Friday, 24 September 2010


Hello, hello! I've had a fairly exciting couple of weeks, which I've kept quiet about so far because everything has been in flux. But it looks like things have settled down again now (into a new and better pattern) so I'll spill.

Firstly, last Thursday I went down to London (a fairly long and gruelling trip for me, as I live in the distant misty North) and talked up Shadows on the Moon and the reissue of The Swan Kingdom at the Walker Books sales conference. An author only gets the chance to do this once very few years (last time for me was 2006) and it's important because it's your chance to try and generate 'buzz', to get the sales reps and marketing people and the company in general excited about your book so that they can go out to booksellers and places like the Bologna Book Fair and really sell you with conviction. I took special presents for everyone, talked about where I hope my work fits into the current YA market, and compared myself to Cassandra Clare and Suzanne Collins. No one ever accused me of thinking small.

However, while I was preparing for this trip to London something rather less fun happened, which was that I came to a parting of the ways with my former agent. It was sad, because we'd be working together since 2005, but I think it was inevitable. So the following Monday I was in London again, visiting one of my wish-list agents, who (unbelievably) was interested in representing my work. I had a couple of phone conversations with another wish-list agent who, again (unbelievably) turned out to be interested in me. I then faced a heart-rending decision over which one to chose.

In the past I have read the blogs or journals of authors who have taken care to arrange things so that they have three or four agent offers on the table before they make up their mind. I can only conclude that these writers have some sort of special Anti-Guilt Gene that I lack. I was in this amazing position of having two wonderful, top-notch agents waiting to hear from me, but instead of being excited or thrilled I felt terrible, because picking one meant rejecting the other. Eventually I made the decision,, I hope I never have to do this again.

Well, actually I'm SURE I won't, because my new agent is fabulous. She is Nancy Miles of the Miles Stott Childrens Literary Agency, who represents the UK interests of such authors as Cassandra Clare (see what I did there?), Holly Black and Libbra Bray, and UK authors Frances Hardinge, Dominic Barker and Cat Clarke. I'm so happy and relieved to feel that I'm in a really safe pair of hands, I could nearly melt.

Finally, I was intending to answer some reader emails on YouTube, but I've run out of time today and frankly I want a nap. So instead I'm posting a little teaser trailer I made for FrostFire, just to concentrate my own mind about it, which I thought you might all like.

How has everyone else's week been?


Anonymous said...

Hi Zoe,
I checked out Nancy Miles' website. I'm so happy for you!!!!
cool trailer, by the way; I can't wait for FrostFire to come out : )

Zoë Marriott said...

Thank you. I'm really happy for me too; I can hardly believe that Super Agent (as she will henceforth be called) is truly mine. I'm heading right into the Big Final Scenes of FrostFire this weekend, so cross your fingers it all goes well. If it does, then the book'll come out in July 2012, like it's supposed to.

batgirl said...

Very nice! You're really getting the hang of those trailers. I'll just buzz over to Youtube...

Zoë Marriott said...

Thank you - I know that's high praise coming from you, B.!

Liz said...

Hi Zoe!

I am so chuffed you came over to MFB to leave a comment. We so loved loved loved Daughter of the Flames. Also, I am so pleased you chose Nancy and she chose you. I briefly met her when I arranged the SCBWI Agent's Party. She is my dream agent, to be honest - I love her straightforwardness and she has this "way" about her which I like. So, one day I will be knocking on her door!

But, more than anything else, I personally am looking forward to reading more of your books. I love your writing style and how EASY you make things look.

Okay - enough gushing from me.

L x

Zoë Marriott said...

Hi Liz,

Well, I do read your blog quite often (I've got you bookmarked) but I'm a terminal lurker, so I hardly ever comment *anywhere*. I just couldn't resist when you started talking about Diana Wynne Jones, though!

I'm so glad you liked DofF. Swan Kingdom seems to be most people's favourite - it's nice when the ugly duckling gets some attention for once. I'm not sure how I make things look easy though (family and friends would fall about laughing if they heard that).

Everyone seems to love Nancy! I'm beyond ecstatic to have gotten her for my agent - I still can't quite believe it and I'm hoping it won't all turn out to be a mistake. You're one up on me, since I've not managed to arrange to meet her yet, but hopefully I will soon.

Thanks for visiting ZT, Liz. Stand by, because there might be an ARC of Shadows on the Moon for you in the new year...


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