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Tue, 09 Dec 2008 11:40
Book Depository: What/who do you see as your primary market?
Richard Davies (Parthian Books): Initially we were trying to reflect a culture of South Wales that was not being represented in fiction, hence books like Work, Sex and Rugby and In and Out of the Goldfish Bowl, so I guess the market was the twenty somethings in the South Wales valleys. But we also wanted to get the world to read these books and we've had quite a bit of success with these books beyond the border of age and geography with Rachel Trezise's books in particular being translated into several languages. In recent years the success of the books has resulted in a more diverse range of books finding their way onto our list and hopefully a more diverse reading audience, through books such as The Colour of a Dog Running Away (Barcelona, love and mystery), Strange Language (Basque short stories) and The Long Dry (cow goes missing on west Wales farm!? -- odd but a winner of the Betty Trask Award and being translated into Arabic, Italian and Turkish). So looking at the list now I'm not sure who exactly our readers are and it worries me... a bit.
BD: What are the principal challenges/opportunities you see at the moment in the business of publishing books?
RD: Finding the readers for each individual book. We haven't got a genre market so we have to find the niche market for each book and broaden out from there.
BD: What brings you to the decision to publish a particular title/author?
RD: We like the book and think we can find the market for it.
BD: What books are you most proud of having published?
RD: In and Out of the Goldfish Bowl by Rachel Trezise. It was a first novel by a twenty year old who had a story to tell from a new perspective. It went on to win an Orange Futures Award and five years later Rachel won the Dylan Thomas Award with Fresh Apples (also published by us) for the best work by a writer under 30 against world wide competition. She's now got a contract with Harper Collins and we're delighted for her. More information on her website.
BD: What books are you working on right now?
RD: We're working on Exodus from Bohemia by Johannes Gramich (due out in October). It's his own translation of his first novel which won awards in Germany when it was first published ten years ago. It tells the story of the forced resettlement of the German diaspora in the Czech Republic after the Second World War. It's a fascinating story and part of the lost history of Europe.
And Crawling Through Thorns by John Sam Jones (due out in 2009). John won a Stonewall award for his first book, Welsh Boys Too, whose subject was gay life in Wales. It was the first time gay characters had been given a central place in fiction based in Wales. Crawling Through Thorns is his first novel and charts the journey of a young man from confused adolescence in 60's Barmouth through the repression of trying to becoming a preacher at Aberystwyth in the 70's to the release of becoming a world churches scholar at Berkley in the early 80's and the hedonism and contradictions of gay Christian life in San Francisco. John's been on a journey in life and fiction and this book is part of it.
These are The Book Depository's 5 favourite Parthian Books titles:
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