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Lisanne Radice Interview

Posted on 16 September 2004. © Copyright 2004-2024 WriteWords
A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
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WriteWords talks to editorial consultant Lisanne Radice, previously an agent- her clients included Minette Walter and Val McDermid.

Tell us something about your background.

I am the author of 6 non fiction books – the one that has had the most influence was How to Write Crime Fiction which is still being taken out from libraries by hopeful crime writers! I have also written pamphlets, articles etc – mostly on women’s issues and women’s place in politics. I have of course edited such famous names as Minette Walters, Val McDermid, Mo Hayder,Sophie Hannah etc.

I dissolved the Gregory & Radice agency partnership 3 years ago. I was the editorial partner so becoming an editorial consultant simply meant that I was doing more of the same – but independent of office politics.

Who are your favourite writers and why?

It is probably a terrible admission to make – but I don’t have a favourite writer. There are so many good ones out there that the list would be very long. When we set up our agency I decided to specialise, at least in the beginning, in crime fiction. Partly because, as an academic, I liked to see a plot unfolding carefully and precisely and I had always read crime novels for that aspect. Then of course we widened our remit and took on writers from different genres.

With your agent background, do you still represent writers?

if I come across any writer who I feel should find an agent and publisher, then I recommend them to the appropriate person. There are more good writers out there than one thinks!

What advice would you give to a new writer starting out?

First of all go through Writers & Artists Year Book to see if there are any specialist agents who might be interested in your kind of writing.
Then send them a synopsis and 3 chapters with a brief letter describing your work and any writing that you might have done.
Do not: say that your friends think your book is wonderful; that it ought to be made into a film or shown on television; that the plot is totally original; that you have exactly pitched it at the right market etc. Agents are not dim, do not like to be told what they should think, and in any case are always on the lookout for best sellers so can judge for themselves.
But remember that you have to grip someone’s imagination and interest from the start – you only have 3 chapters ( always send the first three) – so work on them until you are really satisfied.

A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
Click here to learn more about becoming a member.

Comments by other Members

Account Closed at 20:31 on 16 September 2004  Report this post
Good advice about the editing process: so good I read it twice.


Zigeroon at 19:34 on 20 September 2004  Report this post

Great advice, thanks. I too had deja vu on the editing process. Worth repeating though.


marisoljohnson at 06:30 on 15 February 2024  Report this post
Great interview! I love her opinion. Besides, I really recommend minecraftle game which is truly awesome.

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