Agents: they’re well scary, innit?! Nah! Total myth. They’re lovely. So lovely in fact, that one of them (ok, she’s mine) has agreed to let me interview her. I signed with the stupendously brilliant Julia Churchill in Sept 2011, when she picked up THE WEIGHT OF WATER, and have been inundating her with my writerly neuroses ever since. She’s truly a super agent – clever, honest, and caring – and also one of the funniest people I know. If you’ve written a great children’s book and want representation, send it to her first. Thanks!
Hi Julia, thanks so much for joining me for the One Interview. So tell me, what’s the one thing every aspiring author should know about lit agents?
When I pick up the phone to a new author and offer to represent, I’m as nervous and excited as they are.
And what’s the thing people believe about agents that you would say is wholly untrue?
That it’s all about who you know. The vast majority of my clients came through the slushpile as unsolicited submissions.
The slush pile… what’s the one thing you’d love to find in there today?
I keep an open mind. I’m usually blindsided by the next project that comes in.
And the one manuscript you’ve recently found in the slush that you adore?
I couldn’t possibly choose…
What’s the one thing people should remember NOT to say in their covering letter to an agent?
Clean driving license
Your work day… what’s the one physical thing you need in your life to be able to work well?
And an immaterial thing that makes being an agent easier?
A long term view of things
Ok, you’re on a desert island (probably not for the first time). You can bring one of each of these things.
One book: The Paying Guests. I’ve been meaning to read it for ages.
One album: Guns and Roses, Appetite for Destruction
One TV series: The Good Life
One luxury item: Truffles
One person: Ray Mears
Access to one website: lastminute.com
And finally, what do you enjoy about being an agent? Give us as many reasons as you like!
My clients. Helping make their careers grow.
Thanks so much for your time, Julia. I love you. No, really, I do. Wait… come back.
Julia is an agent with A.M. Heath.