Latest JJLA news

Trapeze signs two more books from ebook bestseller David M Barnett

Sam Eades, Editorial Director at Orion, has acquired World Rights (All Languages) for two more novels by David M Barnett in a deal struck by the John Jarrold Literary Agency. David’s first novel for the imprint Calling Major Tom has sold in 10 territories around the world and has been optioned for film by Vision3.


The first book in the deal Who Do You Think You Are? follows elderly churchwarden Arthur Calderbank as he tries to solve the mystery of who leaves flowers on his wife’s grave every year. Set against the backdrop of the 1990s with Britpop, the Spice Girls and Cool Britannia, he receives unlikely help from a group of teenage misfits who are each desperate to defy their teachers’ low expectations and leave their small town. Who Do You Think You Are? is a funny, heartfelt and ultimately uplifting novel about the loneliness of life and the power of a little kindness.


David Barnett, author said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted to be working with Sam Eades and all the team at Trapeze again, and over the moon that they’re going to help me bring not one but two new novels to the readers who so enjoyed my previous books. All at Orion have been hugely supportive of my work and it’s great to be working with those so enthusiastic about getting these new stories out there.’
Sam Eades, editor said: ‘David has been a member of Team Trapeze since launch and occupies a very special place on the list. He a large and passionate fanbase inhouse, who are committed to growing his readership both here and around the world. His writing is reminiscent of the late Sue Townsend – funny, wise and with affection and kindness for his characters and their lives.’


Krystyna Kujawinska, rights said: ‘I was thrilled to hear we’d signed another contract with David.  My rights colleagues and I love his books!  They are a joy to pitch and work on, with their meaningful themes, intriguing and loveable characters and pitch perfect dialogue.  We can’t wait for Who Do You Think You Are? to be delivered!’


John Jarrold, agent said: ‘Since our initial deal was concluded early in 2016, I have been extremely impressed by the thought and enthusiasm that has characterized Sam Eades and her colleagues in the sales, marketing, publicity and rights departments at Trapeze/Orion. The warmth and humour of David’s writing has clearly struck a chord with the readers. He is an outstanding novelist.’


David Barnett is an author and journalist based in West Yorkshire. After a career working for regional newspapers he embarked upon a freelance career writing features for most of the UK national press. He is the author of the critically-acclaimed Gideon Smith series of Victorian fantasies, published by Tor Books, and the writer of the Punks Not Dead comic series from Black Crown/IDW. David was born in Wigan, Lancashire, in 1970 and is married to Claire, also a journalist. They have two children, Charlie and Alice.


• May 31st, 2018 • Posted in News


A great Library Journal review for SUMMERLAND by Hannu Rajaniemi, published by Gollancz in the UK and Tor in the US in June:

In 1938 Britain, the Queen is dead but still ruling the living from afar in Summerland, the city of the afterlife. Stakes of “life or death” no longer have meaning, and the most important commodity on both planes of existence is power. What matters in life if it does not stop at death? Rachel White is a secret intelligence officer with a penchant for interrogating Soviet spies and avoiding her suffocating marriage. She uncovers a mole in Summerland, but her fears are dismissed by her superiors. Humiliated and demoted, Rachel embarks on a rogue mission to bring down the mole and clean house in both the living and dead British Empire. Finnish-born Rajaniemi (“Jean le Flambeur” series) takes a familiar premise (Soviet vs. British spies in the 1930s) and turns it into something new, a complex philosophical espionage story interwoven with mathematical theory and ghosts, taking great care to make Summerland an intricate and vivid world of technological and spiritual wonder.
VERDICT: Recommended for the author’s fans and readers who enjoy Ben Aaronovitch and Adam Roberts.


• May 16th, 2018 • Posted in News


Debut novelist Helen-Rose Owen has joined the John Jarrold Literary Agency.


Her novel Graceland is a character-driven work about two friends who die during a road trip across America. And then they wake up. The afterlife they find themselves in is almost identical to the real world but with one crucial and devastating difference – there is nobody else there.


What follows is the story of how their relationship struggles under the strain of their situation. The book explores themes of loss, grief, and how to connect with people you love but no longer quite know.


Graceland can be compared to the work of Becky Chambers, Nnedi Okorafor, and Naomi Alderman. Graceland has a complex, dynamic woman in its central role; it explores serious themes with an open heart and a sense of humour; and uses its speculative premise to address ideas rooted in the real world and engage in contemporary culture. It is concerned with how we derive meaning from our lives and how our relationships define, or fail to define, our identities.


Helen-Rose was raised by a punk and a Quaker in the North of England, and has a corresponding knack for disobedience. She moved to Belfast for university where she studied theology, and then lived and worked at Northern Ireland’s oldest peace centre for two years. She recently finished an MA in history where she concentrated on themes of religion, identity and conflict. She has had articles published here and there, but never published any fiction.


John Jarrold said: “This is a novel where the protagonists are dead – but it’s neither a ghost story nor a horror story. The setting is brilliantly realised, as is the multi-layered plot.  It is about how our actions – and reactions – can build and change relationships for the better or the worse.  The way the two initial protagonists – and another character – react both to their situation and to each other is totally engrossing. They aren’t white hat heroes at all, they’re living, breathing (irony intended) human beings with flaws.  And as they explore their situation, we feel both sympathetic and sometimes angry with them. A fascinating new writer whose voice grabs from the first line.”



• May 2nd, 2018 • Posted in News


A very good first review from Publishers Weekly for SUMMERLAND, Hannu Rajaniemi’s new novel, coming in June from Gollancz in the UK and Tor in the US:



• April 30th, 2018 • Posted in News


Anna Alexander, Senior Rights Manager at Macmillan UK, has sold German rights in all three novels in the OF BLOOD AND BONE series by fantasy novelist John Gwynne to Johanna Bedenk at Blanvalet, who have previously published his four-book series THE FAITHFUL AND THE FALLEN successfully, for a higher advance.


World rights in the series were acquired by Bella Pagan at Macmillan from agent John Jarrold for a major advance. The first book in the series, A TIME OF DREAD, was published by Macmillan in January 2018.  A TIME OF BLOOD will follow in April 2019. Macmillan had earlier acquired world rights in THE FAITHFUL AND THE FALLEN series pre-emptively from Jarrold.


Bestselling novelist Conn Iggulden said of MALICE, the first book in THE FAITHFUL AND THE FALLEN series:


‘Influenced by Gemmell’s RIGANTE and George R R Martin’s GAME OF THRONES – two good strands of DNA. Great characters and plot – it gets faster and more fascinating by the page…Hell of a debut.  Highly recommended’


Sebastien de Castell, bestselling fantasy author, said of  A TIME OF DREAD: ‘Gwynne’s writing is superb’.


• April 25th, 2018 • Posted in News