Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
All four members of staff at indie publisher Hesperus have
resigned their roles at the company. The company exhibited at the London
Book Fair, but staff were absent. The Bookseller understands all four
employees of Hesperus Press, including head of publishing Nikki Griffiths,
handed their notices in to the owners several weeks ago, with Griffiths and
two others leaving last Friday (17th April) and a fourth employee set to
leave at the end of this week.
Mantle has acquired two books by début writer Mary
Paulson-Ellis in a “hotly contested auction”. Publisher Maria Rejt bought UK and Commonwealth rights,
excluding Canada, to The
Other Mrs Walker and one other book from Clare Alexander at
A new non-fiction book club on Claudia Winkleman's weekly BBC
Radio 2 "Arts Show" is to launch this autumn, as part of The
Reading Agency partnership with the station. The book club follows on from the Radio 2 Book Club on Simon
Mayo's show, and a children's writing competition called 500 Words which
ran on Chris Evans' programme.
The Borough Press has acquired a collection of short stories
inspired by Charlotte Brontë, edited by Tracy Chevalier. Authors contributing stories for the collection, Reader, I Married Him,
include Helen Dunmore, Susan Hill and Emma Donoghue. Each will use Brontë's
famous line from Jane
Eyre as a starting point for an original story. Katie Espiner, publisher of The Borough Press, signed world
rights in the anthology in a deal with Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown.
Scholastic has acquired a royal superhero fantasy adventure
series about Prince Alfie, heir to the throne, by TV scriptwriters Mark
Huckerby and Nick Ostler. The publisher acquired world rights to two titles in the
series and the first book, Defender
of the Realm, will be published in 2016. The sequel will follow
Michel Laub, one of Granta’s
Best of Young Brazilian Novelists, and Thomas Harding, a shortlisted author
for the 2013 Costa Book Award, are the first joint winners of the 2015 JQ
Wingate Prize. The winners were announced yesterday evening (20th April)
at the Jewish Community Centre London JW3 where both authors received
£2,000. Laub won for Diary
of the Fall (Harvill Secker) and Harding for Hanns and Rudolf (Windmill
Independent publisher What On Earth Books is marking the 800th
anniversary of the Magna Carta with a new children’s book, detailing how
people have fought for freedom over the centuries. The Magna Carta Chronicle (p/b, £8.99), written
by What on Earth c.e.o. Christopher Lloyd, was funded by the Magna Carta
800th Committee, which is distributing it to all primary schools in the UK.
Little, Brown is to launch Carole Matthews’ new novel The Cake Shop in the Garden
by constructing an edible garden in London. The garden in the book’s title will be recreated in cake in
Russell Square this Thursday 23rd April, to coincide with the book’s
release (£7.99, paperback). Little, Brown’s Sphere imprint will work with communications
agency Tin Man on the venture.
Catnip has acquired a middle-grade timeslip novel and its
prequel by début author Sarah Baker. Angela’s Ghost is about a 12-year-old
orphan Angela who is taken on holiday to France her cold, distant aunt and
two horrible cousins. There she meets Julien, a boy from 1898 who is dying
of tyhoid. Catnip editor Liz Bankes acquired the UK and Commonwealth
rights to the book, and its prequel Eloise’s
Secret, from Bryony Woods of the DKW agency.
Publishers Bloomsbury Children’s and Walker Books both have
two titles in the shortlist for this year’s English 4-11 Picture Book
Awards. Walker’s The
Story of Buildings, written by Patrick Dillon and illustrated
by Stephen Beisty, and Half
a Man, by Michael Morpurgo and illustrated by Gemma
O’Callaghan, are on the shortlist, along with Bloomsbury’s The Imaginary by A F
Harrold and Emily Gravett, and The
Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell.