Saturday, July 22, 2006

Visit to Hale Books, London


Situated in Clerkenwell, Robert Hale Limited is close to Fleet Street and is situated not far from the area of London which was once the hub of the British publishing industry. Today, I learn, much of the work is decentralized.
This is the case with Hale Books.
As one of their 'overseas' writers, I could not resist a visit to the publishing house which has accepted me into its stable of authors.
Hidden behind a row of tall trees, Clerkenwell House, a building which once accommodated much of the book production and distribution for the company, is now mainly sublet as offices. The bulk of the actual book production/printing is done outside The City.
Today, Hale's offices take up the fifth floor of the building offering striking views across the rooftops to the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral.
Meeting Mr Hale was a highlight of my visit to England. The fact he said that he wanted some more work from me inspired me to get back home to continue writing.
At Hale, I also met members of the editing and production staff who until now had only been names on the bottom of emails. It's so much nicer to be able to put face to a name.
Before I left, Mr Hale gave me a copy of the cover of my next novel, The Twisting Vine.
This, my second novel, is a fast-moving Yorkshire saga.
It is set in the period 1895 to 1920, where peace and war, joy and grief, are linked by the unobtrusive presence of a French Bru doll.
The Twisting Vine is due for release in hardback in England on 30 August.
Cover art - The Twisting Vine by Margaret Muir - Jacket illustration by Barbara Walton

3 comments:

Anne said...

Great cover, Margaret. You must be pleased.

Nicholas Borelli said...

Margaret, tell me the secret of getting published. I've finished four novels, had a literary agent for two years but cannot quite get there.

Is it more difficult in the states?

Margaret Muir said...

Nicholas,
It's not easy. I've been writing for many years, did the right sort of apprenticeship and still collected my share of rejection letters before getting an agent.
Getting published possibly has a degree of luck attached - right place and right time syndrome - I think it also depends on the genre you write in.
Your genre of choice appears to be one which is being linked mainly with e-book publication.
Can't commnet greatly about opportunities in the States, though I know it is difficult (becuase of the limited number of outlets) to get published in Australia.
I do however know a few Australian authors who are published in the US in your chosen genre.
I also know authors like yourself you just can't break through and they are damn good writers.
Only consolation I can offer, is that getting in on the bottom rung does not pay well (my launch party cost mosre than the advance), and if you are making a few dollars with you e-publications then just keep writing and submitting.
It's a long haul - and all uphill!
But I guess we must love what we are doing!