Author Archives: Catherine Roney

Consultant in the Hot Seat – Catherine Roney


What book are you reading at the moment?
Ok, I know I’m a little late with this one, but at the moment I’m reading the The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I can’t believe I haven’t read it sooner! Markus Zusak is a master storyteller and it’s been an incredible journey so far. Set in Germany during the Second World War, the story is narrated by Death himself, as he tells us the story of Liesel Meminger and her relationship with her foster parents and the other people in her neighbourhood. Although I know that there are some sad things on the way (Death lets us in on some of the big events) I’m still hoping that all will be ok for Liesel and some of the other characters in the end.

Which literary figure would you be?
Growing up, one of my favourite characters was Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables. She had a lot of imagination, was always having lots of adventures with her friends, and although she had a tough start in life, was able to overcome all odds and win everyone over. I always thought she sounded as though she’d be a lot of fun, and if I’m 100% honest I would also really like to have her auburn hair!

If you were given the chance to have one superpower from any book / comic character, what would you have?
I would love to be able to fly. It would be a fantastic way to get around, no more crowded tubes or trains, plus I would be able to just pop over to Australia to see my family whenever I felt like it (I would be able to fly really fast like Superman). Also, I’m not so keen on heights and being able to fly would definitely cure that.

If you could have written any book that exists now, which would it be?
The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society that is actually written by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer. I loved this book and thought it was beautifully written. This is also the one book my mum wouldn’t lend me because she didn’t want to lose her copy, and now that I’ve read it I understand why! Set in January in 1946 in the aftermath of the Second World War, Juliet Ashton is a writer who has lost her home during the war and is now searching for a new adventure and something serious to write about. After unexpectedly receiving a letter from Dawsey Adams from the island of Guernsey, Juliet finds not only her next adventure but also an incredible story and some amazing people.

Who would you invite (and why) to your fantasy literary dinner party?
I would invite Enid Blyton, Jane Austen, Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams and David Attenborough.
Enid Blyton – I have read nearly everything she has ever written and was a big fan growing up. From Noddy to the Famous Five, and not forgetting The Magic Faraway Tree and The Wishing Chair, she was a prolific writer and I bet she’d have a lot to say.
Jane Austen – she would probably get invited to a lot of fantasy dinner parties as to this day she still has such a big fan following. I enjoyed reading her books and I think it would be interesting to hear what she would make of modern day life. I think she might get along very well with Enid Blyton!
Neil Gaiman – Stardust the movie made me want to start reading Neil Gaiman books (it is usually the other way around for me) and I started with none other than Stardust! Since then I’ve been slowly reading more of his work and I’ve enjoyed a lot of it. I think he’d be a bit of character with his vivid imagination and would make for an interesting guest
Douglas Adams – not only because he wrote the incredible Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy series, but also because of his book Last Chance To See, which took him to some interesting places and so I think he’d probably have some great stories.
David Attenborough – someone else with great stories and also an incredible insight into how much the world has changed. He has been to some far flung destinations and encountered so many incredible things in our natural world, plus, he would be telling the stories in that amazing way he has. Maybe it wouldn’t be so fair to the other guests!

True fact: Growing up in Australia, Catherine once had a summer job working on the local tourist boat that took people out swimming with dolphins.

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Frankfurt Book Fair 2013

I’ve very recently joined the team at Atwood Tate, and my previous job was as an International Rights Executive for Octopus Publishing Group. Attending book fairs is an important part of working in rights, and I would like to tell you a bit about my recent trip to the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Frankfurt Book Fair is the biggest book and media fair in the world, with over 100 countries represented and more than 7,000 exhibitors attending. This is the place to see and be seen, and a great place to make new contacts and hear about the latest technologies and trends.

There are 8 halls, each with 3 floors at the Frankfurt Buchmesse, so it is impossible to see absolutely everything. Working in rights, our time is mainly spent at our stand, waiting to see our publishing partners to present to them the new titles that we are hoping to sell to them in the next year. Our time at Frankfurt gives us a good feel for how the up-coming year is likely to go, and there are always surprises in which of the new titles are going to be the most sought after when we get back to London.

Attending Frankfurt Book Fair is both an exhilarating and exhausting experience. Days pass in a whirlwind of meetings, dinners and never enough sleep. There is always something happening, and being a part of it all is a good way to learn about the publishing industry.

There is an energy to Frankfurt that is truly unique, and attending is always one of the highlights of the year.

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