Rowan joined The Soho Agency in 2019 after almost two decades in the industry, predominantly in agenting. Her internationally bestselling authors have been awarded and shortlisted for literary prizes including the British Book Awards, the CWA Daggers, the Irish Book Awards, the Wales Book of the Year, Romantic Novel of the Year and the BBC National Short Story Award. She has also been involved in the judging of a number of fiction prizes including Richard & Judy ‘Search for a Bestseller’ and the Bristol Short Story Prize. Rowan was a Bookseller Rising Star in 2012.
Rowan’s taste ranges from the most commercial well-written genre fiction and domestic suspense to accessible literary and reading group novels, as well as narrative non-fiction (often, but not always, written by women) - including moving and inspiring memoirs, biography, personal development and politics. She loves women’s fiction in all its guises, from contemporary romance and romantic comedy, to tightly plotted crime novels featuring strong female leads and compelling plots. She is a sucker for a love story, especially one with a twist or set against an historical backdrop, and is also drawn to novels that hit on moral or emotional issues and contain strong discussion points. Stories that centre around family drama, single or solo parenthood and diverse families are also likely to be up her street. If your book makes her cry then you have probably found your agent.
She has recently loved reading Mr Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo, Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason, Magpie by Elizabeth Day, Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane, Luster by Raven Leilani, Snowflake by Louise Nealon, The Girl with a Louding Voice by Abi Daré, Mrs England by Stacey Halls, Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers, Detransition Baby by Torrey Peters, In Five Years by Rebecca Serle, Conversations on Love by Natasha Lunn, Motherhood by Eliane Glaser, Bringing up Race by Uju Asika, The Five by Hallie Rubenhold, Three Women by Lisa Taddeo and House of Glass by Hadley Freeman.
Some of Rowan’s favourite writers include Rosamunde Pilcher, Jojo Moyes, Daphne Du Maurier, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Louise Candlish, Susie Steiner, Cara Hunter, Curtis Sittenfeld, Jhumpa Lahiri, Anna Hope, Maggie O’Farrell, Sally Rooney, Sarah Waters, Kate Atkinson, Anne Tyler, Alice Munro and Jodi Picoult.
You can find Rowan on Twitter @rowan_lawton