As a book reviewer, I deal with the publicity manager (or publicist), who then sends me titles to review. I have dealt with Kathleen Peacock many times in the past year. She works for Goose Lane Editions (GLE) and I thought it would be interesting to interview her so as to better understand the role of a publicist in a large publishing firm. Let’s meet Kathleen:
Miramichi Reader: Tell us a little of your background: where you are from, education, how you came to be at GLE.
Kathleen Peacock: I grew up in northern New Brunswick and left after high school to study graphic design. While working in the IT industry, I decided to pursue a career in writing. After publishing three novels with HarperCollins, I decided I wanted to see what publishing looked like from the other side. Goose Lane Editions was looking for a publicity manager and it seemed like a great way to combine my previous experience in marketing with my experience as a writer.
MR: Many people likely do not give much consideration to the publisher when choosing reading material. What makes GLE unique in the Canadian market? What should folks know about GLE?
KP: Many people aren’t aware of this, but Goose Lane Editions is Canada’s oldest independent publisher. For over six decades, Goose Lane has published award-winning, critically acclaimed fiction, non-fiction, and art books. We believe strongly in nurturing talent. Several of Canada’s best authors have started their careers with Goose Lane—something everyone here is incredibly proud of.
MR: What does being a publicist entail? What is your typical workday like?
KP: As Goose Lane’s publicity manager, I bring attention to award-winning current, future, and past titles through media relations, social media, literary festivals, author tours, and special events.
A typical day includes pitching authors to literary festivals, booking media, and coordinating travel—with time built-in for social media and advertising campaigns. Because of my background, I also collaborate on jacket copy, catalogue content, etc.
MR: During your tenure at GLE, what books stand out most in your mind, and what are some 2016 titles that particularly excite you?
KP: I’m not supposed to have favorites, but two that have really resonated with me, personally, were Will Starling (http://gooselane.com/books.php?ean=9780864926470) by Ian Weir and All the Gold Hurts My Mouth (http://gooselane.com/books.php?ean=9780864928863) by Katherine Leyton. Weir’s novel is so dark and twisty and features murder and deeds most foul. As someone who writes supernatural mysteries, it was wonderful to sink into that book. All the Gold Hurts My Mouth feels like the feminist battle cry I’ve been waiting for. It’s edgy, funny, and throws down pop culture references with flair.
MR: Finally, how do you like to spend your downtime?
KP: When I’m not writing, I like to binge-watch. I just finished watching Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell.
Goose Lane Editions is located in Fredericton, New Brunswick.