Literary agent Nelle Andrew takes our questionnaire.
What is a typical day for you?
Annoyingly I’d say there is no typical day. But it runs the gamut you’d expect for someone dealing with over 30 clients and various publications here and abroad. It involves mass coordination – so meetings with authors and editors about publication, chasing PR/Marketing and sales schedules, reading submissions and new drafts and sending edits, copious email requests, brainstorming ideas for authors on their next move and going through contracts, fees and payments – to name but a few.
What are you looking for/not looking for in submissions?
I was thinking about this recently – I am looking for an act of persuasion. That is what good writing is – a persuasion that this is real, could happen, that this is how people would react and what is more that you would care.
What are you most excited about in the next 12 months?
I have some big news coming up for one of my authors which I cannot say but will be revealed soon. I am super excited for some amazing publications for my authors which really are exceptional books and I cannot wait for them to come out. I am also extremely excited about the next Lucy Cavendish Prize.
What was your favourite subject at school and why?
It was English -sorry to disappoint but I also think History was a close second. Essentially I love stories about people and why they do the things they do – what it says about who we are as a species and what we hope to be. In another life I would probably be a psychiatrist.
What surprises you about your job that you didn’t expect?
The bipolar nature of it and how much emotional resilience you need.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
The Song of Achilles by Madeleine Miller
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
This is so hard – I’m going with Amadeus because that script is exceptional writing as yet unsurpassed in my opinion.
Let me get real here – lightly toasted sourdough bread, salty butter with roast chicken (dark meat only), crisp lettuce and shit loads of mayonnaise.
Coffee or tea
I’m going to tell a secret here which is that I drink cocoa every day and have done my whole life. It’s specifically Green and Blacks hot chocolate.
Which author, living or dead, would you like to write your biography
Toni Morrison – because she gets it and always has.