Nicola Barr

I joined Greene & Heaton in January 2011, and became a director two years later.

I’ve worked as an editor (at Flamingo, the literary imprint of HarperCollins), a foreign-rights agent at The Susijn Agency, and a book reviewer for the Guardian and the Observer.

I studied English Literature at Glasgow University, then spent my twenties as an editor on a literary list working with Nicola Barker, Fay Weldon, Doris Lessing, Douglas Coupland, Patrick Gale, and literary fiction is still my dearest passion. But in recent years my taste has widened and I adore well-told commercial fiction, whether it be historical worlds my own Katherine Webb creates, dark twisted clever contemporary psychological thrillers or the modern-day police procedural in either rainy Manchester or exotic lands. I love crime fiction – love the tropes of the genre and the way it can be subverted. Good stories, absorbing stories, told in a way that surprises me – that’s what I’ll fight any agent over. Your novel can be quirky, intimate, sweeping, local, international, as long as it convinces me I’m in. Also, I’m Northern Irish so mention Ireland and you’ll go to the top of my reading pile.

In non-fiction, I know as much as any male agent out there about sport, so don’t be sexist. Popular science, popular culture, social and cultural history are all passions.

I am also children’s and YA agent here and represent Lucy Christopher, Natasha Ngan and Rainbow Rowell. I’m loving YA and really keen to expand my list further so whether it’s fantasy, dystopian, or set in the sixth-form common room, I’d love to see it.

I work closely with new clients on shaping and editing their novels and proposals. And my list is far from full. I’m always and ever on the lookout for exciting new talent.