Philip Pullman and David Fickling (below) will talk about the author/editor relationship at this year’s The Bookseller Children’s Conference, which is taking place in London on 24th September.
The longstanding friends and colleagues will close this year’s conference by speaking about their 30-year relationship, which began when Fickling acquired The Ruby in the Smoke for Oxford University Press. He later took Pullman with him to Random House, where he set up Doubleday’s programme of children’s books, and still edits all of the bestselling author's novels.
Pullman told The Bookseller: “Publishing a novel is not a purely economic transaction. All sorts of other considerations come into play, not least a degree of common understanding between editor and author about the purposes and possibilities of fiction. Of course, this doesn’t preclude vigorous and passionate debate: the point is that it’s something that can grow and develop in all sorts of directions.
“I expect to go on talking about stories with David Fickling until one of us kicks the bucket, and if it’s me, I’ll haunt him and go on talking."
Fickling said: "I've been very lucky in my career. I've worked with Philip since the 1980s and he has been an incredible writer from the word go. It's difficult as an editor to know how helpful you are but Philip has been kind enough to describe our work as a conversation. I'm happy to ask the questions at the conference, I'm hoping to learn something new myself!"
This year the theme of The Bookseller’s Children’s Conference is ‘Global versus Local: Keeping Books Relevant to all Children Everywhere’. Speakers who have lined up to take part include: Hannah Otero, publisher at Lonely Planet; Jo Surman, digital director at HarperCollins Children’s Books; Aimée Felone and David Stevens, co-founders of Knights Of.
The conference will take place on Monday 24th September at County Hall in London.
For more information and tickets visit the conference website, which is currently offering a 3 for 2 deal on tickets.