I was a young and clueless book editor, just starting my career at Random House, when I first encountered Selwa Anthony – on the telephone.
“Now, I need half a dozen copies,” she said, of whatever title it was she was after. “Gratis, please. It’s for a charity event.”
“But – ” I couldn’t authorise free copies of books. “I’m not sure – ”
“Just tell them they’re for Selwa.”
Selwa? I had no idea who she was. I would soon learn – you don’t say no to Selwa Anthony when she”s after something for one of her authors.
When it came to finding representation for my own writing, it was Selwa’s door I went knocking on. As an editor, I knew of her fierce advocacy for Australian stories and their authors, and as a writer myself, I would come to understand the passion, commitment and kindness that motivates her.
Publishing is a game of snakes and ladders, fancy gambling, and like any corner of the entertainment industry, it has its fair share of fakers. But Selwa is the real deal. She is the only agent I know who reads every word her authors write and cares very personally about how those words are launched into the world.
These days, eight novels on, I’m so proud to call Selwa Anthony my friend above all.