Welcome to the future – and a lovely new agent

December 1, 2008

Yes, it’s Monday – and I can finally reveal my exciting news. The Greenhouse is growing!
A press release went out today to both US and UK trade press, announcing that I’ve appointed Julia Churchill as a new Greenhouse agent, responsible for helping to grow our British stable of authors. Oh, and I’m leaving for the airport in half an hour to collect Julia, who’s spent Thanksgiving in Boston and is flying on to Washington to spend a day or two with me here in the hothouse. Much plotting, planning and bonding will ensue, as we talk about the future – and of course as she takes the final test: Does the Greenhouse Hound approve of her? Will she give him his requisite number of milkbones?

Julia is British and will be based in London. She’ll be out and about a good deal attending writers’ conferences and events, and generally sniffing out both new and established writers who would like to come and join us in the Greenhouse. I know you’ll want to know all about her, so I can tell you that she’s very nice (and funny), she is younger than me (not difficult), she loves working with authors, and she’s highly thought of within the British children’s books industry. Before joining Greenhouse she spent several years agenting for the Darley Anderson Agency in London where she developed quite a track record for finding new talent. Like me, she’ll be looking for that spark of potential and working with writers in an editorial way prior to submission. Julia has that small streak of craziness that I love (and with which I identify!); I knew she was the one for the job when it became clear she was prepared to leap on a plane from London and fly out to see me at twenty-four hours’ notice. Now that’s the kind of agent I like!

While I’ll continue to represent my existing American and British authors to both markets – and no doubt take on more British authors myself in the future – Julia’s appointment will enable me to focus even more on the US market, knowing that all bases are being covered in the UK. I’m out and about such a lot in the States myself now, and have so many opportunities coming my way, that this will make me even more sure that I’m not missing anything.

Given the Greenhouse only launched in late January 2008, I am really proud that we have a platform to grow in this way – and given the tough economic times in both countries. But with seven debut authors already with deals (and the beginnings of foreign sales too), it would have been silly not to have looked to grow at this stage. Do I have plans for world domination? Well, let’s just say that it’s my ambition for Greenhouse to be the agency of choice for children’s/teen authors on both sides of the Atlantic.

Lots of things to think about, lots of things to do. But first I’ll welcome Julia to the heart of the Greenhouse this afternoon and offer her a nice cup of tea. After all, she is a Brit!

Cheers, everyone – and here’s to the future.