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.

Favourite books 

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

Favourite film

This is so hard – I’m going with Amadeus because that script is exceptional writing as yet unsurpassed in my opinion.

Best sandwich

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.

 

 

 


Nelle Andrew is a literary agent at Peters Fraser and Dunlop (PFD), one of the longest-established literary and talent agencies in London. She was named a Bookseller Rising Star of 2016, and nominated for Literary Agent of the Year at The British Book Awards of 2018. Before joining PFD, she worked at Pan Macmillan, and now represents New York Times and Sunday Times bestsellers. She is interested in well-written, accessible literary fiction, clever suspense and crime, and wonderful storytelling that defies genre pigeon-holing. She has a BA Hons from Warwick University in English with Creative Writing and an MPhil from Trinity College Dublin in Creative Writing with Publishing. Before she was an agent, she was published as a fiction author, hence her particular empathy for debut authors who need the attention to detail and primary care so essential to establishing careers.
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