Friday, June 22, 2007

The launch for Chocolate and Zucchini by Clotilde Dusoulier went well - about one hundred people, brisk book sales, the unlikely appearance of Jude Law in the building, who ate a plate of our Chocolate and Zucchini food (apparently the chocolate and raspberry cake went down the best - it's very easy to make, thank goodness, when you are baking for a hundred, it had better be), and met Clotilde.

Now for our next problem - in the past month two of our staff of four have found pastures new - and these are really good people. I wish them the best - Amy Christian has gone to children's book publisher Anness, and Holly Macdonald starts as a cover designer at Transworld in July. Now, why did I train them too well....

So, Kit Maude will join us from Peter Owen Publishers, and we need an in house cover designer, and type-setter, for two days a week. We are very happy to employ an illustrator (like Holly) who had never designed a cover before - just hope to hang onto them for longer next time...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Matthew of Crockatt & Powell just asked me if I was planning any more crazy things since we seem to do this quite a lot.....

Yes, I am planning to cook appetizers for over 100 people at the French Insstitute next week for the launch of Chocolate and Zucchini by Clotilde Dusoulier.

That's right, I am planning to cook for someone who spends her life telling other people how to cook.

Totally crazy.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Last weekend I went to the Hay Festival, to spend time with friends in a beautiful house, and dip into the festival whenever we decided to.

The weather was kind, and Saturday saw five of us climbing Hay Buff in glorious sun - so good I missed Asne Seierstad talking on Beslan.

The atmosphere is unique - take a beautiful, secluded piece of Wales and add any number of speakers and a keen audience, plus cheap strawberries, free Guardians and excellent ice cream. People who criticise the festival for being corporate just arrive in the wrong frame of mind. Yes, you can buy an organic champagne brunch or sit in the Sky Cafe, but no one is forcing you to.

Best talks - Bruce Robinson, Tony Juniper and Martin Amis - most disappointing was Sean Hughes but I'm not really a stand up comedian fan and he just seemed totally stressed out, looking at his watch and saying 'five minutes to go' all the time.

And our house - Yellow Drama - was magnificent and we were in the next door house to Mariella so you can just imagine how good it was. All I can do now is plan which authors of ours to pitch for talks next year - non fiction, environment, Aids and issues seem to be more eagerly devoured than fiction. But maybe I'm wrong - most talks were full so I don't think it matters who you encourage to go so long as they are eager to engage with a lively audience.