Tag Archives: Random House

Lou Johnson: #Robinpedia

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[Note: I am dyslexic so grammar nazis should run while they  still can.]

Lou Johnson is a standout figure in the Australian publishing industry. Some people would say that she has publishing in her blood as her father was a prominent figure in Granada Publishing Ltd and her mother was a publicist and literary agent. Together, her parents set up their own publishing company and bookshop. Lou Johnson probably learned more about the publishing industry over family dinners than most of us will  learn in a lifetime. 

Lou Johnson, impressive publishing lineage aside, has became a dominant figure in her own right. After leaving journalism she joined Harper Collins‘ sales team, where she progressed up the ranks. A lateral move saw her working on the national management of our  ABC Centres, and then back into publishing with a senior role at Random House. Her next position was with Allen & Unwin where she was the sales director. Later she became the managing director of Simon and Schuster.

In 2014 Lou Johnson left mainstream publishing and in 2015 began Author People. Author People was created to be more in touch with readers. At its essence was building the relationship between authors and readers. It is focused on three main types of writing; lived experience, stories to entertain, and knowledge to share. Books from the Author People are infused with fairy dust to ensure top quality. This is possibly a metaphor but I’d prefer to take it literally. (I believe.)  Author People is currently not taking on new authors, but is always fabulous to watch for the innovative work being done with its existing bank of authors.

In late 2016  Lou Johnson accepted the position of publishing director for Murdoch Books. The Australian publishing industry is watching with great anticipation as this innovative person steps back into traditional publishing. We’re certainly prepared for a shake up.

Find Lou Johnson on twitter here.

Find her website for Author People here.

Find Author People on Twitter here.

Find Author People on Facebook here.

Find Murdoch Books here.

If you have any additional information about this entry please leave it in the comment section.

Learn more about Robinpedia here. 

Kerri Sackville: #Robinpedia

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Kerri Sackville: #Robinpedia
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Kerri Sackville

Kerri Sackville is an Australian author, columnist, television personality, blogger, social media fanatic, and had nothing to do with the Brangelina split. On top of this she manages to find time to love Nutella, Simon Baker, and coffee. Not necessarily in that order.

Sackville has published two books through Random House Australia. Her debut was When My Husband Does The Dishes… published in 2011 and was quickly follower by The Little Book Of Anxiety – Confessions From A Worried Life in 2012.

One of the most notable aspects of Sackville’s television appearances is the exquisite timing of the titling of segments to coincidence with her visage. My two favourite examples of the superb timing displayed by segment producers have resulted in Sackville appearing as if she has a secret life as an escort called Candid Admission as well as a woman who breastfeeds her boyfriend.

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What did you do Sackville to earn this kind of timing? ūüėā

In 2015 Sackville was involved in two controversies that put her on the world stage. Firstly, and most disturbingly, she publicly announced that she does not like Golden Gaytimes. For those of you not familiar with this cuisine, it is the most delicious icecreamonastick on the planet. Magnum Ego comes a close second. This kind of confession was deemed unAustralian and she was nearly exiled. She narrowly avoided this fate by doubling her intake of Vegemite as compensation.

Secondly, on the 4th of December 2015 she initiated a flash twitter action, #endviolenceagainstwomen, to draw attention to the abuse women, and in particular female journalists, experience online. Where men were being told that they were stupid or to fuck off, women were receiving much more physical threats of rape and genital mutilation. This Australian action enraged a small group of men, mainly from America, who felt that threatening to rape, torture, and murder women, was part of their right to life, and was fair because men got told that they were stupid and to go away online just as often as women were threatened with violence.

After this action, Sackville was titled one of Australia‚Äôs leading, and most vocal feminists, by a small group of men overseas, mainly in America. Captain, my Captain. However, in Australia she remains known as a Channel 7 personality, columnist, regular opinion piece writer, lover of her mother’s cooking, and author. Definitely an author, she has pictures to prove it and everything. Future books are eagerly awaited from her readership.

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See, definitely a writer!

Find Kerri Sackville’s website here.

Find Kerri Sackville on Facebook here.

Find Kerri Sackville on Twitter here.

If you have any information that you feel would enhance this Robinpedia entry please leave it in the comment section.

Learn more about Robinpedia here.

Writer/ Publisher Interviews: or Literary Speed Dating as the cool kids call it

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As a high school English teacher I’m familiar with Parent/Teacher Interviews. I get to see the parents of the children I teach and find out why they’re so hilarious or why they’re so not hilarious. Often they’ll have the nervous teenager in tow giving you that look like, “Please don’t tell them I said my parents don’t care if I don’t do my homework because they do and they will kill me,” so I obligingly start with homework. It’s generally all very civilised and we have a few laughs and agree that their child is special and what we can do as a team to maximise their potential, ie homework. Well except for that time when the parent turned up drunk and fell off their chair and kept forgetting why they were there and persisted on asking me about their nephew who I didn’t teach instead of their son who I very much taught,¬† that was slightly less civilised and laughy. Although now years and schools later I am seeing the laughingness of the whole thing. However, this only prepared me in part for the Literary Speed Dating event hosted by the Australian Society of Authors and the New South Wales Writers’ Centre.¬† Mostly because the publishers were the teacher, I was the parent and my manuscript was the kid… and I was utterly petrified that I was going to hear that he hadn’t done his homework.

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Fortunately, as I am the queen of catstrophising, things did not go as badly as I’d imagined.* Now I was a little delirious from lack of sleep,**¬† so my word can’t be taken as gospel,*** but it all seemed really good to me. The organisation was excellent. I know from Parent/Teacher Interviews that things can quickly devolve into a chaotic quagmire with nobody hearing bells or moving on but with the very loud air horn going off every three minutes that just wasn’t an issue. Light bladder leakage may have been an issue as some of us never quite got used to the volume,¬†but it certainly made things run smoothly. I salute you air horn. Lining up was a great chance to catch up with old friends from writing courses like Lisa and Helen who I met through Kate Forsyth courses, and new friends I’d met through twitter such as Meyrnah. And I cannot forget my fellow acolyte of Walter Mason,¬†¬† Ms Ashley. Thanks to Ashley I am now obsessed with Armenia. My husband is very pleased because he loves discussing history and politics. The atmosphere was absolutely electric. Being around so many dedicated writers was really inspiring. Most people were happy to discuss their manuscripts and I can honestly say that there are a lot of very interesting concepts out there waiting to be published. And to top it all off the Publishing reps asked for my manuscripts so that was brilliant. I shall now have an accelerated heart rate for the next three months whilst I wait to hear back about my memoir, or my children’s novel. Worth it!

If you have a completed manuscript that you feel is ready for a professional eye I strongly recommend you book in early for next year. It sells out around 6 months in advance so make sure that you’re organised.

For great tips on how to handle the event read here:
http://illuminationsbylisafleetwood.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/literary-speed-dating/
https://highfantasyaddict.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/literary-speed-dating-sydney-nsw-writers-centre-2014-asa/ ****

The only thing I could possibly add is, don’t be afraid to discuss your manuscript with others. Discussing it will warm you up for pitching to the publishing representatives. Life is too short to be paranoid that everyone is going to steal your ideas. And heck, even if they are, back yourself, you’ve written it better and at the very least you’ve got a massive head start as yours is already finished. If someone is now out there madly attempting to write a memoir inspired by my time in a psychiatric hospital best of luck to them. Heck, if they want to write a tale of friendship for children, go ahead, there’s already plenty on the market and there will be plenty more because life is about relationships. Back yourself,¬† be confident, believe in yourself. If you can’t believe in your own writing how can you expect other people too? So book in early, be confident and pitch your heart out.

*I’d imagined being met with a long awkward pause followed by, “Don’t ever waste my time ever again.”

** Mummy still loves you, but kids… I’ve got an audio book narrated by Samuel L Jackson that you need to hear.

*** Or any biblical chapters for that matter.

**** Those entries managed to capture photos of a smoking hot red head… a red head… a bottle red head. It’s me ok!

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Sydney Rudiarius Pitch Games: #ASA #NSWWC

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Sydney Rudiarius  Pitch Games: #ASA #NSWWC

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Tomorrow marks the day of the Sydney Rudiarius¬† Pitch Games . Where 50 rogue authors swarm the New South Wales Writer’s Centre and set themselves upon 10 unsuspecting Publishers. It is a battle between upcoming talent to the very death… well… not death, it’s actually even more intense,¬† a battle to publication. Elbows fly, hair biting follows,¬† wrestling in pits of bulldog clips is a matter of course. In the end their can be only one, think Highlander,¬† or if you’re too young think Hunger Games. That one aspiring author will rise from the chaos of broken pens and dreams, the decapitated manuscripts of the fallen held aloft in warning, and approach the publishing industry representatives. These imperious creatures either raise their thumb for yes, we shall let your dreams live, or point their thumb down to say, your dreams too must die.

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Some people will tell you a lot of nonsense how it’s actually quite civilised, that representatives are quite lovely, and you line up parent teacher interview style to have a chat. That you just need to be prepared,¬† enthusiastic and everything will be fine. Heck they’ll even try to say it is called Literary Speed Dating,¬† not Sydney Rudiarius¬† Pitch Games, but I think we all know what seems more likely.

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Book Review by Miss 3: Alligator in an Anorak by Daron Parton

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It says the alligator is in an anorak but he’s not. He’s in a rain coat. That’s cheeky. It’s cheeky to call it an anorak. It is yellow,¬† Mr Alligator is green. I love him. He’s so cute. He can be my baby. He looks funny because he has a hat on. Alligators don’t wear hats. I like C for Chloe the Crab best. Out of all my favourites,¬† the crab is my best friend. Crab, Chloe, Cookie, Cat. Mummy spell it. Spell things Mummy!¬† I want to spell all of these words right now. Look at the crab. I’m that same crab. Look! It’s me Mummy. I’m that crab. Spell crab… Can we get a pet alligator? I could put hats on him.

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Kids and YA Literature Festival: #NSWWC

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Firstly a big thank you to Aleesah Darlison who was the Kids and YA Literature Festival director at the event I attended yesterday at the New South Wales Writers’ Centre. As always I took away many new ideas and lessons.

1) Children and YA authors all together in one place looks awfully similar to an episode of “Primary Teachers Gone Wild.”

2) I’m pretty sure if they had a cut and paste session we would have all been in. Just the vibe I got from my fellow writers from our reactions to the Keynote Speaker. Boori Monty Pryor deals with primary aged children all the time so has an animated and interactive style. He was having us hug ourselves,¬† raise our hands and roll around on the ground with laughter (ROFLing as the hip cats call it). It was brilliant and everybody was involved. Hence if he’d decided to do the painting activities he does with his kids with us I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been the only one cleaning glitter out of every nook and cranny for the next month.

3) Famous writers are really, really,¬† really, super nice. Pamela Freeman even greeted me with a hug. (Not to name drop shameless name drop ahead I have now received hugs from not only¬† Pamela Freeman, but also Kate Forsyth, Jan Cornall and Walter Mason. Emily Maguire I’m coming for you next!)

4) Editors are really nice too! No really,¬† they are. I know that sounds weird because we’re all fairly convinced that they’re all angry, old, hermits that live in caves, away from the light, snacking on bitter pills and drinking the blood of wannabe writers just so they can wee it into their chamber pots and toss it on the dying embers of our failed manuscripts… over share? But they are nice. Zoe Walton is always so kind and so organised at every festival I have seen her at and Nicola Robinson was nice enough to shake my hand and give me a warm smile. Not one editor asked us aspiring writers to line up and bend over so that they could kick us in the pants. I kid you not.

5) Once you’re a teacher you’re always a teacher. Jacqueline Harvey uses her whiteboard to plan stories. You have done us proud Ms Harvey and we salute you. Whiteboard Marker Pride!!!

6) I want to be Catherine Jinks’ BFF. Should she ever be in the market for one I’m ready. She was so funny and so enthusiastic and so real that I think everybody hung on every word she said.

7) Burritos are a bad idea when you’re wearing pale colours. I got sauced. Bring back the rice paper rolls I say. At least when I spilled them all over myself there was very little evidence. Sure I should learn to eat with some dignity but I’m 34 and still haven’t acquired that skill.

8) I’m weird! When my name didn’t get pulled out of the “hat” for the pitch contestant I was a tad despondent not relieved. Although thoroughly pleased that my brother’s best friend from year 8 the extraordinarily talented and beautiful Ms Alison Whipp, won the contest. Novacastrian pride. I admired her so much as a kid (she’s seven years older than me so seemed so sophisticated and full of grace) so it was lovely to get the chance to do so again.

Now I shall leave you with a few memorable quotes from the festival:

“I wanted to read about heroes and heroines that looked like me.” Wai Chim

“I didn’t want to feel ashamed of who I was.” Sarah Ayoub

“Eat the story, drink the story, paint the story, dance the story, write the story.” Boori Monty Pryor

“Film is very tightly structured, for me, novels are a much more philosophical pursuit.” Isobelle Carmody

“If you were good at selling yourself you wouldn’t be a God damn writer. You’d be an actor or something.” Catherine Jinks

“Writing in Hollywood is like writing with a committee.” Wendy Orr

“I believe in loyalty.” Jacqueline Harvey

“Write a cover letter that shows you believe in your story so that the publisher will too.” Rochelle Manners

“Write a ripper of a story.” Felicity Pullman

And now I’m spent.

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