Monday 6 June 2016

Guest Post: Fanny Blake on being a books editor

TITLE: House of Dreams
AUTHOR: Fanny Blake


Amazon - Goodreads

At their family hilltop villa, Lucy awaits the arrival of her brother and sister for their mother's annual birthday party. Although this time, their mother won't be there.

Struggling at Malaga airport with her fractious four year old, Jo has already lost her case and is dreading arriving without its precious contents.

For Tom, returning to Casa de Sueños stirs up all sorts of memories - then a beautiful face from his past appears . . .

Over one long, hot weekend, past secrets will spill out as three siblings discover more about their family and each other in this gorgeous, warm and witty new novel from Fanny Blake.

Being a books editor
by Fanny Blake

Being books editor of Woman & Home is a dream job for me. I’ve worked in the publishing business all my life and to end up in a position where I can work at home and be inundated with the latest novels every day of the week is a real pleasure.

Our poor postman delivers anything from two to ten proofs and books a day. I can’t possibly use or indeed read them all so I pick what I think looks most interesting and read those. After a lifetime of reading for a living, I read very quickly. If I don’t get on with something then I put it down …

We work three to four months in advance, so I respond to whatever’s coming out in the month in question. In each issue there are four pages devoted to books: two pages of reviews and interviews and a two-page In Conversation with big name authors such as Gillian Flynn, Ian Rankin, Jojo Moyes or Sophie Kinsella.

Everyone always asks me how I choose which books to include. First of all, I’m looking for a wide range of books for women of 35 and up who have a broad range of tastes. I’ll almost always cover new novels from the bestselling novelists such as Kate Atkinson, Sarah Waters or Joanne Harris. These are the novels our readers will be dying to read and will want to know are available. I receive a lot of recommendations from book publicists and from friends in the business but, first and foremost, I rely on my own sense of what looks interesting. There’s nothing more exciting that discovering a brand new novelist starting out on their career. I love featuring them if I can.

Nobody puts any pressure on me to choose certain books, so I only feature those I can wholeheartedly recommend. Every month I choose as broad a range as I can so that there will be something for everyone on the page - commercial blockbusters to more literary fiction, debuts, crime, psychological thrillers, historical and general non-fiction. I also make sure as wide a range of publishers is represented as possible.

My aim is for the pages to be as varied and interesting as possible and for readers to come away having found a new book by a favourite author or having been tempted to try something new.

As an author, I admit that I’m sometimes daunted to see the number of novels that are published every month. I just have to try to compartmentalize myself and not put the two things in the same bracket!

Fanny Blake’s House of Dreams is published by Orion in paperback, £7.99 and is out now

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