Bookseeker Literary Agency

Introducing authors and publishers.


“Reading ‘Split Decision’ is the best decision you can make.”

Jack Woodward 200

Jack Woodward

Recently broadcaster Jack Woodward came across a copy of Carmen Capuano‘s novel Split Decision. Here’s what he had to say about it.

I thought this was a compelling and enthralling read, from beginning to end. We’ve all had ‘sliding doors’ moments in our lives ( though not many with quite such dramatic consequences I hope! ), and the two parallel stories were superbly and sensitively told.

 Lots of surprises, twists and turns along the way and excellent use of language to convey the emotions, also covering a range of issues, from friendship to family, loyalty to jealousy.

 For the whole book to be based on a time period of less than 24 hours was a challenge but it worked well, written in such an intelligent way that flitting between the two narratives is in no way confusing for the reader, it actually helps build the suspense.

splitI’m one of those people who likes to read a couple of chapters a night but I just couldn’t put this one down and had to keep going right through to the nail biting finale. Riveting and remarkable, this author really knows how to get you right on the edge of your seat.

 In fact, reading Split Decision is the best decision you can make.

 

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‘Lose Like A Human’ premiers at the University of Edinburgh.

Lose Like A Human had a modest premier yesterday at the University of Edinburgh, before a small invited audience. Pictured below are director Luka Vukos and writer Fergus Doyle. We’re excited to hear that this short movie has been entered for several festivals.

copy for blog


Introducing Michael Shand

Michael Shand 300Michael Shand is a Scottish playwright and author. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife Sara, his son Charlie, and a couple of crazy cats. And we are pleased to welcome him to the circle of authors represented by this agency.

Between 2006 and 2015 Michael completed thirty plays, many of which were produced in festivals throughout Scotland by That’s Lunch Productions. His forte and preferred medium of expression is Scottish vernacular, and he says that his works “tend to highlight the wickedness of human nature and mankind’s inherent instinct for survival.” Several of his plays have been shortlisted for awards and in competitions, and his one-man piece Depravity won an Arts Trust for Scotland Award.

His new novel, Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, which the agency will be presenting to publishers later this year, tells of what happens when someone drops a bag full of money on top of three unsuspecting homeless people, sheltering from the rain under a bridge in 1990s Edinburgh. Kidnap, violence, murder, and betrayal happen, in a helter-skelter of action.

Readers of John Banville will recognise the novel’s introspection, and those of Irvine Welsh the barbarity and humour. It rubs shoulders with the works of Ian Banks and Kate Atkinson, and readers of either would enjoy it.

Watch this space for more news about Let Sleeping Dogs Lie. Publishers who would like to get in touch in advance of our official promotion – and get in first! – please feel free to do so.


News in the New Year

Time for some news. This time of year is very often the doldrums for literary agency work and publishing in general, so it’s good to have snippets coming in.

Our client Marie Marshall always has several irons in the fire. Mainly she’s a poet and a poetry editor. Every four months she produces an e-zine called the zen space, which features haiku and other short forms of poetry. The Winter 2018 Showcase there has just been published, and is full of wordsmithery from all over the world.

The artwork for this particular Showcase has been provided by Canadian artist Millie Ho. You will remember that Millie did the cover artwork for Marie’s novels The Everywhen Angels and From My Cold Undead Hand. A click on the image below – a detail from one of Millie’s illustrations – will take you to the latest Showcase at the zen space.
Bunnyman

The previous update here gave news of the short movie Lose Like A Human, created by Luka Vukos and Fergus Doyle. Borrowfox – an innovative rental platform, stocked with state-of-the-art camera and film equipment from leading rental companies and private users, from which borrowers can use the best equipment for the lowest prices, while lenders can make money from unused kit – interviewed Luka and Fergus for their blog. The interview makes interesting reading, taking these two creators through the stages of making a movie on a shoestring. Click here to read it.

Borrowfox pic 2

Luka Vukos (right) on the set.

Our client Carmen Capuano is racking up five star reviews from readers for her novel Split Decision. Here’s one of the most recent:

Split Decision, essentially a coming-of-age novel, is both brilliant and brutal – brilliant in its execution and brutal in the sensitive subject matter it explores. The decision Natalie makes impacts on many and she is not the same person at the end of the story as she is at the beginning… It is the second book that I have read by the author Carmen Capuano, the first being Ascension, a dystopian thriller. Although the subject matter is completerly different, I found the story just as engaging and thought- provoking.

The plot begins in a shoe shop where best friends, teenagers Natalie and Stacey are shopping. The new pair of shoes which Natalie purchases – in a style which is way out of character for the sensible teenager, can be viewed as a metaphor for both her step into adulthood and what subsequently occurs. Natalie is soon called upon to make a split second choice and her decision heralds a chain of unexpected and shocking events.

The author does an excellent job of depicting the trials and tribulations of the teenage years and how they effect existing and new relationships: a time of burgeoning sexuality, when we strive to forge our own identity, sometimes putting us in conflict with our families who find it difficult to come to terms with their offspring entering adulthood. The balance between protecting their children whilst allowing them the freedom to grow is often a difficult one and I felt that the author touched on this in a sensitive fashion. I certainly identified with Stacey and Natalie from memories of my own teenage years and recognised how easily events could take the path they did.

The characters, the young people and the adults, were all very believable and the author is to be congratulated on using the events to illustrate their personal growth and changing family dynamics. The plot is cleverly and expertly written and certainly had me guessing and questioning my own preconceptions and prejudices. All in all a super read…

 Split

A belated Happy New Year to everyone – writers, readers, publishers, film-makers, colleagues, and friends – from Bookseeker Literary Agency.


Losing at chess, winning at film.

2017-11-30 03 Lose Like A Human

Paul has recently spent some time on the set of Lose Like a Human, a short film made by Neon Eye Productions in Edinburgh, some of the cast and crew of which are pictured above. It is the debut film from director Luka Vukosavljevic (right). The film stars Sarah Meikle and Jamie Begg as the Chess Players, and Cara Lynch (centre) as the Singer. Paul was given a non-speaking part as the ‘Match Man’. The film has a number of surreal touches, but its serious core is the contemplation of Artificial Intelligence.

Luka and Paul have been discussing Luka’s other possible projects, which include scripting and directing a film set in Yugoslavia in WW2, and taking over the script-writing for the screen adaptation of Marie Marshall’s short story Axe. We’re looking forward to the release of Lose Like a Human – wrap came on 30th November, and we’re told that the footage looks good.


Difficult poetry and the Russian Revolution.

Some interesting reading on various blogs recently. Our client Marie Marshall had a little to say about difficult poetry, after which her colleague Daniel Paul Marshall – I’m assured that they’re not related – took the subject a little further. Any of you who are interested in poetics might find the discussion sets you thinking.

sosoAlso Marie recently blogged her short story set a few years before the Russian Revolution, the centenary of which is this year. Who is the mysterious ‘Soso’? Would we recognise in him one of the famous persons of the twentieth century?

By the way, if you have not read Marie’s poetry collection, I am not a fish, I am told that copies are still available from Oversteps Books. The collection was nominated for the 2013 T.S. Eliot Prize, which gives you some idea of how good it is!


Edinburgh International Book Festival 2017

Paul writes:

The Edinburgh International Book Festival is in its last few days. I have spent a great deal of time there this year, but instead of writing about it, I’ve decided to compile a kind of photo-essay of the people and views I came across. Enjoy.

11 a damp day

My first day in Charlotte Square Gardens this year started damp, so here’s a monochrome study to start you off.

6 Sunil Khilnani

Professor Sunil Khilnani, writer and academic.

8 Jackie Kay

Jackie Kay, Scotland’s ‘Makar’ (our Poet Laureate).

12 Jackie Kay

Jackie is a charming person who interacts with genuine friendliness with her readers.

1 chris close

Every year, photographer Chris Close makes portraits of visiting authors and speakers, stringing the results up around the Festival’s walkways. There’s a small sample below.

2 Chris close3 chris close

4 chris close

Left to right. Top: Ade Edmondson, Liu Zhenyun, Greg James & Chris Smith. Centre: Simon Armitage, Ehsan Abdollahil, Mariana Enriquez. Bottom: The Last Poets, Paul Auster, Andy Hamilton.

7 Magnus Mills

Magnus Mills

10 Nick Barley, Misha Hoekstra, Daniel Hahn

Festival Director Nick Barley with Misha Hoekstra and Daniel Hahn – members of the panel for ‘The Power of Translation’.

28 Children's bookshop

5 filming

Braving the video camera.

13 Penny Pepper

Penny Pepper. I love the control knob on her wheelchair!

9 flashpack

Sometimes a shot of the professional photographers is too good to miss…

14 Paul Auster photocall

… here they are, capturing American literary giant Paul Auster.

16 Hanif Kureishi

Hanif Kureishi in conversation with a reader.

15 Sir Charlie Stinky Socks

Sir Charlie Stinky Socks proudly showing his author’s pass.

17 Laura Hughes and Pip Jones

Laura Hughes and Pip Jones.

20 Leon Morocco

Leon Morocco.

18 Gin tent

The Edinburgh Gin Tent, just outside the main book-signing venue, is many people’s favourite place to relax and chat about Festival stuff.

21 Josie Billington & Rick Rylance

Academics Josie Billington and Rick Rylance, who were at the festival to talk about ‘Is Literature Healthy?’ and ‘Literature and the Public Good’.

22 John Banville

John Banville.

19 gimme 5

“Gimme Five!”

25 Karl Ove Knausgaard

Karl Ove Knausgaard.

26 Bookshop

The profits from the bookshops here at the Festival all go back into Festival funds.

29 Robert Muchamore

Author Robert Muchamore drew a large crowd of secondary school students to his book-signing.

23 photographer

I’m not the only person who goes around getting ‘atmosphere shots’ in Charlotte Square Gardens.

31 Doug Johnstone

An animated Doug Johnstone.

27 who are we now

“Who are we now?”

32 Alex Scheffler

Alex Scheffler.

30 Richard English

Professor Richard English, who spoke about the controversial issues raised by his new book ‘Does Terrorism Work?’

24 shadows lengthen

Late afternoon, and shadows begin to lengthen in Charlotte Square.

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The copyright of the images on this page rests with the photographers; no reproduction may be made without written permission.