The lovely Mr Paul Swallow of Cutting Edge Press has answered 15 of my weird and wonderful questions! I love these guys, they publish some amazing books! The ones I have read so far are:
- The Tattooist
Each one has been fantastically wonderful and I think you should all read them, I can't wait to read more from these dudes! Oh, and follow them on Twitter if you are there..GREAT people! @CuttingEdgeBks
Now, on with the Q+A!!!
1. What do you consider to be the most controversial book in the CEP collection?
In terms of content and context I have to say Jonny Gibbings' Malice in Blunderland. It's a definite yeast-spread type of book with its deliberate loose spellings and freefall grammar. The joke goes further with a deliberate typo on the jacket credits, the crazy price of £9.43 and Chapter 1 starting on the left page. That said, it has been picked-up by an independent film maker and shooting starts very soon so perhaps its appeal is not as off-the-wall as I thought.
2.What made you start CEP?
We felt that there was room for an independent publisher willing to take risks and give first-time authors a chance. The 'big boys' seem to be playing safe both in terms of their authors and the subject matters raised. Most is rather twee. We are anything but!
Very much so - indeed the tag on our website is 'fiercely independent'. It's great to be able to publish stuff that we feel passionate about without apology. Obviously I want our books to sell but more important is that we give our authors the chance to have their voice heard. It's a struggle sometimes to speak loud enough to be made out over the babble of the famous author dross but it is working - we get fan letters!
Hah, that would be telling eh? Tempted to say Jonny - a ruggedly handsome chap with a good heart so what's not to like? Perhaps Ruth Ramsden - passion and kink with a dash of wicked humour - that's the person and her books. Or maybe Elson Quick? His/her identity is a mystery so he/she can be anybody I like when I like.
5. If you HAD to work for any other publishing house, which one would you choose?
Tricky. I've worked in the corporate houses and didn't like it much so I'd have to say Quercus. Excellent books, great ethos.
6. What is the number one thing you look for in a book when considering publishing it?
Just one? Again tricky to say. It has to move me I suppose and make me forget the world outside. This can be because of the writing style, the subject matter, the 'voice' of the characters. It's a series of boxes I suppose but ultimately I have to have the feeling I got when I met the love of my life - that indescribable sensation that you can't really describe but you have no idea how you functioned before you felt it. If a book can do that then it has 'the power' and it's my duty to share.
7. What is the worst plot line you have ever been sent?Now that would be mean to say. The author would be sure to recognise their plot. I was not hugely impressed by a novel that involved a guy getting aroused and having sex with plants in public parks but it'll maybe find a home somewhere ...
8. Have you ever promised to publish someone's book to get what you want?To get what I want? Actually I can say yes to this one. Often the first book we publish is done because I want the second one!
9. What advice would you give people seeking a publisher?Be tough as old boots. Take rejection on the chin and hold onto your belief in your book. Be polite, research the publisher or agent before submitting and follow the submission guidelines to the letter.
10. Ebook or a hard copy?We do both and I am a huge fan of e-books. The only problem is that there is no way to show what you are reading on your e reader. To a point this is great - you can read porn on the train (being careful not to let your 'feelings' show of course) on the other hand it has killed those moments when a random person comments on the book you have in your hand and you feel connected. I get a huge thrill when I see someone with a copy of a book I've worked on. E-readers have taken that away from me.
11. What is the most embarrassing book you have ever read?I am not easily embarrassed. Lust by Geoff Ryman made me squirm - it was too close to my own thoughts and experiences to feel comfortable. It felt like the author had access to all areas,and yes, I mean ALL areas. A very intimate book.
12. Best place to read a book?Anywhere you can. I think while travelling on a crowded train or while waiting for a delayed flight maybe. Somewhere you are obliged to be physically but need to disengage from the act of being there.
13. What one book do you ALWAYS recommend to people?That's another mean question as it depends who I'm with. At Swim Two Boys by Jamie O'Neil would be high up there though. Sublime writing, challenging, poetic and hits the spot on every reading level.
14. What is in the pipeline for CEP?Some damned fine books coming of course and the launch of CEPe. E-book publishing with a twist. Watch out for news in late April.
15. Red or white wine?
Out of choice it's red but I never say no to white with bubbles.
As an added bonus here is the CEP HOUND!!!!! Miss Bonnie Barcko
Happy Reading one and all!!