Amber Caraveo is director of the Skylark literary agency
When and why did you set up your own agency?
We opened our doors on the 17th November last year. Starting a literary agency and creative consultancy focused specifically on Children’s and YA fiction is something I’d been thinking about and discussing with Jo for some time. We both loved the idea of finding and supporting new talent, and in 2014 the growing energy and buzz in the Children’s publishing world made us feel that the time was right to forge ahead.
How does working for yourself compare to being an editorial director?
I loved being an editorial director and part of a large team, but being your own boss gives you a freedom and flexibility that you can’t get anywhere else! Every morning I wake up knowing that my future is firmly in my hands and I’m on an adventure guided only and always by the imagination and creativity of my authors and my own innovation. That’s really rather magical!
What kinds of submissions have you received so far?
We’ve been delighted by the response from authors. They are inspired and inspiring. We’ve received submissions in every genre you can imagine – and probably some you can’t! Humour that has made us hoot with laughter, magical adventures that have transported us and one particular thriller that, quite literally, made us lock the doors and windows!
What are your plans for this year?
Basically, seeking out talent wherever it might be lurking. We hope to travel the UK, talking to Children’s and YA writing groups, conferences and anyone else who’d like to have us. Given our editorial backgrounds we are naturally a very editorial agency – which means that we’re excited by raw talent and the prospect of working with an author until their manuscript is in the kind of shape where publishers will want to snap it up!