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Profile Summary

Alice is the audio rights manager at industry giant Curtis Brown. (CB isn’t the biggest in the industry, but it’s right up there and has a genuinely excellent film & TV arm all of its own.)

As well as selling audio rights on behalf of the agency’s list generally, Alice also has a small list of her own. She’s given us a very helpful interview – see full text below – and anyone who’s writing in the women’s fiction / psychological thriller / domestic noir area should certainly investigate more closely.

In particular, Alice has an interest in horror, as long as the scariness has the quality of creeping dread rather than simply blood and shock. Similarly, she talks about liking thrillers for the ‘darkness and taut writing, rather than in any sort of BOO! way.’
She has a genuine interest in historical – the novels she cites run from the Tudors and even earlier up to Victorian times – and has a love of more serious (Sarah Waters) fiction as well as more commercial work (Ken Follett, Philippa Gregory.)

She doesn’t hold much with the literary / commercial distinction – arguing that strong commercial work tips into the literary and vice versa – and her own list is fairly evenly balanced between the two areas.

She handles almost no non-fiction work and would not be a natural agent for any work in this field.

If you have a particular interest in getting an audio version of your novel, you do NOT need to seek out a specialist such as Alice, because (a) many regular agencies will be able to handle the audio sales themselves and (b) where that is not the case, your publisher will be able to arrange the sale on your behalf. In short: get the book properly sold to the right publisher, and the audio rights will take care of themselves.



Detailed data

Agency:
Curtis Brown Group
Agent since:
2013
Short biography:

I have worked at Curtis Brown since 2003, fresh from completing my English degree at Edinburgh University. I am the Audio Manager responsible for handling all the sales of our titles to independent audio publishers. It is an exciting time for audio in this market which is so geared towards download sales. Audiobooks are the way forward now that we are all so busy with our lives and love to multi-task... I also have my own list of authors, varying from zesty commercial women's fiction to surreal fantasy fiction to handbooks on how to survive in a war zone! I am always on the look-out for new fiction with an edge, whether it be commerical or offbeat.

Client list status:
Keen to build client list
Genres this agent is interested in:
Young adult fiction, Women's fiction, Science fiction, Paranormal romance, Horror, Historical fiction, Genre romance, Fantasy, Crime, thriller, action, General Fiction, Literary Fiction
Authors & books liked:

Rosamund Lupton is a favourite of mine in the thriller/women's category. I've just been reading her new one THE QUALITY OF SILENCE, due out later this year, and it is so intensely powerful. The thriller element is in the darkness and taut writing, rather than in any sort of BOO! way. I actually represent an author who has written this exact sort of thrilling novel, due out this year as well. Sadie Jones is completely fantastic, so evocative. Rose Tremain...Marian Keyes... sorry, too many to count!

Other loves & passions:

It is not particularly 'unpredictable' but I love families, sisters especially. I find the bond fascinating, maybe because I have 2 sisters. I love but hate fiction about children missing or in horrible situations because I am a mother of young children- I feel as though reading it will ensure it doesn't happen to me. The familiar 'it won't happen to me/us' refrain.

How to make a submission:
Agency Standard
Other advice and background:

A Q&A with Alice Lutyens

Q. What books/authors do you love in commercial fiction? (Crime, women’s) Give us some examples and say why you liked these books/authors.

Rosamund Lupton is a favourite of mine in the thriller/women’s category. I’ve just been reading her new one THE QUALITY OF SILENCE, due out later this year, and it is so intensely powerful.  The thriller element is in the darkness and taut writing, rather than in any sort of BOO! way.   I actually represent an author who has written this exact sort of thrilling novel, due out this year as well.  Sadie Jones is completely fantastic, so evocative.  Rose Tremain…Marian Keyes… sorry, too many to count!

Q. What books/authors do you love in literary/historical/book group fiction? Examples and reasons, please!

I love historical fiction such as Sarah Waters – and I have to say that Philippa Gregory is my guilty pleasure!  I am currently editing the most amazing historical manuscript, set during the English Civil War, and am swept up into the times.   Ken Follett – he is the epitome of historical saga.  Again a slightly guilty pleasure but hey, that is what reading is all about!

Q. How about sci-fi/horror/fantasy/paranormal/YA dystopian/erotic? What would you be interested in, and what’s a big no?

Oooh.  Martyn Bedford is great, he does ‘paranormal but seems normal’ – the characters all have these everyday lives, with one weird thing that happens and bang, normal life is over.  Rather than freaky spectres everywhere.  I have a major fondness for horror, The Woman in Black is a perfect example.  Do I need to explain why?  I think not!

Q. On the non-fiction side, are there particular areas that interest you? Does your non-fiction list have a particular slant to it?

I am not hugely into non-fiction from an agent perspective.Q. And are there any areas of zero interest to you in non-fiction? What would you NOT want to see?How to Clean Your Loo Till it Looks New

Q. What (very roughly) is the balance of your list between literary fiction / commercial fiction / non-fiction?

50/50 literary/commercial.  I don’t think literary and commercial should even be separated actually.  Literary IS commercial if it is so good everyone wants to read it.  What about GOLDFINCH – are you saying it isn’t commercial because it is literary?

Q. Is there anything in particular you’d love to see at the moment?

Historical and crime and thriller.  Not crime as in Swedish murder type, but subtler than that.  Crimes within families, smaller scale crime.  I loved The Missing on BBC recently.  That would make a brilliant book.

Q. What’s your biggest turn-off in a covering letter? What would you really hope to see?

Stupidity and laziness.  Such as spelling my name wrong, or speling anyfing wrong rilly.  False flattery.  Saying “I am the next J K Rowling (or similar)”.  I would hope to see a clever and interesting sum up of the book, and I look for well written cover letters.  For me, it reflects the writing I can expect to see in the book.

Q. What are your biggest peeves in an opening page or opening chapter? And what do you love to see?

I love to start with a bit of a cliffhanger – you know, a heart stopping scene with no answers, then ‘7 years later…’ and you have to read the WHOLE BOOK to find out the meaning of the opening!

Q. Do you have any unpredictable loves?

It is not particularly ‘unpredictable’ but I love families, sisters especially.  I find the bond fascinating, maybe because I have 2 sisters.  I love but hate fiction about children missing or in horrible situations because I am a mother of young children – I feel as though reading it will ensure it doesn’t happen to me.  The familiar “it won’t happen to me/us” refrain.

Q. Would you take on an author who had self-published? What kind of self-pub sales would make you sit up?

Yes.  And it would be the writing, not the sales.

Q. What single piece of advice would you most want to give writers?

Be sure you really can write before you give up months or years of your life.  Get an opinion on your writing as early as possible, and take all the advice you can.

Q. How many submissions do you see annually? And how many of those submissions will end up on your list?

I see vast amounts annually.  And a very very very small %.

Q. Do you look for social media and online presence? Do you care?

I don’t care before I take it on, I care once we need to drum up as much publicity as possible for the book.  Social media is weirdly powerful.

Q. When people are pitching the concept for a book to you, what do you find is the most common failing?

Dreariness in the tone.

Q: What character (from any book) would you be and why?

I am happy being myself, thank you.

Q: Which 3 famous people (alive or deceased) would you invite to a dinner party and why?

Paul a Young (famous chocolatier, very alive, and because I ADORE proper real chocolate)King Henry VIII so I could 1. Gawp at how much he eats, and 2. Cross-examine him on why and how he lost the plot so completely.  Obviously he would have to be a ghost as I couldn’t have him chopping my head off if he didn’t like my steak and frites.

Attends Festival of Writing or other WW events?
No
Follow on Twitter:
@deafaudioagent
Interesting links:
http://www.thebookseller.com/news/rising-stars-2014-list-revealed
Clients:
Mave Fellowes, Rosie Garthwaite, Kate Hamer, Melanie La' Brooy, Abby McDonald, Andrew McGahn, Kerri Sackville, John Yorke
Full client list:
https://www.curtisbrown.co.uk/agent/alice-lutyens/clients
Email address:
alice@curtisbrown.co.uk

Agents of: Curtis Brown Group

Agency details

Website:
http://curtisbrowncreative.co.uk/
About the agency:
Curtis Brown is keen to discover new authors from the 'slush pile.' They accept unsolicited submissions via their online form on which a preferred reader can be chosen for the submitted manuscript or proposal. Curtis Brown has been behind some of the biggest debuts of recent years and has a dedicated New Writing team which meets once a week. They look for excellent writing, great storytelling, original ideas, a new voice. They prefer to work with writers seriously committed to building long-term, rewarding careers in writing. The Curtis Brown submissions blog lists submission tips from their agents and the agency also runs a writing school. The agency was instrumental in establishing the reputations of several British and American writers, including John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, Norman Mailer, C P Snow, Angus Wilson, Lawrence Durrell, Gerald Durrell, Kingsley Amis and Isaiah Berlin.
Address for submissions:
Haymarket House, 28-29 Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4SP
Office address:
No data
Email address:
cbcsubmissions@curtisbrown.co.uk
Phone number:
+44 (0) 207 393 4400
Number of agents:
13
Accepts email submissions:
Yes
Submission type:
Standard (Letter + Synopsis + First three chapters)
Further submission info:
We no longer accept physical manuscripts. If you have written a novel or a proposal for a non-fiction book, please fill in the form on the website: http://curtisbrowncreative.co.uk/submissions/submit/. In order to submit your work, you will need a Cover Letter, Synopsis of up to 3,000 words, sample material of up to 10,000 words. Once you have submitted your work, you will be sent an email with a confirmation that we have received it. If you don't hear from us in eight weeks' time, please get back in touch and let us know something is amiss.
More info on this agency:
No data
Average response time:
8 days
Agency Transparency Index:
44/100
Member of the AAA:
Yes
Overseas offices:
New York, London
Accepts overseas writers:
No
Follow on Twitter:
@CurtisBrownGrp
Latest news:
http://www.curtisbrown.co.uk/books/
More about the agency:
Curtis Brown is keen to discover new authors from the 'slush pile.' They accept unsolicited submissions via their online form on which a preferred reader can be chosen for the submitted manuscript or proposal. Curtis Brown has been behind some of the biggest debuts of recent years and has a dedicated New Writing team which meets once a week. They look for excellent writing, great storytelling, original ideas, a new voice. They prefer to work with writers seriously committed to building long-term, rewarding careers in writing. The Curtis Brown submissions blog lists submission tips from their agents and the agency also runs a writing school. The agency was instrumental in establishing the reputations of several British and American writers, including John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, Norman Mailer, C P Snow, Angus Wilson, Lawrence Durrell, Gerald Durrell, Kingsley Amis and Isaiah Berlin.

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