All posts tagged: BAME

The Literary Gatekeepers

Literary agents play a huge role in shaping what we see in bookstores. Huge. Take a short walk with me and I’ll illustrate. Let’s say you’re asleep one night when you’re woken by a voice calling your name from the darkness. After some investigation, it turns out that the voice belongs to God. I know. Plot twist. It’s the great I AM speed dialling you from Heaven and He orders you to sit down at your computer and start typing. Several days and hundreds of pages later you finally finish and you’re shocked to discover that you’ve been inspired to produce The Bible: The Lost Testament. What do you do next? Well, you’re gonna want to whisk that beauty into the hands of a publisher ASAP because it’ll be the most coveted thing since Harper Lee decided she had a little more to say about mockingbirds. If you approached any of the Big Five (Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster) via their fifty million subsidiary imprints, despite holding (literally) God’s Word, they’d …

Can you name 5 BAME tween boy books?

My nephew is 11 and obsessed with Derek Landy’s Skulduggery series. They’re a set of fantasy books about a skeleton detective and are as madcap as they sound. Every time I pop round he has his head stuck in a new book in the sequence. Either Landy has a factory churning these books out or he’s extremely prolific. I keep artfully suggesting to my nephew that maybe he might consider expanding his reading diet a little, throwing in the occasional non-Skulduggery to stretch himself. (A recent study suggests UK teens are not reading enough challenging books). He politely ignores me. Now with his sisters, I’d advance to Phase Two. I’d drop off a couple of books on every visit until one of them piqued their interest. The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas) was a big hit, as was Oh My Gods (Alexandra Sheppard) and Everything Everything (Nicola Yoon). Cinder (Marissa Meyer) alas, got a lukewarm reception. Thankfully, when you’re looking for teen fiction with a young female lead, you’re spoilt for choice. I can keep …