Bookseeker Literary Agency

Introducing authors and publishers.


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.

tada

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

Since the agency announced a few days ago that our client Elizabeth Mostyn 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.


Publishing deal! Update.

Students-at-St-Andrews-Un-007The agency is very pleased to announce that it has secured a commercial publishing deal for its client Elizabeth Mostyn, in respect of her debut novel, Wisp. , set in and around St Andrews University in Scotland.

Over the next few weeks, Elizabeth will be working with the publisher’s editors, polishing the manuscript and getting it ready for publication. She has several more books in the pipeline, ranging from fiction to academic non-fiction, and the agency hopes to keep representing her literary efforts with equal success.

More news in due course. For now, well done Elizabeth!


“Yet here’s a postscript…”

… to the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

You never know who you’re going to bump into in Charlotte Sq. Here’s a back view of someone whose face you would know, if he turned round. He wasn’t appearing at the festival, but he’s obviously for some purpose, as he’s studying the map and getting his bearings. Do you recognise him? If you do, feel free to tweet to me @BookseekerAgent. I’ll give you a clue: he’s quite interesting, and he used to be a name to conjure with.

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2018-08-23 05 AD


Another Book Festival has come and gone…

I mean, of course, THE Book Festival – the Edinburgh International Book Festival. It officially shut up shop yesterday, but as usual I have been around and about for the past extended fortnight, chatting, snapping, reviewing, occasionally getting in the way. I’m not going to waste too many words here, I’m just going to post my usual mini montage. All photos © Paul Thompson unless otherwise noted.

It wouldn’t be Charlotte Square without a couple of shots of Prince Albert, so here’s one with a seagull…

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and one with a contrail. These show this year’s changeable weather in Edinburgh.

2018-08-15 06 contrail over CH Sq

2018-08-14 05 ranks of Rankin

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, seen here in the main signing tent, introduced us to two emerging poets…

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Keith Hutson and Mark Pajak.

2018-08-14 14 Hutson & Pajak

Two generations of the Mandela family joined us from South Africa.

2018-08-14 17 2 generations of Mandelas

The vin van:

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2018-08-14 03b Chris Close

 

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Chris 3

There’s always something going on, even if I’m not quite sure what…

2018-08-15 03 always something happening

Louis de Bernières was here again.
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Theatres

2018-08-18 01b June at the Book festival

“Smile please, Sir!” call the photographers
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Photo call for economist, broadcaster, and author Linda Yueh

2018-08-15 10 Linda Yueh

Happening to be in the right place at the right time, and with many thanks both to Festival Director Nick Barley and to the two storytellers, I was able to get some lovely exclusive photos of Maimouna Jallow and Mara Menzies!

2018-08-15 11b Jallow and Menzies

The Bookshop is always busy. I say the Bookshop, but there are at least three – four if you count the shelves in the main signing tent. Anyhow, this is a shot from inside the big one in Charlotte Sq.

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Science(ish)ists Rick Edwards and Michael Brooks
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Two shots of ‘Makar’ Jackie Kay, one at her photo call, the other in the signing tent when she spots Ali Smith and another friend in the queue. Jackie always brings brightness into the Festival.

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And here is Ali Smith, who was here helping to celebrate Muriel Spark’s centenary.

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A natural break for one of the Festival staff. What better than to read a book!

2018-08-21 15 Natural break

Alice Strang was here, promoting the fine book she edited on Scottish Modern Art in the first half of the Twentieth Century.

2018-08-15 12 Alice Strang

Another famous face – June Sarpong.

2018-08-15 13 June Sarpong

Brian Dillon appears pensive…

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Jim Broadbent and Dix, whose unusual graphic novel Dull Margaret (which Jim positions somewhere between Victoria Wood and Hammer Horror) was featured in the Baillie Gifford Theatre.

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And if you can blag a selfie with a National Treasure, why not!

2018-08-23 08 selfie time with JB

And as usual, there is always time for leisure at the Festival.

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All being well, I hope to be back there same time next year.

PT.

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‘Walk Proud’ – Skinhead manuscript is going out to publishers!

2019 will see the 50th anniversary of the year when the word ‘Skinhead’ hit the UK media. In time for that semicentennial, ‘The Firm’ – a group of people who were there when it all kicked off – converse with each other, and respond to questions. What was it really like in 1969?Skins2

Bookseeker Agency frontman Paul Thompson was invited to be the editor for the book, although it really was a collective effort. BBC Radio6 DJ Don Letts has promised a foreword in due course – you may have seen Paul on Don’s 2016 documentary The Story of Skinhead on BBC4, as he was there back in the day too!

Walk Proud tackles such issues as

Did Skinheads evolve from the Mods?

What was the link to the American ‘Ivy League’ style, and where did Skins get those button-down shirts and wing-tip brogues?

Was it all boots and braces and football?

Were there run-ins with Greasers, the Old Bill, and South Asians?

Drugs or booze?

What did Skinhead girls really wear?

Yell – the invention of the modern fanzine, or a mistake that never got off the ground?

Race and politics.

Was Skinhead essentially a London thing?

Slade or Desmond Dekker – what was the true ‘sound’ of Skinhead?

Skinheads and the media – “Do they mean us?”

They don’t always agree with each other, but their conversations bring out details which might otherwise have been lost to social history. That’s one of the main reasons why the book has been put together. The media, both reportage and drama, have been getting things wrong almost since day one, from Softly Softly Task Force to Inspector George Gently, and later copycat movements have turned the whole thing into a para-political travesty. So this book is a vital piece of that social history.

The book is now going out to publishers. But if you’re a non-fiction publisher and you’re reading this and you think you can market it, don’t wait for us to get in touch with you

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The artwork and images in this article are not necessarily from the book.


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

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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.

 


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.

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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.