Bookseeker Literary Agency

Introducing authors and publishers.


Your agent – “Visionary” and photographer!

Paul writes:
After an event at the Edinburgh Book Festival – a session on literary prizes – where I joined in the final Q&A session, the Administrator of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction made a point of coming over to shake my hand. She thanked me for such a “visionary” question. I must admit that I’m still basking in the rosy glow.

However, you writers do not really need a “visionary” for an agent, you need a grafter. The Book Festival is over, and there is plenty of work to do, so I have planted my feet firmly on the ground. But if you would like a flavour of the Festival before I finally close the door on it until next year, my little photo-album is here.

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Meetings, greetings, and web-sitings!

Constance Tonge

This week I had the great pleasure of meeting, once more, our client Constance  Tonge, whose novel Wisp is getting closer and closer to its date of publication. Constance is a prolific author, and is working on more novels, which the agency will take a look at. Be on the look-out for Wisp when it appears – it’s a corker!

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I also travelled in to Edinburgh to meet Luka Vukos, who directed the prizewinning short Lose like a Human, all about artificial intelligence. We had a long chat about  possible projects for the future. Edinburgh has been much on my mind lately, because I have to arrange visits to events at The Fringe and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. I have all that to look forward to, but Time’s winged chariot isn’t exactly hanging about!

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Meanwhile, Lyz Russo has just announced on her blog that P’kaboo publishers in the Republic of Ireland have a revamped web site. It has a look of the old one, but it has now been made phone-friendly. Again, it’s a case of “Watch this space,” because P’kaboo will be launching a series of books very soon – mainly fiction, but one very important work of non-fiction. At least I’d say it was. More news as and when it happens.

Paul

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Please note that the appearance of random advertisements on this web site is a feature of the platform, and should not be taken as an endorsement by this agency.

 


James Tait Black Prize shortlist announced.

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This year is the centenary of the UK’s oldest literary award – the James Tait Black Prize. I had the privilege to be one of the readers for this year’s prize, and it was gratifying to see that one of the books I read and reported on, Murmur by Will Eaves, has been placed on the shortlist of four titles from which the winning book for the fiction prize will be chosen. I have to admit I was very hard on the book in my report to the judges, but I’m glad that they were able to support it. I’m looking forward to attending the prizegiving at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.


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 + 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. 🙂


‘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.