What Are You Reading, EJ Swift?

Come for the books, stay for the bees.

We’re delighted to welcome EJ Swift to WAYR this week.

E. J. Swift is the author of The Osiris Project trilogy and Paris Adrift. You can find her on Instagram or Twitter.

What are you reading right now?

Leave The World Behind by Rumaan Alam. Strangers find themselves thrown together in an isolated holiday home when a mysterious event appears to have brought down power - and connectivity - across the US east coast. There’s obvious resonance with the pandemic, but it’s the astute social observations and the gorgeous, witty writing that have me spellbound.

What's the last great book you read?

Impossible to choose one! Kate Bradbury’s The Bumblebee Flies Anyway was a huge inspiration for me, a passionate memoir about building an urban wildlife garden amidst a sea of cement; about loss, recovery, finding chinks of hope in the midst of the biodiversity crisis. And earlier this year I read two superb speculative fiction novels: From The Wreck by Jane Rawson, where a sailor survives a historical shipwreck - but not alone - and Gun Island by Amitav Ghosh, a retelling of a Bengali legend which addresses climate breakdown and migration.

What's your best advice for aspiring writers?

Finish! It doesn’t matter how terrible it is, and for me at least the first draft always is - whatever you’re writing, just get to the end. Then you’ve got something to work with. 

What's the most interesting fact you've learned recently?

During World War 1, a French Airman glided his aircraft down with the engines off behind enemy lines and found himself amongst a flock of birds hanging apparently motionless in midair. They were swifts, who go to sleep about 10,000 feet up and stay there all night - a superpower I would like to have please.

What’s your best tip for a gorgeous garden?

Speaking as a total amateur, my idea of a gorgeous garden is one that is both beautiful to look at and good for wildlife, and of course includes a comfy nook for reading! I’m very lucky to have a garden but any outside space, a window box or a balcony, can include something for wildlife. Bees like open flowers and see blue and purple best so those are good colours for them. Log, stick or leaf piles make homes for insects, and leaving some nettles helps as many butterflies need them to lay their eggs. And water, if you have the space. I like the mantra ‘build it and they will come’. I made a little barrel pond last year, and a couple of evenings ago a robin used it for a bath. That was a good day.

Thank you so much, EJ!

Put on your dancing shoes; it’s time for Agency News!

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve signed a new client: Nicole Swengley!

Nicole has been a freelance journalist for too many years to mention, latterly writing about the latest developments in contemporary design for publications including the Financial Times, The Telegraph, The Times, Wall Street Journal and London Evening Standard. She read English at Leeds University where she contributed to the student newspaper. An early love of reading and writing fiction was boosted by the gift of a bright-red, manual Bar-Let typewriter when she was nine. Later, her short stories appeared in women’s magazines and a crime anthology published by Pavilion. She is currently working on her debut novel, a contemporary thriller with a strong art history thread. 

Angela Slatter's All the Murmuring Bones was published yesterday by Titan.  Christopher Golden says it’s ‘harrowing and beautiful. This is the grim, fairy-tale gothic you've been waiting for’ - high praise, indeed.And a film version of her Finnegan's Field is currently in development.

Anne Perry's latest book was published by Headline last week: you can find copies at (virtual) bookstores everywhere! And TV development on her 'Pitt' and 'Monk' series is continuing apace.

We’ve brokered options for various projects with producers Bad Wolf, Ink Factory, Lloyd and Beatriz Levin, Three Tables, Roughcut and Millennium. But you’ll have to stay tuned for more information on what those projects might be…

And, finally: Ki Agency has moved offices! We’re still in the same building, but we have a new suite number and new bookcases and new desks and everything is absolutely lovely. Our information has been updated on our website and we hope to welcome friends to visit as soon a it’s safe!

Thanks so much for reading, and have a great weekend!