I think Benny is my all time favourite heroine. She’s honest, funny, clever and brave – all things I’d love my daughter to strive to be – which goes against the current emphasis on looks, weight and money. This makes me really sad as I think it makes people overlook what is the most important part of themselves and also, with all the glam and glitter, you’re just making it harder to be truly happy with your real self.

Lastly Polo by Jilly Cooper. I can still remember sneaking this book off the suitably top shelf at home even though my Mum said I couldn’t read it yet. I’d wait until she’d gone out or to bed and read it leaning against my radiator eating Nutella and toast whilst devouring the life of Rupert Campbell Black. For me, this series of books are genius. Jilly Cooper’s characters grabbed me and left me with a cloud of sadness when I finished. I now often suggest to my authors (who you’ll be amused to learn are usually male!) to read her books just to study how she characterises. Although I guess on paper the characters represent everything opposite to what I love about Circle of Friends, at the heart of the story (and all of this series) good always overpowers bad. In all fiction this is vital. I also love how the victorious characters always have a heart of gold and are misunderstood or overlooked by everyone else until they succeed at the end, and this is very like Maeve and Benny. Everyone loves an underdog.

What book are you waiting for?

Anything that surprises, excites and challenges the reader. Wonderful, real, inspiring characters. Tense cliffhangers that keep you up at night and desperate to tell your friends about. In fact the last bit is the best test as when you find something really special it is so incredibly exciting all you want to do is stop every person you pass on the street and make them read it. This feeling is what makes the submission pile so brilliant and a hugely important part of my job.

You are stranded on a desert island. You can choose one luxury item to take with you, one celebrity guest to join you and you will be granted one wish (which you cannot use to wish yourself off the island). What and who do you pick?

My luxury item would be a pair of goggles, I’d definitely take David Attenborough and my wish would be tougher skin as I’m not sure how long my lobster self would survive in the sunshine.

Share your favourite quotation:
‘Crying wolf is a real danger’ David Attenborough

Categories
Meet the DA team Submissions

Getting to know Clare Wallace – Rights Manager and Associate Agent

First of all, what is your role at the agency?

Me between Mary, the Rights Assistant, and Vicki, the Agency Editor

As the Rights Manager, I negotiate deals for translation rights all around the world for all the Agency’s authors. I’m also scouting for new talent and am looking for commercial and accessible literary general fiction and all types of women’s fiction.

Which book changed your life?

My first book

My dad made me my first book. My parents used to call me ‘Boo’ and the book’s called ‘Boo’s Own.’ It’s nearly thirty years old now. The pages are loose and it’s covered in scribbles and all sorts of smudges and stains that show it’s been well used by a small person – like one of those dirty old teddy bears that have been loved so much their stuffing is coming out and they’ve got an eye missing. That book helped me learn to read and write – and I’ve been all about reading and writing ever since.

What book are you waiting for?

I’m looking for books with strong, vivid characters, an excellent plot and a well-balanced pace. I love books with an unusual premise too, like The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Lovely Bones, Room, Before I Go To Sleep, The Road Home and Sister. I’m also excited about The Age of Miracles, but I haven’t read it yet.

You are stranded on a desert island. You can choose one luxury item to take with you, one celebrity guest to join you and you will be granted one wish (which you cannot use to wish yourself off the island). What and who do you pick?

My luxury item would be a Gibson acoustic guitar. My celebrity guest would be the gorgeous George Harrison. My wish would be for a magic bookshelf that replenished itself once a month with the latest bestsellers.

I can’t play guitar but George can – and he knows a few good tunes too.

Share your favourite quotation:

‘Remember, for every no you receive you are one step closer to a yes’ Stephen King

Categories
Editorial Meet the DA team Submissions

Getting to know Keshini Naidoo – Crime & Thriller Reader

First of all, what is your role at the agency? 

I read all the crime and thriller submissions that we receive at the agency and assess whether they are suitable for us to take on for representation.

Which book changed your life?

The Catcher in the Rye. I read it when I was 9 and it was the first ‘adult’ book I read – and the first one to make me realise that fiction can take you into new worlds far removed from your own life (1950s New York was rather different to 1980s Merseyside).

What book are you waiting for?  

I’d love to read a UK-set police procedural with a complex and engaging main protaganist, pitted against a vicious but cerebral killer. A book that combines the characterisation of George Pelecanos and Ian Rankin with the high-concept plotting of Mark Billingham and the breakneck thrills of Simon Kernick would make my day!

You are stranded on a desert island. You can choose one luxury item to take with you, one celebrity guest to join you and you will be granted one wish (which you cannot use to wish yourself off the island). What and who do you pick?

I would take a bottomless vat of 8-hour cream (I can imagine that all that sunshine would be very drying on the skin …), Adam and Joe for amusement purposes (can they count as one celebrity guest?) and my one wish would be that a mobile library would pop round every Friday to bring me a new selection of books.

Share your favourite quotation:

‘You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me’ C. S. Lewis

Categories
Editorial Meet the DA team Submissions

Getting to know Vicki Le Feuvre – Agency Editor

First of all, what is your role at the agency?

I am the Agency Editor.

If during the course of a party (or other non-publishing-related social event) I happen to be asked what it is that I actually do for a living I tend to respond with something along the lines of: ‘I sit in a chair all day and read books’.

To be specific I read all women’s, children’s, young adult and general fiction submissions that come in to the agency and look out for anything particularly exciting. I also provide personal feedback and editorial support to new writers at the agency to make sure that their work is in tip-top condition when we take it to publishers.

But yes, basically, I sit in a chair all day and read books.

Which book changed your life?

Roald Dahl’s The Enormous Crocodile. Let me explain.

One day  when I was about seven my very clever friend, Fiona, who was also about seven at the time sat down next to me in the reading corner of our classroom on one of those large animal shaped cushions that seem to frequent reading corners in most primary schools and she read The Enormous Crocodile to me.

Fiona was an honourable member of the blue table (a position of the highest esteem that only seated four) and I, who had never yet been introduced to Mr Dahl, was not. To be honest, I was having a spot of bother with this whole reading malarkey that all the grownups seemed so keen to get me interested in.

On this day, however, I remember being stunned by this wonderfully weird book. It talked so graphically about ingesting small children while still managing to be friendly and it provided such brilliant potential for funny voices.

And what’s more it was not being read to me by one of those impossibly tall and shouty grownup creatures, this was one of my peers. This was my friend Fiona, who I was actually a little bit taller than at the time.

What a revolutionary idea. We didn’t need the grownups. No waiting for story time or bedtime or any of the other timeframes that the tall ones forced upon us daily. We could take the stories for our own. 

I’m sure my love of reading came from other places too and I’m pretty certain that all the hard work my parents put in before and after this moment should take some credit. Not to mention my mother’s insistence that I see an optician shortly after this time. An optician who informed us that one of my eyes wasn’t pulling its weight and placed a strange contraption he called glasses on my face to help me clearly see the words on the page. I think that probably helped too.

But, in my heartlessly self-centred seven-year-old’s mind, that moment was cemented as the important one for me. If Roald Dahl had never given us this book I might never have learnt to love reading and my life would have been so much less bright.

What book are you waiting for?

Any book with story and character. Get a good idea, write a gripping story around it and tell it with engaging and exciting characters. That’s the most important thing. Tell a good story with good characters and submit it to us. We’ll be in touch the moment we’ve finished jumping up and down and yelling ‘we’ve found it! We’ve found the one!’

You are stranded on a desert island. You can choose one luxury item to take with you, one celebrity guest to join you and you will be granted one wish (which you cannot use to wish yourself off the island). What and who do you pick?

My luxury item would be the shipwreck that they have at their disposal in The Swiss Family Robinson film so I can build that awesome tree house (water system, pipe organ, removable roof and all). I think I could survive happily anywhere if I had that tree house.

My celebrity guest of the moment would definitely be Jason Segel. I always liked him in How I Met Your Mother but then he made the latest Muppets movie happen and I fell in love. I’m sure we would be perfectly contented singing Rainbow Connection together in the tropical sunshine all day long.

And of course I’m wishing for magic powers because I strongly believe in the logic of wishing for more wishes. To be specific (as you always should be when it comes to wishing) I want those magic powers to include teleportation, telekinesis, invisibility, finding out knowledge that I don’t already know when I need to the know it (a sort of Google of the mind), the ability to fly and it would probably be useful to be able to make fire and light. Magic powers might also help me build that tree house.

Share your favourite quotation:

‘The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms’ Muriel Rukeyser

Categories
Meet the DA team Submissions

Welcome to the Darley Anderson Blog

Hello everyone,

We would like to officially welcome you to the Darley Anderson Blog!

Are you excited? We are. We’ve never had a blog before.

To begin with we thought it was only right that we properly introduce ourselves. Over the course of the next two weeks we will be doing just that in a feature we’re calling ‘Getting to Know Us’. Everyone on the Darley Anderson team will be answering five incredibly probing questions about themselves and we’ll be starting with Vicki Le Feuvre, our sparkling and brilliant Agency Editor. For any aspiring writers out there we would really like to speak to you in particular. We will be posting advice tailor-made for you, to help with your writing as well as familiarising you with the sometimes intimidating process of submitting your work to literary agents. We will also be using this blog to let you know exactly what submissions we are looking for and what books we most love to read.

Over the coming weeks we will be focusing on the often dreaded covering letter. It strikes us that writing a covering letter for a submission may well be one of the most challenging writing exercises known to man. If you are having any trouble or just want a few useful tips this is the place to come. We will be giving you weekly snippets of advice to help you get started filling that blank page with the right words to get us as excited about your work as you are.

Also be sure to keep a weather eye out for the exclusive giveaways we have planned for you very soon.

So that was our first blog entry. I hope you liked it.

But enough about us, what about you? Is there a question you would like to ask us? If there is, leave a comment or email a question to assistant@darleyanderson.com