Max Edwards has left Mulcahy Associates to form his own agency, Apple Tree Literary, focusing on non-fiction and genre fiction.
Edwards worked previously as assistant at United Agents and Rogers, Coleridge and White alongside agent Natasha Fairweather, before joining Mulcahy Associates at the end of 2017 as an agent.
Now he has established Apple Tree Literary, having built his author list from scratch over the past year, and is working remotely, in partial association with Toby Mundy Associates, across non-fiction and fiction.
"Having worked in literary agencies both big and small, I thought I’d take the plunge and go it alone," Edwards told The Bookseller. "I have had great bosses and mentors over the last few years, who have taught me a great deal and I wanted to put these into practice with my clients, in my own way.”
He added: "Our focus is on intelligent non-fiction by journalists and academics, with a focus on great stories that can come out of people’s expertise and experience as well as genre fiction - in particular science fiction, fantasy, novels that mix genres and YA.
"I think all good books have story at their heart, no matter the genre or if they are based in real-life, and I think my list reflects that, and hope to further expand my list along those lines.”
Edwards is keen to explore the boom in “brainy” non-fiction. "The publishing landscape is moving, with renewed interest in smart, accessible non fiction and cross-genre fiction, and I hope for my list to reflect that," he said.
Edwards currently represents around 12 authors in total including Sunday Times' Middle East correspondent Louise Callaghan, whose debut Father of Lions recently sparked a four-publisher bidding war in the US, culminating in a six-figure deal. He also represents the Guardian's video games editor Keza MacDonald, authors across genre fiction such as SF writer Aliya Whiteley and historical fiction author J M Alvey, as well as handling the UK rights for Norwegian literary agency Immaterial Agents.
The former Blackwell's bookseller hopes to expand later down the line. "While the immediate plan is simply to best serve my brilliant authors, if it went well I’d love to expand in future," he told The Bookseller.
"While I’m a young agent, I can bring fresh and exciting new voices to the publishing table."