Latest JJLA news



Mehdi Bel Abbes



The latest client of the John Jarrold Literary Agency is Mehdi Bel Abbes.

His debut novel is a coming-of-age epic fantasy entitled The Birth of a Damselfly, which is the first in a trilogy detailing the rags-to-riches story of Ahto Asviani as she struggles to navigate in an Empire without a sun, and a world on the verge of war – the Senarian Saga.


Einatria is a world in stagnation. After a long and bloody campaign, the sun has ceased to shine across the now-humbled Atrian Empire, yet blazes relentlessly across the free nations of the west.

Danger lurks in every cloud of smog. Ahto Asviani, like so many Atrians, is just trying to survive the aftermath of war, working as housekeeper to a den of prostitutes.

That is until a desperate act by the woman she trusts most thrusts Ahto into a new world of politics and gentry that might prove as every bit as dangerous as the last.

This will appeal to readers who have enjoyed stories such as The Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff, The Books of the Ancestor by Mark Lawrence, and The Poppy War by R.F Kuang – and an LGBT+ protagonist.


The author will be 25 at the end of June 2020. He was born in Casablanca to a Scottish mother and Moroccan father. He has lived and studied in Scotland, attending Stirling University, where he graduated with a 2:1 in Psychology. Currently, he works part-time in a cinema, sweeping under seats whilst he plots out the Senarian Saga. He says: “My favourite writers tend to be older, Victorian, which I think has definitely influenced my writing. Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley, and Arthur Conan Doyle to name a few. More contemporary authors I have enjoyed are R.F. Kuang, Mark Lawrence, and the great Ursula Le Guin.”


“Mehdi has never submitted short fiction, and this is his debut in all ways,” said John Jarrold.  “He has a remarkable voice, great invention and a great range of characters – look out for the Fae Siofra, who I love!”



• June 5th, 2020 • Posted in News




Tobi Ogundiran


Author Tobi Ogundiran has joined the John Jarrold Literary Agency.  His debut novel is the fantasy CHILDREN OF AṨSA


Tutu is a twin.  She is a murderer. She is a fugitive.

For a thousand years the Anukhi conquerors have ruled Ibyssia. They have just one rule: all twins are to be killed at birth.

It is in this world that Tutu and her twin sister live, painfully aware that their very existence is prohibited. They do not draw attention to themselves, and they master the art of hiding in plain sight.

Everything changes the night Tutu murders their mother … with magic.

At least that’s what she’s told. Tutu does not remember how her mother died. She does not remember how she came to possess magic. She does not remember how she lost her sister. All she remembers is the burnt hole in her mother’s chest and the cold fists of the inhuman jailers as she is carted off to prison. Here she is tortured for five years for the whereabouts of her sister.

Until she escapes.

The world is an unfriendly place, where Tutu finds even her countrymen prejudiced against her. But Tutu is convinced she did not kill her mother. Her jailers dog her at every turn, relentless in their efforts to recapture her, but Tutu will do anything to regain her memories to learn the truth of what happened that night.

But perhaps some truths are best left unknown, some memories best left buried.



CHILDREN OF AṨSA is a high fantasy novel, the first in a planned trilogy. It is perfect for fans of THE POPPY WAR and RAGE OF DRAGONS, and marries the author’s love for epic fantasy with his country’s (Nigeria) twin myth from precolonial times. it will resonate with anyone seeking something other than the prevalent Eurocentric fantasy.


Tobi’s short stories have been published/are forthcoming in the The Dark, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Shoreline of Infinity and FIYAH.


“It’s a delight to see far more diverse agency submissions than of yore,” said John Jarrold. “As always, it’s the author’s voice that grabs you (or far more often, doesn’t) immediately. Tobi’s setting and characters fascinated me from the first page – this is original, intelligent fiction, with a wonderful deep background of politicking, families and magic in many forms.”








• June 1st, 2020 • Posted in News


Tereza Krobotová of Kristin Olson Agency has sold Czech rights in LEGACY OF ASH, the brilliant, highly-praised debut epic fantasy novel by Matthew Ward to  Host after an auction on behalf of Little, Brown Book Group, London.

LEGACY OF ASH has been published in the UK and US by Orbit. The first sequel, LEGACY OF STEEL, will follow in November.


A shadow has fallen over the Tressian Republic.

Ruling families plot against one another with sharp words and sharper knives, heedless of the threat posed by the invading armies of the Hadari Empire.

The Republic faces its darkest hour. Yet as Tressia falls, heroes rise.


A hugely entertaining debut — John Gwynne

Epic fantasy as it should be; big, bold and very addictive, Starburst

An incredibly impressive piece of fantasy fiction — The Fantasy Inn

Packed with big battles, shadowy intrigue and a large cast of characters, Legacy of Ash is an absorbing debut — James Islington

[An] excellent debut, Weekend Sport

This is the first epic fantasy book I’ve enjoying getting immersed in for ages . . . a great romp in a brilliantly realised setting . . . I have lost sleep, forgotten food and made this the thing I pick up every moment I can get — SFFWorld

A perfect blend of Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and Bernard Cornwell’s The Last KingdomFanFi Addict

Absolutely incredible action scenes . . . so freaking epic, Fantasy Hive













• May 5th, 2020 • Posted in News


The latest client to join the John Jarrold Literary Agency is fantasy novelist Andy Livingstone.

His new novel – the first in a series – is Blood of Antiquity, a post-apocalyptic fantasy. Civilisation is several hundred years into regrowth, having grouped in vast, tightly-controlled cities with technologies that have redeveloped to roughly the standard of our 1920s-30s, but the city is cramped, so there are no modern vehicles other than trains; wood is prohibited to all but the elite, so all is formed from metal, bricks, stone and animal fibres; power is purely electrical and generated from wind and water. The story is that of Lukas Hunter, a fixer in the less-reputable areas of his city, a man nondescript in appearance but exceptional in physical ability, cold in nature but prone to uncontrollable emotion – a man of opposites he does not understand. Sought by an unusual pair of siblings and pursued by the city’s top investigator, he finds himself on a mission to save his city and in doing so discovers that the reason for his nature is the same reason as that for his abilities: it lies in the truth of the evolution of humans and the races they grew from. Their blood, the blood of antiquity, runs through us all, and in the very few with the greatest strength.

After early short story publications, Andy was one of the authors signed by HarperVoyager UK’s  Digital First project by Natasha Bardon. They published his Seeds of Destiny trilogy. The first book, Hero Born, was released in 2015, with Hero Grown and Hero Risen in 2016 and 2017 respectively. He lives in Scotland.

The second book in the new series, A Blade Reforged, in the planning stage.

“Andy’s writing involved me from the first page,” said John Jarrold. “Lukas Hunter is a great, unusual character, and all those who people this book come right off the page to exist three dimensionally in the reader’s imagination.  His world is fascinating, and wonderfully created – its background and history gripped me.  It lives and breathes as strongly as the characters do.”

• April 20th, 2020 • Posted in News


The latest client of the John Jarrold Literary Agency is Australian SF writer Robert Marchbank.


Jarrold is working editorially on his debut novel PERCIPIO, which will be submitted to major genre publishers on both sides of the Atlantic.  The novel, first in a series, would sit well with readers of Richard Morgan’s work, or Christopher Nolan’s scripts; those who like smart, sometimes philosophical, science fiction with a noir edge.  It is the story of two lives in parallel, across time and space. In present day Boston, Anya, a student computer programmer, works to digitise her consciousness. In the far future, in a galaxy colonised by corporations, James, a cadet pilot, begins his training on a special interface linking his mind to that of his spaceship.


John Jarrold said: “The opening pages made me sit up, and the gradually intertwining stories drew me in with their immediacy and wit, as well as great intelligence. Rob has created totally absorbing characters, and he has an outstanding voice and imagination…”


Having been born in a small and relatively isolated farming community in rural Australia, his family moved to Sydney where he attended high school.


He worked briefly as an intern at SBS TV – the Australian Special Broadcasting Service, on the evening news team – and later at 2SM – a radio station in Sydney, mostly as on-air producer. When he graduated from his broadcast journalism degree, he was offered a place at AFTRS – the Australian Film Television and Radio School – to do a course in scriptwriting, based on some film scripts he had submitted while at university. However, being uncertain what he wanted to do with his life he didn’t attend. He has been writing fiction and poetry in some form for most of his adult life.


As he says: “My working life after leaving mainstream media has been pretty varied – post office clerk, real estate agent, wine salesman, storeman, factory hand, field labourer…all the people I’ve met along the way, are very much grist for the mill, as far as character development for my fiction goes. I’ve also been a pretty keen world traveller. I’ve drunk sake with sumo in Tokyo, danced with shamans on mountaintops in Peru, ridden a scooter through the jungles of Cambodia, and hiked elk trails in Colorado. All of these experiences inform my writing.


“I’m currently undertaking a Master’s degree through the University of New England (Armidale) – majoring in philosophy. I also have an Instagram account, showcasing my poetry. Presently, I live in New South Wales at the foot of the Snowy Mountains – one of the coldest parts of a very hot continent – and one of Australia’s few ski-resort towns.”


• April 15th, 2020 • Posted in News