Bookseeker Literary Agency

Introducing authors and publishers.


Another author’s contract chased down!

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Shaun Harbour is a forty-three-year-old Scot, the only male in a household of wife, two children, and two cats, a poet and cartoonist, and a writer who wishes day jobs didn’t have to exist! As a tenor in the Scottish Police and Community Choir, he has performed for royalty, flash-mobbed at T In The Park, and sung on the streets of New York. As a contestant on TV’s The Chase, he says, he was destroyed by chaser Mark ‘The Beast’ Labbett. At least being there he got to meet ‘Graham’ from Doctor Who  (quizzmaster Bradley Walsh)!

Shaun has written and illustrated a story book for young children. It’s called The Robin and the Wish, and it is a bittersweet fable about loneliness and love. If you shed a tear at Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant, then you will at this too. It does have a happy ending…

We have just closed a commercial publishing deal for Shaun, and the publisher wants to hurry the book out in time for Christmas 2018. That’ll be some sprint, but really this is a children’s book for all seasons. We wish Shaun every success!

The Robin and the Wish image

This isn’t what the cover will look like, by the way – we just thought it would be nice to have one of Shaun’s illustrations here to remind you of the title. 🙂 

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‘Miura’ by the late Hector P Cortes to be published!

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We are delighted to announce that a contract has been signed, for a commercial publishing deal that allows an intriguing and exciting novel to be published. The author, Hector P Cortes, was a musician who had worked in Spain, Austria, France, Italy and the UK. He was honoured by the London College of Music in which he studied, being given an Honorary Fellowship for “distinguished services to the art of music”. He was invested a Knight of the Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (Templars) for the same reason, and rose to the rank of Knight Commander. He is mentioned in Baron’s Who’s Who; the 500 Great minds of Europe, and was an honorary member of the University of Malaga. He was a conductor, accompanist, soloist, recording artist, lecturer, and also Founder and Bandmaster of the Regimental Band of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment.

hpcc-300When Hector decided to retire as a musician and devote his time to writing, he settled in the quiet rural town of Westbury, in Wiltshire. His wife Johanna, a soprano who has sung all over Europe, and has been given rave reviews by the Press everywhere, also decided to retire along with him. His death was a great loss to his family, and to this agency.

Miura: A story of Spain  traces the life of two boys – one a doctor’s son the other a Gitano – from the aftermath of the Spanish Civil war until the death of the dictator Franco. Part romance, part adventure, part political, part historical, the novel depicts injustices of Spain during the dictatorship. The Gitano‘s story is a rags-to-riches one, as he becomes a famous bullfighter; his story is not a happy one, however. The doctor’s son becomes one of Spain’s top surgeons, and learns at first hand the dangers of being too close to the dictator. A riveting read, it is ideal for a general adult readership.

With many thanks to Hector’s widow, Johanna, and his daughter, Daniella, the reading public will at last gain access to this wonderful book!


Eloise Hellyer: An opportunity for publishers of musical books!

The agency is acting for longstanding violin teacher Eloise Hellyer‘s book aimed at teachers of musical instruments. The book, working title Inspired Teaching, is currently out at selected specialist publishers. However, if you’re a publisher, and you happen to be reading this, and you are interested, then please do get in touch and ask to hear more about the project.

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Eloise with her first pupil – her daughter – here aged 3.

Eloise is a violin teacher who lives and works in central Italy. Born in Chicago, she studied the violin privately with Edgar Muenzer, Hannah Armstrong and Ludwig Schmidt. She has a B.A. in Greek and Latin from Beloit College and did graduate work at Loyola University in Chicago which she interrupted when her first baby/student was born.

Eloise started teaching her own children when she moved with her family to a remote part of the Middle East where there were no music teachers. She took method courses whenever she could get to England. When the family returned to Italy, others asked her to teach their children, too. She started working on this project almost twenty years ago when a student’s father, film score composer Randall Meyers, strongly suggested she do it. Eloise is also a life coach, mentor and the author of the award winning Violin Teacher’s Blog.

“Teaching is a spiritual activity,” she says.

It certainly takes the dedication that declaration suggests, to avoid the pitfalls of teaching or learning an instrument. Asked why her book was necessary, Eloise said:

Musical instrument teachers have the most intense one-on-one and long term relationship with students, more than any other teacher in a child’s life. But are these teachers prepared for the task? Sadly, not really. Many are trained performers who teach out of financial necessity and may quickly find out that there’s a lot more to teaching than just giving information.

What is teaching, anyway? What are the principles behind it?  And, most importantly, how do you avoid ruining your students? 

The aim of this book is to save children from the didactic experimentation and inexpertise of young – and even older – music teachers, and save them years of confusion, by giving lots of practical advice.

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Eloise patiently guiding a young student.


Launches and relaunches in Ireland and South Africa

By now you’re all well aware that P’kaboo Publishers has relocated from South Africa to Ireland, and is gearing up for big things. Amongst them is a writing contest for children between the ages of 8 and 18. So if you’re a young person living in Ireland, or you know someone who is, then take note and watch this space… because we’re watching their web site, and as soon as the rules are published we’ll let you know.

We do already know that amongst the prizes will be getting a story published in a book, along with all the other winning stories. And there will be a wonderful launch party in Cobh, Co. Cork.

Meanwhile, Pkaboo has retained an associate back in South Africa. Professional editor Les Noble, whom many of our clients have used, has taken over marketing and promoting their books in their ‘old country’, added to which he has started his own imprint – Noblest Publications. As you can see from the handbill below, he has planned a series of events in the city of Durban, including one that re-introduces Carmen Capuano’s excellent novel Split Decision.

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Publishing successes and other news.

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Okay, we’ll allow ourselves that little bit of levity…

Since the agency announced a few days ago that our client Constance Tonge had signed a contract for a commercial publishing deal, things have started to move in a big way here. Let’s summarise what has been happening.

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Gamon

Firstly, publishing contracts have been signed by to other clients. Joshua Gamon’s The Brothers Thanatos was described by the publisher with the words “Wow, what a riveting story!” Well, we can attest to that – it’s an absolute blinder of a tale, and we can’t wait to see it published. Also Marie Marshall has signed a contract for her collection The Last-but-one Samurai and other stories. Marie’s publisher intends to relaunch her teen-vampire novel From My Cold, Undead Hand at the same time as the sequel KWIREBOY vs VAMPIRE is published, both with newly-designed covers. There’s also talk of a relaunch of her 2010 collection of poems, Naked in the Sea.

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Cortes

Contracts are currently being negotiated with the estate of the late Hector P. Cortes for his novel Miura, and with the collective known as ‘The Firm’ for its non-fiction book Walk Proud, to be published in 2019 to mark the 50thanniversary of the media ‘discovery’ of the Skinhead movement.

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Shand

Meanwhile we have a publisher looking at Michael Shand’s Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, a cracking thriller set in the mean streets of Edinburgh.

And lastly, the ‘Bookseeker’ of Bookseeker Agency himself, Paul Thompson, has achieved an MSc With Distinction in ‘Literature and Modernity’ from the University of Edinburgh, and will be looking for a PhD place in 2019.