I have the huge pleasure of being Publishing Director for Commercial Fiction at Transworld. In addition to overseeing the Commercial Fiction team and strategy, I also acquire a broad range of fiction, with a focus on crime and thrillers. My list includes bestselling debuts The Widow by Fiona Barton, The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena and Never Greener by actress and screenwriter Ruth Jones, as well as fantastic novels by Tammy Cohen, Rebecca Fleet and Paula Daly (whose books were adapted for television in the ITV series Deep Water, starring Anna Friel).
There are so many books that have left a deep impression on me (god I love books!) but if I have to pick only one then it must be All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Set amidst the horrors of the Second World War, it captures an innocence and purity that is ultimately redemptive. It left an impression on me not only as a reader (I can still recall passages and moments, even though I read it years ago) but also as an editor in awe of the complexity of its storytelling yet the simplicity of its message.
I would recommend Christmas Shopaholic to anyone – in fact, make that any Sophie Kinsella book! Sophie’s books are laugh-out-loud funny, warm and simply joyful. She has a knack for capturing the foibles and quirks of character perfectly and as a result it always feels as if you know her characters personally, whether that be the ultimate shopaholic Becky Bloomwood or any of her other inimitable heroines. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t want and benefit from the joy of Sophie’s books in their lives.
I’m hugely proud of every book I’ve had the honour of working on and every author I am lucky enough to work with. But if I have to pick one then I would say The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena. To see our in-house passion echoed by so many readers, making this the overall bestselling fiction title of 2017, was truly incredible.