I’m just popping my head over the parapet today for long enough to wave and say sorry, don’t have time to chat because the London Book Fair has rolled into town, and if you’ve been paying attention these past 28 months, you know that this is one of the two busiest weeks in my year . . . actually, when I say ‘week’ I mean ‘fortnight and then a bit more’ as people have taken to arriving earlier to ‘spend a bit more quality time’ (by which they mean ‘get a march on the competition’, of course.)
So on Monday the hallowed halls of Quercus echoed to a variety of accents as my colleagues and I entertained a variety of nationalities to highlights of our lists . . . and we were not an hour into the day before everyone was running late. For example, my specially booked leisurely hour-or-so-long appointment with Tina, a lovely German editorial director I’ve known for years, turned into a rushed twelve-and-a-half minutes before she dashed over to Hodder and I rushed off to meet Julian, Robert Jackson Bennett’s US editor … and so the day proceeded. (Mind you, Tina did want to see Nicola’s latest acquisition – not that I’ve told her yet – so that was 12½ minutes very well spent!)
By the time you read this, Nicola will be ensconced in our corner of H700 (having fought off any of our colleagues who might have had the temerity to try to steal my corner!) and we’ll be well into our seventeenth appointment of the day, presenting our fantastic list to editors from all around the world, from Japan to Iceland and all stops in between!
Just as well I finished editing Tom Pollock’s magnificent Our Lady of the Streets over the weekend; I don’t think I could have borne to have stopped in the middle of that particular climactic scene. And no, I already told him: the only reason I had tears in my eyes was because I’d got so wrapped up in Beth and Pen’s travails trying to save London from a wrathful Street-Goddess that I was late with my medication. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it …
So I’m off – I’ll fill you in next week on the fun of the Fair (and I’m still sorry there’s no actual carousel).
In the meantime, I hope you’re busy preparing your school recommendations for our World Book Night Giveaway: we can’t do it without you!