London Publishing Adventures


I’ve been back at work for four weeks now (though it sort of feels like I never left), and it’s back to busy business as usual.

On my first day getting up at 6:30 again was a slight struggle. So much in fact that I opted to snooze a bit longer and catch a slighter later train. At the station I saw my usual commuting buddies (we are in fact not buddies and do not speak to each other or make eye contact) and thought how great it was to have had this amazing break from my routine.

It was a bright and sunny morning, so I took the slightly longer route out of Charing Cross station to walk past Trafalgar Square – taking a few snaps to send to my American friends, to prove that London has its charms too.

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square


Arriving at Penguin Towers

Arriving at Penguin Towers


I got up to the office to a lovely warm welcome from my fellow Puffins, and began unpacking my boxes. I was also greeted, much less warmly, by my inbox, which I’ve barely looked at in two months. I was confused because it said ‘2014’ in the top left which is not where the date should be. Cue sinking of heart when I realised that ‘2014’ was the amount of unread emails in my inbox.



The first few days I spent catching up on some of the above emails and getting up to speed with the latest news, particularly on the titles I help to look after.

clean desk

clean desk

I attend and minute a lot of meetings in the Children’s Division, which has been a good way to see what has changed – and what hasn’t! There are some exciting new acquisitions, and some more cool things in the pipeline.

Always promising to find danger signs on your desk. (This is for one of our awesome new books!)

Always promising to find danger signs on your desk. (This is for one of our awesome new books!)

My second week back was taken up with coordinating my first pitch. A book idea of mine for someone I wanted to approach became a possibility when we got in touch with the agent just before I went away. In those two months things have progressed, so it was pitch time. Doing a pitch is exciting and exhausting, as it involves lots of different teams having to drop everything at short notice. The end result looked fantastic, and it’s now with the agent.

To give you an idea of the very varied, and often totally random life of an assistant, I present to you the question of the box. I arranged a gift for one of our authors, and, feeling like being extra-organised, ordered it two weeks before we needed to send it. (I thought this would allow time for us to wrap it ourselves maybe, and for postage). The present in question was a lovely hamper from Fortnum & Mason and it arrived without hiccup on a Tuesday morning. Problem was, I hadn’t realised that the box contained fresh produce – most hampers don’t – which presented the mild conundrum of what to do with it. It was too big to fit in our fridges, I didn’t want to unpack the hamper to remove the fresh goods, and I couldn’t send it two weeks early. I ended up lugging it up to the 10th floor and begging the hospitality staff to store it in their industrial fridge for a couple of weeks. Luckily they agreed, only because August was a bit quieter for them and they had a bit of space. Phew!

My internet stardom

My internet stardom

Another highlight – if you can call it that – was the release of Mind Candy’s PopJam app. Mind Candy are regular collaborators of ours, and their new app is a creative community for kids. A few months ago my ‘esteemed colleagues’ wrapped me up in bubble wrap on the pub day of Phil Earle’s The Bubble Wrap Boy  – SEE WHAT THEY DID THERE – and it was documented by pesky photo apparatus. I hadn’t thought much more of it until the picture resurfaced…on PopJam. Most interactions involve kids drawing on the images that Puffin posts on there, so I’d envisaged cringing at some cheeky kids defiling my personage. They haven’t though, thus far, and I’ve got off lightly with a few ‘lols’ and ‘rofls.’ FOR NOW.

I have some really exciting new titles and projects to look after, which I’ll tell you more about soon. Hopefully I’ll also get into the swing of blogging more regularly again too!

What do you think about renaming my blog? I want to make it more publishing focused, so might make the change from ‘Tig in Real Life.’ How about something simple like ‘The Publishing Blog’? What do you think?

Until next time!



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