Latest JJLA 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


I’ve been having Twitter Q&A sessions every month – where I answer questions about writing and publishing – for some time. During the coronavirus, I’ve made this weekly.  The next session will be between 7 and 8pm, UK time, on Monday April 6.  They are at @johnjarrold – future weekly sessions will also be announced there and on my Facebook page and the literary agency’s FB page.


I’ll be delighted to hear your questions.


• April 2nd, 2020 • Posted in News


Chris and Tim Stamper have joined the John Jarrold Literary Agency.

Brothers Tim and Chris Stamper are British entrepreneurs who founded the video game companies Ultimate Play the Game and Rare, with 150 published titles to their credit and over 100 million units sales.  They first worked together on arcade conversion kits, which were licensed to companies around the world, but later became developers and publishers for the ZX Spectrum home computer in the early 1980s. Chris programmed the games, while Tim designed the graphics. They found success as Ultimate with games including Jetpac and Knight Lore. After reverse engineering the Nintendo Entertainment System and deciding to shift their focus to console development, the brothers founded Rare in the mid-1980s. They became Nintendo’s first major Western developer. Over the next two decades, Rare enjoyed a close relationship with Nintendo and developed multiple major titles for the company, including Donkey Kong Country and GoldenEye 007. Their original concept Battletoads was expanded into an animated cartoon Thanksgiving Special syndicated for US Television and the Perfect Dark franchise spawned two novels and comic books. Microsoft acquired Rare in 2002, and the brothers left the company in 2007. Whilst under the Stamper Brothers creative direction, Rare won 5 BAFTA and 8 Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Awards. After spending several years out of the public eye, the brothers were acknowledged as Developer Legends at the 2015 Develop Awards.

They are now working on a multi-faceted project, One Step Left, which will include novels, games and visual media. 

John Jarrold will be discussing the publishing aspects of this project with major publishers in London and New York.

“This is the widest-ranging and most exciting project with which I’ve ever been involved,” said John Jarrold. “I’ve had long conversations with Chris and Tim, and the first novel is complete, undergoing editing now before I touch base formally with publishers. Its world, one step left of our own, is fascinating – both dark and humorous, and the novel’s characters are wonderfully rich and varied. Chris and Tim’s long background in video games gives them a real world-building brilliance.”

“One Step Left is our most wonderful creation, our best work to date. We can’t wait to share it with you,” said the brothers, reaching out to their many fans. 

The names of companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.


• March 30th, 2020 • Posted in News


I am so delighted for agency clients Gareth Hanrahan and Rob Hayes who have won, respectively, Best Debut Novel and Best Self Published Novel in the Booknest Fantasy Awards!



• March 25th, 2020 • Posted in News


Anniina Vuori and Andy Hine at Little Brown Book Group’s Rights department have sold Spanish rights to THE GUTTER PRAYER and two sequels to Trini Vergara Ediciones, a new publishing house based in Argentina and Madrid, and Brazilian rights in all three books to Novo Fronteira.

THE GUTTER PRAYER is the first volume of The Black Iron Legacy and was published by Orbit in the UK and US in January 2019. Cari is a drifter whose past and future are stranger than she can know. Rat is a Ghoul, whose people haunt the city’s underworld. Spar is a Stone Man, subject to a terrible plague that can only have one end. Used as bait by the Thieves Guild, their actions lead to a possible Armageddon in the city of Guerdon – which is as strange and wonderful as any fantasy city. These are only a few of the arcane and brilliantly-conceived beings you’ll meet here. The sequel, THE SHADOW SAINT is published in January 2020

Author quotes and reviews for THE GETTER PRAYER have been magnificent:

A ground breaking and extraordinary novel . . . Hanrahan has an astonishing imagination (Peter McLean, author of PRIEST OF BONES)

The Gutter Prayer is captivating and complex. Guerdon is a city that seethes with history, horror, and hidden secrets, and Hanrahan’s assured style is reminiscent of China Mieville in the best way possible (Nicholas Eames, author of KINGS OF THE WYLD)

An absolutely stunning debut. Insanely inventive and deeply twisted. I loved it! Highly recommended (Michael R. Fletcher, author of BEYOND REDEMPTION)

Utterly brilliant . . . Excellent, edgy, absorbing writing, an intelligently woven story that throws the unexpected at you with almost the turn of every page, I think Gareth Hanrahan is a total genius (LIZ LOVES BOOKS)

The perfect marriage of grimdark and epic fantasy . . . an impressive debut . . . Boldly ambitious and innovative in equal measure, Hanrahan’s daring entry into the genre is guaranteed to captivate and enthral (BIBLIOSANCTUM)

Employing an enviable skill with both plotting and prose, Gareth Hanrahan has in The Gutter Prayer woven an intricate and finely crafted web of compelling characters navigating a city rich in dark and original wonders. I await the sequel with the keenest anticipation. (Anthony Ryan, author of BLOOD SONG)

Mind-blowingly stellar in every respect; full of seductive creativity, marvelously intelligent, innovative, and frankly revolutionary. This dark and enchanting debut contained no shortage of alluring madness and wondrous imagination that manifests itself gloriously within the pages. Fantasy readers, be wise and buy this book, because there’s simply nothing like it . . . I envision that The Gutter Prayer will not only win many readers’ hearts but also win multiple fantasy awards in the near future. Yes, it was THAT good. Read it. Thank me later (NOVEL NOTIONS)

A gripping tale that meshes beautifully with its fascinating, darkly inventive setting (James Islington, author of THE SHADOW OF WHAT WAS LOST)

With living candles, ancient ghouls, broken gods and more, The Gutter Prayer brims with cool and often twisted ideas (Peter Newman, author of THE VAGRANT)

Hanrahan’s highly anticipated fantasy debut is a real breath of fresh air . . . The Gutter Prayer features a skilfully crafted world, with masterful drama, expert dialogue, brilliant characters and an ending I did not see coming . . . A book that every fantasy fan should read (FANTASY BOOK REVIEW)


And already for THE SHADOW SAINT:

Hanrahan crafts a mind-blowingly complex world governed by capricious deities who actively alter reality. Series fans and new readers alike will delight entering this strange, immersive universe (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY)

I’ve no idea how many books are planned in this series, but I want it to go on forever. If you like the sound of a crazy epic fantasy series with a bunch of psychopathic and narcissistic gods, a whole slew of original ideas, and a city which seems allergic to peace and quiet… The Black Iron Legacy series might be for you. The Shadow Saint is a brilliant book, and I can’t wait for the next one. (THE FANTASY INN)






• January 8th, 2020 • Posted in News