We launched our May titles on Thursday evening. A lovely crop of books - a mix of the old and the new - and excellent evening.
There was Cameron Nunn's gorgeous Shadows in the Mirror. We have had just such an incredible pre-publication response. A meaty story wrapped in an easy to digest thriller covering. It was a pity it was too far from Glenhaven for Cameron to join us. Cameron's a new author and we're thrilled to building new voices. It was a long haul to publication and Cameron hung in there, dealing with the rejections, taking on board the comments, improving the work. And then it came to us unsolicited but with a recommendation from Helen Sykes and we took to it immediately on reading. Cameron is such a quick study that all the effort of the first book will pay off not only in the terrific Shadows but also in the books to come. I can't wait.
We've worked with Bernadette Kelly (no relation) for a long time. In fact she went to primary school with Maryann, and then came to black dog through a circuitous route and we've been working together for a long time. Riding High is doing just that - the best pre-publication sales of a series we've had since we switched to HGEg. Book 1 is already in reprint. Bernadette spoke beautifully about working with Karen. The covers from Blue Boat are gorgeous. We're thrilled to see Bernadette who has put in the hard writing yards to start reaping the rewards with a richly deserved success.
And then there was Sue Lawson's sparkly Diva's. It's been an absolutely pleasure working with Sue. Her warmth and enthusiasm is infectious. The Divas are a delight. And watch out for the warm and affirming Allie McGregor's True Colours coming out in July. It inspired me to dig out the my old Phil Collin's version, but the Cyndi Lauper version is preferred at the office. We were thrilled to welcome Sue over from the dark side, and look forward to the years to come.
The Maxx Rumble footy series is now 9 books. (That makes 18 books we did with Michael in less than two years. I'd like to see another publisher match that sort of quick decision making and efficiency of output.) Michael captures that extravagant melodramatic story telling style of young boys perfectly. Miles (age 6) came back from Auskick on Saturday and told how the ball had kicked through the goal and landed on the edge of the park and then the light had turned green and ball had rolled across the road.
And last but very far from least is Lili's Joan of Arc. Lili is a new author and this is a rocket pad. It's a mix of fiction and non-fiction - read the fiction carefully and how well Lili has modulated the voices to fit the task. It may look easy but I know it took a heap of research. We're enjoying the rich editorial relationship with Lili - her concern with the book as an object put us on our mettle. Lili isn't new to black dog. As a 15 year old work experience student she got us on to email and the internet with some incredilbly low band modem - so low I can't even guess. There's more to come from the Lili and black dog.
Thanks to Paula Kelly (no, not another relation) from the CYL for launching the books with a lovely speech.