Publisher, Momentum Books
Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
I’ve always been interested in writing and have always written stories (at least for as long as I can remember). My mother’s a published author, and I think she was probably the one to instil an interest in both writing and publishing. In recent years I’ve pushed my writing to the side to focus on publishing, but I’d love to find the time to do more writing.
Tell us about your role as Publisher at Momentum; what is your average day?
Lots and lots of emails. My role is to champion our books from the point of commissioning all the way to release and beyond. As publisher I’m also a kind of spokesperson and advocate for Momentum as an imprint both inside and outside Pan Macmillan. This involves a lot of meetings and emails, but also some blogging and attending events like conferences and writers’ festivals. Because Momentum is still a start-up (within a big company) I also do a lot of hands-on work on our books, including editing, project management, production and even a bit of promotion, marketing and sales. Jack of all trades and all that.
The most satisfying aspect of your role?
Reading an amazing review of an author I publish. I love it when readers respond to the books I helped get out to an audience in the same way (or even more enthusiastically) than I did.
Genre plays a pivotal role in publishing, particularly digital publishing, in your opinion what makes the romance genre so popular and why?
Romance readers are extremely voracious readers, so they are well suited to the easy access and low pricing of ebooks.
Always a contentious issue is the way in which romance (and erotica) novels are often referred to as mummy porn—what are your thoughts on this?
In my experience that’s something that snobby reviewers do, and I don’t like it. There’s nothing wrong with either of those words, but when it’s used as a put down, as it always seems to be, it’s ignorant, pretentious and anti-reader.
What’s the appeal of this genre as a publisher?
As a publisher I love romance readers because they’re open to reading new stories by new authors.
The one book that you’ve read over and over is…
The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Favourite fictional character:
Number one thing to do on your bucket list:
Travel from Europe to Japan by train.
What book has changed your opinion/stance on something important to you, and why?
Kylie Scott’s Flesh taught me that there’s still quite a lot of fun to be had after the apocalypse …
Biggest accomplishment to date:
I think that would be launching Momentum. It was a very proud moment to get the imprint started after months of preparation – and I’ve been excited and proud to work with Momentum authors and my colleagues ever since.
What’s next for you? What’s next for Momentum?
Launching Moonlight in the past month is fantastic, and I’m looking forward to publishing more romance in the next twelve months. We’ve committed to two new romance titles per month for 2014, so that should keep me busy!
If you could offer just one piece of advice to aspiring authors, what would it be?
Keep writing and keep reading. (Is that two pieces of advice? I don’t care – they’re equally important!).