Meet the Mantle team: Maria Rejt
At least ten people work on each book that Mantle publishes, all helping to get the author’s words into the hands of readers. Next in our series introducing the Mantle team is, Mantle Publisher, Maria Rejt.
Describe your job in one sentence.
Picking the best talent and helping to make their work as good as possible before launching the book into the market - just like a horse trainer really!
How would your friends describe you?
Loyal, I hope.
Any secret hobbies/skills?
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
What was your greatest piece of luck?
Don't depend on luck. It's dangerous!
What makes you happy?
A long walk with the family, and a pub with a roaring fire at journey's end.
What was the book that made you fall in love with reading?
The Chronicles of Narnia, and then Middlemarch made me want to be a publisher.
Which book do you most often recommend to friends?
The Easter Parade by Richard Yates, Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov, Tar Baby by Toni Morrison, Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin and Gilead by Marilynne Robinson - depending on the friend.
What do you love about Mantle books?
Always it is the characters first, then the evocation of a special time and place. I also love a great resolution, but not necessarily a happy one...
Who is your favourite literary character?
Sonya in Uncle Vanya.
Who would be in your dream book club?
It would have to be a Celestial Book Club as I should love to meet Anton Chekov, Elizabeth Bishop and Anna Akhmatova over a glass of vodka or two...
What has been the highlight of your career to date?
Launching Mantle with my authors who joined me.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to work in publishing?
Read and analyse why some books move you, then read some more and repeat.
What advise would you give someone who wants to become a published author?
Believe that you have something special to say and work hard at how you then say it.