Funny, I went to two events in two weeks where two publishers were celebrating their 30th birthday. Last night I posed as Nikki Gamble from Write Away and had lovely drinks and intriguing-but-tasty canapés with the lovely Templar Publishing crowd. Here's the write-up I did (which will shortly be appearing on the Write Away news page):
Champagne flowed freely at the Covent Garden Hotel as Templar launched their first-ever children's fiction list in their 30 years of publishing. Managing Director Amanda Wood proudly lauded books displayed around the room, including Simon Bartram's humourously illustrated chapter books, Johnny O'Brien's historical adventures and a beautiful diminutive repackaging of Shaun Tan's Eric, one of the short stories in his Tales from Outer Suburbia. Talk in the room also buzzed about their upcoming e-books, to be available in June, and an as-yet-undisclosed new digital format.
The evening's guests included Johnny O'Brien, Dugald A. Steer of the Ology books, Helen Boyle from tBk magazine, writer Damian Kelleher and Wendy Cooling of Bookstart. Michael Forman and Amanda Wood schemed late in the evening about another book they wanted to do together; Louise Foreman, Michael's wife, talked about working as manager and agent for her husband, and about several other illustrators (including Tony Ross) who are supported similarly by their spouses. Then a rumour went round that the Shaun Tan Eric books weren't in all the goodie bags and everyone surreptitiously tried to nab a loaded bag without looking too vulture-like, and the sounds of muffled squees erupted from various corners of the room.
(I was going to link Shaun Tan but I see he's exceeded his bandwith, the popular guy. But you can still read about him on Wikipedia).) The bit I didn't record for Write Away was meeting up with two reps from Waterstone's, Sorrell Waldie and Jonathan O'Brien, and happily continuing the party down the road.