Well 2015 was quite a year. It was the year we came of age.
On the business front, JCP was rebranded as Ventura Press as we celebrated our new distribution alliance with Simon & Schuster Australia. We published the fabulous Maria Katsonis, Honey Brown, Jacqueline Dinan and Harrison Young.
It was the year I became an AFR/Westpac 100 Women of Influence, was elected as a director of the Australian Publishers Association and joined the board of Copyright Agency. I am thrilled to able to represent our industry at this level.
Where to from here? Next year only gets better.
The 2016 list is an eclectic mix of everything we feel is important to life. Books that impart knowledge, fiction that transports, memoirs that will inspire and lived experiences that will motivate us all to achieve our very best.
We have ex-policeman Trent Southworth’s Wasted in March – a book about alcohol and drugs every parent of a modern teenager needs to read. Believe me. In May, Marina Go’s Breakthrough recounts the remarkable story of her Chinese Italian heritage and her rise from editor of Dolly to the very top of Australia’s media ranks. In April, Winsome Thomas release her poignant and inspiring guide to fulfilment, Heart Hungers. You may recognise Winsome as the psychologist who treated Kate Richards in her book Madness, a Memoir. On to the second half of the year, we cannot wait to show you Rebellious Daughters in August, an anthology where Australia’s most talented female writers share their stories of rebellion and defiance. Edited by Maria Katsonis and Lee Kofman, contributors include Jane Caro, Jamila Rizvi and Susan Wyndham.
In fiction, we will publish the debut Australian novel Black British by Hebe de Souza, a sharply funny yet poignant coming of age story of life in post-colonial India. Next up is Katherine Johnson's story of family secrets, survival and second chances set in the gothic landscape of northern Tasmania’s caves in 1952. Wrapping up the year we have Director of The Ethics Centre, Simon Longstaff’s stunning children’s picture book Poppy and the Spider’s Song, to be released in October.
I am heading back ‘home’ to England for Christmas with my family. After all these years in Sydney, I only feel it is truly Christmas when it is freezing cold and dark at 3pm. No wonder I read so many books in my childhood.
Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and New Year. We are looking forward to next year more than ever before.