This is the last entry of the season. We are leaving on holidays and are eager to. We need them. This course has been really challenging and disconnecting will allow us to start the 3rd term with a positive energy. But we cannot leave without books, as they are part of the necessary company which provides pleasure. When I close my eyes, all those pleasurable moments are beside a book: the morning at the beach, little moments on the hammock before taking a nap, a sunset at the terrace, looking at the sea. And I hope many of you will imagine those sweet breaks by a book and I will leave you with a compilation of all the novelties we have highlighted each week in case you have missed any. I encourage you to go buy them and fill your bags. Do not forget them, as they will help you enjoy your well-deserved rest. Have a great summer! We will return in September, with new books and, above all, with a smile, which was never gone, thanks to our great travel companions: THE BOOKS.
Here is the list with the titles that we have talked about throughout the year:
The 24th of July the Olympic Games will begin in Tokio. In 2020 they had to be cancelled due to Covid, and this year the challenge is to organize them. These will be the first Olympics after the pandemic as we still drag consequences of all kinds. Sportspeople, who have also been affected by not being able to train in the best conditions until recently, face a real challenge: fighting for their dream every day. I understand their eagerness but their nervousness and fears too. Whatever the case, it’s fantastic to have the Olympic games and sports back and, in a country like Japan, where everything seems more calm, orderly and Zen.
Our agency has had the great book of the Japanese concept, which has been a worldwide bestseller: IKIGAI. But here is a selection of all the titles that we have in our catalogue, where Japan is a trademark:
IKIGAI – The Japanese secrets for a long happy life.
EL MÉTODO IKIGAI – Find your real passion and accomplish your life’s purpose.
SHINRIN YOKU – The art and science of forest bathing.
WABI SABI – The wisdom of imperfection.
GANBATTE – The Japanese art of always moving forward.
UN GEEK EN JAPÓN – Today’s Japan seen through the lenses of a Spaniard who lives there.
Working as an agent is so diverse that it can hardly be defined. Many ask about the demands to be a good agent, and the truth is that it involves so much that I struggle to mention the most basic aspects. Those who think we spend the greatest part of our day reading manuscripts, should remove that bucolic idea from their heads. In my personal case, it is impossible to fit the readings, which are basic in our jobs, in my daily routine. Therefore, I always end up reading before going to bed, when I am able to dedicate at least to hours to my authors’ readings and to the manuscripts my team refers as works which have potential to be represented. That is why a mature agency like mine, nearing its 20th year of existence, struggles to go for new voices. It has nothing to do with a lack of motivation, as the butterflies of falling for something and making it grow is a lovely part of this job. It’s just a matter of time, which does not normally leave enough room to develop this facet as much as we would like to. And being realistic, agents should know what they can manage in the time that is available to them, otherwise, the author and the agent will be dissatisfied. Nevertheless, we do leave some vacances open every year, even if it’s just a few, for the new voices that might win our hearts or might be different and extraordinary. In 2021 we have taken in several powerful non-fiction voices, as the sales in this genre have grown (something which is natural, after the pandemic and its effects) and a few fiction voices that captivated the entire team.
In non-fiction we have incorporated Ferran Cases who, with his books BYE BYE ANSIEDAD and PEQUEÑO LIBRO SOBRE LA ANSIEDAD is a leading voice on the topic in Spain. By the end of the year we will have a very special novelty, in co-authorship with Sara Teller, in which they will explain anxiety but in its most scientific aspect: teaching how to achieve a happy brain. In non-fiction we also have three powerful women who join the team with force. There’s SILVIA BUESO, who will publish her new book with Cúpula, about a topic which will turn the female world upside down, with her charisma and people skills. We also have MERITXELL GARCÍA, an expert in empathy who will publish a book on how to understand highly sensitive people. She will also join the children’s world to teach them how to be empathetic, because the sooner we learn to be so, the faster this change will come in our society. Lastly, there’s IMMA TABASCO, instagrammer and now author who will delight us with a very special book on the importance of smiling.
And in fiction, there’s Men Marías who, for me, is one of the most special voices that I have read recently. Her thriller, LA ÚLTIMA PALOMA, was published a month ago by Planeta and both press, and readers have praised it. An exciting thriller, with an unbelievable character, sergeant Patria Santiago, who will face the most macabre crime and will delight the lovers of strong emotions and will leave nobody indifferent. We are certain it will join the list of bestsellers. Recently, we have also incorporated a writer of historical fiction, Sandra Asa, who I will soon introduce, as hers is a powerful and original project. And her narrative voice is spectacular. Unfortunately, I will have to stop here.
The Spanish and Catalan editions of the new book by John Green is being published today: THE ANTHROPOCENE REVIEWED, a clever, exciting, and personal collection of essays by the author who fascinated us with THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and LOOKING FOR ALASKA.
Green lived in Chicago for several years, where he worked for a magazine named Booklist. While he was there, he reviewed hundreds of books, particularly literary fiction, books about Islam or conjoined twins. Green later lived in New York City for two years.
He also wrote for «National Radio’s» and in 2014, Green was included in Time magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2006 he won the Printz Award for his debut novel Looking for Alaska.
Aside from being a novelist, Green is also known for his YouTube ventures. In 2007, he launched the Vlogbrothers channel with his brother, Hank Green. Since then, John and Hank have launched events such as Project for Awesome and VidCon and created a total of 11 online series, including Crash Course, an educational YouTube channel teaching literature, history, and science.
Probably, thanks to that last facet, Green has decided to publish this new book, a collection of texts describing different aspects of our present and ranks them from one to five. He observes topics such as QWERTY, internet, Super Mario Kart, whispers, teddy bears or sunsets. These essays, full of beauty, humor, and empathy, make our society face their contradictions and are, at the same time, a celebration of the love for our world. It is a unique register, but it makes a lot of sense, and can open our minds, and calls for a deep reflection.
It has been one of the greatest successes of the agency and that is why we believe we should continue supporting John Green in his literary career because, no matter the register, he always refers to things in a special way.
Selling LOOKING FOR ALASKA, his first novel, which I absolutely loved, was not easy. As a matter of fact, it was published first just for the Latin American market because Editorial Castillo became interested. But that debut contained an interesting and different voice which grew with PAPERTOWNS and was crowned with his bestseller, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, a novel which made me laugh and cry equally and opened the gates to a painful reality in which it is allowed to dream.
I am proud of having this author in the agency and allowing locals to read in our language.
Next month our agency will be 20 years old! And it seems as if it was yesterday when we celebrated our 10th anniversary… Time flies, literally, and so much has happened…
But the basis was to keep learning a profession that will never cease to surprise, frighten, and delight me. Many authors have been represented by our agency, but the ones that started with me are not as numerous, as the author-agent relationship is not easy. I wouldn’t say it’s difficult either, but, like any relationship, it needs basic ingredients like loyalty, honesty, and transparency. Among the pioneers is Francesc Miralles, who I admire as a person, who has proved his worth in all the genres and has reached the top with his bestselling title, IKIGAI, which counts over 60 translations. I don’t think any of us would have ever imagined this success, but we knew this was a long run and we are still glad to share projects. Alejandro Palomas is another lifelong author with whom we’ve had ups and downs, like in any relationship, but as we have grown, we have achieved an impeccable literary stability. After succeeding with UNA MADRE, receiving the Nadal Prize for UN AMOR, and the National Literature Prize for UN HIJO, we know we can’t complain. But we both dream about UN PAÍS CON TU NOMBRE, his next novel, which you cannot miss, as the fans will become even more addicted and those who are not will get hooked by Palomas’ special world. Dr. Estivill was among the first to trust me and has supported me along the way. His first success, DUÉRMETE NIÑO, translated into 20 languages, with millions of copies sold, helped us take off. And this year, with EL MÉTODO TOKEI, he has opened the gates of the chronobiology to reach happiness. They were the first and we still walk elbow-to-elbow. I would say we are as excited as ever, but have a better knowledge of the literary world, which is kind as it is cruel, but to which we are addicted to. Nowadays I wouldn’t know what else to do which would inspire, demand and activate me as much on a daily basis. This job is like a trapeze artist who is on the tightrope and needs to maintain the balance to cross from one end to the other every time they take the stage. Our stage is similar to theirs: there is no truce, but we do have passion and vocation and that is more than enough.
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