Thursday, 14 May 2009

Quickfire Questions with...Becky Stradwick - Darley Anderson Children's Literary Agency




Becky Stradwick joined Darley Anderson Agency in November 2008. She is the Agent for Children’s Books. Most recently she was head of Children’s books at Borders UK and has worked in children’s books for 11 years.


Which 3 authors, dead or alive, would you invite to dinner?
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Roald Dahl and Michael Rosen.


Rowling or Pullman?
It would have to be Pullman. His Dark Materials books are among the most extraordinary ever published. But of course I have huge affection for Rowling’s books and everything they have done to boost the Children’s book market.


When I was a child I read…
Everything I could get my hands on, from cereal packets to children’s books to Readers Digest magazines. I loved old fashioned classics like Little Women and Anne of Green Gables but was also a big fan of my brother’s comics like 2000AD and Eagle.


Favourite desktop snack?
Pickled Onion monster munch. Two packets minimum…


Age-banding is…
An enormously complicated subject and one that invites wildly differing opinions! Personally, I believe that book shops, publishers and marketing departments should be responsible for guiding customers towards the right book for their reading level. Printing a specific age on the back of the book automatically limits readership and is too exclusive. We are supposed to be encouraging reading, not prescribing it.


If I wasn’t an agent I would be…
I always wanted to be a foreign correspondent, writing reports from burning buildings whilst missiles rained down around me.


Email or phone?
Email, definitely. It gives you more time to think about your answer.


My biggest tip for children’s writers is…
There are so many possible answers to that question. Just keep writing is probably the most obvious one. It takes time to develop your voice and so the best thing is just to keep practising and keep producing words. Sooner or later they will fit together in the way that you want them to.


My pet hate in a submission package is…
People who call immediately to follow up and make sure that their submission has arrived, and then keep on calling. We receive a huge amount of submissions so people chasing us just takes away time we might spend reading them. But we are also very conscientious about replying as soon as possible, so we will get back to you!


Favourite work outfit?
Pyjamas – not that I ever really wear them to work but it might be nice one day.


Daily Mail or The Times?
The Times, I can't stand the Mail.


You really must read…
The Borrible Trilogy by Michael de Larrabeiti. I read it when I was ten and the magic has never left me. It has the biggest beating heart of any book I have ever read and it deserves a mainstream audience, not the relatively cult one it currently has.

8 comments:

Samantha Tonge said...

Great answers, Becky, thanks - although not sure about the Monster Munch:)

I still chuckle/cringe at my first ever sub - to DA - about 4 years ago. I sent it by recorded delivery!

Hmm, I agree with your advice about writing and writing and writing to find your voice.

Fionnuala Kearney said...

Lovely instinctive and revealing answers Becky. The passion for what you do comes through - you don't fancy going into the adult market?!

I know now having completed one novel and almost completed the second, that the first one was a practise run to get me where I am today. Next year I'll probably admit that book two was the route required to get me to book three but I can't quite say that out loud yet!

Susie Nott-Bower said...

Thanks, Becky. :)
Susiex

CarolineG said...

Thanks for the post, Becky. I'm with you on both Monster Munch brilliance and Daily Mail hatred!

Gillian McDade said...

Great answers Becky. I too love Anne of Green Gables, and one of my most prized possessions is the dinky little box set I picked up in America!
I know I'm a little on my own here, but I am a...err....huge Daily Mail fan (*runs and hides*)

Geraldine Ryan said...

Michael Rosen is my absolute hero! Great answers, Becky. With you too on the Daily Mail but Monster Munch??? Hope you have a window open in your office!!!!

Gillian McDade said...

I must at this point defend Monster Munch! Especially the picked onion - legendary!

Nik Perring said...

Really enjoyed this. Thanks!