Monday, 30 January 2012
I am excited and delighted to say that I have been able to locate Clare Mallory's heir and agree terms with them and so my third title will be Clare Mallory's The Two Linties which will be republished for the first time since its original publication in 1950 in May/June 2012. Having republished two London stories, I've moved to New Zealand to tell the story of an ambitious orphan's first steps as a writer while leading a double life.
Unlike Clare Mallory's more well-known school stories, this is a story of budding journalists competing for their place in the local paper.
A pdf file of Chapter One of The Two Linties is available for download from the website.
Sunday, 22 January 2012
Book-buying is an interestingly emotional business relying on attraction, recommendations and emotion just as much as it has to do with interest in finding out what happens next as you turn the page. That’s what’s made publishing so interesting over the last few years bringing back The Whicharts or ‘Ballet Shoes for cynics’ as I’ve heard it summarised and Five Farthings a lovely family story of first love and 1930s London which deserves to be back in print for the first time since the 1930s. I’m pleased that collectors are willing to buy paperbacks over their usual preference of vintage hardbacks, but I know I need to develop an ‘electronic list’. It isn’t, sadly, economically viable to produce hardbacks with a dustwrapper, so I combine the best and most readable vintage fiction with contemporary technology to publish quality paperbacks with a heavier-weight paper and resilient glued-in binding.
I'm still hard at work with the final rights negotiations for Titles 3 and 4. The shortlist for Titles 5 onwards was reduced by quite a considerable number after a Christmas holidays reading vintage fiction and discarding many ideas. I prefer to reprint the rare, but I also want them to be readable by the collector and, ideally, by any keen reader of fiction today. I wondered about Freda C. Bond for a Christmas 2012 release, but found her books to be tissue-thin in terms of plot, though the number of adventures per chapter exceeded all parody of the GO genre. One request has been to investigate bringing Pennington back - I'll report back on that as soon as I can.
Monday, 16 January 2012
Five Farthings: a London story. The title's beautifully clear and you're drawn into a world of City life that's as recognisable to any commuter or City worker today, even if City rents aren't low any more. It works, I think, because it's an enjoyable family story with an uncommon subject at its heart. How many people even today are familiar with the layout of the City - how many just walk past Cannon Street station and don't even look up at the splendour of St Paul's on the daily commute? I try, though the dragons fade into the background after a while, striking as they are. London in your lunch hour probably won't include Wren churches or sandwiches in the parks - most of us manage a quick coffee or a wander around shopping before dashing back to our desks. My office has daft pigeons wandering in circles around the guttering - Redlich has them pottering about around the roof of the cathedral. The only thing I would have liked to do while researching and putting this book together was to visit a Lyons Corner House. I'm told that some could be spectacular and doubt that the interior of a modern coffee house would strike me in quite the same way.