Cracking Reviews for THESE DAYS OF OURS
As some of you may remember, in May last year, after a particularly cocktail-heavy night out with a couple of friends, I begged one of them to send me the second draft of a manuscript she had written for her German publisher. Having read all of her previous books, I knew the words, written in her own unique style, would be right up my boulevard – so much so, I immediately forwarded it on to some of the rest of the Team for their secret-manuscript reading pleasure, with a note that simply said ‘enjoy!’.
Two colleagues immediately put down whatever it was they were already reading, and by the end of that week we were all all enjoying a marvelous water cooler moment, discussing just how much we LOVED the German Book.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t really just mean ‘enjoy!’ when I sent it to them. What I meant was ‘I’ve been in love with this woman’s words for over 10 years. I’m proud and honoured to call her my friend. She’s funny, kind and clever. I would LOVE it if we could be her publisher…’
So, having taken the bull firmly by the horns, the next step was an Editorial Eye. Not just any old Editorial Eye. I’m talking The Red Pen of Doom Queen, Editorial Director and Head Honcho here at #digitaloriginals, Clare Hey.
Forty-eight tense hours later, it was a resounding YES from She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed.
But it didn’t stop there, my friends. Oh no. There are a hundred processes and systems and stages to go through before a book goes from ‘secret manuscript’ to ‘acquired’. It takes time. And passion. And vision. And planning…
The German Book went through ninety-nine of these processes and systems and stages, and before long I’m in bits. Total complete bits. Might my dream actually be about to come true? Holy moly…
Fast forward four more months and Simon & Schuster, BooksAndTheCity, #digitaloriginals, Clare Hey and I were giddy to announce that the title of the German Book was These Days of Ours, the author was my BFF Juliet Ashton, and we published in e-book on March 1st, with the paperback out on 7th April….
And excitingly, we aren’t alone in our LOVE for this novel about love….
It was with huge sadness that we shared the news of the death of Jackie Collins, adored author and friend. We are incredibly proud to be Jackie’s publisher in the UK and Australia.
Jackie was, by any measurement, truly one of a kind. Her personality, her pioneering spirit and over thirty novels have given endless joy to readers worldwide. She will be sorely missed, and our thoughts are very much with her family.
Ian Chapman - CEO and Publisher, Simon & Schuster UK
A world without Jackie – and a world without Lucky Santangelo – is somehow unimaginable. Jackie’s characters may have been larger than life but they were always true to life. Jackie was a wonderful author to work with, so professional, astute, kind, loving, and passionate about her writing and her readers. She set the bar high in every way.
Suzanne Baboneau - Jackie’s editor
Thank you to our friends at Grosvenor House Hotel who kindly audio recorded the Jackie Collins Literati event on 8th September 2015 – Jackie’s last public appearance. Do have a listen. As you would imagine, she was warm, wise and witty. Everyone here at Books and the City is devastated by her loss. We will miss her every day.
CREATIVE WRITING MASTERCLASS
On Saturday 15th November 2014 we held our very first (but hopefully not our last!) Creative Writing Masterclass here at Books and the City HQ, aimed specifically at writers of commercial women’s fiction. The day was split into two, with morning one-to-one sessions with editors Jo Dickinson and Clare Hey and afternoon panels for a wider audience with uber literary agent Lizzy Kremer, bestselling author Milly Johnson, Peter Saxton (Publisher Liaison Manager at Waterstones Head Office), Isabelle Broom (Book Reviewer at Heat Magazine) and Lindsey Mooney (Content Lead UK & Ireland from Kobo).
We all had a fabulous time, our Panel Sessions were brilliant – with some cracking hints, tips and advice from the very best in the business, all topped off with fizz and cake at the end of the day. Perfect. Here are just a few of my favourite snaps from the day…
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What do Andy Jones, Heidi Swain, Holly Hepburn, Juliet Ashton and Penny Parkes have in common. All lovely people? Natch. All smart? Totes. And funny? Yes, YES. All writers? Absolutely. All five publishing/published under our #DigitalOriginals programme? BOOM! So here’s the news… for the third year running (on 15th July), we are throwing away, ripping up, laughing …
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