Tag Archives: New Adult

16 days ’til Christmas: The Literary Agency Advent Calendar

Christmas boot

In the run up to Christmas, the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency will be posting an entry from one of our authors each day, offering anything from writing tips and their inspiration, to Christmas memories and their wishes for the year to come.


Radhika Sanghani

How to survive the festive season

1) Presents

There is nothing worse than spending a month’s rent on presents for close friends, family, Secret Santa at work and the nephews/nieces who already have better smartphones than you. In turn all you get is some expired bath salts and more scarves to add to your growing collection.

Boycotting presents makes you a Grinch, so how about taking a leaf out of the Three Wise Men’s books and going home-made? Once everyone’s seen the dried pasta photo-frames and decorated jam jars, they won’t be demanding gifts from you. And at least when they say “you really shouldn’t have”, you’ll know they really mean it.

2) Family fights

I am dreading the annual Christmas family fight. Last year’s was based around the lack of turkey (my vegetarian mum will only make a nut roast), the year before was because there wasn’t enough red cabbage, and the year before that I spilled my orange juice on the special-occasions-only White Company tablecloth.

This year the tablecloth has been resigned to everyday use, and I’ve decided we should get the fight out of the way as soon as possible. Which is why I will be spending Christmas Eve having a glorious family argument until the early hours. That way when we wake up on Christmas Day we will be too exhausted to say anything except ‘pass the brandy sauce please’.

3) Bad TV

Christmas Day = Aladdin, Madagascar 1 and 2, all the Harry Potters, all the Lord of the Rings and the festive Elf and Love Actually.

I have watched these films every Christmas for the past five years. But this year I am putting my foot down. Instead of re-watching the films I can recite in my sleep, I’ll be turning off the TV.

Don’t panic, I’m not trying to re-live number 2. I’ll just be turning it off so we can plug in the iPad. Nothing like a modern family Christmas.

4) The tree

If it’s real the pine needles will go everywhere. It doesn’t matter if you have wooden floors or carpets – those pines will root themselves in and stay there for weeks to come. No amount of vacuuming can ever get rid of them.

So I’ll be embracing a plastic tree. Not just one of those faux-pine ones either. If I’m going fake, I’ll go as tacky as possible. Think in-built flashing lights, fake snow and fiber-optic branches.

5) Mulled wine

Even after all these useful tips, there’s still only one way to really cope with Christmas: to be so merry you could rival Mr Claus himself. My chosen method of inebriation will be M&S mulled wine or mulled cider if I’m feeling fancy. (Top tip: the Tesco version is much cheaper, but not worth it)

When the vat, yes vat, has been emptied of its festive juices, there is always the brandy butter to finish off.

Radhika Sanghani‘s debut novel VIRGIN, a funny and daring novel that candidly explores its protagonist Ellie’s sexual journey, will be published by Mira Books UK and Penguin US in August 2014 . Translation rights have already been sold in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Norway, Poland, Brazil and Serbia.


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New York 2013

Flatiron building - home to publishers including Macmillan and Bloomsbury

Flatiron building – home to publishers including Macmillan and Bloomsbury

I spent last week in New York on business seeing over 50 editors from 11 major US publishing companies.  Each day tended to be ordered around two major publishers, with thirty minute back-to-back appointments at each.  Day 1 consisted of Little, Brown and HarperCollins; day 2: Simon & Schuster and Random House; day 3: Penguin and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; day 4: Bloomsbury, Macmillan’s imprints (all in my favourite building in NY, the Flatiron) and Egmont; day 5: Hyperion and Scholastic.

It felt wonderful cementing relationships and meeting new editors to work with as there has been so much movement over the last two years.  I am now busy following up my meetings and submitting new material by my clients to all the interested editors.

Further to the success of S.J. Watson’s BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP, psychological suspense is still working really well. Everyone I spoke to had read, or was reading, the cracking psychological suspense novel GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn. Even the children’s editors were discussing this book, reminding me of my last business trip in NY when the crime author Tana French was most talked about.  St Martin’s Press will be publishing Sophie McKenzie’s gripping first adult psychological suspense, CLOSE MY EYES, this summer, and I was very lucky to get a proof copy. Most of the editors were looking for new psychological suspense – even on the Young Adult side they were looking for this genre, particularly stories told by an unreliable narrator.

The other trend that was most talked about was New Adult, defined by an editor as realistic stories involving college age characters (with lots of sex), appealing to adult readers. It looks like popular sitcoms like GIRLS are now translating into books.

It was a super trip, and I’m already looking forward to my return.

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