Things are ripping along over here at Wakefield Press HQ. We all know that the lead up to Christmas is the busiest time of the year, but this year we decided to challenge ourselves by bringing out a bunch of new books at the same time. Johnny in the warehouse is getting a workout!
First things first: you’ve all had a peek at Janis Sheldrick’s superb Nature’s Line: George Goyder, Surveyor, Environmentalist, Visionary by now, and bought a few copies for Christmas presents (not yet? Don’t worry, let us help you out with that). This one has been flying off the shelves since it arrived late last month.
Then, of course, you’ve all seen Rodney Fox’s joy at the final version of Sharks, the Sea and Me, an extraordinary autobiography about his extraordinary life. This one will be launched at our book fair extravaganza, which is only three sleeps from now.
In the last few days, we’ve also welcomed in stock of Liz Harfull’s Almost an Island: The Story of Robe, which details the history of the Limestone Coast town alongside beautiful images (see the gorgeous cover to the left). There have been a lot of people eagerly awaiting the arrival of this title, with Harfull’s Blue Ribbon Cookbook one of Wakefield’s most popular titles from the last few years, and Australian winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, in the Best Easy Recipes category.
Last but certainly not least, there’s also Don Loffler’s Holden Days, the hardback reprint of the latest Holden title from Loffler’s extremely popular series. Something to flick through and think about while the productivity commission rolls on.
One of the best things about working for a publishing house is getting to see an author’s face when they see the first boxful of books:
… So much joy, right? And this is a guy who survived a shark attack! It’s a fascinating story, and you can read all about it in his book, available here, or see the man himself at the book launch:
In the summer of 1963, Rodney Fox became famous when he survived a brutal shark attack off a suburban beach. Gathering his courage he returned to the sea, determined to make his living there. He fished for abalone and built the first shark cage. Hollywood came calling. Over five decades Rodney Fox has led hundreds of expeditions to introduce filmmakers, scientists, shark researchers and tourists to one of the world’s great adventures — each endeavour adding grand stories to an exciting life.
We asked Rodney a few questions about this extraordinary life, and his experiences with the great beasts of the deep.
Do you have a favourite memory from your years of interacting with sharks?
My favourite memory would be when I scratched the back of a 10m whale shark and watched it wobble and shake in pleasure.
Can you share any bizarre or little known facts about sharks?
When I witnessed two young adult dolphins harass a 4.5m great white shark whilst other dolphins in the family group ushered their baby dolphins away.
Who’s the most famous person your work has led you to meet?
I’ve spent a few hours in a shark cage with a Miss Universe and made films with Jean Michel Cousteau and also Fred Gwynn from The Addams Family.
If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be?
I would be a tall, elegant and colourful giraffe.
Can you tell us about some of your favourite books, and why you like them so much?
Patrick O’Brian’s Jack Aubrey series, starting with Master and Commander, is a favourite of mine because of the books’ sense of adventure and camaraderie, as well as the way that O’Brian brings early history to life.