James Scott


At Windmill we want you to get to know our authors as well as we do, which means meeting them when we do.

Our Introducing series brings the newest William Heinemann and Hutchinson authors onto the website, months before their books are due to be published.

In January 2014 Hutchinson will publish The Kept by James Scott, pictured above in suitably snowy conditions. Set during the winter of 1897, The Kept is a novel that asks how far you would go for your family, for love, for survival, and, ultimately, for revenge.

Here, James describes the experience of signing his book deal.

After years of working on The Kept, I’d come to think of it as mine in a very particular way. So much so that when the manuscript went out to publishers, and I was fortunate enough to discuss the book with editors, the feeling was very strange — it was kind of like we were talking about a dream I’d had but hadn’t described to them. The idea of landing at Hutchinson, a publisher that’s been putting out amazing books for 125 years, made it even more surreal.

As personal as the book is, though, the very best thing to me about getting a publishing deal was the opportunity to tell all the people who supported me over the years. There was a lot of crying. Tears of joy, of course. My wife has supported me in every way possible and she was more excited than anyone. There were lots of times when I was frustrated or annoyed with my progress, and she always, always had faith that I was doing the right thing. I emailed or called many of my teachers, but I started with the incomparable Margot Livesey, who is my mentor and one of the very best writers on earth, and an even better person. My friends (especially those that read the book in its final stages: Urban Waite, Chip Cheek, Jaime Clarke, and Laura van den Berg) and family — the tour of being able to tell people, that was amazing. And they knew, and I hope I impressed upon them, that without them there would be no book. That was the best part.

What attracted me to Hutchinson, then, was that I didn’t feel as though some faceless corporation had sucked up my manuscript to spit it out a year or so later. Instead, I felt as though I’d be working with the kind of group I’d fortunately become used to — those who support, inspire, and truly care about both the art and the artist.

A Note from the Editor:

Upon acquiring The Kept Sarah Rigby at Hutchinson described it as ‘a novel with big skies, deep snow, and open wounds, the ambition and sheer brilliance of The Kept had me totally enthralled. We’ve all been blown away by the incredibly powerful writing, the remarkably beautiful imagery and the potential for us to launch James Scott as a major new literary talent.’

The Kept is due for publication in January 2014 by Hutchinson. Check back here for more info.

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