- Author list to be updated shortly
Born and raised in Belgium, on a diet of frites and Tintin, I moved to England in my late teens with my family, and then stayed in London to do a History degree and Masters at University College London. Having been brought up bilingual, speaking French and Dutch, then picking up German and obviously English later on, translation rights seemed like a very logical next step. My first job in publishing was just down the road at Bloomsbury Publishing on Bedford Square, where I started as an intern and left as Rights Executive. I later hopped across the square to work at Ed Victor ltd. where I was lucky enough to learn from one of the most renowned and experienced literary agents in the world, handling huge celebrity titles alongside Booker-prize winning authors.
I then became a Rights Agent at the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency, where I sold foreign rights to the entire world alongside building my own list of authors, something I am very excited to be continuing to do at Hardman & Swainson. I have hugely enjoyed this other side of publishing, and working from authors right from the book’s conception, while also experiencing the thrill of selling my own authors’ works in the UK and US as well as in translation to publishers across the globe. I think it’s the perfect job!
A voracious reader since I excitedly ran into a bookcase and split open my forehead aged 6, I am happy to cut my teeth on genres across the board and love nothing more than keeping my reading and my authors an exciting and wide-ranging mix of styles and readerships. I can be reading a humorous boysy middle grade book one minute, a memoir the next, followed by a dystopian YA book and ending with a Booker prize winner.
Within these varied spheres, what is needed to grip me is an original concept or hook, polished and pacey writing, captivating worlds and always a strong kick-ass protagonist, be they fictionalised or real. I want original, distinct and memorable voices, books that make you feel (tie you heart in a million knots or smash it into a million pieces), laugh until you have a stitch, or stay with you and make you ponder for weeks. I want non-fiction books to teach me, without making me feel ignorant, I want to travel to all corners of the world, hear amazing life stories, or be given the impulse to pick up my running shoes, jump on my bike, or cook up the most fragrant of dishes to share with friends and family.
I am wide open to submissions, and here are some of my recent favourites:
MG: Wonder by R.J. Palacio, Being Billy by Phil Earle, The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine, Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell, The Imaginary by AF Harrold, Witch Wars by Sibéal Pounder
YA: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, Monsters by Emerald Fennell, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, Rebel of the Sands by Melinda Salibsury, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski, The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith, These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman
Fiction: All and any Margaret Atwood, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, Stoner by John Williams, Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel, The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien, Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 Years Old by Hendrik Groen.
Non-Fiction: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, Do No Harm by Henry Marsh, The Lady in Gold by Anne-Marie O’Connor, Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace, The Racer by David Millar, The Man who mistook his Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks, H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald.