Thursday, 11 June 2009

Quickfire Questions with... Julia Churchill - The Greenhouse Literary Agency



Julia Churchill joined the Greenhouse Literary Agency in January 2002, where she heads up the UK/Commonwealth side of the business. Previous to this she was an Associate Agent at the Darley Anderson Agency.



Which 3 authors, dead or alive, would you invite to dinner?
Alexandre Dumas because THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO is my favourite book. Roald Dahl because he's still got the best stories. And Cathy Cassidy because she's one of the nicest people I know and I love everything she writes. Also because if I'm meeting two dead heroes I'd really like a friend there to talk about it with afterwards.

When I was a child I read....
Everything that came my way.

Favourite desktop snack?
KitKats and Earl Grey tea. I dip.

When rejecting I...
Try to be quick and kind. Like a good waxer.

Independent bookshop or Amazon?
Bookshop. I like to browse.

Enid Blyton was...
A childhood favourite.

If I wasn't an agent I would be...
A chef.

Rowling or Pullman?
Rowling. I love every HP book.

Email or phone?
Email. So everyone has a record of what's what.

My biggest tip for children's writers is...
Read widely, inside and outside of your genre and age-group. And then forget everything you’ve read and write the book only you can write.

Daily Mail or The Times?
Neither. But I always get the weekend IHT.

Age-banding is....
Loaded! Personally I’m in favour. Anything that helps parents and children navigate a bookshop is a good thing. When I buy books with my nieces and nephews we judge by cover, by first page, by blurb at the back of the book. These are all signposts. And an age band is another signpost - something else to help with the decision. Having said that, it’s an emotive issue so I think it should be each author’s choice.

My pet hate in a submission package is...
Staples. If I get cut then the rejection letter will be signed in my own blood. Joke. But I really don't like staples and have been cut a few times. Also not very keen on tea bags.
The worst ever was a manuscript that looked like it had been lining a parrot's cage. And I'm not that keen on hair. At The Greenhouse we are digital so people can email their submissions. No more bird-poo and hair!

Favourite work outfit?
I always wear gold jewellery when I'm sending out a book. I have to have the gold in constant touch with my skin throughout the submission. Superstitious.

You really must read...
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.

7 comments:

Julie P said...

Thnk you Julia. Do people really send out manuscripts covered in bird poo and hair?! Puts hands to face in horror and disbelief! Julie.

Samantha Tonge said...

I'm glad agents are as superstitious as the rest of us:)

Great answers, Thanks Julia.

Geraldine Ryan said...

Lovely answers, Julia! I think some hopefuls lay a single hair between two pages, note the number of page, then check when the MS is returned, to see if the hair is still there - proof, if it is,that it hasn't been read. But I can find no valid reason for bird poo or tea bags!

CarolineG said...

Reminds me of the ladies on that Mary Portas programme about charity shops, who have to use special long-handled prongs to go inside the donated charity bags!
And yes, great to know that agents have superstitions too...

Roderic Vincent said...

Caroline, that's disgusting. I never realised that being an agent was such a hazardous job.

Great answers, Julia.

Susie Nott-Bower said...

Love your answers - thanks! I especially liked the 'having gold next to your skin' during the submission process. Think I'll try that one.

Fionnuala Kearney said...

What great answers (prompted of course by great questions Sam!)
Thank you Julia. Sounds like you had reason to demand danger money before email submissions...