by publisher, Mary McCallum
Today we’re putting the last touches to our book Eastbourne and getting it off to the printer tomorrow. After two years of hard work as an editor and, this year, as publisher, it’s hard for me to make that final full-stop, press save, export, and send to the printer … and I know I’m joined in that by my co-editors Anne Manchester and Maggie Rainey-Smith, and assistant publisher, Paul Stewart.
But do it we must – the book is due to be launched 6.30 pm on 5 December at Rona Gallery in Eastbourne, and the pre-orders are rolling in.
Eastbourne has been an ambitious project with hundreds of submissions and discoveries to sift through and 96 selected authors featured in the book. It has involved hundreds of hours of voluntary work – and has changed us all in some way. We cannot drive into the bays anymore without finding in every bay and landmark echoes of a story or poem included in the book. In Lowry Bay: Kate de Goldi’s Frankie and Gigs running the Zig Zag that was inspired by Kaikoura Track, 12-year-old Lloyd Jones climbing Māhina Bay rock, holiday visitors listening to their gramophones up in the bush (Robin Hyde), Molly Falla’s family looking after penguins in Days Bay, Jenny Hessell watching her grandson on the swing at Bishop Park, John Horrocks thinking of Whitman as he crosses on the ferry, 13-year-old Fiann Blackham describing the shag that ate his goldfish.
Writing the introduction for the book the other day, we editors came to a realisation. Working on the anthology has considerably deepened our appreciation of this place we have chosen to put our feet and of the people who live in it. Fiction, poetry and memoir do that wonderful thing of tricking a person inside the skin of another in a way no other writing can do. How many secrets we’re learnt, eyes we’ve seen through, thoughts we’ve travelled with in our anthology readings. We hope readers of the book feel the same.
Eastbourne is our first book as Mākaro. We have published two books under our Submarine imprint which works with clients to edit and design their books. This is our beginning.