The Dark Inside Us All: Rupert Wallis and Sally Gardner at the Edinburgh Festival

‘Both Rupert Wallis and Sally Gardner (author of Maggot Moon) have written novels with dark hearts. Rupert’s debut, The Dark Inside, and Sally’s latest, Tinder, are unsettling and ambiguous…These are subtle, challenging books.’

 rupert edinburgh

On Saturday Rupert Wallis and Sally Gardner spoke at the Edinburgh Festival about their latest novels, and about the darker, genre-bending aspects that they can explore when writing Young Adult fiction.  Both authors agreed that there are very few rules with YA fiction, so it gives them the freedom to address difficult, sometimes harrowing issues.

They also discussed the discrimination they’d felt at writing YA. Sally told the audience that someone had asked her whether he would enjoy her books: ‘I’m an adult so would I enjoy YA (or young adult) fiction?’  She responded ‘well, are you an OA? (an old adult?)’

Rupert very much enjoyed his first book festival and commented on how important it is for authors to do these events:

‘I was very lucky to be talking with Sally Gardner who took me under her wing and gave me a few tips before we went on stage – make the audience laugh!  The hour went very quickly and the questions were good from the audience.  I think they were interested in the fact that I discussed having given up reading when I was a teenage boy and why that was.  The whole experience was just great and I think it’s important to do these things because it’s a necessary part of being an author nowadays – you have to engage with your readers.’

Rupert Wallis  has been shortlisted for the Edinburgh first book award. To vote please visit:

Dark Inside Edinburgh

The Dark Inside by Rupert Wallis - paperback cover


MM Agency: News & Reviews

The Accident by C.L. Taylor sells over 100,000 copies

Sales figured for The Accident  (Avon) have reached a staggering ** 101,892 copies **  across ebook and print, since its publication in April.C.L. Taylor

Mel Sherratt’s total sales reaches ** 250,000 ** copies

This week Mel, bestselling author of Taunting the Dead and The Estate Series, also appeared on a Radio 4 feature discussing Arnold Bennett. You can listen to the episode here: Sherratt

Night School continues to top German and Israeli bestseller lists

C.J. Daugherty’s international bestselling YA series continues to dominate the bestseller lists abroad. Night School: Resistance has been in the top 20 in the German Spiegel Bestseller List for 4 weeks (rising as high as No. 2). Night School: Fracture remains at No. 1 in the Children’s list in Israel.

C.J. Daugherty

Stinky and Jinks children’s series by Dave Lowe sells 10,000 copies in the Netherlands

Stinky and Jinks

Striking cover jacket for The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting by Holly BourneThe Manifesto on How to Be Interesting

Radhika Sanghani article: Are more young people embracing virginity?

Radhika Sanghani, author of Virgin and journalist at The Telegraph, discusses whether young people are starting to embrace virginity:

Radhika Sanghani

Janet MacLeod Trotter article in The Journal

The article explores Janet’s influences for her latest novel, The Planter’s Bride, and how she used newly discovered family archive material including diaries and cine films. You can read the article here: MacLeod Trotter

Holly Bourne SOULMATES front cover promotion on The Telegraph


The Soulmates #Discover offer is featured on The Daily Telegraph front cover today! iBooks secured this coverage along with an inside ad too.

#soulmates #discover

#Discover HOLLY BOURNE with iBooks – TODAY ONLY! #Soulmates #Discover

#Discover #Soulmates

Soulmates has already reached No. 1 in the free charts!

#Discover #Soulmates#Discover #Soulmates

An epic, electrifying and extraordinary debut about falling in love

Holly Bourne’s debut novel,  Soulmates, is a love story with a twist – what if soulmates do exist… but finding them isn’t always a good thing. What if meeting your soulmate is earth-shattering…  literally?

Download SOULMATES for free at the iBookstore now

MM Agency: News and Reviews

C.J. Daugherty

C.J. Daugherty’s Night School series is a German bestseller

Night School Resistance (Book 4)  is in * * No. 1 * * on the Kindle charts in Germany

christi signing

C.J. recently went to the Oetinger offices in Germany to sign 400 copies of Night School Resistance

She will be returning to Germany tomorrow, for two signing and reading events:

Berlin - 17 May

Signing and reading at the Apple Store.

Details on the Night School Germany Facebook page

Hamburg – 19 May

Signing and reading at Starbucks.

Details on the Night School Germany Facebook page


Jemma Forte

Jemma Forte makes a TV appearance on this morning’s The Wright Stuff on Channel 5 on Wednesday 21st May from 9.15-11 am.

Jemma Forte on the Wright Show


C.L. Taylor

The Accident is No. 31 in this week’s Official UK Bestsellers chart

Last week it reached No. 33, as the week’s Chart Debutant

It is No. 6 overall in the Amazon Bestseller rank (UK Kindle Store)  with 105 five star reviews

No. 1 in ‘Mystery’ and ‘Murder’ (Kindle), and No. 1 in ‘Mystery’ (Books)



Victoria Fox

Exciting new cover for POWER GAMES

New advert for London buses

victoria fox bus


Radhika Sanghani

COSMO magazine have acquired the serial rights for VIRGIN

Book endorsement by comedian Joan Rivers

“Radhika Sanghani’s debut is one of the funniest things I’ve read in years…

VIRGIN is laugh out loud, share with a friend, nonstop entertainment. Even Bridget Jones’s Diary could take a page from this novel.”  Joan Rivers


Lara Williamson

A BOY CALLED HOPE selected for Bookbuzz

Bookbuzz is a reading programme from Booktrust, which supports schools to encourage reading for pleasure



Luana Lewis

Review from THE TIMES, South Africa

‘Lewis’s debut novel enthrals and captivates. She threads three storylines – not immediately apparently connected – to weave a compelling, involved, psychologically disturbing story […]The distinctions between reality and perception are cleverly blurred by the subjective eye of the protagonist until the truth is revealed.’  The Times, South Africa


Madeleine Milburn

Agent Madeleine Milburn attending The Dublin Writers’ Festival

Madeleine will participate in the ‘Date with an Agent’ event on Saturday 17th May. In association with The Inkwell Group and, the event offers budding writers the opportunity to participate in an all-day pitching event at Dublin Castle. After sifting entries from all over the world, 75 writers were selected for the chance to pitch their book to five literary agents. It’s a unique showcase for unsigned Irish talent.

For more information visit:




Wallis and Williamson shortlisted for prestigious Children’s Awards

The Dark Inside - Italian jacket                     A Boy Called Hope by Lara Williamson

A huge congratulations to agency authors Rupert Wallis and Lara Williamson on being shortlisted for two very exciting Children’s Awards:

Rupert Wallis

The Dark Inside (Simon & Schuster) by Rupert Wallis has been shortlisted for The Andersen Prize, the most prestigious literary award for children in Italy.  He’s been shortlisted with two other authors, Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner and Wonder by R.J. Palacio

The winner will be announced on May 24 in Genoa.


Lara Williamson

Lara Williamson’s A Boy Called Hope (Usborne Publishing) is shortlisted for the IBW Book Award, alongside Patrick Ness and Malorie Blackman

You can read more in the press release on the Bookseller:

IBW Award

MM Literary Agency: News & Reviews and Bologna Book Fair 2014

Bologna Children's Book FairBologna Book Fair 2014 : The Madeleine Milburn Agency is excited to attend the Bologna Children’s Book Fair from Monday 24th – Friday 28th March 2014. The Agency has over fifty meetings with international publishers, American editors and Film & TV scouts.  Milburn will be pitching the Agency’s budding list of children’s titles.


C.J. Daughertysalon_livre_paris_2014-2

C.J. Daugherty is heading to Paris for the Salon du Livre 2014 where she will be signing books for her fans and taking part in the most important conference of the fair talking to New York Times & USA Today bestseller of teen novels, Simone Elkeles, about romance for teens and YA.


C.L. Taylor b&wThe Accident by C.L. TaylorC.L. Taylor has been getting fabulous review coverage for her psychological suspense novel The Accident (HarperCollins) ahead of publication.  Cally is due to appear at The Lady’s Literary Lunch 2014 in April alongside bestselling authors Isabelle Wolff and Clare Campbell.


The Storm Tower Thief by Anne Cameron

Anne Cameron’s second installment of The Lightning Catcher series, The Storm Tower Thief (HarperCollins) has received an excellent US Kirkus review: ‘ Reprising the successful formula of The Lightning Catcher, Cameron again locates her engaging trio of best friends in the fantastical Perilous boarding school venue populated with a growing cast of bizarre characters and some truly horrific winter weather.’


Don't Stand So Close by Luana Lewis

Luana Lewis‘ debut Don’t Stand So Close (Transworld) has been called ‘a stunning debut psychological suspense thriller that will keep you firmly in its grip’ by The Sun


Karen Ross writing room

Karen Ross’s writing room is now up on Novelicious

Bloomsbury Publishing acquires ‘bestseller-in-the-making’

Caleb Krisp

The Madeleine Milburn Agency is delighted to announce the phenomenal international rights deals for a brand new children’s book, Caleb Krisp’s Anyone But Ivy Pocket, a darkly whimsical and wickedly funny tale of a twelve-year-old maid of no importance who finds herself at the very heart of a conspiracy involving mischief, ghosts and murder.

Harry Potter publisher, Bloomsbury, has acquired the UK & Commonwealth rights fighting off stiff competition from an inordinate number of other publishers. They will publish the first book in Spring 2015, with books two and three to follow at nine-month intervals.

In The Bookseller, Editorial Director Ellen Holgate, called it ‘a novel full of invention, wit and dysfunctional Victorian aristocrats. Most importantly, it features the best anti-heroine I’ve read about in a long time. Mr Krisp has created an extraordinary new voice and we can’t wait to unleash Ivy on the unsuspecting world.’

In the run up to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, the Madeleine Milburn Agency has also sold North American rights in a major auction to HarperCollins / Greenwillow Books.  The American editions will be published simultaneously with the UK editions.  This was closely followed by an overnight six-figure pre-empt for German rights, a ten-way auction in Brazil, best offers in Spain, and offers from Croatia, Israel, Hungary, Korea, Norway and Sweden, with other auctions underway.

Ivy’s monstrously unreliable narration and her wonderfully eccentric way of seeing the world tempers the darkness of this fairly grisly mystery-adventure, which shares a similar sensibility with the works of Lemony Snicket and Neil Gaiman.  The Agency is thrilled that the Ivy Pocket series will be published all over the world.

Globe map

An agent’s opinion on gendering children’s titles

Let Toys Be ToysFurther to the heated publishing debate about whether children’s books should be made gender neutral, as discussed in The Bookseller following the heated campaign Let Toys Be Toys, we express our support for a move to stop designating books as either for girls or boys.

At such a young and impressionable age, we shouldn’t be pushing children into unnecessary categories.

Gender is not a fact of life. Females aren’t born with an innate preference for horses, glitter and fairies. Nor do males have a congenital predisposition to playing with dragons and rockets. Yes, many parents may shop for gender specific titles. But as agents and editors, we are at the core of making these reading options available. Do we really want to reinforce what is “acceptable” to read? What makes a child a proper girl or a proper boy? Or do we want to inspire their imagination and encourage them to read anything and everything that they enjoy?

We must allow children to gravitate towards whatever books they want to read, without labeling it and thereby imposing unnecessary restrictions or taboos. There will be girls who read about sports cars, and boys who read about ponies – so make this mainstream, not closeted reading that can target bullying.

Books aren’t “gender specific”, but how they are marketed is. As an agent, I am always on the lookout for books that, regardless of the theme or the gender of the protagonist, appeal to a wide range of children. We are currently at auction in countries all over the world with the middle grade book, Anyone But Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp so, internationally speaking, ‘gender neutral’ books have far wider appeal. We’ve had great success with other gender neutral titles by our authors: C.J. Daugherty, Lara Williamson, Rupert Wallis, Holly Bourne and Dave Lowe.

Read the Bookseller article, “Children’s book trade: gendered titles ‘limiting’”, to see how other agents and publishers have responded to the debate on on gendering children’s titles.

A Boy Called Hope published for children of today

A Boy Called Hope by Lara Williamson

‘This book totally blew me away. I love it. It’s the best new voice I have read in ages’  Cathy Cassidy

A Boy Called Hope by Lara Williamson is published for children of today.  This special book is Usborne’s lead children’s title for 2014.  For a sneak preview, watch the mesmerizing trailer.

A Boy Called Hope, a joyous, heart-breaking and life-affirming story of one boy and his messy, muddled and madcap family.  Join TEAM HOPE on Usborne’s dedicated website to the story.  Usborne Publishing was recently awarded both Children’s Publisher of the Year and Independent Publisher of the Year at the 2014 IPG Independent Publishing Awards.

“Why did I write this story of HOPE?”  Lara talks about A Boy Called Hope in a rather magical video…“If you want to read a book that will take you on a roller-coaster of laughter and tears, A Boy Called Hope is the one for you.”usborne logo

MM Literary Agency: News and Reviews

Mel Sherratt Kindle No.1, 2 & 3 bestseller in Australia

Mel Sherratt takes the top three chart positions on the Australian Amazon Kindle bestseller list with The Estate SeriesTaunting the Dead is #9 and Watching Over You is #47. In its first week of publication Watching Over you was #1 in the Kindle Charts in both the UK and US.

Australian bestseller chart crime fiction.jpeg


Janet MacLeod Trotter discusses her inspiration from her grandparents’ long lost diaries and letters from India

Janet’s latest novel, The Planter’s Bride (Sequel to The Tea Planter’s Daughter), is partly inspired by the diaries that she discovered, which give rich details of her maternal grandparents’ lives in India in the 1920s and 30s. Granddad Bob worked for the India Forest Service and her intrepid Granny Sydney followed him out from Scotland to marry and live the itinerant life of a forester’s wife. In this wonderful picture Janet’s mother, Sheila, is seen being hoisted in a pram on poles, to carry her through the jungles and Himalayan pathways:

Janet MacLeod Trotter

Read more on Janet’s blog.


Rupert Wallis interview with the Western Morning News

The Dark Inside by Rupert Wallis

‘If I told you that Rupert Wallis’s debut novel was underpinned by big philosophical questions about God and love and trust, it would perhaps imply a somewhat weighty and challenging tone. But nothing could be further from the truth. 

Those deep universal themes do indeed inhabit the heart of The Dark Inside, but its pages burst with the vibrant spirit of a fragile, but brave, young hero, alongside a strong supporting cast of flawed, but brightly painted characters, and flying colours of adventure and suspense, all delivered in a sparsely compelling narrative style.’  Western Morning News

Read more of the interview


IF YOU’RE NOT THE ONE by Jemma Forte No. 16 in the UK Kindle charts

IF YOU'RE NOT THE ONE by Jemma ForteJemma Forte reached #16 in the Women’s Fiction Kindle charts this week. If You’re Not the One is currently under the promotional offer of 99p.