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Posted by Kate, May 13, 2010

My hero

Well, the highlight of Kate’s day was lunch with Peter Mayer (pictured), on whom Kate has a bit of a crush for two reasons. The first is that once, about 23 years ago, when he was Emperor (of) Penguin and therefore The Most Important Person In Trade Publishing, he spotted Kate struggling up some steps in Bologna with her own weight (she was thinner then) in books, and he came back down the steps and carried her bags for her. The second is that when she was running Macmillan Children’s Books she had, briefly, the privilege of being the UK publisher of The Diary of Anne Frank in paperback. Macmillan (well, Pan), had had the paperback licence since the 50s and regularly renewed it. Little did they know that Peter had determined that The Diary of Anne Frank would be part of his legacy to Penguin. When the time came to renew the licence, Kate, who was maybe 30 at the time, was pitted against this publishing titan in a fiercely-fought auction. She lost (of course). And cried (one of the few times she has Cried In The Office). He rang up and told her that he had never fought a harder auction, and invited her out to dinner. Kate thinks that was a kind and honourable thing to do. So it was a pleasure to hack over to St John’s Street from The Crow’s Nest near Lambeth North (a journey that is really quite short, but stupidly difficult to do by public transport) for lunch with him.

Anyway, other good stuff happened too yesterday:

Caroline Sheldon came to visit to celebrate the greatness of Dinosaur Dig by Penny Dale and to show us other lovely stuff by the people she represents.

We talked about our strategy for apps and for with one of our clever shareholders. That’s all shaping up nicely.

And it was Deb’s birthday, so there was CAKE!

Happy times…

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