All the Best Lines

Yesterday the urbane and charming George Tiffin - screenwriter, director, novelist and now ace non-fiction author - came to the office to meet HoZ's marketing and publicity team and to talk about All the Best Lines: Golden Words from the Silver Screen. George has scoured the archives for 750 of the very best movie lines, has interspersed them with anecdotes and one-liners, plus feature articles exploring themes as diverse as opening lines, last lines, the womanizing of James Bond, the art of screenwriting, the art of the cameo role from Hitchcock to Tarantino, and the career of Woo

A Box of Chocolates

Last week, Victoria Hislop came to the HoZ office to discuss the final list of contributors for her upcoming anthology of women’s short stories. A few hours later, having thrown names back and forth across the table, wrinkled noses in childish disgust over suggestions, beamed with delight at the mention of authors half-forgotten yet passionately loved, I was exhausted. It turns out, dear reader, that choosing “the best” 100 is not so easily done after all.

Fantasy in the Court

On cold Thursday evening, down a charming Victorian lane we gathered together for the first ever Fantasy in the Court. Co-hosted by HoZ and the wonderful Goldsboro Books, where the event was held, we joined some of fantasy's most influential people to celebrate the best of the genre. The very talented Luke Scull was guest of honour for the evening as we toasted the official launch of his epic debut novel, The Grim Company

Birds of a Feather

A while ago, when I was working for a small start up company with a funny name, we found a book that we thought might put us on the map, a big-hearted saga with an indomitable heroine, an exotic location and a doomed love affair. The auction dragged on over two weeks, as the advance rose inexorably towards a sum that began to resemble the UK's annual budget deficit.

My Top 10 Books: Robin Carter

As someone who reads voraciously, and this year alone have read 27 books, it’s a question I always struggle with, which genre do you pick, which authors and their work do you leave out? It is also a movable feast because some authors improve as they write more books. Does a book have to be first-class writing to be in the top 10? Or does it also have to hold something else, something intangible, some nostalgia for what it meant at the time?

Place Your Bets

I love start-ups - which, if you look back over my publishing career, is just as well.  Futura in 1973, Century in 1982, Orion in 1992, Preface in 2007 - and now Head of Zeus. Admittedly I wasn't quite in on the ground floor at HofZ, but I think we can stretch a point.

A Matter of Size

As I write this HoZ is advancing with steely determination towards its first million pounds in sales revenues. At the same time The Bookseller reports that Penguin notched up sales in 2012 of over one billion and recorded profits of £100m or so.  This is more than a little scary and makes me feel like a fellow who has just put up a garden shed in the shadow of the Shard.