To continue the theme of publishers who nurture, or don't, my experience with Walker Books, my first publisher was very positive - in fact, I thought of them as my second family. Newspaper articles were written, at the time, about the experience - always positive - of being a Walker author, about being called, often at weekends, with exciting sales news or small publicity titbits, of the creche, of the private taxi service if you were working late with an editor (one of my most treasured memories was of being driven in a black cab from Vauxhall to Muswell Hill on an icy clear night, with all the lights of London town around me, and me feeling like a queen).
Oh, and the parties - the unforgettable parties (do they still happen?) - the barn dance one where they brought in bales of straw, to celebrate their entry into the American market, the Halloween one where someone who shall be nameless turned up in a VERY explicit devil costume, and, of course, the Crystal Ball...
Times have changed. By the early Naughties, all the books I'd published with them were out of print (these now form the core of my Kindle ebook collection). I tried, like a rejected child, knocking at their door with new offerings, but they didn't want to know. They had newer, grittier, younger authors. I was doing moderately well with other people, but it wasn't the same, and I was beginning to get rejects along the lines of ( and do they pull these things out of a hat?) - 'not quite right for our list', 'published something similar', or the always mysterious put-down, 'It's too quiet, I'm afraid'. So, like a squawking little chick ousted from the nest, I've been flapping along in the last few years, but I have to confess, it's been interesting, but challenging, especially now, without my beloved one-man IT department, the modest but unforgettable David Richemont, who was formatting "THE MAGIC SKATEBOARD" for me on the day he died (our daughter, Jude, helped me complete it for him).
As a total non sequitur, if you're in London at present, and love the challenge of Fringe theatre, don't miss seeing "STREAMING", the Pipeline Theatre's gritty play at The Pleasance, Islington. It's already attracting great reviews, and it's on until November 30th, so you have just two days (and it might well be too late). I do have to declare a vested interest - one of the young actresses is our amazing grand-daughter, Anna Munden.