Showing posts with label Roald Dahl. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Roald Dahl. Show all posts

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.

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.