JK Rowling ditches agent who made her name
Christopher Little’s former business partner casts a spell on Harry Potter author
The polite world of publishing is enjoying the whiff of scandal today with the news that multi-millionaire Harry Potter author JK Rowling has been poached from the literary agent who discovered her, Christopher Little.
What gives the story its frisson is a hint of treachery: Rowling has defected to a new agency set up by Neil Blair, a lawyer who for the last ten years has been business partner to... Christopher Little.
The Independent suggests that Blair's area of expertise means Rowling plans to take the literary side of the business more under her own control – and that adds an element of ingratitude to the heady mix of emotions.
A spokesman for Little, who represented Rowling for 16 years after she sent him an unsolicited manuscript in the post, said: "It came out of the blue. He was surprised to say the least. He has contracts in place with [Rowling], and he has contracts in place with Neil. He is still considering his options.
"He greatly admires [Rowling] and her extraordinary talent and is proud to have played his role throughout this journey. However, he is disappointed and surprised to have heard the premature news about the proposed new arrangements, which were made public yesterday."
Blair worked closely with Rowling recently to set up Pottermore, her much-touted new online venture which will be responsible for e-book sales. He joined Christopher Little in 2001 after four of the Harry Potter books were already in print.
For her part, Rowling would only say through a spokesman that the decision "was not taken without good reason" and had become "unavoidable". ·
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