Karthika VK, publisher, HarperCollins, on writing despite all odds, at Anita’s Attic

  • Karthika-VK--publisher--HarperCollins-at-Anita
  • Karthika-VK--publisher--HarperCollins-at-Anita
  • Karthika-VK--publisher--HarperCollins-at-Anita

A mythical beast called a publisher.

As an unpublished writer, the image of a publisher in my mind was of a man who was part Karl Marx, part Freud, part Julius Caesar and part D. H. Lawrence. I imagined him in a suit smoking a pipe. I imagined him sitting at a long table with nothing on its surface except his gold pen, spectacle case and an ash tray. I imagined a publisher who did nothing but sign large publishing advance cheques for writers before going off to his club to drink a whisky and eat smoked salmon sandwiches with which ever literary great he was wooing at that point. I was the child with nose pressed against the glass looking in and marveling. My first book was published and and I met my publisher who was staying with the Governor of Karnataka. He took me for a walk around the gubernatorial grounds, fed me cucumber sandwiches and tea and as we chatted, I noticed that he had a gold pen and a spectacle case on the table before him.

But then my first novel happened and I moved to a new publishing house and a new editor. She looked nothing like Marx, Freud, Caesar or Lawrence but she had them all within her and so much more. Over the last 17 years, she became my editor, publisher and dearly beloved friend. And that is the image of a publisher I wished for my writers at Anita’s Attic to see.

For the 10th session of Anita’s Attic, Karthika VK, publisher, HarperCollins India talked to the writers telling them of what lies ahead and what it takes to keep faith and write despite the odds and obstacles.

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