Archive for the ‘Headlines’ Category

Six-Film Deal For Michelle Paver

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Redhammer today announces a major film deal for client Michelle Paver, whose bestselling Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series has been sold to producer Nick Hirschkorn of Feel Films.  All six books in the series will be filmed, with the involvement of a yet-undisclosed broadcaster.

Hirschkorn is currently producing the highly-anticipated Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell for the BBC, co-produced by BBC AMERICA.  He has previously produced the critically-acclaimed film of David Almond’s book Skellig as well as E. Nesbit’s  Five Children and It.

Michelle Paver wins Guardian Fiction Prize“As soon as I put down WOLF BROTHER – which wasn’t easy” says Nick Hirschkorn, “I knew it was an archetypal story, the like of which I had never read before, that was crying out to be filmed. The fact that the series incorporates so many universal themes in such an original setting, packed with huge emotional punch, makes it irresistible for a wide family audience. I feel privileged that Michelle has entrusted me with her literary gem.”

Acclaimed screenwriter Will Davies is contracted to write the first film in the series, WOLF BROTHER. Davies is the writer of Puss in Boots, Johnny English Reborn, How to Train Your Dragon, Flushed Away, Alien Autopsy, Johnny English, Ghost in the Machine and Twins.

“Michelle’s WOLF BROTHER series takes you into a world like no other you’ve ever seen”, says Davies.  “Torak and Wolf are unforgettable characters, and the mysteries they have to uncover, both about that world, and  themselves are utterly compelling.  I love this series and am thrilled to be a part of bringing it to the screen.”

“We originally sold the series to Sir Ridley Scott”, says Redhammer’s Peter Cox.  “But when the opportunity arose to get a dynamic young British producer like Nick Hirschkorn involved, it was too good to pass up.”

The entire series has been recorded for audiobooks by Sir Ian McKellen – will he feature in the films?  “You’ll have to wait and see!” says Nick Hirschkorn.

Martin Bell’s Dodgy Verses

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Redhammer’s illustrious client Martin Bell took to the stage over the weekend to reveal a previously hidden talent: he is a master of light verse.  Headlining at the 2013 Much Wenlock Poetry Festival, Martin read from  his new book, For Whom the Bell Tolls.  Tony Blair and Iraq, Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic, two-faced politicians and the cult of celebrity worship were all skewered with gentle humour – extracts follow – enjoy!


Mal Peet Moves To Redhammer

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

The widely-acclaimed British author Mal Peet has moved to Redhammer Management for his literary representation and management.  His awards include the Branford Boase Award, the Nestle Children’s Book Award, The Carnegie Medal and The Guardian Children’s Book Prize as well as a number of major American awards.

“In just five books”, says Redhammer’s Peter Cox, “Mal has distinguished himself as one of the most important writing talents of our time.   His awards have only been surpassed by praise from critics and his peers.  We are honoured that he has chosen to come to us.”

Redhammer offers a completely different management approach to other, more traditional literary agencies.  Cox came to agenting from a background in advertising and marketing, not the more conventional route through publishing or inheritance.  “We are very client focused”, he says, “and quite obsessed about delivering what authors need.  I’m sure publishers thought I was crazy initially but our success – and that of our clients – proves that this is the right approach for the future.”

Mal Peet has been tagged a “young adult” author, but both Peet and Cox feel this is unnecessarily restrictive.  “I’m with Mal when he says he sees no barrier between teenage fiction and adult literature”, says Cox.  “Good writing is good writing, period.”

“Redhammer has an astonishingly small client list compared to other agencies”, Cox says, “but we provide highly personal management and a far broader range of expertise than can be found in almost any other agency.  We’re the agency of the future, and Mal is in the right place, where he belongs.”

More information about Mal Peet here.

Better Bookselling

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Peter Cox writing in The Bookseller

Half the adults in the wasteland that used to be the great American city of Detroit now cannot read.  We’re not talking about their failure to perceive the finer nuances of Jonathan Franzen’s latest flight of fancy.  No.  They can’t read a bus sign, a pill bottle, or a McDonald’s menu.

If that doesn’t scare you, nothing will.

With our libraries falling at a rate not seen since Caesar sacked Alexandria, and our public wealth being nasally ingurgitated by sociopathic bankers, the most we can expect on this issue from our rulers and masters are homilies without substance and  platitudes without resources.

Things will get worse.

Today, there is an air of urgency in the bookselling business that I’ve never sensed before.  It’s not just about the money; it’s about fighting for our society and culture.  We can all sense the darkness at the edge of town, I think.  Getting people into bookshops is today a moral issue.   But – how?

All retailers study the science of footfall.  Independents are disadvantaged in this respect, with less in the way of resources compared to their larger competitors.  Even so, some creative thinking can go a long way: challenging times call for exceptional actions.  Here are five of the best, least expensive, ways to boost bookshop traffic.

  1. Get into the street.  Scientologists do it, chuggers do it, Starbucks do it – we should, too.  Get right into your customers’ faces, every daylight hour. Take a survey, give a bookmark, read a poem, offer a trade-in – any excuse to talk to passers-by.  It’s basically a numbers game: the more you pitch, the more you’ll profit.
  2. Develop atmosphere.  Many bookshops feel sepulchral. Chill the vibe (ambient, not Four Seasons), sex up the decor, chiaroscuro the lighting (yes, the customer still has to read – but this isn’t Sainsbury’s is it?). Entering a bookshop must be an adventure, a moment of escapism. Create some magic!
  3. Build loyalty.  There are few urban businesses so cutthroat as coffee shops, and they’ve long understood the power of loyalty schemes. Try collaborating with other local shops: punters must get their card stamped by six different retailers to be entered into this month’s prize draw for a hamper.
  4. Get a patron.  Bookshops aren’t merely businesses, they are local cultural institutions. As such, they need patrons.  Your patron should have media clout, a great social network, be prepared to MC events and proudly speak out on your behalf.  Better yet, get two.
  5. Free is the most powerful word in marketing.  Every successful business on the net was built on it. Free Fridays (second-hand books taken as trade-ins)… free instore classes… free storytelling… this is one F word you can’t overuse.

We can win this battle – as indeed we must, if we’re to save Western culture before it’s closing time.

This column first appeared in The Bookseller on the 24th June 2011

Illustration by jinterwas


For Whom the Bell Tolls

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Icon Books has acquired a third title by Redhammer client, veteran reporter and former-MP Martin Bell.  Icon m.d. Simon Flynn acquired world and full digital rights to For Whom the Bell Tolls from Peter Cox of Redhammer Management.  The title is an autobiographical collection of “light and dark” verse.

Flynn said: “This light and dark collection of poems is a funny, honest and often moving account of Martin’s life and experiences.”

Icon will publish as a £9.99, B-format hardback on 1st December.

Paver Ignites Bologna

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Penguin’s international deals for Redhammer client Michelle Paver ignited the Bologna Children’s Book Fair today. Penguin penned deals for Paver’s Gods and Warriors series with House of Books in Holland, Hachette in France, Semic in Sweden and Mondadori in Italy, with “plenty more to come over next weeks and months”, according to rights director Chantal Noel.

Paver met international publishers at the fair to give details of the new series, set in the Mediterranean region during the Bronze Age. At a presentation this morning, Paver told publishers she chose the era because it was a “rich, spectacular, exciting world to inhabit, with chariots, ocean-going ships, slaves, warriors, myths and magic”.

The new series will tell the story of Hylas, a lowly 12-year-old goatherd in the Greek mountains, whose adventures take him far afield to Crete and Egypt, and involve him, like Torak in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, with animals—in the new series, a lion, a falcon and a dolphin.

Paver moved to Puffin with her new series, after publishing the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness books with Orion. Elv Moody, editorial director of Classic Puffin, promised international publishers a “global sharepoint to share ideas and resources” for the launch campaign for the first book, as yet untitled, in the autumn of 2012.

Borkowski On McLaren

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Redhammer client and author of The Fame Formula profiles the late Malcolm McLaren on BBC Radio Four. “I’ve been called many things,” McLaren once said.  “A charlatan, a con man, or the culprit responsible for turning popular culture into nothing more than a cheap marketing gimmick. This is my chance to prove these accusations are true.”

Author and public relations expert Mark Borkowski, knew McLaren well. What intrigues mark is not just the success, but the myths that have evolved around this highly manipulative man. An intriguing programme about fame, the media, and why the truth should not be confused with an easily believable myth.

Michelle Paver moves to Puffin

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Puffin Books announced today that it has signed up the acclaimed and bestselling children’s author Michelle Paver for a major new series. Puffin has acquired world rights, including digital, in a deal which will see the award-winning author – well known for her Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series – published by Penguin in the US as well as by Penguin group companies in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and South Africa.

Elv Moody, Editorial Director for Puffin Books, secured the global deal for five books from Peter Cox of Redhammer Management Ltd.

The new series, entitled Gods and Warriors, is set during the Bronze Age in the Mediterranean.  Famed for her vividly-imagined exploration of the prehistoric past, Michelle Paver has already begun research for the new books, the first of which will be published by Puffin in the autumn of 2012.

Francesca Dow, Managing Director of Puffin, said, ‘We are thrilled to be publishing Michelle Paver. She is the real thing – a true writer whose books have huge appeal and lasting value. Puffin will publish her new series with all the ambition and creativity it deserves. We can’t wait!’

Peter Cox of Redhammer Management Ltd said, ‘The decision to move to Puffin wasn’t taken lightly.  Tom, Francesca and Elv are part of a team that feels excited by the future, not daunted by it.  This willingness to engage with the future – and indeed to make it their own – is the essence of today’s successful publisher.  I’m entirely confident that Michelle’s new publishing home is the right place for her to be in the years ahead, and I feel as excited about it as the Puffin team are.’

Paver’s Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series is published in thirty eight countries and has achieved huge international success with a total of 1 million copies sold in the UK alone. Ghost Hunter, the last book in the Chronicles series, recently won the prestigious Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2010 and Michelle’s adult ghost story Dark Matter has just been published to wide critical acclaim.

Michelle Paver said, ‘I’ve been overwhelmed by Puffin’s passion for GODS & WARRIORS.  As a child, my bookshelf was crammed with Puffin paperbacks, and I’m thrilled that my next series will become part of that tradition.’

Michelle Wins!

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Redhammer client Michelle Paver today wins the 2010 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize for “Ghost Hunter”, the sixth and final book in her Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series.  She joins a distinguished line of past winners including Ted Hughes, Jacqueline Wilson, Anne Fine and Philip Pullman.  The prize is Britain’s leading award for chidren’s authors, and is comparable to the American Newbery Medal.

Chair of judges, Julia Eccleshare, said: “It’s relatively rare for a book late in a series to win a major prize, but the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness is such a towering achievement, as a whole as well as in terms of the individual books, that it was our unanimous choice.”

The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize was founded in 1967 and is unique in that it is judged by children’s authors themselves, and noone can win it more than once.  This year’s panellists were Linda Buckley-Archer, Jenny Downham, and last year’s winner Mal Peet.

The judging process was shadowed by young critics, who described Ghost Hunter as “a thrilling story of love, friendship and terrifying evil” and “the perfect book for anyone who likes adventure, prehistory and survival”.

The series is set in prehistory and tells the story of a boy Torak, his female friend Renn and his lupine companion Wolf.  Research for Ghost Hunter took Paver to Finnish Lapland, where she snowshoed on the trail of elk and reindeer, and to the UK’s Wolf Conservation Trust.

Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Redhammer client Michelle Paver is today shortlisted for Britain’s most prestigious writing prize for children’s fiction, The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.  The award has been given annually since 1967, and is decided by a panel of authors and the reviews editor for The Guardian’s children’s books section.  It is similar in status to the American Newbery Medal.  other shortlisted authors are Gregory Hughes, Morris Gleitzman and Eva Ibbotson.  The winner will be announced on Thursday October 7th.