18 April 2011

Young Street

It's odd how much you can dread change and then when it happens it all seems absolutely perfect. Our new office is so much like home now that I wonder how we ever lived with the old one. This one is quieter, closer to terrific shopping, loaded with charm and in all ways feels quite perfect for us.  That's a pic looking through my office to the meeting room.  Those persimmons are from Patricia's tree -- my absolute favourite fruit I think, after mangoes.

Kon, our wonderful new landlord, came in this week loaded up with Haigh's for Easter. He shops for us regularly at Haigh's and we love him for it. I went to dinner at a local Italian restaurant on the weekend and guess who was sitting behind me?  Kon! In his spiffy black shirt, and minus the silky basketball singlet, I almost didn't recognise him. It's his neighbourhood so perhaps he isn't stalking me ...

It turns out that he owns a church just down the road which is inhabited by many young people -- they've sort of taken it over for the last ten years and Kon is very easy going about that. He tells me the church is famous for its halloween parties. I wonder if we'll score an invite this year?  Our dear illustrator Dan is in the know so I'll check with him around October.

We had our housewarming a week or so ago, a very pleasant affair with no rowdy drunks or illustrators flinging themselves around the carpark on scooters as happened a while ago. And nothing spilled on the new carpet. We are very impressed with how sedate our creators are in the late afternoon. Poor Dan McGuinness was heard to cry, ' A young person!' when he saw Claire Richards turn up. He's not so young himself ... he should watch out.

I'm tremendously excited about a new author -- Emma Allen has written two beautiful picture books for us. Watch this space. Freya Blackwood is illustrating one of them. Emma has a lyrical quality to her work that is very special and we feel she will go far. I also read an unsolicited manuscript this week that sent shivers down my spine. It reminded me in a way of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime, but it was darker and more adult.  I would love to publish it, but the YA market is so hard and this is so different that I think I will have to twist arms.  Note to self -- build up arm muscles.

I feel that mental itch publishers feel when great talent is about to pop on to the list.  Looking forward to reading the great Australian novel on the slush pile very soon.  It's in the post, I'm sure of it!

A note from your Conductor xx

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