August 2004 – to date
Created the John Jarrold Literary Agency.
August 2002 – to date
Acting as ‘script doctor’ for agents and new authors – making structural, editorial and presentational suggestions to scripts before submission to publishers.
August 2002 – July 2008
Advising literary agents and publishers on SF and Fantasy authors. Freelance editing for publishers including Hodder & Stoughton, Random House, HarperCollins, Pan Macmillan, Transworld, Simon & Schuster, Orion/Gollancz, Constable & Robinson and Time Warner.
Fiction projects have covered mainstream fiction (including copy-editing film-maker Alan Parker’s first novel) mysteries, thrillers, SF and fantasy and historical fiction. Non-fiction projects have ranged from Iain Banks’ book on malt whisky, RAW SPIRIT to several on military history; from celebrity biography to an account of Lewis and Clark’s early nineteenth-century exploration of the interior of the US by Stephen Ambrose, author of BAND OF BROTHERS; as well as all areas of general non-fiction.
Visited South Korea in September 2003 to take part in UK-Korea Fantasy Publishing Forum, at request of British Council, which led to working with Korean government’s creative agency, KOCCA, to involve UK SF/Fantasy authors in Korean animation projects, and also investigating UK universities re. setting up a creative writing course for Koreans.
Reviewing novels for SFX magazine.
I have appeared for several years on the radio books programme AND NOW READ ON (first on BBC Radio 5, latterly on BBC Radio Wales as OFF THE SHELF), where I comment on unpublished authors’ typescripts and discuss fiction and fiction writing with the presenter, novelist Phil Rickman. I have also discussed science fiction and fantasy on the BBC Radio 2 Arts Programme with Sheridan Morley, BBC Southern Counties Radio, Meridian TV’s arts programme THE PIER, and the satellite TV channel European Broadcasting News.
March 2000 – July 2002
Full-time with Simon & Schuster as Senior Fiction Editor, running Earthlight and acting as publisher of thrillers and crime novels by authors including Lorenzo Carcaterra, John Sandford and Stel Pavlou.
May 1997 – March 2000
Two days a week working on a self-employed, contract basis for Simon & Schuster UK (plus one day a week working from home), setting up a new SF and Fantasy list, Earthlight, which was launched in April 1998. Authors acquired (present and forthcoming) include Kevin J Anderson, Anselm Audley, Ray Bradbury, Terry Brooks, Lois McMaster Bujold (four-times winner of the Hugo Award), Eugene Byrne, Richard Calder, David Farland, Mark Gatiss (of THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN), Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Robert Holdstock, Jane Johnson (Publisher of HarperCollins’ SF/Fantasy imprint, Voyager, under pseudonym “Jude Fisher”), Guy Gavriel Kay, Paul J McAuley, Ian McDonald, Ian R MacLeod, Michael Moorcock, Christopher Priest, Harry Turtledove, Freda Warrington, Jane Welch, Michael White, John Whitbourn (Winner of the Victor Gollancz/BBC Radio 4 First Fantasy Novel Competition), Walter Jon Williams.
Also commissioned all cover artwork for Earthlight books during this period.
As well as this, I worked from 1997 – 2000 as a freelance editor (editing on text and disk) for Century/Arrow, HarperCollins, Hodder Headline, Hutchinson, Transworld, Orion, Pan Macmillan, Robinson Books, Victor Gollancz, Little, Brown UK and Simon & Schuster UK. 50% of this work was SF- or Fantasy-related. Projects covered all facets of fiction from mysteries to literary novels, and non-fiction subjects from drought on the Indian sub-continent to sports titles, including Jimmy White’s autobiography and Henry Blofeld’s Cricket Year, as well as overseeing an illustrated book of SF and Fantasy art by Jim Burns for Collins and Brown. I use Windows XP, MS Word and the Internet – via MS Internet Explorer – every day.
Also advised agents on SF and Fantasy authors during this period.
January 1992 – March 1997
Editorial Director, Legend Books, Random House UK
Authors included Greg Bear, Chaz Brenchley, Terry Brooks, Orson Scott Card, CJ Cherryh, Alan Dean Foster, Maggie Furey (acquired first novel, AURIAN, plus sequels), David Gemmell, Andrew Harman, Harry Harrison, Oliver Johnson, Ken MacLeod (acquired first novel, THE STAR FRACTION, plus sequels), Elizabeth Moon, Stan Nicholls, Leonard Nimoy, Tim Powers, Brian Stableford, Michael White, Tad Williams.
January 1988 – January 1992
Macdonald Futura (now Little, Brown UK)
1990 – 1992
Director, Orbit Books
Authors included Poul Anderson, Iain Banks, David Brin, Terry Brooks, Arthur C Clarke, John Clute (Encyclopedia of Science Fiction commissioned), Gordon R Dickson, Alan Dean Foster, Christopher Fowler, Mary Gentle, Harry Harrison, Robert Holdstock, Tom Holt, Robert Jordan (acquired first three WHEEL OF TIME novels), Paul J McAuley, Anne McCaffrey, Walter M. Miller Jr, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, Michael Scott Rohan, Joan D. Vinge, Walter Jon Williams.
1989 – 1990
Authors as above, plus Cecilia Holland (historical fiction), Joe McGinniss (true crime), Tim Willocks (acquired first novel, BAD CITY BLUES), Ronald Wright (travel/exploration)
1988 – 1989
Authors as above
Apart from SF and Fantasy (and literature in general), my main interests are film, archaeology and history, sport, opera (particularly Mozart), cookery, military history and hardware, computer games, both world wars, music in general, mythology, Romantic poetry, Shakespeare and the history of theatre, and English literature.
My recent reading has included Iain M Banks’ SURFACE DETAIL, Charles Stross’s IRON SUNRISE, Rick Stein’s FOOD HEROES, Francis Pryor’s BRITAIN AD, Malcolm Pryce’s THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING IN ABERYSTWYTH, Lauren Beukes’ ZOO CITY, Adrian Tinniswood’s HIS INVENTION SO FERTILE (biography of Christopher Wren), China Miéville’s EMBASSYTOWN, Jasper Fforde’s THE BIG OVER EASY, Ian McDonald’s THE DERVISH HOUSE, Ian R MacLeod’s THE SONG OF TIME, Dava Sobel’s GALILEO’S DAUGHTER, Orlando Figes’ NATASHA’S DANCE – A CULTURAL HISTORY OF RUSSIA, Claire Tomalin’s SAMUEL PEPYS and MRS JORDAN’S PROFESSION, James Ellroy’s THE COLD SIX THOUSAND, Christopher Chippindale’s STONEHENGE COMPLETE, Richard Morgan’s THE STEEL REMAINS, Kate Mosse’s LABYRINTH, David McCullough’s JOHN ADAMS, Ken MacLeod’s THE RESTORATION GAME, Tricia Sulivan’s LIGHTBORN, Gore Vidal’s THE GOLDEN AGE, Simon Schama’s LANDSCAPE AND MEMORY, Jane Grigson’s ENGLISH FOOD, Lord Alanbrooke’s WAR DIARIES 1939-1945, Claudia Roden’s NEW BOOK OF MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD, Jon Courtenay Grimwood’s END OF THE WORLD BLUES, Patrick Leigh Fermor’s A TIME OF GIFTS, THE ANGLO-SAXON CHRONICLES (edited by Michael Swanton), Susan Spicer’s CRESCENT CITY COOKING, RICK STEIN’S SPAIN, Charles Yu’s HOW TO LIVE SAFELY IN A SCIENCE FICTIONAL UNIVERSE, Paolo Bacigalupi’s THE WINDUP GIRL, Jane Glover’s MOZART’S WOMEN, Kim Stanley Robinson’s THE YEARS OF RICE AND SALT, Peter Hopkirk’s ON SECRET SERVICE EAST OF CONSTANTINOPLE, Raymond Khoury’s THE LAST TEMPLAR, Philip Pullman’s HIS DARK MATERIALS OMNIBUS, George R.R. Martin’s A FEAST FOR CROWS, P D James’ THE LIGHTHOUSE, Elizabeth David’s FRENCH COUNTRY COOKING, Field Marshal Slim’s DEFEAT INTO VICTORY, Giles Milton’s THE RIDDLE AND THE KNIGHT, Alastair Reynolds’ TERMINAL WORLD, Joe Abercrombie’s THE HEROES, John Julius Norwich’s SHAKESPEARE’S KINGS, Iain Pears’s AN INSTANCE OF THE FINGERPOST, Peter Salway’s A HISTORY OF ROMAN BRITAIN, Herman Melville’s MOBY DICK (again!) and Peter Ackroyd’s LONDON (again!).