All great stories have a beginning. Where we meet our hero and discover the task or problem. The middle is where all the excitement lies, a great cacophony of action and triumph. And then, finally we reach a conclusion, an end, the finish. Turning the final page, reaching the last line where paper meets board and the dance of black and white fades to silence. Which is a roundabout way of saying, that I am on the end papers of my time at Hot Key Books and Red Lemon. I’m terribly sad to be saying goodbye after a quite incredible 18 months, and really very reluctant to put this particular story down. But. Most great stories don’t end on the final page. They continue in the reader’s head or in conversation, in reading groups, the playground, the bus. Sometimes they have sequels.
I am excited to be opening up my career: part 2 – where I can’t wait to start work on the Moshi Monsters Magazine. So from a place where stories lie at the heart of everything – to somewhere exactly the same (but a bit more furry). At this point, if I were on the Xfactor I would get a hastily put together montage of pivotal moments. From when I first walked in the door to when I made Cheryl Cole cry with my first audition to when the public voted me out… Unfortunately (or perhaps very fortunately) I don’t quite have the technical no-how for this, so I’ve recreated the idea with a very short compilation of my ‘best bits’. (or rather some songs that I love and will find any excuse to shout about….)
Working at a place like Hot Key Books has been a huge learning curve – when I look back at where I started, a youthful twenty three year old with big dreams and a memory like a sieve I can’t quite believe how much I’ve learnt. The intricacies of Biblio for a start. But meta-data! P&Ls! Pub schedules! Invoicing! The best bit about being an assistant is that you get to really get under the skin of how a business ticks while occasionally getting to do some unbelievably exciting things….
The Story Adventure
Sometimes publishing can seem a bit removed from the real world. You hope and cross everything that the books you send out there will make an impact – but it’s a lot of guess work. And then something like The Story Adventure comes along and you get letters like these from kids who have discovered how wonderful writing can be – I’ll be looking out for their names in Waterstones in 10 years time!
The Young Writers Prize
From very young writers to ones who are a bit bigger – but just as undiscovered. Working on this project was such a joy – from having over 350 entrants, sifting through them all and coming out the other side with two fabulous authors – I can’t wait to see their books flying off shelves later this year. Katie Coyle and Joe Ducie are both names to watch.
Being creative is at the heart of what I love about this job. Getting to think outside of the box and put my (often strange) thoughts down on (virtual) paper. I’ve been really lucky to get some great responses to some of the blog posts I’ve written – and have actually taken one idea and set it free in the pastures of Word Press. So for anyone who enjoyed our Boy Meets Girl meets Books series of blogs, you can now follow our progress on a dedicated blog! Find us at http://boymeetsgirlmeetsbooks.wordpress.com/ where we have May’s choices and April’s reviews.
HKB is the very special company that it is because of the people who make it. I couldn’t even start to say how much I have loved working here without sounding like I was making a long and weepy Oscar’s speech. So I’ll do a J-Law and keep it brief and very cool, by just saying that every single person here has a real passion for stories, an understanding of what makes books great, and a touch of magic. That’s the only way to explain how such exciting things come out of such a small team…
The Final Word
It’s really hard to be articulate when you want to say everything. Instead I’ll leave it to Tim Minchin and Matilda…