Sara and I met on the Curtis Brown novel writing course in 2013. Yes, it often takes that long to get an agent. At the end of 2017 I finally got one – Rachel Mills at Furniss Lawton, which I attribute entirely to Sara and Emma. At our first session on that course all 14 of us pitched our novels and Sara told me later that she thought, when she heard mine: ‘I could sell that book. But I’m not sure she can.’ At that stage she hadn’t even thought of setting up her own agency, but when Bluepencilagency was set up, I was an early client. Sara has now worked on two of my novels and it was she who persuaded me to revisit Persons Unknown, which I’d rather given up on, having received just about every conceivable agent brush-off. But Sara and Emma did feel passionately enough about it to try and sell it for me. The agency looks for a match between author and agent and when they met Rachel Mills, they pitched it. I was completely bowled over by Rachel’s first email which made it clear she had got the book I had written; was hugely enthusiastic about it, and wanted to work with me.