Lisa Highton, Publisher of Two Roads

Born and educated in London, I took a quick trip to Australia and stayed for a very long time, only moving back to London in 2005.   Living in Australia was an extraordinary experience both personally and professionally.  During my time there I worked with Macmillan, Doubleday, HarperCollins and, finally, Hodder & Stoughton, which I joined in 1993. Although I’ve been an editor for years, I’ve worked in most aspects of publishing: sales, publicity, educational editing, and both adult and children’s publishing.  I’ve also been a freelance journalist and an author.  All marvellous experience leading to here and now.

Australia also fed my love of travel and curiosity about other places.  Australians travel a lot and read widely so I love books about other places and different experiences. I’m a big fan of American and Australian writing – voice and place led narrative. Interestingly, Two Roads now has a lot of Scottish writers –  think if I had a DNA splice it would show a mixture of  American Scottish and Australian.

I started Two Roads in 2011 – concentrating on twelve to fifteen books a year – roughly half fiction and non-fiction. Strong narrative led stories, brilliantly written – simple really. This small number allows us to concentrate on publishing books thoroughly and devoting that necessary time and attention.  Two Roads is a wonderful opportunity to seek out the best books I can find and to be involved with every aspect of their publishing.  Nothing makes me happier than making those connections between an author and readers … I am very lucky.

An interview with Literary Rejections.

Book Brunch.

Publishers Weekly

 

lisa.highton@tworoadsbooks.com

@TwoRoadsBooks

@Pinterest.com/tworoadsbooks/

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Kate HewsonKate Hewson, Senior Commissioning Editor

A combination of a love of stories and undiagnosed myopia meant I spent most of my childhood with my nose firmly planted in a book, and – though I do now have glasses – things are much the same today. After studying English at UCL I weaselled my way into an editorial assistant job in non-fiction at Pan Macmillan, where I worked my way up to editor across the Macmillan, Sidgwick & Jackson, Rodale and Boxtree lists. In 2013 I joined Icon Books as commissioning editor, publishing everything from history and politics to humour and business titles.

Which leads me to now! I joined Two Roads as senior non-fiction editor in February 2015, to expand our strong narrative non-fiction list. I have pretty magpie-ish tastes (which is one of the reasons I love working in non-fiction), but put simply I’m looking for those books that drag you in and don’t let go – stories that are stranger than fiction, brilliantly written and dying to be told. The books I have the most professional jealousy over include Do No Harm, The Hare with Amber Eyes, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth and Yes Please, and I’m after similarly unique voices; writers with the gift of communication who can illuminate their subject matter with ease and flair.

@KateJHewson

 

Katherine Burdon, Editorial Assistant

Thanks to a series of fortunate events, I started as Editorial Assistant at Two Roads this September, and am still trying to figure out how I’ve been lucky enough to end up here.

Originally from the Midlands, I only made it so far as Warwick University – interrupted by a year’s stint teaching English to teenagers in rural Germany – before moving to London in September 2016 to start an MA in Comparative Literature at UCL. Sensing a world outside the safety of the academic bubble, I applied to the Fresh Chapters scheme at Hachette and was startled when John Murray offered me an internship with their Marketing and Publicity department. After a fantastically fun summer, it was a matter of right place, right time, right now, and I migrated (read: shifted three desks over) to start with Two Roads. Still pinching myself every Monday morning, to check it’s real.

 

@kat_burdon

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Favourite books (Lisa)

Personally, I buy a lot of books for which there never seem to be enough bookshelves.  Too many books too little time will be my epitaph when my TBR pile finally falls over and buries me. So here is a (by no means exhaustive) list of  just some of the  books that I would always make sure I had around me or have read recently and loved (with probably no surprises either)…

Lists are daft things but here goes:

The Great Gatsby, Le Grand Meaulnes, Jane Eyre, Cold Comfort Farm, The Outcasts, Three Men in a Boat, One Day, I Capture the Castle, The Water Babies, Rebecca, Little Women, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Cloud Atlas, Atonement, Prep, Running With Scissors, His Dark Materials, The Book Thief, A Fine Balance, Vanity Fair,  Olive Kitteridge, Tinker Tailor, Scoop, The Wasp Factory, March, Room,  Across the Nightingale Floor, The Woman in White, Sherlock Holmes, Red Dragon, Crossing to Safety, The Music Room, The Levant Trilogy, The Sense of an Ending,  Persepolis, How I Live Now, Restless, Cloudstreet, The Man Who Loved Children, all or most of Nancy Mitford/Nora Ephron/ Raymond Chandler/Graham Greene/ David Sedaris/Grimm’s Fairy Tales

Short stories: Saki, Maugham, Chekov, Dahl, Moore, Carter, de Maupassant, Moore to name but a few obvious ones.

Looking for something to read?  Try this – The Guardian 100 best novels

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Favourite books (Kate)

This is a very non-exhaustive list of the books that would spring into my head if someone asked what they should read next. Apparently I like books with either animals or the word ‘castle’ in the title.

I Capture the Castle, Moby Dick, Leviathan (Philip Hoare, not Thomas Hobbes), Direct Red, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Crossing to Safety, They Came Like Sparrows, The Time of Our Singing, The Hare with Amber Eyes, The Painted Veil, His Dark Materials, All Creatures Great and Small, Nothing to Envy, Random Family, The Handmaid’s Tale, Into the Wild, Fahrenheit 451, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Bell Jar

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Favourite books (Kat)

This is my most favourite, and best rehearsed question, and one that people inevitably regret asking as my eclectic reading taste combines with my utter lack of decision making ability to produce a list of epic, and, frankly, boring proportions. See below for an edited version – i.e. the books I would lug to the other side of the world and back. I love almost everything I read, unless I don’t, in which case I really won’t like it at all. And I still haven’t forgiven Ian McEwan for Enduring Love.

Sense and Sensibility, The Great Gatsby, Far From the Madding Crowd, The Alchemist, A Little Life, His Dark Materials, Palestine, The Buddha of Suburbia, The Atom Station, One Day, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, Harry Potter, We Should All Be Feminists, The Lonely Londoners.

Poetry: EE Cummings, Ben Lerner, Langston Hughes

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