I'm extremely pleased to announce that I am now represented by Jenny Savill of Andrew Nurnberg Associates. Regular readers of this blog will know that I've been working with Jenny for almost six months now, and I've had to do a lot of work on Back from the Dead to reach the sign-up point. It's a great relief to finally reveal her identity, because that she was becoming one of those characters who is often mentioned but never seen (something like Maris in Frasier) and Jenny really does exist because I've met her and everything!
Jenny's children's list comprises nine other authors, including 2008 Undiscovered Voices winners Sara Grant and Katie Dale, Helen Moss (writing the Superstar High series as Isabella Cass) and the wonderful Keren David. Oh, and now she has some bloke wot writes zombie fiction as well :-)
Jenny doesn't have a particularly high profile amongst unpublished writers - she isn't listed by name in the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook and if I mention her to another writer they will often nod blankly in a way that seems to say "Oh poor you. So Christopher Little still isn't taking your calls, then?" Mention Jenny to an editor, however, and their eyes light up like a child on Christmas Eve. And that, my friends, is what I'm talking about!
Some of my fellow authors have balked at the length of time Jenny has waited before signing me, as well as some of the complexities of our editorial process. It's true that I have been frustrated at times, but I think much of that stems from the insecurity that all unpublished writers feel in the face of a confusing and subjective industry. In actual fact, both Jenny and I have been working very hard towards selling the book during this unsigned period - me with writing and networking, her with editorial and preparing the ground for the submissions process. By working "at risk" in this way for so long, Jenny and I have become very familiar with each other's working methods and built up a huge amount of mutual trust. An agency agreement may seem like an amazing, unbreakable promise, but it can be severed in sixty days by either side. Trust is a whole lot stronger than that.