Tuesday 3 February 2015

Those Who Walk Away, or, The Man with the Getaway Face, or, Free Agent, or, Rogue Male

Interesting start to the year. Actually, interesting end to last year, too – and really I suppose the start of this year was simply an extension, a culmination in a way, of events from the tail end of last year. You'll recall, I'm sure – because I know the minutiae of my life is of supreme fascination to you – how towards the end of 2014 the Lewes-based book publisher I'd been working for as editorial director, Ilex, had been bought by a bigger, London-based book publisher, and myself and seven colleagues were suddenly required to commute two-plus hours daily to the capital (travel costs paid, it must be acknowledged, by the bigger, London-based book publisher) instead of, in my case – living as I do in Lewes – walking to work in fifteen minutes. And that was still the case come January... right up to the point three weeks ago when I took voluntary redundancy.

My reasons for doing so were varied. Partly it was that two-plus hours commute (or rather, four-plus hours total per day); partly it was London itself (I discovered that my feelings about the place had remained pretty much unchanged in the six-and-a-half years since I'd moved away); partly it was the job, and how it was shaking out; and partly it was home life, and how I was barely getting to see my daughter. But essentially, what it boiled down to was that after nearly seven years at Ilex, it was time to go (past time, perhaps).

And so now I'm freelance again, something I haven't been, fully, for, ooh, getting on for twenty years (I started out as a freelance music journalist in 1992). I've taken on some work already – development for a graphic novel project which may or may not come to anything, some editorial stuff – but I'm looking for more, so if you have a project and you reckon I can be of some use, drop me a line on this email address:


Not to blow my own trumpet or anything – although that is, I guess, to an extent, the purpose of this post – but when I was working on my CV the other week I was struck by just how much experience I have in so many different fields of publishing – fiction, non-fiction, illustrated non-fiction, graphic novels, comics, magazines, music journalism, licensed publishing, TV/film/pop culture tie-ins, children's books – and at so many levels: writer, editor, managing editor, editorial director. By way of illustration, you can see some of the books and graphic novels and novels I've managed or edited – and in some cases commissioned, plotted, written for and even, in one instance, part-illustrated (that fine art degree comes in handy sometimes) – over the past dozen years, both at Ilex and at Titan Books, dotted about this post – and those are just the ones I have to hand.

And then there's Existential Ennui, which I think – I hope – demonstrates I can at least string a sentence together (on occasion), and have a certain amount of knowledge in fields other than those in which I've worked, i.e. thrillers, crime fiction, spy fiction and so forth. With everything that's been going on recently I've not been able to devote much time to this 'ere blog (and none whatsoever to The Violent World of Parker blog; sorry about that, Trent), but I've no intention of abandoning it, especially not now, when the bloody thing might finally come in handy. Or not; we shall see. But even if Existential Ennui proves next to useless as a means of securing paid work, I shall persevere. I mean, otherwise, what am I going to do with all these first editions and signed editions and uncorrected proofs of books by Victor Canning and Gavin Lyall and Anthony Price and Patricia Highsmith and Donald E. Westlake and P. M. Hubbard and Kingsley Amis and Adam Hall and Donald MacKenzie and Manning O'Brine and Desmond Cory I haven't yet blogged about...?