Diana Beaumont joined Marjacq in 2017; she started agenting with Rupert Heath Literary Agency in 2011 before moving to UTA. Before that she was senior commissioning editor at Transworld. Diana was chosen as one of The Bookseller’s Rising Stars of 2012. Here Norah Myers interviews her.
1) What do you most look forward to in your new role?
I am looking forward to taking on new clients, developing my existing list and working with the friendly, dynamic team at Marjacq which has been expanding in recent years. I am also keen to explore the local area as our office is right in the heart of London with so much fascinating history as well as great places to eat.
2) Why is it important to you to find voices that are under-represented?
There has been a lot of talk about diversity (or lack thereof) in the publishing world so it’s important to put our money where our mouth is. We need strong storytellers and writers who reflect our richly diverse society more than ever. And I want people to feel welcome to submit their work whatever their background.
3) You were an editor before you became an agent. How has that influenced your work as an agent?
I always loved working closely with authors on their manuscripts and it’s an increasingly important part of the role of an agent. Manuscripts have to be as polished as possible before you send them out. One of the things I love about being an agent is being involved in a project from its inception. It’s also useful to have an insight into how a publishing company works – it can be helpful to authors to understand what happens once you send their book out.
4) What advice would you give your younger self?
I think I would advise my younger self to spend less time worrying about things and just get on with it. What’s the worst that could happen? Really?
5) What advice would you give other agents who would like to find under-represented voices?
I’m not sure that other agents need my advice but social media is useful – putting your intentions out there. I am also approaching people who strike me as having something interest or pertinent to say. But I would say that we could all do with reaching out more.