Thursday, 13 November 2014

Exciting times...

My desk today.
I've not written as many blog posts as I'd like over the last few months. It's not for want of material - there's always plenty to comment on in the world of birth and breastfeeding - but other projects have been taking up most of my work time (which is squeezed in around the demands of the three small people in my house). But now, as the the pile of work on my desk grows ever higher, I can reveal what I've been up to.

I've done quite a bit of work for Pinter and Martin in the last couple of years, in my freelance editorial capacity - editing and proofreading some of their most recent titles. Earlier this year Martin Wagner asked me to go a step further and commission a new series of books: to be called the Why It Matters series. So I've been hard at work finding and talking to authors, finalising titles and overseeing the first few books in the series, and it's now starting to come together. A formal announcement, and new website, will be coming from Pinter and Martin very soon - but for the eagle-eyed the books are already listed (albeit without jackets) on both the Pinter and Martin site itself and other bookselling websites.

The first three books in the series are Why The Politics of Breastfeeding Matters by Gabrielle and Palmer and Susan Last (eek!), of which more below, Why Doulas Matter, by Maddie McMahon, and Why Hypnobirthing Matters, by Kat Berry; these will be published in March 2015. The next three, to be published in summer 2015, are Why Pre-conception and Pregnancy Nutrition Matters, by Michael Walne (of Your Nutrition Matters), Why Breastfeeding Matters, by Charlotte Young (aka The Analytical Armadillo) and Why Baby-Led Weaning Matters, by the pair of them working together. I am so excited to be working with all these wonderful authors, each one passionate about the vision of the series - to provide evidence-based, clear information that will genuinely help new parents, and anyone involved with them, to make properly informed decisions. More titles are planned for next autumn and beyond... watch this space!

The manuscript for one book has been delivered, the second is well advanced... and I find myself, as joint author of Why The Politics of Breastfeeding Matters, with Gabrielle Palmer, with a lot of work still to do on my own manuscript. In fact I've realised that I've been procrastinating about getting on with it and I've had to address a whole heap of doubts: about my ability as a writer/editor, about my time management skills and about whether I actually know enough to do justice to Gabrielle's work - it has been hard to buckle down. I hope I've turned a corner with it... let's see. It would be ironic if I failed to deliver my own manuscript on time, given that I've spent a good proportion of my career coaxing authors through the writing process! I need to take my own advice, I think, and just get on with it. Please feel free to nag me.

Another project I've been involved with is Laura Dodsworth's fabulous photograph/interview book Bare Reality - which you may have seen in the press or online as she ran a phenomenally successful Kickstarter campaign in September. I'm editing the text of the book and am delighted that Laura has actually now linked up with Pinter and Martin to publish and distribute the book - the jacket has just been announced and it looks amazing.

As if all of the above wasn't enough, I'm thrilled that Milli Hill's book Water Birth: stories to inspire and inform for my own tiny company, Lonely Scribe, has reached the proof stage and should be published very soon. It's been a long time since we started the project - and in the meantime she's set up the Positive Birth Movement, had a third baby and become a columnist for Best - but it's wonderful to finally be approaching publication. Here is a sneak peek of the jacket - watch out for news of when the book is published.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you've been tremendously busy Susan! Fingers-crossed you have turned a corner with your own book. I'm sure self-doubt creeps into every author's mind; but the main thing is to just keep going... Best wishes, M x