Category Archives: Editing

Q&A with Louise Moore, Managing Director and Publisher of Michael Joseph

By | Brand Publishing, Editing, Insight, Interview, Publisher, Publishing & Consultancy, Writing | No Comments

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Louise Moore is Managing Director and Publisher of Michael Joseph, an imprint of Penguin Random House UK, that publishes highly commercial fiction and non-fiction. In addition to working with Marian Keyes, she has published bestsellers from Jojo Moyes, Dawn French, Stephen Fry, Sue Townsend, Sue Perkins, Joanna Lumley, Ronnie Corbett, Barry Humphries and Richard Curtis.

 

You describe meeting Marian Keyes as a “career-changing moment”. Can you describe what it feels like when you find a new talent you have to publish?

For me, it has been an odd moment of certainty. And reading that ‘voice’ that is unique, and special. And then knowing that you HAVE to have it for your company, no matter what. I remember when someone senior where I worked as a junior editor bought Thomas Harris’s Silence of the Lambs – we all read it, and everyone knew it was going to result in a new genre and generation of writers. It doesn’t happen very often in a career. Sometimes though, an editor can shepherd a career along and think that there is something there, and then an author writes their career-defining book, perhaps six or seven books in. That’s special too, in a different way.

How has your editorial relationship with Marian evolved after working with her since the mid-1990s?

Marian is a dream of an author to work with because despite her superstardom and bestsellerdom, she always wants feedback and critique. It is her novel, and her view that counts ultimately, but I do think that every author —however talented or experienced — can benefit from editorial support. Marian is generous, receptive and open and that hasn’t changed in over twenty years.

Marian’s books don’t shy away from the pain of mental illness. But in an age which calls more and more for trigger warnings, it can be challenging to portray such a sensitive subject in a safe but truthful manner; Netflix has recently come under fire for overly graphic portrayals of suicide and anorexia. As an editor, do you feel an added layer of responsibility in this respect?

We do feel an added layer of responsibility, for sure. But also, remember, it is comforting to read fictionalised accounts of something you are personally going through. It could make you feel less alone and that a particular authorial voice has the empathy to understand and translate what you are going through. I think books, actually, can be a lot cleverer and more subtle about tackling these subjects in a non-voyeuristic and non-simplistic way.

What’s Marian like as a creative partner during the editorial process?

I always remember, and make sure the team at MJ remember too, that we are there first and foremost to serve and protect our authors, the best we can. Of course, we make mistakes. But these should never be for lack of trying or consideration. I have always felt highly protective of Marian, along with the team. Sometimes, perhaps I have been overprotective. I trust her utterly and I hope she does me. We had a pretty straightforward relationship that way from the word go, so I’m not sure that’s changed. I feel she knows me very well after all these years, and we can both pick up a hesitancy in the other. I have learned to wait and listen sometimes, as she doesn’t like to criticise or demonstrate any worries, but sometimes you need to hear it as a Publisher. I never forget that I work on her behalf, and that there is the world of difference between that and just being a ‘friend’. I am her translator into the wider company and then hopefully into the world.

The Break deals with escape, abandonment and human changeability. What are your hopes for this novel?

I want it to be talked about and laughed and cried over; to be an escape and a friend to as many millions of people around the world as possible.

Interview with Cyrus Bozorgmehr, author of The Syndicate and Once Upon A Time In Shaolin

By | Author, Editing, Insight, Interview, Self publishing, Writing | No Comments

THE SYNDICATE_eBook

Cyrus Bozorgmehr is a creative consultant and author who lives in Marrakech, where he continues to write and work across a spectrum of creative adventures. He spoke to whitefox about his busy year – The Syndicate is his first fiction novel (available now via Amazon) and he also acted as senior adviser to the Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin project. Jacaranda Books acquired UK rights for his non-fiction novel about the project and will publish Once Upon a Time in Shaolin in November.

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Q&A with Hannah Sheppard

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Hannah Sheppard is a Branford Boase Award-nominated editor who has worked in trade publishing for fifteen years. She started her career at Macmillan Children’s books before moving to Headline Publishing Group to run the YA and crossover list, where she published Tanya Byrne’s Heart-Shaped Bruise, Jennifer E. Smith’s The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and Julianna Baggott’s Pure trilogy. She is now a literary agent with the D H H Literary Agency, representing authors such as Abi Elphinstone and Keris Stainton.

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Q&A with Julie Scheina

By | Editing, Freelance | No Comments

Julie Scheina is a freelance editor of children’s and young adult fiction. As Senior Editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, she worked with talented authors and artists on books for ages 0–18+. Since founding Julie Scheina Editorial Services, she has collaborated with debut and bestselling authors, as well as publishers, packagers, and agents. During her career, she has edited numerous acclaimed and bestselling books for children and teens, including #1 New York Times bestsellers, a Lamda Literary Award finalist, a William C. Morris Young Adult Debut Award finalist, and an Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy nominee.

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Q&A with Karen Ball

By | Editing, Publishing & Consultancy | No Comments

Karen Ball has over 25 years’ experience of the publishing industry. Her career includes periods as Head of Editorial at Working Partners and Publisher at Little, Brown Books For Young Readers. In September 2016 she launched Speckled Pen, a creative consultancy aimed at helping content generators develop publisher-facing projects. Together with three industry friends, she organises the Book Bound writers’ retreat, aimed at children’s authors.

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Q&A with Laura Nickoll

By | Editing, Freelance | No Comments

Laura Nickoll a freelance project manager and editor, specialising in non-fiction food, cookery and lifestyle illustrated titles and TV tie-ins. A member of the Guild of Food Writers, her recent contributions include restaurant reviews and chef biographies for the Where Chefs Eat series and Where to Eat Pizza (Phaidon Press). She has over 15 years’ experience in the publishing business and has worked with numerous high-profile authors and production companies, including Rachel Allen, Mary Berry, Annabel Karmel, the BBC, Neal Street Productions, and Masterchef. She launched her publishing services business in 2011, and clients include Hardie Grant, Ebury, HarperCollins, Bluebird (Macmillan), Phaidon Press, Simon & Schuster, and Orion.

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Q&A with Chris Wold

By | Editing, Publishing & Consultancy | No Comments

Chris Wold is the Associate Publisher of Nourish, the food and drink imprint of Watkins Publishing. A champion of international markets for the last 20 years, he has made a career of using licensing, co-editions and proprietary sales to find new markets for the books and authors on his lists. His latest project, The Really Quite Good British Cookbook, publishes this month, having been discovered over a chance conversation at last year’s London Book Fair.

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