Category Archives: Hot Seat

Interviews with members of the Atwood Tate team.

Consultant in the Hot Seat: Julie Irigaray

 

If you could write ‘THE Book’ on something, the definitive how-to-guide on any subject, which topic would you choose?

After living in four different countries, I’d love to write a book on living abroad and learning a new language. I’ve learned a lot from these experiences as we often don’t realise how our vision of the world is limited by our culture.

What three books changed your life?

Le coeur cousu (translated as The Threads of the Heart) by Carole Martinez. I offered this book to at least ten people because the story and the language are mesmerizing. Set in 19th century Andalusia, this novel is about a family of women with supernatural powers who struggle to remain free in an oppressive environment. The language is so superior to any book I’ve read that it discouraged me from writing in French! During my studies, I chose to translate a very difficult passage into English and I told the author at the Paris Book Fair that she was a nightmare to translate. She apologised and signed my copy: “Thank you for giving flesh to my paper characters in English”!

East Wind, West Wind by Pearl Buck. My mum tried to make me read this author for years so I reluctantly started. I ended up reading it in seven hours non-stop. The narrator is a woman in early 20th century China whose brother marries an American woman and whose husband rejects Chinese traditions. This novel deals with a country which struggles to keep its traditions at the time of great political changes. The theme of cultural differences could only appeal to me!

In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri. The author describes her obsession for the Italian language and culture and her journey to become not only fluent in Italian, but to write too. Reading this book was a very disturbing experience as she raised important points which echoed my life: why is someone fascinated by a specific language and culture? Why do some writers choose to abandon their mother tongue? Are they rejecting their own culture by doing so? I still haven’t found answers to these questions.

What has been the highlights of the year?

Graduating and leaving Ireland, moving back to Paris (without finding a job) before arriving in London (where I have found a job)! I always wanted to come back to the UK, so I attended The London Book Fair and seized the opportunity to meet the Atwood Tate team. The rest is history…

If you were the embodiment of a publishing business model what animal would you be and why?

Despite their bad reputation, I’ve always admired foxes (all the more since two of them are wandering around my place every night)! I think every business needs cunning to succeed. I like long-term plans, anticipating the next five years and developing strategies. I also love informing myself about what competitors do (that’s for the crafty part!)

Who would you invite (and why) to your fantasy literary dinner?

Without any surprise I’d do a remake of “the Dead Poets Society” by inviting:

  • Arthur Rimbaud – because he made me want to become a poet
  • Federico Garcia Lorca – because of his humanism, his melancholic tone and the gorgeous imagery of his poems
  • John Keats – for his rich and sensual language
  • Sylvia Plath – for the distinctive voice and rhythm of her poems, the fact that she mastered her craft so well and her complex symbolism.

On a more cheerful tone, all my favourite novelists are alive, and I even had the chance to meet some of them! I’d invite Elif Shafak, Carole Martinez, Jeffrey Eugenides, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt and Zadie Smith – I saw her in a restaurant but didn’t dare interrupting her dinner…

Bonus question: Give us one random fact about yourself. 

After living in an attic in Paris and a micro-studio in London, I moved (for cheaper!) to a Renaissance palazzo in Bologna. The wheel of fortune may turn again…

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Consultant in the Hot Seat: Clare Chan

 

What three books changed your life?

There is definitely one book that changed my life – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People I read when I was 14.  It was quite a mature read then, but it changed my perspective on my daily life and focus.  I read this book in Chinese, probably time to read the English version now.

What has been the highlight/s of the past year?

A lot of things happened in 2017 – got my first publishing job in the UK, meet different book buyers in the UK, travelled to Croatia and camped on the beach for the first time, flew back to Hong Kong twice…  It was a fab year!

What are you most looking forward to in the second half of 2018?

I have just joined a gym for the first time in my life; I used to swim a lot in public pools but never signed up for a gym membership.  They even have a rock climbing wall there – will see how it go!

What is on your Birthday wish list?

Time flies – my birthday is coming in less than a month.  My first wish is I will have that magic door from Doraemon (a Japanese comic character) that allows me to travel between two places just through a door so I can always see my family in Hong Kong.  My second wish is I will finally learn how to drive.

If you were the living embodiment of a publishing business model what animal would you be and why?

I would happily be a robin bird.  First, it is my favourite bird, and I love to sing too!  Secondly, they are very observant and adaptable.  I enjoy talking to different people and learn what’s new in the publishing world.  I also love to learn new skills because there is always something around the corner!

True fact:

I probably got this from my dad, but I love watching car racing.  I used to go to Macau every year to watch Grand Prix with my dad.

 

To find out more about the roles each of our consultants covers, go to the “Meet the Team” page: http://www.atwoodtatepublishingjobs.co.uk/Atwood/meet-the-team.asp

 

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Kayleigh Pullinger: Interview with a Book Designer

This is an interview with Kayleigh Pullinger, Designer at emc design. emc design is the largest design agency dedicated to book publishing in the UK. Kayleigh joined emc in 2017 after earning her designer’s stripes in the big city. Although new to book design, she is excited to learn new skills and over the moon that she can now spend more time with her lopsided pet rabbit (Bobbity) instead of commuting.

1) How did you start your career? And do you have any tips for people wanting to cross over from graphic to book design?

My first job was working as an in-house designer for a charity, followed by two jobs working for design agencies with clients varying from independent start-ups to big FTSE100 corporates.

My tips to those who’d like to cross over from graphic design to book design would be to familiarise yourself with inDesign as much as possible, and brush up on your basic Photoshop skills. Knowing the software that you’ll use day in day out will speed you up and free some headspace for getting creative with the realia (realia is the term used for images on the page, used to illustrate a language learning point). Start looking at the world around you, which, as designers, you probably do anyway. Take notice of how websites work, what makes an online article look different to one in a magazine? Study the pizza menu next time you’re out and about and make a mental note of how the menu is designed. All these little things help in really unexpected places.

2) What are your favourite and least favourite parts of your job?

My favourite part of my job is definitely styling realia, closely followed by a good stint of text formatting. I love how quickly you can go from a completely unstyled page of text to something visually engaging. I have to say that my least favourite part of my job is checking my own proofs, as I’m terrified of missing a big blunder.

3) If you could travel five years back in time, what advice would you give yourself?

Don’t panic if what you’re doing feels unfulfilling at the time, it’s all a learning curve, and eventually you’ll end up doing something that engages you properly. Take your time over every job, no matter how small. Get off the internet and go out into the world more, to museums and galleries and concerts and even just down the road.

4) Who do you admire and why?

Jessica Hische is my hero. She’s a lettering artist and illustrator, which is a far cry from what I do, but her career path and drive inspire me. She also keeps a lot of personal projects on the boil, which I think really helps keeps your creative cogs oiled. Oh, and she can code too!

5) Will you be at London Book Fair and if so, what are you most looking forward to? 

I won’t be personally this year, but some of my emc design colleagues are going down, so feel free to say hello to John and Ben.

Bonus Q: What book characters would you invite to your fantasy literary dinner party?

Being a child of the Harry Potter generation, I’m definitely inviting Albus Dumbledore, Luna Lovegood and Dobby. Let’s also throw in Anne Elliot, Lyra and  Marvin the Paranoid Android to mix it up a bit.

Thanks Kayleigh for taking the time to answer our questions! You’ve made me want to try my hand at book design now…

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Consultant in the Hot Seat: Claire Carrington-Smith

Introducing our new Oxford-based consultant, Claire Carrington-Smith! Claire, along with Alice Crick, works on roles outside of London and the Home Counties.

Claire sitting in front of afternoon tea with lots of cakesWhich literary figure would you be?

Definitely Matilda Woodworm, because like me, she is a bookworm. Matilda also taught me about feminism, as both Matilda and Miss Honey are strong female characters, and were very inspiring to me growing up. Roald Dahl was one of my favourite authors as a child, and I remember wanting to be just like Matilda!

If you were given the chance to have one superpower from any book/comic character, what would you have?

Other than Matilda’s telekinetic super power, I would also love to be able to time travel to a magical and distant land like Lucy in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. This the first book I remember falling in love with I was a child, and it’s still is one of my favourites.

What has been the highlight/s of the past year?

The past year has been very eventful as well as moving house I left publishing to working as a Recruitment Consultant at Atwood Tate! Leaving publishing after 10 years was such a big decision, but I am so excited to be here and the new challenge it brings. I’m really enjoying it so far.

What is on your birthday wish list?

It sounds really boring, but I have just had my birthday and I got a running jacket and some new trainers as I have just started running. It’s definitely a new years’ resolution I hope to keep up!

Claire Carrington-Smith is responsible for Editorial, Production, Production Editorial, Design, Distribution & Operations roles in all sectors (excluding B2B) in all UK locations outside of London, Home Counties and East Anglia.

To find out more about the roles each of our consultants cover, go to the “Meet the Team” page:

https://www.atwoodtatepublishingjobs.co.uk/about/meet-the-team.aspx

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Consultant in the Hot Seat: Alice Crick

This week, our Oxford based Recruitment Consultant Alice Crick takes to the Hot Seat.

If you could write ‘THE book’ on something, the definitive how-to guide on any subject, which topic would you choose?

If I could write one incredible book on something, it would definitely be a self-help guide on living a truly fulfilling and happy life. As cheesy as it sounds, I don’t think anyone’s quite cracked it yet, and it would be amazing to be the one with all of the answers to those big life questions.

What three books changed your life?

Three books that really struck a chord with me are The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, and The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid. The first two are quite similar, and I found them both particularly emotional reads as they really resonated with me. You definitely learn to empathise with the main characters, which in turn teaches you how to better relate to others in the real world. I think that is one of the most genuine signs of a good book. The Reluctant Fundamentalist was the first book I ever studied on my English Literature course at university; I found it impressive how Hamid provokes western readers to consider a new cultural perspective from ‘the other side’. It’s another incredibly powerful read that makes you question the cultural biases ingrained into us from a young age.

What have been the highlights of the past year?

My highlights from the past year have definitely been graduating from Royal Holloway with a 2:1 in English, moving to Oxford with my boyfriend, and starting a full time job as a Publishing Recruitment Consultant here at Atwood Tate. Most people don’t take on so many big changes all at once, but here I am!

What is on your birthday wish list?

Home things, home things and… more home things! Having moved very recently, I’m eager to get my ‘hygge’ on (the Danish art of living well), by making my home super cosy just in time for those chilly autumn and winter months.

True fact:

Before committing to a course at university, I spent a year learning how to be a professional musician at an academy. As you can see, that one didn’t quite work out!

 

Alice Crick covers Marketing, Sales, Publicity, Rights & International Sales, Contracts & Royalties, Customer Services in all UK locations outside of London, Home Counties and East Anglia, in all sectors excluding B2B & Medcomms.

To find out more about the roles each of our consultants cover, go to the “Meet the Team” page:

https://www.atwoodtatepublishingjobs.co.uk/about/meet-the-team.aspx

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Administrator in the Hot Seat – Andrew Willis

Our new Administrator, Andrew Willis, answers questions in the hot seat.

What three books changed your life?

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh: As my Dad’s favourite book, I must have heard most of this book quoted throughout my life, but never quite understood its appeal until I finally read it for myself. It is an amazing book which manages to pack so much into its terse, but reverential prose. It touches on theology, belief, nostalgia, friendship and love, and is a great story.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: Few people are as funny, creative and irreverent as Douglas Adams. It may often seem like insanity, but Adams’ prose is always carefully measured and pitched, and fun. Hitchhiker’s is a good reminder to not panic, and never be too serious. “The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.”

Eagle Strike by Anthony Horowitz: The Alex Rider books were the first series of books I got hooked on at school. Adventure, gadgets, espionage; it offered everything. This is fourth in the series, but this is one I read first. I went back and read the other books, but Eagle Strike was quite formative in my love of books.

 

What book are you reading at the moment and what do you think of it?

I have just finished Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed, which is a fantastic piece of science-fiction and world-building, about the twin worlds Anarres and Urras. The book which explores political issues such as differing ideologies, gender and economic systems. It also touches on theoretical physics and an envisioning of interstellar communications before the invention of the internet. Sounds like heavy reading, but it was more interesting than it sounds!

I have just started reading Herding Cats by Charlie Campbell, a more light-hearted book about Campbell’s experiences of amateur cricket captaincy of the Authors XI.

 

Is there any area of publishing you’re particularly interested in at the moment?

I am quite a big fan of audiobooks. I find them to be useful for fitting in more books when I’m commuting or too tired to read. It is quite a versatile format, as releases can take different forms from just a single narrator, to full cast dramas with music and sound effects. There are many different roles involved in audiobooks too; editorial, commissioning, production, directing, and post-production.  There is a strong market for audiobooks at the moment, and it is an exciting time for them.

 

What has been the highlight/s of the past year?

Completing and passing my Master’s Degree last September was a huge achievement. It was both a very enjoyable course, learning new skills in literary analysis, research, and also in film production, but it was also draining at times. When faced with a 20,000 word dissertation, the terror of the blank word document and a flashing cursor can be daunting as you wonder how you are possibly going to produce anything. But through hard-work, stress and adrenaline and a lot of tea, I was amazed at what I could achieve.

To find out more about the roles each of our consultants covers, go to the “Meet the Team” page: http://www.atwoodtatepublishingjobs.co.uk/Atwood/meet-the-team.asp

You can read previous Hot Seats here: https://blog.atwoodtatepublishingjobs.co.uk/category/hot-seat/

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Consultant in the Hot Seat – Christina Dimitriadi

CD blog photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What book are you reading at the moment and what do you think of it?

The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers. It’s not a book I would easily pick up and I am not a fan of English romantic literature so when I saw the names of Lord Byron, Keats, and Shelley as the main characters I was a bit put off. It did take me a while to get into it but when I did, I was very pleasantly surprised. Powers sets a very interesting mood which is at times like reading someone else’s dream where you feel that there are moments of haze and you are not sure about what’s happening, while at other times things are bright and clear. It’s a very unusual vampire story in which the author has combined historical facts with traditional myths with folklore and fiction. It’s not consistent in pace so it can at times be a bit slow and then suddenly spur into action. This book does have some great action and gruesome terror and it builds up well towards the ending so I’m very happy I stuck with it!

What three books changed your life?

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. This probably has to do with the fact that when I was young I discovered this book in a small cupboard into which I had been trying to get for quite some time. One day I found the key and finally opened what turned out to be my mother’s book collection from when she was herself a child. I grabbed the most tattered book I could find and started reading it, and I did not put it down. This was the first time that I realised that reading a good book was one of the best pastimes.

Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett. It took me exactly three pages to fall in love with Pratchett’s style and writing. I finished the book in a few days and ran to the bookstore for more. Having now read all of the Discworld novels, Lord and Ladies is still one of my favourites. It’s a very balanced book between light and fun and darkness with a very tight and capturing plot. This was the best random book choice I’ve ever made and I would definitely recommend it. No matter what I’m currently reading, I always have a TP book open by the side of my bed. Revisiting the Discworld time and time again is like going to see an old friend.

I can’t think of a third one!

What’s on your birthday wish list?

Books, books and more books! I’m getting back to my passion for cooking and my dream of one day having a very attractive cooking library. So I’ve decided to try my hand at one of the most challenging cuisines; Persian and Middle-Eastern. Top of my list is Persianna by Sabrina Ghayour with food and flavours from the regions near the Southern and Eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. And to compliment that with something sweet, my second choice is The Baking Book from Honey and Co and their mouth-watering recipes from their restaurant in Fitzrovia, London – which is also top on my to-visit list.

What has been the highlight/s of the past year?

Leaving Athens (and 365 days of sun behind) to move to London. Shortly afterwards I started working with Atwood Tate which has been a lovely experience so far. I feel I am part of a small and supportive family in a very active and productive environment. I couldn’t have imagined a better place to be in for my first job in the UK.

True Fact: I never travel without a Terry Pratchett Book!

To find out more about the roles each of our consultants covers, go to the “Meet the Team” page.

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Consultant in the Hot Seat – Kellie Millar

Taj Mahal Kellie

What literary figure would you be and why?
The first thought that came to mind I would have to be Tom Sawyer as I admire his creative thinking, playful and adventurous spirit and I’d love a friend like Huckleberry Finn. On second thought I would also be Peter Pan because of his youthful spirit, positive attitude and belief in magic. He too had an adventurous nature and used his positive attitude to get through challenges and defeat even the toughest of rivals.

If you were given the chance to have one superpower from any book/comic character, what would you have?
I would have to have marvel Comic’s Storms’ power to manipulate the weather. I’d also love to be able to surf like the Silver Surfer!

What book are you reading at the moment and what do you think of it?
I am reading a book by Hal Elrod called “The Miracle Morning”. He talks about the 6 habits that will transform your life before 8 am. I enjoy the positive and motivational tone of the book and have tried a few steps so far, including getting up an hour earlier to visualise a positive day ahead and even going to the gym!

What has been the highlight/s of the past year?
I have enjoyed working for Atwood Tate and with my team, supporting the publishing industry and contributing to the positive and passionate workforce. Since joining Atwood Tate, I have come to understand the people who work in publishing like Peter Pan, all believe in magic and miracles especially when it comes to meeting deadlines. Everyone works together with passion and for a love of what they do to get the job done and make things happen. Our Temps and Freelance team also help to make magic happen by helping people continue in their careers and build on their experience. Interns get paid as Temps and get wonderful recommendations from our clients. Freelancers keep freelancing and doing what they love to do. Clients are happy too because we magically make the right candidates appear just when they need them.

What is on your Birthday wish list?
A reunion with my family. They are scattered all over the world and it would be lovely to see them all together in one place.

True fact: I used to be a blond!

To find out more about the roles each of our consultants covers, go to the “Meet the Team” page.

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Consultant in the Hot Seat – Claire Law

Claire Law in a kayak

If you could have written any book that exists now, which would it be?
A Dictionary of the English Language by Samuel Johnson. It’s such an incredible achievement to have produced such a vast work and to think it was 150 years before the Oxford English Dictionary and without the internet. Or alternatively the Scrabble dictionary as this has been a vital tool throughout my long and happy marriage.

What three books changed your life?
I’ve always been a big reader and wish now that I’d kept a journal of books and authors read with some kind of notes. Books that made a real impact are:

  1. The Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis. Great introduction to fantasy and magic worlds for children that probably led to my love of the ‘magical realism’ genre and authors like Gabriel García Márquez, Kate Atkinson, Angela Carter, Haruki Murakami etc
  2. The Faerie Queen by Edmund Spenser – it was a massive challenge getting through this book (epic poem) at uni as I recall it was almost like translating another language. It made me appreciate studying the text but did put me off reading for a while!
  3. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Studying Canadian women’s literature I discovered Margaret Atwood and have read all of her novels since. She’s a feisty and prolific writer as well as being an early adopter of social media. A real inspiration (and see the true fact below).

If you were given the chance to have one superpower from any book/comic character, what would you have?
Can I go for a photographic memory please? Not sure if any character has this but it would just be so helpful for work and in life generally. Thank goodness for an amazing database at work and Outlook for remembering pretty much everything!

What are you most looking forward to in 2016?
I can’t wait for our new website to be launched – hopefully in the next month. It’s been lots of fun working on updating it, especially looking at how the publishing industry has evolved over the last 6 years since our current website was created and incorporating changes like whole new industry sectors and job roles.

What is on your Birthday wish list?
I’ve just had my birthday and didn’t get the £20 million super yacht I’ve had my eye on, so will be asking for a warmer wetsuit to get out on my kayak instead.

True fact.
When setting up Atwood Tate I felt it would be confusing to use the name Law in case people thought we did legal recruitment, so decided to put together a name using a publishing reference and one of my favourite authors, Margaret Atwood! (The Tate part was added on for balance)

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Consultant in the Hot Seat – Alison Redfearn

Alison Hotseat

What book are you reading at the moment and what do you think of it?
At the moment I am reading The Painted Veil by Somerset Maugham. Set in the time of British Colonial rule, this follows the story of Kitty. When her husband a government bacteriologist finds out she is having an affair he forces her to move to a remote cholera ridden part of China. I am really invested in Kitty’s fate, although I first thought she was self-absorbed and spoilt, I have grown to like and sympathise with her character as she grows and develops. This is a real story of spiritual awakening. I love the way Maugham builds up the atmosphere and the reader is really kept wondering whether or not she will meet her demise.

If you could have written any book that exists now, which would it be?
I would love to have written Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith. I am a massive fan of this author and would have loved to have the accolade of one of the best crime writers of the 20th Century. She is such a clever writer and this is a true crime classic. I admire the author’s ability to build up tension and get deep under the skin of the two characters. Even though you know who the killer is at the start she still manages to build up the tension.

If you were given the chance to have one superpower from any book/comic character, what would you have?
It would have to be time travel. I am quite a nostalgic person and always find myself imagining what it would be like to be alive in certain eras. If I could go back to any era now it would be to the Roaring Twenties, not only for the fashion, glamour and the parties but to be among literati such as Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway.

Which literary figure would you be?
I would love to be like Roald Dahl’s character Matilda because despite her circumstances she never gives up hope and she tunes her abilities to help herself and others. I love her motto “never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable…”

Interesting fact
I am originally from Berwick upon Tweed, the northern most town in England which according to popular myth is still at war with Russia!

To find out more about the roles each of our consultants covers, go to the “Meet the Team” page.

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