Almost 50 journalists and bloggers gathered to hear from authors such as Adele Parks and Felicity Everett at a tropical-themed ‘Destination HQ’ showcase, offering a first look at its fiction releases over the next nine months.
Sophie Calder, publicity director at HQ, paid tribute to reviewers for raising attention over the imprint’s two-and-a-half years of publishing. “We know our success is down to you and the careful attention and noisy support you give our books and authors”. She said. “HQ’s tagline is ‘One Place, Many Stories’. We’re not restricted by genre but pride ourselves on publishing books with a commercial story to tell and we’d hope that you’d find the HQ quality in the variety and quality of these titles.”
Alongside Parks – who discussed her upcoming thriller about a troubled marriage Lies Lies Lies – attending authors included Sophia Money-Coutts, Miranda Dickinson, Sarah Morgan, B A Paris and Felicity Everett. Debut authors included Costa Short Story Award winner Luan Goldie, Southbank Centre chief executive Elaine Bedell and Helen Monks Takhar who discussed her millennial-themed thriller, Precious You, about a 24-year-old intern who intimidates a 40-something magazine editor.
Other writers included Alyson Rudd, Louise Hare, HC Warner, Anita Frank and debut novelist Sairish Hussain, whose publishing journey began when she met HQ executive publisher Lisa Milton (pictured with Hussain) at last year’s Bradford Literary Festival, Hussain’s hometown.
Around 50 attendees from the media and blogging community were greeted by colourful ‘Sunset’ cocktails on arrival at the 17th floor of the News UK building in London Bridge, where the HarperCollins imprint is based. The 15 authors were split across three sections - book club debuts, uplifting commercial fiction and domestic suspense – with a short introduction from an HQ team member for each category before a 60-second pitch from each writer on their book.