Bookseeker Literary Agency

Introducing authors and publishers.


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 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.


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 Constance Tonge, in respect of her debut novel, Wisp. , set in and around St Andrews University in Scotland.

Over the next few weeks, Constance 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 Constance!


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.


P’kaboo Publishers – an update

pkabooMany of you will know that this agency has had a long-standing relationship with P’kaboo Publishers in South Africa. You may also have noticed that we removed all links from this web site to P’kaboo and to its sister publishing house Honeymead, shortly after the death of Iain Rossouw, along with some details of our relationship. The two main reasons behind these actions were firstly that the links to their web sites did not appear to be currently active and led nowhere except to an error notification, and secondly we were not sure what decisions were going to be made about the future of both houses.

Rather than intrude into what is still a very traumatic period for the Rossouw family, we decided to wait for a word from them. Recently Iain’s widow Lyz, who was the senior partner in P’kaboo, posted some news on her personal blog, to the following effect:

The web site is down, in fact, since January of this year, due to a server inconsistency and a subsequent dispute that remains unresolved. Other pressures mean that the dispute is not currently being taken any further, and indeed when I contacted Lyz privately we discussed the possibility of her looking for a different platform to host the house’s web site.

P’kaboo is currently ‘on hold’ as a publishing house. All P’kaboo’s current titles are still available through third parties however, notably Amazon, and the intention is to relaunch the publishing house as soon as the way becomes clear.

We wish Lyz and her family all the best, and look forward to seeing a revitalised P’kaboo in due course.


Edinburgh International Book Festival

1.1I have just spent a long fortnight in and out of the International Book Festival in Charlotte Square, Edinburgh. this has become an annual thing for me, and I have a whale of a time even though I’m actually engaged in hard work. while I’m there I’m writing, tweeting, talking, taking photos, so when I get back I don’t really want to write any more. So here’s an essay in photographs rather than words, about the scenes and faces at this year’s festival.

The photos were taken on a bog-standard Nikon D50 or an iPad.

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2.2 Graham Swift

Graham Swift

2.4 Ian Goldin

Ian Goldin

2.1 Ali Smith

Ali Smith

1.2 a wave of beards

A wave of beards swept through Charlotte Square. I think that’s author Philip Ardagh on the right.

2.2 Iain Macwhirter

Iain Macwhirter

Chris Close’s excellent photo-portraits of visiting writers etc. were on display again this year. The exhibition was better than ever – here are just a few faces, including Alexander McCall Smith, Gavin Francis, Joan Bakewell, Wilko Johnson, Ruby Wax, and Attila the Stockbroker. Thanks for letting me use these, Chris.

4.1 Alexander McCall Smith & Gavin Francis

4.2 Joan Bakewell & Wilko Johnson

4.3 Ruby Wax & Attila the Stockbroker

And back to my own pics…

1.4 Book Shop

1.5 posing

2.10 Michael Scott

Michael Scott

2.5 Thomas Clark

Thomas Clark

2.9 Zaffar Kunial

Zaffar Kunial

1.10 relaxation

Relaxation…

1.6 photo bunch

Photo call

2.11 Jackie Kay

Scots ‘Makar’ Jackie Kay

2.13 Roy Hattersley

Roy Hattersley

1.8 staff

2.3 Louis de Bernieres

Louis de Bernières

2.7 Gordon Brown

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown

2.8 Richard & Daniel Susskind

Richard Susskind & Daniel Susskind. In the background is journalist Lee Randall, who chaired their event.

2.12 Carol Ann Duffy

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy

2.6 Roger Mason

Roger Mason

1.9

1.7 Cloud

Late in the day we heard that actor Gene Wilder had left our world of pure imagination, maybe to watch from this cloud.