Helen Keen

“Whether she's negotiating a complex sale with numerous publishers, or emailing me a link she knows I'd find interesting for a project I'm researching, Susan has a knack of getting things exactly right.”

After having written and performed a lot of comedy live and for Radio 4, and been a contributing writer on various TV projects, I wanted to branch out in new directions. Combining science and pop-culture had worked well for me, and I’d been lucky enough to win awards and recognition for some of my work. I’d often thought about writing a book, but didn’t know much about that world. So, it was a very lucky day for me when I met Susan Smith, and became one of MBA’s writers. Susan approached me to meet with her about a live show I’d been doing, and I came away from our meeting feeling very excited and hopeful. We joined forces to produce the proposal that eventually became my first book The Science of Game of Thrones.

Working with Susan has been a joyful experience that has really helped me to grow and produce better (I hope!) work. I’ve benefitted immeasurably from her guidance, and I always appreciate both her honesty and her tact. Whether she’s negotiating a complex sale with numerous publishers, or emailing me a link she knows I’d find interesting for a project I’m researching, Susan has a knack of getting things exactly right (I’m hoping to gradually pick up this skill from her by osmosis).  Writing your first book is pretty daunting for most people – it certainly was for me – but the well-judged, generous support of all at MBA made a huge difference, and considerably diminished my sleepless nights of worry. Susan was beside me from the very beginning of planning the book, and now the book’s been in the shops in the UK for a good few months, but we’re still regularly selling rights in other countries and discussing spin-off projects.

It helps immensely of course that Susan is clever, funny and unflappable, as well as brimming with good ideas.  Whenever I talk to other authors about her they say ‘I hope you realise how lucky you are to have an agent like that’, and I certainly am.  I’m very much looking forward to seeing where my career takes me with MBA in the future.