Caradoc King is at the helm at AP Watt, which is the longest established literary agency in the world. In the course of his 35 years as a literary agent he has worked with some of the biggest names in literature, such as Graham Swift, Helen Dunmore and Tony Parsons. Caradoc is a long time friend of Philip Pullman, who he met at Oxford and became his first client. Caradoc’s business acumen is legendary and he famously sold the film rights to The Horse Whisperer before first-time novelist Nicholas Evans had even finished writing the book.
Caradoc decided to write Problem Child after meeting his biological mother for the first time, an intensely emotional experience which he wished to record. Later he decided that he needed to explore his difficult and complex relationship with his adoptive mother.
Author photo © Johnny Ring
Adopted at eighteen months, Caradoc King was brought up in a large and growing family. His adoptive mother, a complex woman, was unable to bond with her newly adopted son and treated him with a harshness bordering on cruelty. At the age of six, he was sent to a boarding school run by two brilliantly eccentric brothers. But this happy time ended abruptly when his adoptive mother became a passionate Catholic and removed him from the school. From the age of eleven, Caradoc was shuttled from one school to the next, later failing to fulfil his mother's wish that he should join a seminary. When he was fifteen, he was informed that he had been adopted and, a year later, his parents ejected him from the family. Two years later, he scraped into Oxford and there on his first day met Philip Pullman, who was to become his first client when he set up as a literary agent. Thirty yearslater, Caradoc went in search of his natural family and began to make sense of the mystery of his two absent mothers.