We were delighted to catch up with Diana Beaumont, literary agent at Rupert Heath Literary Agency this week for some quick fire Q and A:
1/Please give us a brief biog
I spent over eight years as senior commissioning editor (fiction and non-fiction) at Transworld where I published a number of bestselling authors. Before that I worked at Hodder & Stoughton and Thames & Hudson in the editorial departments. I started agenting in 2011 at Rupert Heath Literary Agency and was delighted to be chosen as one of the Bookseller magazine’s rising stars of 2012.
2/What are you working on at the moment?
Behind the Mask, a sexy memoir where women call the shots and a novel called Letters to a Lost Brother where a tragic chapter in Armenian history is the backdrop to a story about love, loss and a miraculous reunion.
3/What are you looking for this year?
I don’t always know until I see it but a strong psychological thriller with international potential would be nice. On the non-fiction side cookery/food, memoirs and lifestyle – projects with a fresh, exciting angle.
4/What top tip would you give to an unpublished author?
This is an exciting time when there are many routes to publication so don’t give up if the conventional route doesn’t work out for you in the first instance.
5/What do you look for in a submission letter?
It should be clear and concise – no longer than one page – which tells me what I need to know: what kind of book it is, a short biography of the author plus anything that will make the project marketable or noteworthy.
6/What is the biggest mistake authors make in submission letters?
Letter that are long and rambling plus trying people who try too hard to suck up to me! It has as the opposite effect.
7/What book would you have loved to have represented?
Quiet – The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking by Susan Cain. A ground-breaking book that received amazing reviews, hit the bestseller lists and was published cleverly in the UK by Penguin.
8/Finally, what authors would you invite round for tea and cake?
The indomitable Katharine Whitehorn, who is now in her eighties and a keen observer of the changing role of women, interviewed Holly Baxter and Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, co-founders of the funny feminist blog The Vagenda on Radio Four recently. They’re in their twenties. I wouldn’t mind continuing that conversation over tea and cakes washed down with some bubbly.
Diana Beaumont will be speaking at the Club on 26 March, if you’d like to buy a ticket for this event, click here.