If you’re reading a new New Zealand book this summer, chances are that Nicola Legat (right) has influenced your reading habits. Once a magazine writer and editor of Metro, Legat gave up fast-food journalism for the slow-food world of book publishing when she became publishing director of Random House in 2005.
Given sales averaging in the low four-figures, is it worthwhile writing fiction? You’d have to ask novelists that, because they keep doing it. I remember interviewing Damien Wilkins once, early in his career, and he said wanting to write a novel is like a compulsion, it’s like a disease, and sometimes he wishes that he didn’t have it. I would love to see, per capita, whether we have more novelists than anywhere else in the world, because I suspect we probably do.
How did Louise Nicholas: My Story come about?
Clint Rickards doesn’t seem the sort to back down from a challenge. That was a risk. The Clint Rickards factor was a risk for us, absolutely. But – God’s work, etcetera – we thought we just must press on. It wasn’t without its perils, but we had to do it. And I think that book, for people who perhaps thought “Is she telling the truth? Is she just a troublemaker?”, absolutely sealed public confidence in her.
What is the most important part of a cookbook – beautiful design and photo-graphy, or recipes that actually work?
Aside from Anton – do you think, say, a 22-year-old professional athlete has a lot to say in a memoir? Well, that’s a good question. We don’t publish those, so I guess I don’t need to comment.