I wanted to work with books from an early age. I probably didn’t understand the notion of ‘writers’, but back then the thing itself was enough for me. The content, the touch, the look of books, was something I came back to again and again – and still do. The day I don’t receive pleasure from the arrival of a new book, in whatever form, is the day I start to curl up and die. And then the journey, from early days of being an apprentice bookseller and having the sheer unimagined breadth of what has been written and published truly revealed to me, to being inducted into this strange world of publishing and of working with writers and publishing their books, co-existing with such imagination, creativity and indeed wilful individuality, it has been an education, a fever dream and a privilege.
I am fortunate enough to be the publisher at Transworld, one of the great jobs in the publishing world. I continue to love working with my authors - many of whom I’ve been with for a while now - and with the team here sharing the experience of reading and exploring the landscape of the business, discovering its joys and challenges. It doesn’t matter how much that business evolves, we are lucky to work in proximity to so many great stories and the people who create them, and they still inspire me every single day.
My literary hero: Among the first writers I discovered as a bookseller was one who continues to be a source of wonder to me. Being introduced to the works of Angela Carter by an infinitely better-read colleague felt like a moment of coming home – her conjuring of brave, imaginative, humane storytelling, gloriously uninhibited writing and enough belligerent truculence to see off any comers, on the page and off it, remains an inspiration all these years later.