Transcript: Kim McArthur | Jan 24, 1999

(Rhythmic string and wind music plays)

In animation, a word in pink slides by against a gray background as hands paint strokes using paintbrushes, play a piano, and touch as in a ballet performance.

The title of the show reads “Dialogue.”

The title of the episode pops up against an image of Richard Ouzounian and a guest sitting in a room with pale blue walls: “Kim McArthur. Publisher.”

Then, Richard appears facing the screen. He's in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short side-parted blond hair. He's wearing rounded glasses, a gray suit, black shirt, and striped black tie.

He says WELCOME TO
DIALOGUE.
I'M RICHARD OUZOUNIAN.
YOU KNOW THE OLD, I'VE GOOD
NEWS AND BAD NEWS FOR YOU?
WELL, THAT HAPPENED IN
TORONTO PUBLISHING LAST YEAR.
THE BAD NEWS WAS THAT
LITTLE, BROWN CANADA CLOSED.
THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT
IMMEDIATELY IN ITS WAKE,
MCARTHUR and COMPANY OPENED.
THE LADY WHO WAS IN CHARGE
OF BOTH THESE ORGANIZATIONS
IS HERE TO TALK
TO ME TODAY.
THIS
DIALOGUE
IS
WITH KIM MCARTHUR.

Kim is in her mid-forties, with long straight black hair in a tight ponytail. She’s wearing a black blazer over a white cotton shirt, a black skirt, and silver hoop earrings.

Richard continues SO, KIM, I'M GOING TO
TALK A BIT ABOUT YOU
AND YOUR LIFE AND GET
AROUND TO IT EVENTUALLY,
BUT THE MAJOR THING WAS,
YOU'D BEEN HEAD OF
LITTLE, BROWN CANADA AND THEN IT
SEEMED TO US OUT OF THE BLUE
THEY ANNOUNCED THEY WERE
CLOSING LITTLE, BROWN CANADA.
WAS IT OUT OF THE
BLUE TO YOU, AS WELL?

A caption appears on screen. It reads “Kim McArthur. Publisher.”

Kim says IT WAS OUT OF THE BLUE
TO A CERTAIN EXTENT.
LITTLE, BROWN CANADA, I
WAS RUNNING FOR 11 YEARS,
AND IT WAS ONE OF THOSE
SITUATIONS WHERE WE HAD
A NUMBER OF BEST SELLERS.
TO MY GREAT DELIGHT, WE
STILL DO HAVE A NUMBER
OF BEST SELLERS THAT SAY
LITTLE, BROWN ON THEM,
EVEN THOUGH IT
NO LONGER EXISTS,
AND WE WERE MAKING MONEY,
AND WE HAD A GOOD PROFILE
AND WE WERE SORT
OF DOING THE OLD
RAH, RAH, RAH FOR TIME
WARNER IN CANADA.
AND TIME WARNER JUST
DECIDED TO CONSOLIDATE
ALL OF ITS BOOKS IN CANADA:
LITTLE, BROWN BOOKS,
DISNEY BOOKS, AND WARNER
BOOKS UNDER SOMEONE
WHO WAS A DISTRIBUTOR.
SO, NO, I DIDN'T
REALLY SEE IT COMING,
ALTHOUGH I WASN'T
FLABBERGASTED.

Richard says IN A CASE LIKE
THIS, YOU KNOW,
WHEN YOU'RE DEALING WITH
A HUGE MEGA CORPORATION,
THESE SHARKS SEND OUT WARNING
SIGNALS TO LET YOU KNOW
THERE'S ABOUT TO BE
BLOOD IN THE WATER.
WAS THERE ANYTHING
LIKE THAT HERE?

Kim says THERE WASN'T REALLY
A WARNING SIGNAL,
ALTHOUGH I DID NOTICE FOR
THE LAST TWO YEARS THAT
MY BOSS LARRY KIRSHBAUM HAD
BEEN THE PRESIDENT OF WARNER
FOR THE LAST 25 YEARS,
WHEREAS I WAS RUNNING
A TIME OPERATION.
AND I ALWAYS SAID THAT THIS
WAS A MAN INTENT ON KEEPING
THE WARNER IN TIME WARNER.

Richard says RIGHT.
AS I ONCE PUT TO YOU,
YOU WERE SUBJECTED
TO THE NICK OF TIME.

Kim says THAT'S RIGHT,
THE NICK OF TIME,
AND ALL OF OUR BOOKS WENT
OVER TO THE PEOPLE
THAT ARE DISTRIBUTING
WARNER IN CANADA.

Richard says NOW, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT
LITTLE, BROWN CANADA WAS KNOWN
FOR IS INCREDIBLE
DEVOTION TO THE AUTHORS,
FRIENDLINESS TO THE AUTHORS,
AND A KIND OF CULTIVATING -
MAKING THE AUTHORS FEEL
LIKE THEY BELONGED.
SO WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL OF
THESE LOVELY PEOPLE WHEN
THEY HEARD THAT THIS COMPANY
THAT HAD BEEN TAKING GOOD
CARE OF THEM WAS KIND OF
CEASING TO TAKE CARE OF THEM?

Kim says THERE WAS QUITE A HUMAN
CRY, I'M DELIGHTED TO SAY,
BECAUSE OF COURSE IN MY
POSITION AS THE HEAD OF
LITTLE, BROWN, I WASN'T
REALLY ONE TO BE RACING OFF
TO THE NATIONAL NEWS
SAYING, OH, WOE IS ME.

Richard says RIGHT.

Kim says BUT THE AUTHORS DID AND
IT WAS QUITE SATISFYING
ACTUALLY TO KNOW THAT THEY CARED
ABOUT IT AS MUCH AS WE DID.
AND OF COURSE THE AUTHORS
ARE THE FOUNDATION
OF PUBLISHING ALONG
WITH BOOK SELLERS,
SO IT WAS A GOOD THING TO
KNOW THAT THEY WEREN'T
TAKING THIS LYING DOWN.

Richard says WHAT DO YOU THINK WAS THE
SECRET OF THE RELATIONSHIP
YOU HAD WITH AUTHORS?
WAS IT ALL THOSE
PHENOMENAL PARTIES?

Kim says THE PARTIES WERE
VERY HELPFUL,
OF COURSE, RICHARD.
[laughing]
ACTUALLY, EVERYBODY HAS
THIS IMPRESSION THAT
WE THREW PARTIES AT
THE DROP OF A HAT.
WE ACTUALLY, AS LEONARD AND
JOHN FROM THEATRE WORKS AND
CAN TELL YOU, WE DID USED TO
HAVE PARTIES IN OUR OFFICE.
WELCOME TO SPRING WHEN THERE
WERE NINE FEET OF SNOW ON THE
GROUND AND I WOULD GO OUT
AND BUY A PILE OF DAFFODILS
AND WE WOULD ALL HAVE A
GLASS OF WINE OR SOMETHING.
BUT BASICALLY EVERY YEAR
WE HAD ONE PARTY DURING
HARBOURFRONT, AND ONE PARTY,
OUR BEAUJOLAIS PARTY,
FOR THE FALL LAUNCH.
SO IT WASN'T THE CASE OF
PARTIES ON THE RAMPAGE,
BUT THE AUTHORS REALLY DID
LIKE IT AND I THINK THEY
GOT THE SENSE THAT WE
REALLY ADORED THEM,
WHICH INDEED WE DO, BECAUSE
WE WOULDN'T BE VERY FAR
WITHOUT ANY AUTHORS.

Richard says WAS THERE SOMETHING THAT
CONSTITUTED A LITTLE, BROWN
AUTHOR IN THOSE DAYS?

Kim says NOT REALLY.
I DON'T THINK ANY
DIFFERENTLY FROM ANY AUTHOR.
I THINK IT'S A VERY HARD JOB
TO BE AN AUTHOR AND TO SIT
IN A ROOM ALONE AND COOK
UP SOMETHING AND WRITE IT,
AND I THINK WHAT THE AUTHORS
LIKED ABOUT ALL OF US AT
LITTLE, BROWN, ESPECIALLY THE
PUBLICISTS AND THE PEOPLE
THAT SOLD THE BOOKS WAS,
THAT WE APPRECIATED THAT.
THAT WHEN THEY FINALLY CAME
OUT OF THEIR ROOM WITH
SOMETHING, THAT WE WERE
GOING TO MAKE A BIG TO-DO
ABOUT IT AND WE DID.

Richard says NOW, I'M GOING TO GET BACK
TO THAT AND TO WHERE THINGS
ARE GOING, BUT I WANT TO
KIND OF BACK UP HERE.
I MEAN, A YOUNG LADY
DOESN'T GROW UP SAYING,
I WANT TO RUN A PUBLISHING
HOUSE ONE DAY, OR DO YOU?
I MEAN, WHAT WAS KIM
MCARTHUR LIKE AS A YOUNG LADY?

Kim says WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL,
MY DAD WAS A TEACHER AND
MY MOM WAS VERY MUSICAL, AS
I THINK WE'VE DISCUSSED BEFORE.
AND SO I GREW UP, I
USED TO SING IN CABARETS AND
CAFES AND THINGS WHEN I
WENT THROUGH UNIVERSITY.

Richard says WHERE WAS THIS?

Kim says BRANTFORD, ONTARIO, HOME
OF WAYNE GRETZKY AND THE
TELEPHONE, IN CASE
YOU DIDN'T KNOW.

Richard says AND YOU!

Kim says NOT QUITE AS FAMOUS.
AND SO I WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL
AND THEN I WENT OFF
TO MCGILL AND WESTERN AND I
TOOK ENGLISH AND HISTORY.
AND AFTER I WAS
FINISHED THAT,
I STARTED TO TAKE A MASTER'S
DEGREE, AND THEN I THOUGHT,
SETTLE DOWN, YOU KNOW.
HOW MANY PROFESSORS ARE
THERE IN THE WORLD?

Richard says SO YOU WERE KIND OF
ON THE ACADEMIC TRACK.

Kim says I WAS ON THE
ACADEMIC TRACK,
AND OF COURSE LOVED READING,
AND SO I WENT INTO TEACHING.
I TAUGHT HIGH SCHOOL IN
TORONTO FOR FIVE YEARS
AT OAKWOOD COLLEGIATE.
HAD A GREAT TIME TEACHING
ENGLISH AND HISTORY AND
A BIT OF FRENCH.
AND AFTER FIVE YEARS, MY
FIRST HOME ROOM GRADUATED,
MY GRADE 9's, MY
ORIGINAL GRADE 9 CLASS.
AND I JUST HAD THIS VISION
OF BEING THERE IN ABOUT
30 YEARS AND ALL OF THESE
KIDS WHO HAD GONE ON TO DO
WONDERFUL THINGS COMING BACK
AND SAYING, Miss MCARTHUR,
YOU'RE STILL HERE.

Richard says GOOD BYE, Mrs. CHIPS.

Kim says YEAH, GOOD BYE,
Mrs. CHIPS.
I WAS ABOUT 27 AT THE
TIME AND I THOUGHT,
IF I'M GOING TO TRY
SOMETHING DIFFERENT
BEFORE I REACH THE
VASTY SALARY OF, GOSH,
I THINK IT WAS
AT LEAST 25,000 dollars,
I BETTER TRY IT NOW.

Richard says RIGHT.

Kim says SO, I LEFT TEACHING AND
WENT OFF FOR AN INTERVIEW
THAT DAY AT MCGRAW-HILL
RYERSON AND GOT A JOB
IN PUBLISHING.

Richard says NOW, BUT WHAT MADE YOU
WANT TO GO - THAT SOUNDS
LIKE THE EASY PART.
YOU WERE WORKING VERY
NICELY, NICE SCHOOL,
TEACHING NICE KIDS.

Kim says MM-HMM, HAVING A GREAT TIME.

Richard says YES, HAVING A
GREAT TIME.
WHY PUBLISHING?

Kim says WELL, I WAS JUST THINKING,
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO WITH
AN ENGLISH AND HISTORY
DEGREE, AND TO ME IT SEEMED -
I HAD A LOT OF BOOKS TO READ
WHEN I WAS TEACHING ENGLISH
AND HISTORY, ALTHOUGH ONE
OF THE TEDIOUS PARTS ABOUT
TEACHING WAS THAT THE
BOARDS OF EDUCATION
WOULDN'T BUY ME
ANY NEW ONES.
SO I HAD THIS VISION
OF MYSELF, AGE 95,
TEACHING
KING LEAR
OUT OF
FOUR DIFFERENT EDITIONS,
AND LORD OF THE FLIES...

Richard says THAT WERE SCOTCH
TAPED TOGETHER, YEAH.

Kim says AND
TESS OF THE
D'URBERVILLES
AND KNOW WHAT
PAGE THE KIDS WERE ON
AND IN WHAT EDITION.
THIS WAS GETTING
A LITTLE SCARY.
SO I THOUGHT, YOU KNOW,
WHERE CAN I GET SOME NEW
BOOKS TO READ AND GET SOME
THINKING DONE AND PUBLISHING
OR MAGAZINES SEEMED
TO BE THE WAY.

Richard says BUT HOW DID YOU DO
MCGRAW-HILL RYERSON,
A DART BOARD, OR WHAT?

Kim says A FRIEND OF MINE, DENISE
BUKOWSKI HAD BEEN AN EDITOR
THERE, AND THEN SHE'D BEEN
AT MCCLELLAND and STEWART,
AND SHE THOUGHT THAT THERE
WAS A JOB OPEN THERE
IN THE TRADE DIVISION.
AS IT TURNED OUT, IT WAS
WHEN MCGRAW-HILL TENDS
TO OPEN AND CLOSE
ITS TRADE DIVISION,
AND THEY WERE CLOSING THE
TRADE DIVISION THAT DAY.
SO I WENT OFF TO
AN INTERVIEW WITH
THE COLLEGE DIVISION.

Richard says AND WHAT HAPPENED?

Kim says SOLD A FEW COLLEGE BOOKS
FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS.
ANYTHING YOU WANT TO KNOW
ABOUT PLATE TECTONICS, RICHARD?
I CAN TELL YOU AFTERWARDS.
IT WAS INTERESTING.
AND, OF COURSE, I ENDED UP
CALLING BACK AT UNIVERSITY
OF WESTERN WHERE
I HAD ATTENDED.
SO I WAS VEERING AROUND ALL
THESE BUILDINGS DISCUSSING
VERY IMPORTANT THINGS ABOUT
ECONOMICS TEXTBOOKS.

Richard says NOW, I CAN'T QUITE
SEE YOU DOING THAT.
I MEAN, WAS IT A MATTER OF
PUTTING ON A GOOD FRONT,
OR DID YOU THINK YOU WERE
GOING TO WIND UP PEDDLING
ECONOMICS TEXTBOOKS FOREVER?

Kim says I WAS HOPING THAT THERE
WOULD BE AN OPENING SOMETIME
IN THE TRADE DIVISION.
I MEAN, TEXTBOOKS CAN
OFTEN BE QUITE SIMILAR
BECAUSE OF THE STRICTURES
OF THE CURRICULUM.
SO BASICALLY YOU WERE
SELLING THE SAME OUTLINE
OF A BOOK AND JUST TRYING TO
MAKE IT SURE THAT IT WAS
THE MCGRAW-HILL BOOK THAT
GOT IN AND GOT ADOPTED.
WHEREAS TRADE PUBLISHING,
EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT.
THAT'S WHAT MAKES
IT SO INTERESTING.

Richard says YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO
INTERACT WITH THE AUTHORS
OF THE TEXTBOOKS,
OR DID YOU?

Kim says OH, YEAH.
A LOT OF THEM WERE AMERICAN
TEXTBOOKS THAT WERE
CANADIANIZED BY
CANADIAN PROFS.

Richard says WHAT DO YOU DO IF SOMEONE HAS
WRITER'S BLOCK ON A TEXTBOOK?

Kim says OFTEN THEY WERE ADJUSTING
IT AND OFTEN THEY DID
GET WRITER'S BLOCK
ON A TEXTBOOK.

Richard says REALLY?

Kim says AND YOU WOULD WAIT FOR TEN
YEARS FOR THE GREAT NEW TEXT
ON HEART SURGERY TO
COME OUT OR SOMETHING.

Richard says SOME OF THE PROBLEMS
THAT ONE FACES
DEALING WITH A NOVELIST
YOU HAD TO FACE BACK THEN.

Kim says OH, YEAH, AND ALSO, HOW DO
YOU MAKE IT INTERESTING.
FRANKLY, PLATE TECTONICS.
THERE WAS ONE FANTASTIC
PROF AT WESTERN THAT HELPED
DESIGN THE CANADARM, AND MY
ENTHUSIASM AND GLEE AT THE
FACT THAT I HAD MET HIM SENT
HIM TO THE BLACKBOARD
TO EXPLAIN TO ME HOW
THE CANADARM WORKED.
SO I SAT THERE FOR ABOUT
HALF AN HOUR COMPLETELY
GLAZED, GOING, THIS IS
FASCINATING, OH, MY GOD.
PLEASE DON'T ASK
ME ANY QUESTIONS.
I HOPE THERE'S NOT
A QUIZ AFTER THIS.

Richard says THERE'S A PROVERB SAYS NO
GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED.
YOU HAVE TO
REMEMBER THAT.

Kim says KNOW HOW IT WORKS, THOUGH.

Richard says YOU'RE PEDDLING
TEXTBOOKS.
YOU'RE WAITING TO
GET INTO TRADE,
AND THE MOVE
FINALLY CAME?
OR WHAT HAPPENED?

Kim says WHAT HAPPENED, ACTUALLY,
WAS THAT WENT I WENT FOR
THAT FIRST INTERVIEW, I MET THE
MAN WHO'S NOW MY HUSBAND.
AND AFTER A COUPLE OF
YEARS WE STARTED DATING,
IN A GINGER FASHION,
AND THEN WE THOUGHT,
OH, DEAR, WE'RE
GOING TO GET MARRIED.
I THOUGHT, I BETTER GET
OUT OF HERE AND GO
INTO TRADE SO THAT I'M NOT
REPORTING TO MY OWN HUSBAND.

Richard says AH-HA.

Kim says AND MCGRAW-HILL WAS GREAT.
THEY SAID, OH, GO AHEAD,
MOVE INTO TORONTO.
YOU KNOW, YOU REPORT
TO SOMEBODY ELSE.
BUT AT THAT TIME I WENT
AROUND TO ALL THE TRADE HOUSES
AND MET MORTY MINT
AND BILL HUSHION
AND ALL THE PEOPLE -
SORT OF THOSE DISCUSSION
INTERVIEW THINGS.

Richard says RIGHT.

Kim says AND BILL HUSHION PHONED
ME BACK AND HIRED ME
TO METHUEN SO IT
WAS GREAT.

Richard says AND SO, WHAT KIND OF
THINGS WERE ON YOUR PLATE
WHEN YOU GOT THERE?
WHAT DID YOU HAVE
TO DEAL WITH?

Kim says WHEN I WENT TO METHUEN?

Richard says MM-HMM.

Kim says I WAS SELLING IN SOUTHWEST
ONTARIO TO DIFFERENT DRUMMER
AND THEN I GOT
MOVED INTO TORONTO,
AND WE HAD
WONDERFUL BOOKS.
WE HAD THE MONTY
PYTHON BOOKS,
THE BIG RED BOOK AND THE ONE
WITH THE BIG FOOT ON IT.
WE HAD A WONDERFUL
DRAMA LIST,
AND IT WAS A
TERRIFIC LIST.

Richard says I MEAN, THIS
IS INTERESTING.
I'M CURIOUS HOW
YOU DO THIS.
DO YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TO GO
OUT AND LIKE WILLY LOMAN
CONVINCE PEOPLE THAT THEY'VE
GOT TO GET YOUR PRODUCT?
OR DO THEY WANT
IT TO BEGIN WITH?

Kim says THAT'S THE BEAUTY OF
SELLING BOOKS AND ONE OF
THE HUGE ADVANTAGES I THINK
OF BEING IN PUBLISHING.
A, IT'S REALLY FUN.
B, YOU GET TO READ A WHOLE
LOT OF BOOKS THAT YOU
WOULDN'T OTHERWISE READ, AND
C, IT'S NOT LIKE SELLING A
VACUUM CLEANER OR A NEW
CAMERA WHERE EVERYBODY
HAS A SIMILAR THING.
THIS IS SOMETHING
COMPLETELY DIFFERENT,
AND BOOKSTORES CAN'T OPERATE
WITHOUT BOOKS IN THEM.

Richard says TRUE.

Kim says SO IT'S NOT AS
IF, YOU KNOW,
YOU WEDGED A FOOT IN THE
DOOR AND YOU'RE BEGGING
PEOPLE, PLEASE, OH PLEASE,
OH PLEASE, BUY SOME BOOKS.
BOOKSELLERS NEED BOOKS AND
IT'S JUST A MATTER OF,
DO THEY NEED A FEW MORE OF
YOUR BOOKS OR THE BOOKS
FROM ANOTHER PUBLISHER.
BUT IN ANY CASE, I'VE ALWAYS
FOUND IT A GREAT PLEASURE
THAT PEOPLE CAN BUY THREE
BOOKS ON LAURENCE OLIVIER.

Richard says NOW, PEOPLE LOVE
BOOKS, BUT BOOKS -
ALTHOUGH THIS IS HERESY,
I SHOULDN'T SAY THIS -
ARE NOT A NECESSITY, RIGHT?
YOU CAN LIVE,
BUT NOT WELL.

Kim says SOME PEOPLE.
SOME PEOPLE CAN
WITHOUT THEM.

Richard says YEAH, BUT NOT WELL.
BUT YOU DON'T HAVE
TO WEAR A BOOK;
YOU DON'T HAVE
TO EAT A BOOK.

Kim says TRUE.

Richard says AND YOU'VE BEEN DOING
THIS WHEN THERE HAVE BEEN
RECESSIONS, IN AND OUT.
DOES THE BOOK MARKET SUFFER
MORE IN A RECESSION?

Kim says I DON'T THINK SO.
OR MAYBE THIS IS JUST, I'VE
TALKED MYSELF INTO IT,
BUT IF YOU THINK OF ALL THE
THINGS THAT ARE LUXURIES OF
LIFE, LIKE A REALLY SPIFFY
BRAND NEW CAR OR A BIG MORE
GORGEOUS HOUSE FILLED
WITH FANTASTIC FURNITURE,
I'VE ALWAYS THOUGHT
THAT A BOOK, ACTUALLY,
WAS REALLY AFFORDABLE
COMPARED TO RENTING A VIDEO
OR GOING TO A MOVIE, AND
THERE'S THE TACTILE THING
ABOUT A BOOK WHERE YOU OWN
IT AND YOU CAN PUT IT ON
YOUR MANY, MANY BOOKSHELVES
IF YOU'RE A REAL BOOK LOVER.
AND, YOU KNOW, THE BOOK
LOVING PART OF THE
POPULATION IS NOT 80
PERCENT OF THE POPULATION,
BUT IT'S A VERY SOLID 15 TO
20 PERCENT OF THE POPULATION
THAT BUYS BOOKS EVERY WEEK.

Richard says NOW, WE'VE GOT YOU WORKING
IN THE BUSINESS AND WORKING UP,
BUT WHEN DID THE IDEA
FORM IN YOUR HEAD TO
ACTUALLY WIND UP RUNNING A
PUBLISHING HOUSE OF YOUR OWN?

Kim says I WAS THE SALES
MANAGER AT METHUEN,
WHICH IS NOW
CARSWELL METHUEN.
AND ACTUALLY LITTLE,
BROWN, AT THAT TIME,
HAD BEEN AN AGENCY OF
MCCLELLAND and STEWART.
SO MCCLELLAND and STEWART
CARRIED THEIR BOOKS
IN CANADA AND SOLD
THE BOOKS FOR THEM.
AND IT WAS RIGHT AROUND THE
TIME WHERE AVIE BENNETT
PURCHASED MCCLELLAND
and STEWART FROM
JACK MCCLELLAND, AND HE WASN'T
REALLY KEEN ON THE IDEA OF
HAVING AGENCY
RELATIONSHIPS.
HE WANTED TO FOCUS
ON HIS BUSINESS.
SO LITTLE, BROWN
THOUGHT, GREAT,
WE'VE BEEN INCORPORATED IN
CANADA SINCE 1953 AND SO
THEY GOT JACK TO COMPILE A
LIST OF POSSIBLE PEOPLE THAT
WOULD BE INTERESTED IN
STARTING LITTLE, BROWN CANADA
FOR THEM, BECAUSE WE'D BEEN
INCORPORATED BUT NOT UNTIL
1987 DID THEY ACTUALLY WANT
AN OFFICE AND SOMEONE TO RUN
IT AND THEIR OWN LIST.
SO, I GOT THE CALL AND
CAME DOWN FOR, YOU KNOW,
THE GRILLEROO DOWN
AT THE SAME PLACE.
HAD A GREAT INTERVIEW
WITH GEORGE HALL WHO WAS
THE MAN THAT WAS PUT
IN CHARGE OF THIS.
GREAT BOSTON
BRAHMIN TYPE GUY,
REALLY HE JUST LOVED
LITTLE, BROWN CANADA.
AND THEN SO IN
1987 WE STARTED IT.

Richard says WAS THERE ANYTHING UNDULY
CHALLENGING FOR YOU?
I MEAN, THAT FIRST
DAY YOU WALKED IN,
WHAT WAS YOUR WORRY?
DID YOU HAVE A WORRY?

Kim says I WAS MORE EXCITED THAN
ANYTHING ELSE, AND IT WAS,
OF COURSE, TERRIFIC TO HAVE
THIS BIG TIME WARNER BANK
ACCOUNT BEHIND
THE WHOLE THING,
SO I WASN'T WORRIED AS
I AM NOW, FOR INSTANCE,
ABOUT CASHFLOW AND ALL
OF THAT KIND OF THING.
I WAS CONCERNED ABOUT MAKING
SURE THAT LITTLE, BROWN HAD
A PROFILE AND THAT EVENTUALLY
WE COULD PUBLISH OUR OWN
BOOKS IN CANADA, AND TOOK
A WHILE TO GET GOING.
MY MAIN WORRY THE FIRST TIME
WAS GETTING A BOOTH AT
THE CBA WHICH WAS ABOUT
TWO WEEKS LATER.

Richard says CANADIAN BOOKSELLERS ASSOCIATION.

Kim says YEAH.
SO JUDY BRUNSEK, WHO WAS THEN
AT MCCLELLAND and STEWART,
LENT ME 10 FEET
OF HER BOOTH,
SO I STILL HAVE THIS
HILARIOUS PICTURE OF 15 OF
US CRAMMED INTO A 10-FOOT
SPACE WITH A FEW ANSEL ADAMS
POSTERS AND
LIFE: THE
FIRST FIFTY YEARS
AND
BILLY AND THE BOINGERS.

Richard says RIGHT, RIGHT.

Kim says I THINK ENTHUSIASM
CARRIED US THROUGH
ABOUT THE
FIRST TWO YEARS.

Richard says WHEN YOU LOOKED AT THE
LITTLE, BROWN CATALOGUE AND
WHO WAS THERE ON YOUR WAY TO
DIVERSIFYING INTO CANADA,
WHO DID YOU KIND
OF LATCH ONTO?
IS THERE ANY LIKE STAR OR
TWO THAT YOU WENT WITH IN
THE BEGINNING YEARS
TO HELP DO YOUR -

Kim says THE LIFE BOOKS WERE VERY GOOD,
LIFE: THE FIRST FIFTY YEARS;
ANDREW WYETH, WHO'S GETTING
A LOT OF PRESS NOW.
THAT WAS ONE OF OUR BIG
BOOKS ON THE FIRST LIST.
MARTHA GRIMES HAD NEVER
TOURED AND I ALWAYS ENJOYED
READING HER MYSTERIES,
SO I THOUGHT, NOW,
THERE'S SOMEBODY I COULD
BRING UP TO CANADA AND,
IN FACT, DID BRING
HER UP TO CANADA.
SHE'D NEVER TOURED BEFORE
AND SHE HIT THE BEST SELLER
LIST FOR THE FIRST TIME
AFTER THAT AND SHE'S STILL
ON THE BEST SELLER
LIST THESE DAYS.

Richard says LIKE YOU SIT THERE
AND SAY, GEE,
I LIKE THIS SO I THINK
EVERYBODY ELSE WOULD AS WELL.

Kim says YEAH, AS LONG AS
THE WRITING IS GOOD
AND YOU THINK YOU'LL
GET SOME BACKUP.
ANOTHER PERSON WAS RICHARD
FORD WHO WAS THEN ON
THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY LIST,
AND HE TOO HAD NEVER BEEN
TO CANADA, NOR HAD
HE EVER BEEN ON
A BEST SELLER
LIST ANYWHERE.
SO WE BROUGHT HIM UP FOR
A COLLECTION CALLED ROCK
SPRINGS, AND WE'RE STILL HIS
PUBLISHERS AFTER 11 YEARS,
SO THAT'S GOOD.

Richard says HE'S ALWAYS BECOME
VERY FOND OF TORONTO
AND CANADA
IN PARTICULAR,
LIKES TO COME BACK HERE.

Kim says HE REALLY ENJOYS CANADA AND
IS VERY ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT IT.

Richard says WHAT WAS THE FIRST CANADIAN
BOOK YOU SUCCEEDED
IN GETTING DONE?

Kim says I'M JUST TRYING TO THINK.
I THINK IT PROBABLY
WAS BARRY CALLAGHAN'S,
BLACK QUEEN STORIES, I
RE-PRINTED FROM
LESTER and ORPEN DENNYS.
WE DID A NUMBER OF BOOKS
ALONG WITH VINTAGE U.K.
THAT WE WERE DOING THEM AS
AN AGENCY AT THAT TIME.
SO THE FIRST SERIES OF
CANADIAN BOOKS I DID,
I BOUGHT IN PAPERBACK
FROM LOUISE DENNYS,
WHO WAS THEN AT
LESTER and ORPEN DENNYS.
THEY DIDN'T HAVE
A PAPERBACK LINE,
SO I PURCHASED
PAPERBACK RIGHTS.
AND THAT WAS FUN.
THAT INCLUDED MICHAEL
COREN, GEOFFREY YORK,
THE DISPOSSESSED.
BARRY CALLAGHAN AND ABOUT
EIGHT CANADIAN AUTHORS.

Richard says SO YOU USED THAT AS
KIND OF, I GUESS
NOW I'M DOING
CANADIAN WORK, AS WELL.
STILL, WE'VE ALWAYS
FELT THAT THERE'S NOW
A VERY STRONG CANADIAN
PUBLISHING AND WRITING INDUSTRY.
BUT IT WASN'T ALWAYS LIKE THAT.

Kim says I THINK JACK MCCLELLAND
DID A LOT TO FOUND IT
AND TO MAKE IT VIBRANT.
AND I THINK IN
THE LAST 10 YEARS,
AND THIS INCLUDES RANDOM
HOUSE AND KNOPF,
AND COLLINS AND PENGUIN,
I THINK ALL OF THE
FOREIGN-OWNED FIRMS REALLY
TOOK A STAND IN TERMS OF
PUBLISHING CANADIAN AUTHORS
AND MAKING SURE THAT THAT
WAS A VERY IMPORTANT PART
OF THEIR PROGRAM IN CANADA.
SO THEY WOULD DISTRIBUTE THE
BOOKS FROM THE STATES AND
ENGLAND, BUT HAVE THEIR OWN
CANADIAN PUBLISHING PROGRAM,
AND THAT WAS AN IMPORTANT
PART OF WHAT WE WERE
MEANT TO BE DOING.

Richard says YOU KNOW, THERE'S SOMETHING
I'VE ALWAYS NOTICED AND
I'M CURIOUS WHAT SOMEONE IN THE
PUBLISHING BUSINESS THINKS
ABOUT IT IN CANADA, IS THAT
IF YOU LOOK AT THE BEST
SELLER LIST, FOR EXAMPLE,
EVEN
THE NEW YORK TIMES
BEST
SELLER LIST TENDS TO HAVE A
LOT OF WHAT WE'D CALL
MORE ENTERTAINMENT READING
NEAR THE TOP OF IT.
THERE'S A TOM CLANCY AND
A DANIELLE STEELE AND THAT.
WHEREAS ON THE
CANADIAN BEST SELLER LISTS,
IT WILL BE ANN-MARIE
MACDONALD, TIMOTHY FINDLEY,
MARGARET ATWOOD, ALICE
MUNRO, YOU KNOW,
MORDECAI RICHLER.
WHY DO CANADIANS TEND TO
READ QUALITY FICTION
RATHER THAN FUN FICTION?

Kim says I REALLY DON'T KNOW.
I DO KNOW THAT THINGS LIKE
BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY
AND DANIELLE STEELE AND
JOHN GRISHAM, FOR INSTANCE,
WHAT WE CALL MORE
COMMERCIAL READS,
DO SELL HUGELY
IN THE STATES,
BUT IT MAY BE A FUNCTION OF
THE FACT THAT IT'S JUST
A BIGGER MARKET AND MORE PEOPLE
ARE OUT BUYING THOSE THINGS.
I THINK IN CANADA
WE'RE PICKIER.
I THINK IT'S A MORE LITERATE
READING CROWD AND THAT WE'RE
WILLING TO TAKE A CHANCE ON
READING GOOD LITERATURE,
WHICH IS ALSO ENTERTAINING,
BUT I FIND THE BEST SELLER
LIST FASCINATING, AS WELL.
I MEAN, ON
THE NEW
YORK TIMES
LIST,
THERE COULD BE 10/10
ARE AMERICAN AUTHORS
WITH VERY RARELY - BRIDGET
JONES DIARY IS NOW ON THE
BEST SELLER LIST, A
BRITISH AUTHOR.
WHEREAS IN CANADA,
IT'S MIX.
YOU KNOW, SOME
AMERICAN, SOME BRITISH,
AND A LOT OF
CANADIAN AUTHORS,
WITH DANIELLE
STEELE, AS WELL.
BUT THAT WOULD BE MAYBE 2/10
ON THE TOP 10 FICTION LIST,
AS OPPOSED TO 10/10.

Richard says HAVE YOU EVER MIS-GUESSED -
I'LL TAKE BOTH SIDES -
A BOOK THAT YOU WERE SURE
WOULD DO OR AN AUTHOR YOU
THOUGHT WOULD DO REALLY WELL
AND JUST TOTALLY TANKED ON YOU?

Kim says OH, ABSOLUTELY.
IT'S NO FUN BEING IN
PUBLISHING IF YOU CAN'T TANK
EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE, AND
SOMETIMES THE BOOKS GOES
ON TO DO WELL, THANK HEAVENS,
IN PAPERBACK AND YOU'VE
SLAMMED OUT ALL
THESE HARD OVERS AND
THEY ALL COME BACK.
AN INTERESTING THING ABOUT
PUBLISHING IS THAT
YOU CAN RETURN BOOKS BACK
TO THE PUBLISHER.

Richard says AH-HA, WHAT DO YOU
DO WITH THEM THEN?
IS THAT WHERE I SEE THEM
IN ALL THE BASEMENTS
GOING AROUND?

Kim says YES, THEY'RE BULGING OUT
OF BASEMENTS AND THEN
YOU REMAINDER THEM
AND IT'S VERY SAD.
IT'S SOMETHING YOU
DON'T WANT TO HAPPEN.
BUT THE FACT REMAINS,
PUBLISHING AS A BUSINESS,
YOU'RE ALLOWED
TO RETURN THINGS,
WHICH IS UNHEARD OF IN
ALMOST ANY OTHER BUSINESS.

Richard says SO THERE REALLY ISN'T A
SCIENCE TO IT, IS THERE?
YOU HAVE TO GO
STILL WITH YOUR GUT.
YOU READ SOMETHING OR YOU
KNOW AN AUTHOR AND
YOU THINK, I WANT
TO GO WITH THIS.

Kim says AND MORE OFTEN THAN NOT,
THE LONGER YOU'RE IN THE
BUSINESS, THE BETTER
YOUR JUDGMENT IS
ON THOSE KINDS OF THINGS.
IT WAS IN THE EARLY
YEARS WHERE I FLOATED IN
VASTY NUMBERS OF A COUPLE
OF THINGS TO MY CHAGRIN.
AND LATER YOU JUST
THINK, IF THIS WORKS,
I CAN ALWAYS ORDER MORE.

Richard says DO YOU EVER GET
CONFLICTED WHERE YOU SAY,
I LIKE THIS BUT I DON'T
THINK IT WILL SELL
SO I WON'T PUBLISH IT?

Kim says MM-HMM.
YEAH, I ALWAYS TRY TO FIND,
BOTH WITH LITTLE, BROWN AND
WITH THE NEW COMPANY, THAT
EVERYBODY IN HOUSE READS IT,
AND THERE WILL BE SOMETHING
MAYBE THAT I THINK
IS WONDERFUL, BUT IF
NO ONE ELSE DOES,
LIKE THE HEAD OF PUBLICITY
OR THE HEAD OF SALES,
THERE'S REALLY NOT MUCH
POINT BECAUSE YOU NEED TO
HAVE TOTALLY ENTHUSIASM IN
HOUSE TO TALK THE SALES REPS
INTO SELLING A BOOK.

Richard says HAVE YOU EVER BEEN
CAUGHT, ON THE OTHER HAND,
TOTALLY OFF GUARD?
SOMETHING THAT YOU THOUGHT,
OH, YEAH, I THINK IT'S OKAY,
I'LL PUBLISH IT, SWEPT AND
RAN AWAY WITH THINGS WITHOUT
YOU KNOWING IT?

Kim says SOMETIMES WITH AMERICAN
BOOKS OR BRITISH BOOKS
WHERE, YOU KNOW, YOU MIGHT
BE ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT IT BUT
NOT THE WHOLE HOG, AND THEN
SUDDENLY IT TAKES OFF AND
YOU FIND YOURSELF
RE-PRINTING LIKE A MAD THING.
OFTEN THIS IS A BOOK
THAT HAS BEEN BANNED.
THE ROYALS,
FOR INSTANCE.
IT'S SOMETHING WHERE WE
KNEW IT WOULD SELL A LOT,
AT LEAST WARNER KNEW
IT WOULD SELL A LOT,
BUT IT SOLD A GREAT MANY
MORE THAN THAT BECAUSE A LOT
OF BRITS WERE COMING
OVER AND PACKING IT BACK
IN THEIR SUITCASES BECAUSE
IT WASN'T AVAILABLE.

Richard says BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T
BUY IT OVER THERE.
BUT THERE ISN'T ANYTHING
LIKE THE OLD DAYS WHEN THERE
WAS LIKE THE DIRTY BOOKS
THAT YOU COULDN'T GET.

Kim says NO.
NO, BECAUSE ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE
NOW HAVE GOT ENTIRE LINES.
WE HAD ONE FROM LITTLE,
BROWN U.K. CALLED
EX-LIBRIS
WHICH WAS SORT OF
WOMEN'S EROTICA.

[laughing]

Kim says THERE'S ANOTHER ONE FROM
GENERAL CALLED
BLACK LACE.

Richard says BLACK LACE?

Kim says YES, AND I USED TO THINK
MAYBE THEY WOULD WRAP THEM
UP IN BROWN PAPER
WRAPPINGS - NO, MY DEAR,
THEY'RE IN FULL FRONTAL
DISPLAY EVERYWHERE.

Richard says OH, DEAR.

Kim says SOME OF THOSE COVERS
ARE PRETTY RACY.
THINGS HAVE CHANGED.

Richard says BUT THE COVERS ARE RACIER
THAN THE BOOKS IN SOME CASES.

Kim says OH, THE BOOKS
ARE HILARIOUS.
WE USED TO READ THE BACK
LINES TO EACH OTHER,
PLUNGING THROUGH TRAIN
TUNNELS AND STUFF
AND KILL OURSELVES
LAUGHING.
[laughing]
VERY FUNNY.

Richard says WHAT'S AMAZING, ONE
OF THE THINGS THAT
EVERYONE HAS SAID ABOUT YOU
AND ABOUT LITTLE, BROWN AND
THE DAYS YOU WERE RUNNING
IT IS THAT IT WAS, IT WAS
GOVERNED BY PEOPLE WHO LOVED
WHAT THEY WERE DOING AND
THERE WAS A GREAT ENTHUSIASM
AND JOIE DE VIVRE
AND EVERYTHING.
WHEN YOU HAD THE GROUND
TAKEN OUT FROM UNDER YOU,
WHAT WAS YOUR
INITIAL REACTIONS?
LET'S TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU
FELT LIKE THE FIRST COUPLE
OF DAYS AFTER LITTLE,
BROWN CANADA VANISHED.

Kim says WELL, I THINK IT'S
IMPORTANT TO NOTE, RICHARD,
ALTHOUGH I'M NOT
USUALLY SUPERSTITIONS,
THAT THIS DID OCCUR ON
FRIDAY, MARCH THE 13TH.
NOW, I'VE ALWAYS BEEN A
LITTLE NERVOUS ABOUT FRIDAY
THE 13TH, AS IT WAS, BUT NOW
I MAY STAY HOME EVERY TIME
THERE'S A FRIDAY THE 13TH.

Richard says IT'S ALSO VERY CLOSE
TO THE IDES OF MARCH,
REMEMBER THAT.

Kim says TRUE, THE IDES
OF MARCH, YOU KNOW,
STABBED IN THE
BACK, ET CETERA.
ANYWAY, SOMEONE FROM NEW
YORK CAME UP AND VERY
SUSPICIOUSLY, I THOUGHT,
BECAUSE I WAS JUST BACK FROM
VACATION THE NIGHT
BEFORE, SAID,
I'M IN TORONTO AT
THE FOUR SEASONS.
RANG MY HOME AT QUARTER
AFTER 7:00 IN THE MORNING
AND SAID, I'D LIKE TO SEE
YOU BEFORE YOU GO IN.
WELL, OF COURSE.

Richard says OF COURSE.

Kim says LIGHT ON THE MASCARA
ALL THE WAY IN,
BUT REALLY I DIDN'T THINK
THEY'D CLOSE THE WHOLE COMPANY.
I THOUGHT MAYBE THEY WERE
GOING TO SAVE THE SALARY
AND FIRE ME OR SOMETHING.
SO I GOT THE BAD NEWS WHEN
I CAME IN AND I REALLY
WAS DEVASTATED.
I MEAN, MY FIRST INSTINCT
WAS TO MAKE SURE THAT
MY STAFF, AT LEAST, WOULD
HAVE INTERVIEWS WITH THE NEW
PEOPLE, SO I RACED OUT TO
BOLTON WITH THIS CFO AND
MAKE SURE THAT HAROLD FENN
KNEW WHO THE PEOPLE WORKING
AT LITTLE, BROWN WERE AND
WHAT THEIR EXPERIENCE WAS.
BUT THEN WHEN I HAD TO
COME BACK AND TELL THEM,
THERE REALLY IS NO
GETTING AROUND THE FACT
IT WAS DEVASTATING.
SO PERSONALLY, WHAT I DID
FOR THE FIRST TWO DAYS WAS
LAY AROUND ON MY KITCHEN
COUCH SMOKING AND NOT
TALKING TO ANYONE.
MY HUSBAND, THE
CHILDREN, EVEN THE DOG,
I JUST SORT OF LAY
THERE, YOU KNOW,
IN A SLOUGH OF
DESPONDENCE, AS IT WERE.
AND FINALLY A COUPLE
OF DAYS LATER,
EXACTLY TWO DAYS
LATER, ON THE SUNDAY,
I THOUGHT, I DO KNOW
SOMEONE WHO HAS AN AGENCY
THAT'S AVAILABLE RIGHT
NOW, BECAUSE I KNOW THEY'D
ASKED ME ABOUT COULD
I TAKE THEM BACK.
I HAD HAD TO DROP THEM A
COUPLE OF YEARS AGO WHEN
WE MOVED OUR WAREHOUSE
TO THE STATES.
AND THIS IS A FELLOW CALLED
ANTHONY CHEETHAM AND
HE STARTED CENTURY HUTCHINSON
IN 1981 WITH TWO BOOKS,
MAEVE BINCHY'S,
LIGHT A PENNY CANDLE,
AND LAURIE LEE'S,
CIDER WITH ROSIE.
AND HE WENT FROM THERE TO
BUY HUTCHINSON IN ENGLAND
AND THEN TO SELL HIS
COMPANY TO RANDOM HOUSE.

Richard says OKAY.

Kim says FOR VASTY AMOUNTS OF MONEY.
THEN HE WAS RUNNING RANDOM
HOUSE U.K., AND THE YEAR AFTER
HE WON THE BOOKER PRIZE FOR
THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW,
THE FIRST YEAR WAS ANTONIA
BYATT'S
POSSESSION.
THE SECOND YEAR WAS BEN
OKRI'S
FAMISHED ROAD.
HE GOT FIRED AT BREAKFAST
BY ALBERTO VITALI,
THE DAY AFTER HE'D
WON THE BOOKER
FOR THE SECOND
TIME IN A ROW.
AND I THOUGHT, THERE IS
SOMEONE IN THE WORLD THAT
WILL UNDERSTAND THAT I
FEEL LIKE I'VE BEEN
MOWED OVER BY A BULLDOZER.
NOW, SIX WEEKS AFTER THAT,
HE BOUGHT WEIDENFELD
AND HE STARTED HIS NEW
COMPANY ORION,
WHICH I HAPPEN TO KNOW WAS
AVAILABLE IN CANADA
BECAUSE THEY WERE
LOOKING FOR SOMEONE.
THEY WERE LEAVING
DOUGLAS and MCINTYRE.
SO I FINALLY WORKED UP MY
COURAGE ON SUNDAY AND GAVE
HIM A CALL IN ENGLAND AT
HOME AND SAID, YOU KNOW,
YOU WON'T BELIEVE
WHAT'S HAPPENED.
THIS IS AWFUL, AND AFTER 15
YEARS OF DOING YOUR BOOKS,
TIME WARNER MADE ME DROP
YOUR LINE TWO YEARS AGO
AND I HEAR IT'S
AVAILABLE.
YOU HAVEN'T SIGNED UP WITH
ANYONE YET, HAVE YOU?
AND HE SAID, NO,
THIS IS SO EXCITING.
SO THEY'VE ENDED UP
BACKING MY NEW COMPANY.
WE'LL BE DOING THEIR
LIST, AND HE DID SAY,
I KNOW EXACTLY
HOW YOU FEEL.

Richard says SO, WITHIN 48 HOURS OF
HAVING HAD THE RUG PULLED
OUT FROM UNDER YOU.
I MEAN, THAT'S
IT, YOU KNOW?
I'M CURIOUS, AT WHAT
POINT - BE RUTHLESSLY
HONEST WITH ME HERE.
AT BREAKFAST ON
FRIDAY, THEY TELL YOU,
YOU DON'T HAVE A JOB.
HOW SOON DID THE THOUGHT
COME INTO YOUR HEAD,
I'M GOING TO FORM
MY OWN COMPANY?

Kim says WELL, I THOUGHT
ON SUNDAY MORNING.
REALLY, I LAY AROUND ON
SATURDAY AND I THOUGHT,
OH, MY GOD, IT'S THE
END OF THE WORLD.

Richard says SO, 48 HOURS.

Kim says WHAT AM I GOING TO DO.
BUT THEN I REALIZED THAT I
HAD BEEN PUBLISHING MAEVE
BINCHY IN CANADA WITH LITTLE,
BROWN FOR THE LAST SIX YEARS,
AND THAT SHE HAS
A BOOK COMING THIS FALL.
AND IF I DIDN'T DO SOMETHING
OR AT LEAST TRY TO,
THEN SHE WOULD HAVE TO GO TO
ANOTHER PUBLISHING COMPANY,
AND IT HAD TAKEN ME 11
YEARS TO ROUND UP ALL THESE
WONDERFUL AUTHORS THAT
WE HAD AT LITTLE, BROWN,
ALL OF WHOM, IF I
DIDN'T DO ANYTHING,
WOULD HAVE TO GO
SOMEWHERE.
BARRY CALLAGHAN'S
NEW BOOK.
KATHERINE GOVIER'S
NEW BOOK.
SO, TEMPTING AS IT WAS TO
RECLINE ON MY BED OF PAIN
FOR THE SUMMER, I REALLY
DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO.
SO I DID PHONE ANTHONY AND
ONCE I REALIZED THAT ANTHONY
WAS ON SIDE WITH THE
IDEA, I THOUGHT, OKAY,
I CAN DO THIS WHOLE
TRANSITION UNTIL MAY 1ST,
AND THEN I'LL GO OUT AND
SEE IF I CAN RAISE MONEY
TO START A NEW COMPANY,
BECAUSE THE SUBSIDIARY THING,
THAT WAS ENOUGH FOR ME
WITH THE SUBSIDIARY THING.
AND HE SAID, OKAY, IF
YOU CAN RAISE THE MONEY,
WE'LL COME WITH YOU, AND WE
STILL HAD ENOUGH TIME
FOR ME TO WAIT UNTIL MAY 1ST,
WHICH IS WHEN THE COMPANY
OFFICIALLY CLOSED, AND THEN GO
OUT AND FIND SOME INVESTORS.
SO THAT WAS WHEN I REALLY
THOUGHT, ON MAY 1ST,
I THOUGHT, OKAY, NOW
I'M FREE TO DO THIS
AND I REALLY HOPE IT WORKS.

Richard says AND YOU WENT DOWN
ALL OF YOUR AUTHORS.

Kim says MM-HMM.

Richard says WHAT DID YOU DO?
DID YOU TAKE THEM ALL
OUT ONE AT A TIME?
CALL THEM UP?
BRING THEM IN AND HAVE
A PARTY - WHAT?

Kim says NO, THAT WAS TEMPTING.
ACTUALLY BECAUSE TIME WARNER
HAD ALL THESE CONTRACTS,
I HAD TO WAIT.
I COULD DO WHAT I COULD IN
TERMS OF NEGOTIATING
THE AUTHORS' CONTRACTS TO
BE FREE TO GO TO A NEW
PUBLISHER, BUT THE AGENTS
THEMSELVES HAD TO NEGOTIATE
DIRECTLY WITH TIME WARNER,
AND IT REALLY HELPED
THE NEW COMPANY THAT
THE AUTHORS PHONED ME,
QUITE A FEW OF
THEM, AND SAID,
WE'RE JUST GOING TO WAIT
AND SEE WHAT YOU DO.
MAEVE BINCHY WAS
FANTASTIC THAT WAY.
SHE SAID, WELL, IF I HAVE
TO GO WITH SOMEBODY ELSE,
I WILL, BUT I'VE
CERTAINLY GOT ALL THE
TIME IN THE WORLD.
AND I WAS THINKING,
OH, MAEVE,
YOU DON'T BUT
ISN'T THAT SWEET.
SHE SAID, I'M JUST
GOING TO WAIT AND SEE.
IF YOU CAN DO
IT, I'M WITH YOU.

Richard says SO, WHEN DID IT SEEM
POSSIBLE THAT YOU
COULD DO THE COMPANY?

Kim says ABOUT A WEEK AFTER MAY
1ST I DID GET A COUPLE OF
INVESTORS, ALONG WITH
ORION, AND MY SETTLEMENT
FROM TIME WARNER.
SO I HAD ENOUGH
TO GET GOING,
WITH MAEVE'S BOOK BILLING
SO MUCH THIS FIRST SEASON,
THAT WAS REALLY HELPFUL.

Richard says THAT WILL GET YOU STARTED.

Kim says YEAH.

Richard says DO YOU HAVE A DREAM
FOR WHAT YOU WANT
TO DO WITH THE COMPANY?

Kim says IT WOULD BE TERRIFIC TO
GET IT UP TO A SIZE AGAIN.
WHEN I STARTED LITTLE, BROWN
CANADA IT WAS ABOUT 2 MILLION dollars
IN BILLING AND IT TOOK
ABOUT 10 YEARS TO GET
IT UP TO 10 MILLION dollars, AND
THEN - ABOUT EIGHT YEARS,
AND THEN BY 11 YEARS, LAST
YEAR WE BILLED 20 MILLION dollars.
SO I WOULD LIKE TO GET
UP TO THAT LEVEL AGAIN,
BECAUSE IT'S NOT THE BIGGEST
COMPANY IN THE COUNTRY
BY ANY MEANS, BUT IT WAS HEFTY
AND WE STILL SORT OF HAD
A GRIP ON OUR SIZE AND WE
WERE ABLE TO PAY ATTENTION
TO THE AUTHORS.
NOW, THIS NEW COMPANY,
THE CANADIAN AND
INTERNATIONAL LIST WILL
BE ABOUT 4 MILLION dollars,
WHICH IS OFF TO
A RACING START.

Richard says YEAH.

Kim says AND ORION IS 2 MILLION dollars, SO
WE'RE STARTING AT 6 MILLION dollars,
WHICH IS QUITE COMFORTABLE.
AND IN FACT, IN CANADIAN
PUBLISHING, QUITE SIZEABLE.
NOT HUGE, BUT SIZEABLE.

Richard says WHEN YOU HAVE FANTASIES OF
YOU SITTING THERE IN THE
MORNING WITH YOUR COFFEE AND
YOU'RE SAYING, ALL RIGHT,
LOOKING DOWN THE
LINE, YOU KNOW,
AND I WANT TO
SEE THIS HAPPEN,
IS IT LIKE A MAJOR BEST
SELLER INTERNATIONALLY,
OR IS IT MAYBE DISCOVERING
THE NEW AUTHOR?

Kim says BOTH OF THOSE ACTUALLY.

Richard says BOTH OF THOSE?

Kim says I CAN'T WAIT
'TIL WE HAVE
A BEST SELLER THAT SAYS
MCARTHUR and COMPANY.
THAT'S GOING TO BE A BIG
GIGGLE AND THAT SHOULD
HAPPEN THIS FALL.
AND I'VE ALWAYS ENJOYED
FINDING NEW AUTHORS.
ABOUT FIVE OF THE CANADIAN
AUTHORS THAT WE PUBLISHED
AT LITTLE, BROWN HAD NEVER
BEEN PUBLISHED BEFORE.
MARSHA BOULTON, WHO'S NOW
WON THE STEPHEN LEACOCK AWARD.
HER HUSBAND STEPHEN WILLIAMS
WHO WROTE
INVISIBLE DARKNESS.
GREGORY WARD WHO WRITES QUITE
GOOD MYSTERY THRILLERS.
SO IT'S REALLY FUN FOR ME
TO GET A MANUSCRIPT AND
TO PUBLISH SOMEONE WHO HAS
NEVER BEEN PUBLISHED BEFORE,
AND ALL OF THOSE PEOPLE
MADE THE BEST SELLER
LIST AND WON AWARDS.
SO THAT REALLY IS
GRATIFYING FOR A PUBLISHER,
AND I WOULD HOPE TO
CONTINUE TO DO THAT.
AND THEN EVENTUALLY, YES,
GET ONE OF THESE AUTHORS
TO BEST SELL INTERNATIONALLY,
LIKE ANN-MARIE MACDONALD
OR ONE OF THOSE, THAT
WOULD BE TERRIFIC.

Richard says I WAS GOING TO SAY, IF YOU
COULD HAVE HAD ANY BOOK
THAT YOU DIDN'T HAVE IN
THE LAST FIVE YEARS,
WHAT WOULD IT HAVE BEEN?

Kim says PROBABLY
FALL
ON YOUR KNEES.
AND THERE WAS THE
MUSICAL ANGLE TO IT,
TOO, WHICH WAS GREAT.
I JUST THOUGHT IT
WAS A TERRIFIC READ.

Richard says NOW, WHAT ABOUT KIM
MCARTHUR HERSELF,
OTHER THINGS
LIKE, FOR EXAMPLE,
WHAT DO YOU READ WHEN, YOU
KNOW, YOU'VE GOT A WEEKEND?
YOU'RE GOING OFF
TO A COTTAGE.
WHAT DO YOU
TAKE TO READ?

Kim says ONCE I'VE READ ALL THE
THINGS FROM MY OWN LIST?

Richard says RIGHT.

Kim says I TEND TO VEER
TOWARDS MYSTERIES,
ALTHOUGH I JUST READ
THE
PERFECT STORM
WHICH
IS A TERRIFIC PIECE OF
NON-FICTION ABOUT A
BIG STORM OFF THE
NEW ENGLAND COAST.
says I JUST AM VORACIOUS.
I USUALLY READ ONE OR TWO
BOOKS A DAY ON HOLIDAYS,
SO FOR INSTANCE,
THE LAST TIME WE WERE AWAY,
I THINK I READ 10 BOOKS
IN 7 DAYS, AND IT'S OFTEN,
YOU KNOW, SOME BOOKS THAT
I'VE BEEN MEANING TO READ
BUT I REALLY NEED TO
CONCENTRATE ON THEM,
OR BOOKS THAT PEOPLE
HAVE RECOMMENDED TO ME,
BIOGRAPHY, HISTORY,
I MEAN, ANYTHING.

Richard says I THINK YOU'VE JUST GONE A
GREAT DEAL TOWARD EXPLAINING
WHY YOU'VE BEEN
SUCCESSFUL AND WHY
YOU'RE GOING TO CONTINUE
TO BE SUCCESSFUL.
IT'S BECAUSE YA
LOVE BOOKS.

Kim says I KNOW.
I KNOW.

Richard says WHICH IS THE BEST
RECOMMENDATION
I CAN GIVE A PUBLISHER.
KIM MCARTHUR,
CONGRATULATIONS ON THE PAST;
BEST WISHES FOR
THE FUTURE.

Kim says THANK YOU, RICHARD.

Richard faces the screen and says
FOR
DIALOGUE, I'M
RICHARD OUZOUNIAN.
GOODBYE FOR NOW.

Music plays as the end slate reads “Special thanks to TheatreBooks Toronto. Dialogue.”

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 1998, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Kim McArthur