What is your specialism within book publishing?
I work across a range of publishing activities, specialising in taking a title (fiction) from manuscript to publication and beyond.
Can you describe what you do in 10 words or fewer?
Helping publishers and authors create quality books.
What led you to go freelance?
Life events meant that I had to take a break from my 30 years of working in-house. I decided that, on my return to the publishing world, I would come back as me. Here I am!
Do you work primarily for publishing companies or independent authors or a mix?
It is a healthy mix which keeps me on my toes. I work with agents too.
What’s the best part of doing what you do?
The satisfaction of knowing that I have played a part in bringing a book to market.
What do you know now that you wish you had known when you started your freelance journey?
That I should have started sooner!
How many books are in your TBR (to be read) pile/list? And do you plan to read them all eventually?
There are about 70+ in my TBR list. I will read them all eventually but the pile will be the same size – I keep adding to it. I have a Forth Bridge kind of list!
Do you prefer physical books or ebooks?
I prefer ebooks. I like the fact that I can take my entire reading list (and project titles) with me wherever I go and can adjust the font to make reading faster and I can make notes. It also means that I don’t need a bookmark and avoid the inevitable dirty looks when turning a corner down on a physical book. The secrecy is useful too – though I miss seeing what people are reading. It’s very likely to be me trying to guess what fellow ebook users are reading by staring at their screens when I should be concentrating on my own!
Do you have any advice for anyone considering a career in publishing?
I suggest that anyone thinking about a career in publishing should adopt a ‘try before you buy’ attitude. Get an internship with an Independent Publisher or a large house that allows interns to work in all departments. Often people have a fixed idea before experiencing other aspects of the industry and many discover a new avenue to explore.
What is your favourite children’s book and your favourite adult’s book?
This is an unfair question! I shall give you three …
Children’s book is Hello, Sailor by Ingrid Godon. It is a sweet story, sadly no longer in print.
YA book is Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver . It’s the first in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series and I read them often. Paver’s books do not get the recognition they deserve.
Adult book is The Gormanghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake. Again, I read this often and, if I don’t have time, I watch the DVD of the BBC series. I am excited that Neil Gaiman is bringing a new version to the small screen.