This past week has brought good news and not so good news from my publisher Text. The good news is Behind the Night Bazaar is on the shelves at Asia Books in Thailand – woo-hoo! I hope this means I’ll have soon feedback on the novel from Thai readers. (Remember my competition: the first Thai person who writes into this blog with a review gets a character named after them in the next book – or the right to name a character, whichever you prefer). I’ve also updated my ‘Reviews and Interviews‘ page in honour of the occasion.
The not so good news is that my brilliant editor, Melanie Ostell, is moving on from Text. I’d heard from Melanie last week, but seeing her departure mentioned in Jason Steger’s ‘Bookmarks’ column in The Age on the weekend makes it official. As the article notes, Melanie was responsible for signing me up for Text, and was on the judging panel the year I won the Victorian Premier’s Award for an unpublished manuscript. She has been a wonderful supporter of my work and it was a fantastic experience to work with her editing the manuscript into the book that became Behind the Night Bazaar.
At the launch, I described Melanie as being like an architect who could walk into a space and see what it could be, not just what it was. She liked to use the metaphor of editor as navigator with the writer being the one behind the wheel – but seeing as how I can’t drive, that metaphor doesn’t really work for me. Yes (to pick up the thread of my metaphor) Behind the Night Bazaar is a house of my own making. But it wouldn’t be as aesthetically pleasing nor as easy to get around in if it wasn’t for Melanie.
I’m trying not to feel bereft – as if the architect has just walked out on my new project. I know we’ll stay in touch. And I trust that the wealth of knowledge and experience I gained through working with Melanie will stay with me and influence my writing for the better. Thanks Melanie.