NCWGF 2017 – An Interview with Jonathan Ruppin, Literary Agent at The Ruppin Agency


My name is Jonathan Ruben I recently
started the Rooping agency a literary agency I’ve spent many years in the
industry doing an awful lot of things including a huge amount of time in
retail so I bring that knowledge of the market but one of the reasons that I set
up my agency one of the big reasons was because I’m very aware that it’s a white
middle-class London-based bubble there’s under represent a representation of
authors from all sorts of backgrounds and I want to do something to change
that a little bit to enlarge the number of voices that there are being to read.
I’m pretty broad-minded on the fiction front and it’s contemporary
fiction has always been my specialty and I’ve read across across the board
with that I mean I’m quite a fan of some good
romantic fiction and I like my literary fiction I like my commercial fiction I’m
not too keen on science fiction or horror I’m not because I think they’re
bad genres was I just don’t know much about them and I must admit the gory end
of crime puts me off a little bit that’s just a stomach related thing on the
non-fiction front and I’m fairly broad-minded
I’ve got some more details on my website about exactly what I’m looking for but I
would say that a charismatic author can make most subjects look interesting . Make
sure it’s pretty polished I it sounds daft but the first paragraph really
matters it’s the first impression make sure it’s completely correct make sure
it hasn’t got any cliches in it you know but those phrases that all well says you
know are remotely familiar in every in every way make sure there isn’t anything
extraneous in there but the way that I go about looking at at a submission is I
tend to read the first five pages or so without looking at the synopsis and
obviously there’s the general writing style that I’m looking at and see what
the initial set up is dialogue is something I look at
and that dialogue for me is the best signifier of whether somebody can write
or not so make sure your dialogues strong. I would say be bold
I don’t mind some personality in your submission to me don’t go on you know I
don’t want to hear loads about your life but I do want to hear a little about you
as a writer as well as about your book in terms of your writing I’m looking for
people who show real commitment to writing and in terms of the best advice
I can give is that they’re no good writer no published writer writes alone
make sure you have people you can turn to and you can show your writing – we
will give a constructive feedback. you

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