‘There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.’
I set up my own imprint, Black Quill Press, to publish my late mother’s historical novel, Jerome & His Women (2015). I went on to publish a second edition of her classic thriller A Roman Death (2017) (originally published by Macmillan), followed by Chinese Whispers: In Search of Ivy (2018) by independent author Alison Choy Flannigan, and finally my own book, the Mini Style Guide (2019). Messages from the Embers: Poetry Anthology from the Australian Bushfires 2019-2020 edited by Julia Kaylock and Denise O’Hagan is due to be published in 2020.
My background in educational and commercial publishing was critical. As an editor, you have the luxury of immersing yourself in content and working with the author to shape and refine it; as a publisher, the requirements are more pragmatic, and involve a constant striving to protect the integrity of a book in an increasingly marketing-driven world.
So in addition to marketing, I put my focus back on to what lies at the heart of professional publishing – good content, well produced. I remain deeply grateful to all involved in the production side – cover and text designers, co-editors and proof-readers, as well as the reviewers and subject experts who kindly gave of their own time to read and reflect on the books.