Aside from the huge pile of rejection letters I still have to send out - far from my favourite part of the job, I've also been doing a lot of reading and editing.
Say hello to Heather Child.
Uk-based author Heather Child has written a fantastic, fast-paced literary 'with an element of SF' novel. I've attached the full press release here.
Literary crossover novel signed up by Crisp
Julie Crisp, literary agent, has taken on UK-based debut author Heather Child, a graduate from the prestigious writing course at Warwick University for her literary novel with an ‘element of SF’.
Crisp, formerly an editorial director of fiction at Pan Macmillan, left the company last year to set up her own agency.
Currently called SMARTFACE, the novel explores the issues of society’s every-increasing usage of technology and the accumulated data generated on-line.
What happens when your whole life can be monitored and manipulated by algorithms?
The eponymous Smartface is a virtual online assistant which fulfills the user’s every desire. Freya is thrilled to get one for free, but alarmed to discover it has seemingly picked up the personality of her foster sister Ruby, who mysteriously disappeared when they were teenagers. Freya becomes obsessed with the Smartface, which is so alive, so ‘real’, that it seems her sister might still be living somewhere, feeding status updates into 'the cloud'.
Determined to find the truth Freya sets out to discover what happened to Ruby, and whether there’s any chance she may still be alive. From a technological-free city zone in London through to the virtual reality game Yearnfeld – Freya follows where Ruby leads her.
But is Ruby real or is Freya being manipulated? If so – for what purpose and can she free herself before it’s too late?
Exploring the blurred lines between reality and fantasy, and the evolution of society and its dependence on tech and online data, this novels looks at what happens when smart becomes too smart, when people accumulate so much data online that they can be recreated as data ghosts and their very lives can be dictated by the information they’ve left behind.
Crisp said ‘I’m thrilled to be working with Heather on this stunning read. It’s beautifully written and incredibly powerful, showing what could happen if our society continues to evolve to become more online and virtual than based in reality. Hugely filmic and completely engaging this is a novel for anyone who loves reading Dave Eggers or Emily St. John Mandel.’
Heather Child commented ‘Julie's editorial input is already proving invaluable, helping me keep my feet on the ground when my head is very much in “the cloud”. What interests me most is the way that living online means we look to the internet for our identities, our stories, while its algorithms are fed continually with data and grow smarter than we realise.’
About the author: Based in Bristol, Heather Child has been writing for over fifteen years, and received AHRC funding for an MA in Writing at the University of Warwick in 2008, working with writers including Maureen Freely, Rebecca Abrams and China Miéville. Her work has appeared in a range of literary magazines including Mslexia, the Storgy 2014 Short Story Anthology and Notes from the Underground online. She is a Chartered Marketer and communications professional working in the charity sector. Her work on digital marketing in particular has brought her into close contact with the cutting-edge automation and personalisation technologies that herald the 'big data' age.
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If you would like more information about this article, please contact Julie Crisp at firstname.lastname@example.org