SPOTLIGHT FEATURE: Katie Fulford from Bell Lomax Moreton
Good morning, everyone!
Today’s feature includes a fantastic interview with Katie Fulford!
Katie is a literary agent with Bell Lomax Moreton. Prior to this, she spent 25 years working at HarperCollins in a variety of publishing and rights management roles. She represents both fiction and non-fiction across a wide range of genres, but is especially interested in narrative non-fiction, compelling thrillers, sweeping love stories and witty rom coms.
Some of the authors Katie represents include Patrick Galbraith (In Search of One Last Song, published April 2022), Katy Cox (M is for Mummy, published May 2022) and Sarah Yarwood-Lovett (A Murder of Crows, coming July 2022).
Katie is active on Twitter where you can learn more about her and her dog, Juno. She also does Agent One-to-One sessions with Jericho Writers, so don’t miss out on a chance to get her feedback on your work by booking your session here.
Check out some highlights from our interview with Katie below.
“Keep going, I know it’s extremely tough but you only need one person to love your work.”
Hello Katie, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today! We would love to know more about how you became an agent, what your role entails, what you’re looking for in submissions, and advice for querying authors.
Q. What brought you to agenting?
Earlier in my career I was the Rights Director at HarperCollins. I had always enjoyed the thrill of putting author and publisher together and it was something I had always wanted to do, but other roles at HarperCollins got in the way first. I’m so happy to be agenting now, having had so much prior publishing experience.
Q. What’s at the top of your fiction wish-list?
There are many things on my wish list but a super smart thriller along the lines of Renée Knight or Gillian Flynn would be one. I am drawn to sweeping love stories with epic settings as well as witty and original rom coms with a clever new hook. Yes, that’s quite a few things. I’m sure there are others as well.
Q. What’s at the top of your non-fiction wish-list?
I love narrative non-fiction and get sent quite a lot of memoirs, but they can be hard to make work now so I would say a memoir with a twist – maybe a campaigning angle or written with an expert for a more practical bent. Or a story that’s not been told before.
Q. Is there any genre you’d rather not receive?
Sci-fi and horror is not for me. I’m sure it’s wonderful but it’s just not an area I read so I’m not qualified to comment. My brilliant colleague John Baker is THE expert on all things sci-fi and horror though.
Q: What is a day in the life of an agent like for you?
Busy!! Firstly there really is no such thing as ‘a day in the life’ – every day is different. It’s also one of those jobs like publicity in publishing that you can NEVER say you have finished. There’s always something else you can be doing. Another person to reach out to. Another submission to read. Another email to send. So it’s definitely not a job for someone that likes an empty to do list at the end of the day.
Q. What do you want to see in a query letter? And what do you hate?
I want to see that the author has thought about why I might be the right agent for them – so they have read about what I am looking for or have an idea of what I may like. Then it’s really useful to have comparisons, so I can understand the positioning of the book in relation to the marketplace. After that it’s good to know a bit about the author – it’s not necessary to have writing experience, but if you have, I’d like to know about it. It’s safe to say there is nothing I hate on a query letter – they are difficult things to write and I’m relaxed about it. If the work is good enough then hopefully, I will be able to see that.
Q. What are you looking for in the opening pages of a novel? What really excites you?
Something unusual that draws me into the characters, setting, or time, which makes me not want to put the book down or leave these characters…
Q. What are some of your favourite authors and books?
I have so many but the books that I think about most often at the moment are Notes On An Execution by Danya Kukafka and The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Daré.. Both extraordinary, original and beautifully written books that stay with you.
Q. What interests or passions do you have beyond the world of books? What do you love?
I love playing and watching sport (my household are Arsenal fans which can be extremely stressful). Otherwise walking my dog Juno in the countryside near my home.
Q. Any final words of advice for authors in the querying process?
Keep going, I know it’s extremely tough but you only need one person to love your work.
The full interview can be found soon on Katie’s AgentMatch profile.
In the meantime, if you’re struggling with your query letter and synopsis, do check out our free resources on our website. We have lots of info to help you on your way. Or, better still, if you’re a member with us, our lovely Writers Support team will be happy to offer you a free query letter review!