Thursday, 26 November 2009

Quickfire Questions with... Suzy Jenvey


Once Suzy Jenvey left school she embarked on a freelance journalistic and writing career which included local radio and newspaper experience, and several published poems and a play performed at the Cockpit Theatre. Her publishing career began as press officer at Jonathan Cape, which progressed to marketing director at Chatto and Windus and at Macdonald Publishers. She then moved into editorial as senior commissioning editor at Simon and Schuster and editorial and publishing director at Faber and Faber and Quercus Books. She became an agent in 2007 at PFD Ltd heading up the children’s book department.



The author I wish we’d ‘discovered’ most is….
ANDY STANTON

Left on a cliffhanger or told all?
Told all. Cliffhanger is just teasing.

You really must read…
The Moth Diaries by Rachel Klein. Great for teenagers, great for adults.

My biggest tip for a writer is…
Keep writing. You never know which story or character is going to take off. And a rejection one year is an immediate offer the next.

An author should never…
Copy other stories or styles

My pet hate in a submission package is…
Feedback from the author’s children saying they loved it. It would be unusual for your own child to be an impartial literary critic.

Favourite desktop snack
I’m on the LighterLife diet at the moment, so no snacks; just cheerless food packs.

Best thing about my job is…
The stories

Email or phone?
Email. Always.

The hardest part of my job is…
Rejections of good books

The most common mistake I see is…
Lack of plot. Sometimes people forget that writing is about telling a story.

If I didn’t work in the literary business I would be a…
Riding instructor, or airline pilot.

The perfect book deal is…
In writing. Editors who wax lyrical over a mss, leaving you and the author in hopes of a big offer, can leave you high and dry when their commissioning team don’t agree with them. So the only offers worth getting excited about are the ones that arrive in writing, with all the figures in place

I get most excited by…
Book deals in writing

9 comments:

Samantha Tonge said...

Interesting answers, Suzy, and good advice about plot - I didn't give that the priority i should have done for my first couple of books.

Oh dear. Lighterlife - we don't normally approve guests on here unless they consume vast amounts of chocolate:)_

Helen Black said...

Fantastic - you sound just like my agent.
When we're in meetings and I'm totally falling for all the praise, lapping it up, he will rap gently on the table and say 'let's talk numbers'.
HB x

CarolineG said...

Thanks very much for this, Suzy. I especially like the advice about keeping going and how this year's rejection can turn into next year's offer...

And I'm with you on preferring email to the phone!

Susie Nott-Bower said...

Ditto Csroline. Thanks, Suzy.
Susiex

Gillian McDade said...

Rejecting a good book would break my heart too!! Thanks for sharing with us, Suzy.

Ashley Howland said...

Love the advice to keep going. I have soem friends who have had a few books published and they still get rejections. It's hard to keep going, but it is always the best advice.

Fionnuala Kearney said...

I used to be in property and the only deal I ever enjoyed were the ones where the ink was dry.
Seems to follow me everywhere I go!
Thanks for your time on here Suzy.

robin of foxlair said...

yeah right

robin of foxlair said...

yeah right