As shoes to Imelda Marcos, so books to me. I love to read them; I love to hoard them; I love the feel of them. I work in my main areas of interest—women’s fiction and children’s books. I only take on a small number of new clients but when I do I become a passionate advocate for their work. My tastes are catholic and commercial. Nothing excites me more than the whiff of a bestseller.
In children’s books, I am interested in writing for all age ranges, from picture book texts for the very young, fiction for the middle years, and full length novels for teenagers. Plotting, storytelling, humour, exciting worlds and contemporary life are all the things that excite me. In adult books, I particularly look for richness of storytelling.
The life of a literary agent is full of pleasures and excitements and one highlight for me was being shortlisted for the prestigious Literary Agent of the Year Award.
I work as an agent with a particular interest in illustrators and picture books. One of my earliest memories is reading Lauren Child’s Clarice Bean – I adored seeing Clarice Bean tucked up in the airing cupboard amongst the knickers and socks whilst reading her comics and escaping her wonderfully eccentric family. Little did I know that one day I would have the enormous pleasure and privilege of working in the world of children’s book writing and illustration. Narrative in both text and illustration have always been important to me. My degree was in Classics and I love the great stories of Virgil and Homer and to me there’s no better example of narrative than the ancients – packed with suspense, jammed with emotion and all within the perfect structure. It’s these sort of qualities I look for in both illustrations and texts – so not much to live up to then…
I relish the opportunity to champion the work of illustrators and authors alike – and to fight for their space on the bestselling shelves.