LAUNCHING: CHLOE SEAGER

Current Employer:

Diane Banks Associates / published by HQ at HarperCollins

THE BIG QUESTIONS

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL TITLE?

Children’s & YA agent/author.

WHAT DO YOU DO ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?

I read submissions, edit manuscripts, submit to publishers in the UK and internationally…and of course there’s a lot of contracts/admin stuff to get through! Then I go home and write my own stuff.

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD AND WHAT CHANGED?

When I was a child I wanted to be the next Britney Spears. What changed was the dawning realisation that I can’t sing or dance.

WHAT ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS DO YOU HAVE?

I have GCSEs, A-levels and a BA in English Literature and Drama from the University of East Anglia.

WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?

Trust in your own opinion and don’t focus too much on what other people think. (If you work in a creative field then you’re never going to please everyone!)

WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY?

I’m not sure I have a role model but there are plenty of women I admire, like J.K. Rowling. She’s mega successful (to say the least) but handles it with grace and always gives back generously. Plus, you don’t want to mess with her on Twitter.

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WORKING ENVIRONMENT?

I have a lot of freedom in creative decisions, both as an agent and an author.

WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOUR DAILY WORK ROUTINE IF YOU COULD?

I’d have less admin to do and be able to spend that time giving more individual feedback to submissions. I’d also like to have more time to write outside of work but there’s so much life admin, too…

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?

Hopefully still writing books (I’m currently working on the sequel to Editing Emma, though I I’ll probably be working on a new project by then) and still developing my authors’ careers.

DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN BE THE SAME PERSON AT WORK AND IN PRIVATE?

I’m not exactly the same at home and at work, but I’m definitely not the most ‘professional’ agent/author… I think I probably separate the two less than others might but I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing, just a personal preference.

WHERE AND IN WHAT ROLES ARE WOMEN IN THE LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE AT YOUR COMPANY?

I work at Diane Banks Associates - Diane founded the company and still runs it herself.

DOES DIVERSITY MATTER TO YOU?

I’m always on the lookout to promote diverse authors and work, which I believe is really needed in the publishing industry.

HOW GOOD IS YOUR WORK LIFE BALANCE?

I’ve always had quite a good work/life balance, but this year it’s been terrible. Agenting requires more than 40 hours per week to do a good job and writing/promoting my own books outside of that has been tough. I want to do the best job I can at both, but I do know that I’m going to have to work out a better balance if I want to keep my friendships…

WHAT QUALITIES DOES BEING IN YOUR ROLE NECESSITATE?

A thick skin (for the agent and author part). Agents give a lot of rejection, but they also get a lot of rejection. And being a writer means putting your work out there for people to judge, so you can’t get upset every time you get criticism. Not everyone is going to like your work.

ANY FINAL COMMENTS?

If you’re writing a children’s or YA novel then do submit to me over at Diane Banks Associates, and if you like reading YA then my book Editing Emma is out now!

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