Publishing, as may have come across in these posts, is a fairly schizophrenic tranquil/harassed kind of business. At P.O.P. when one first comes in to the company they tend to be surprised at how quiet things seem. Certainly appeared so for me (Blogger no.1 in case you're wondering) right up until the first evening when I got home exhausted - but not entirely sure why. After a bit of time here it becomes apparent that the dichotomy springs from the fact that the hard work is most often self generated. 'tis you personally who decides that they must do that extra bit of editing, designing, laying out, phoning, emailing reading reading reading etc. whereas in most jobs the hard stuff is a reaction to others - got to get a report in on time, deal with this complaint, put the doll's head on the doll on the conveyer belt etc.
But over the last few days it's been rather different: with the imminence of the forthcoming books by Ken Russell it's all been stuff from outside - 'can he do this interview, that one, well if that program is going to do it then we couldn't possibly, won't he do ours instead? (How is that our problem?). when are the books coming out? Can you send proofs? Yes I'm coming to the party when is it? how do i get there? You will remember to send review copies? NO MAIL WON'T DO, I NEED TO KNOW TODAY!!'
And then there's Ken himself phoning up half an hour before the books go to print saying 'I just found two important errors' . . . nick of time doesn't do it justice.
Still, we're ecstatic that so many people are interested in Ken - he truly deserves the recognition.