Thanks so much for reviewing my submission, Agent Pete. I am gutted to have missed it, but chuffed to bits by being compared to Horowitz (loved the Alex Ryder series!) I'm feeling very inspired now and will focus on making Jamie's reaction to his mother's departure more compelling. I'm not quite sure what 'cookies' are through? Are they like Gretel's breadcrumbs leading the reader in the direction you want them to go, tweaking their emotional heartstrings? It's very true what you say about having to appeal to adult commissioning agents - perhaps agencies should consider outsourcing submissions to a kids' reading group?!
Thanks again, it was very heartening to hear the book is very readable and commercial. My intention is to write something kids want to read, to lose themselves in the story and keep those pages turning - but I understand they need to be more invested in Jamie as a character right from the start.
Looking forward to the free drinks as a member of Litopia...!