Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became editor at Two Hoots? What inspired you to become involved in children’s publishing?
My first job in publishing was as an admin assistant. Before getting that job, I’d interned for literary publisher And Other Stories and agency Lutyens & Rubinstein, and I’d always intended to try and work on adult literary fiction. A family friend worked as a picture book editor and encouraged me to go down that route, for which I’ll always be grateful.
What does a typical day look like as Senior Editor at Two Hoots?
I catch up with my team most days and we figure out what the highest priorities are that day. My day usually involves checking texts and artwork, speaking to authors and illustrators, presenting at meetings and often developing new projects – looking for illustrators, thinking about formats and positioning. I also write copy and look after the social media for Two Hoots.
What's your favourite part of the job? What's been your single most thrilling career moment?
My favourite part of the job is helping authors and illustrators to create their best work. My most thrilling career moment so far has been acquiring Joyful, Joyful: Stories Celebrating Black Voices, a ground-breaking colour-illustrated collection for 11+ curated by Dapo Adeola which publishes in September 2022 – featuring original pieces by 40 Black writers and artists from across the world, celebrating joy. It has been a dream to work with so many incredibly talented people, and to help Dapo bring his vision to print.
What impact has your own childhood had on the kind of stories you particularly enjoy working on?
I read constantly as a child – it was a way for me to escape to another world. I especially like working on stories that I feel will be comforting or inspiring, or will transport children to that magical place where you forget everything around you.
What do you look for in a children´s book?
Uniqueness and an emotional connection.
What are some of the emerging trends in children's books and how are they affecting the kind of stories you are looking to commission?
There is a trend for self-improvement and self-development, and for stories that will change the world for the better. I try to look for books that will tie in to current trends but will also live beyond fleeting fashions.
What advice would you offer illustrators looking to appeal to publishing companies like yours - are there specific styles or subject matters you're particularly interested in?
I am interested in important stories told well – ideally stories that haven’t been told before. Style-wise we publish a range of different art styles and nothing is out of bounds, but at Two Hoots we publish for the more sophisticated side of the market.
Do you think there is an interest on the part of UK children´s publishers to acquire more work in translation for the UK market?
I think there are some UK children’s publishers who are very good at acquiring works in translation, but the majority of the larger publishers have some work to do in widening our scope and paying more attention to the potential for translated books.
What is your advice for Spanish publishing companies interested in selling children´s books translation rights in the UK? How do you get noticed?
A lot UK publishers are looking for books with a hook – titles that have a strong commercial appeal or that tie in to a current trend or a global event and that we haven’t been able to do ourselves, for whatever reason.
How do you spot international talent?
I am on a lot of foreign agents’ and publishers’ email lists and I try to go to rights fairs when I can.