10 Questions With… Sam Copeland

Hi everyone, and this morning on the blog I’m delighted to welcome Sam Copeland. Sam is a children’s fiction author, but in his day job he is a literary agent for Rogers, Coleridge and White Literary Agency. He answers my questions on all things writing, and challenging it was to try and find an agent.

Over to you, Sam…

1) As a literary agent, how was the jump to being a writer alongside your day job? Have you always wanted to write? NOT REALLY. IT WAS TOO MUCH A DISTANT DREAM, TOO WILD. BECOMING A WRITER HAS OPENED UP A TAP WHICH I CAN’T TURN UP NOW. 

2) I know you write children’s fiction. How do you come up with your ideas and why did you choose this genre? THE GENRE CHOSE ME. I COULDN’T IMAGINE WRITING ANYTHING ELSE. I HAVE NO DESIRE TO WRITE ANYTHING ELSE. AND HOW DOES ANYBODY COME UP WITH IDEAS? I PLUCK THEM OUT OF THE ETHER..

3) What comes first for you when you write? Is it plot, character or theme you would like to explore? EACH BOOK HAS A DIFFERENT GENESIS. SOME START WITH AN, SOME START WITH A CHARACTER. SOME START WITH A SENTENCE, SOME WITH A VOICE.

4) Was it daunting finding an agent for your work? How did you find the submission process? YES – INCREDIBLY. IT WAS SO DAUNTING I SENT MY SUBMISSION ANONYMOUSLY. I WAS TOO WORRIED ABOUT BEING A LAUGHING STOCK IN THE INDUSTRY.

5) What is your planning stage like before you start writing? A brief synopsis does it for me, but every writer is different. YES, I’M NOT SO GREAT AT PLANNING. OFTEN I START A DAY OF WRITING WITHOUT A SINGLE CLUE WHAT I AM GOING TO WRITE. SO, YES, THE BAREST BONES OF A PLAN BEFORE I START..

6) After your manuscript is finished and sent to your agent and editor, how do you feel? Can you describe it? SHEER TERROR WAITING FOR THEM TO GET BACK TO ME!

7) What is the post publication process like? How soon would you start writing the next book? THE PUBLICATION PROCESS IS HUGELY ANXIETY-PROVOKING, SO I TRY STARTING TO WRITE A BOOK AS SOON AS I HAVE DELIVERED A BOOK.

8) What was the last children’s book you read? What did you enjoy about it? I REPRESENT A NUMBER OF CHILDREN’S WRITERS, AND I AM LUCKY TO READ EARLY DRAFTS OF THEIR BOOKS. THE MOST RECENT IS THE LATEST BOOK BY JENNY PEARSON, WHO IS AN ACTUAL GENUIS.

9) As a writer, how has the pandemic affected you? I WROTE A LOT! I WROTE A BOOK COMING IN JANUARY WHICH WAS DEEPLY AFFECTED BY THE PANDEMIC AND IS ABOUT A GIRL EMBRACING FREEDOM AFTER BEING TOO TERRIFIED TO LEAVE HER HOUSE.

10) What is your music taste like? I prefer the classics and some standout seventies bands like Slade, Queen and AC/DC when I write. Do you listen to music when you write? I HAVE VERY DIVERSE MUSIC TASTE. HOWEVER WHEN I WRITE, I NEED TO HAVE SILENCE – OCCASSIONALLY CLASSICAL MUSIC, BUT MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, SILENCE!

Thank you for your time today Sam, it has been a pleasure to have you on the blog. All the best with your writing!

Bio: Sam Copeland is an author. He is from Manchester and now lives in London with two smelly cats, three smelly children and one relatively clean-smelling wife. He works as a chicken whisperer, travelling the world using his unique gift to tame wild chickens. Charlie Changes Into a Chicken is his first book. It was followed by the sequel Charlie Turns Into a T-Rex, and the third in the series – Charlie Morphs into a Mammoth – which was published in February 2020. His latest book Uma and the Answer to Absolutely Everything was released in January 2021. He has more books to come in 2022, including Greta and the Ghost Hunters in January 2022 and a joint novel with top author Jenny Pearson. Despite numerous legal threats, he is refusing to stop writing.

SERIOUS BIT: he is also a literary agent and director at Rogers, Coleridge and White and you can find out about that part of him by clicking here. You can follow him on Twitter here and on Instagram here. You can go to his Facebook page here. You can even go to his Goodreads page here.

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