Sunday, 13 February 2011

embarking on a Voyage(r): work experience

I’ve spent the last week doing work experience with HarperVoyager and it’s been amazing. And not just because the restaurant at HarperCollins sells great coffee at a steal, and it’s staffed by one of the perkiest people I’ve ever met at 8am in the morning. Maybe he’s pleased with the coffee too.

A brief run-down of what I’ve been up to:

Checking the proofs of one of my favourite authors’ titles
Checking corrections and formatting for an eBook
Making a survey to find out the extent of SFF stigma (hello, dissertation topic)
Writing for the Voyager blog
Deleting 1000s of pieces of spam from the blog (‘Your site is AMAZING! Have you considered a penis enlargement?’)
Reading some Australian Voyager titles
Taking home as many books as the lovely Emma Coode could give me
Reading erotica

I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of an average working day at Voyager and HarperCollins. Everyone was lovely there, and so busy and dedicated.

Also, I should elaborate about the erotica. It was Mills and Boon-esque Fantasy erotica. I haven’t read anything like this before (*protests too much*) but was reliably told I should be reading it on story merit, as well as its other... attributes. The main thing I discovered from reading these was that I am very immature. I feel sorry for anyone having to read my notes (and the choice quotes I included).

I loved working at Voyager. It was like the doors to nerd-dom opened and welcomed me in. Even if I did make a slight fool of myself when I destroyed a laminating machine (it got stuck to itself in a freak self-laminating incident) and was introduced to lovely author Cathy Kelly as ‘This is Rachel, she’s currently reading erotica’, and I greeted her by saying ‘I have cake on my hand’, just as she shook it. Aside from that (and did I tell you they have a tree in their atrium? They have an atrium!), it was eye-opening seeing behind the scenes of an SFF publisher and my bookshelves are now heaving with all the titles I crammed into my suitcase (after removing its unnecessary contents).

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