5 Minutes with: Kate Lyall Grant

5 Minutes with: Kate Lyall Grant

I began my publishing career in 1988, as Editorial Secretary in Hodder Children’s paperback division. Subsequently, I became assistant to Bruce Hunter at David Higham Associates, Commissiong Editor at Hodder & Stoughton, Senior Fiction Editor at Simon & Schuster UK, and finally Publisher at Severn House, where I’ve been since 2010, overseeing a publishing programme of 100-120 titles a year. I have always specialised in commercial fiction, specifically crime & thrillers, women’s fiction, historical fiction and horror.


Which writer would you have loved to have met and why?

Charles Dickens: he led such a fascinating life, I think, having survived the grimmest of upbringings to write with humour and compassion about those whose start in life was as unfortunate as his own.

What TV series are you obsessing over right now?

“Don’t F**k With Cats” – as nail-bitingly gripping as any thriller and proof positive (if proof were needed) that truth is often so much stranger than fiction.

Go on, let us know your musical guilty pleasure.

Motley Crue

And your one from the world of fiction?

Jilly Cooper

Which great novel have you tried to read but failed?

James Joyce: ULYSSES

What was your first job?

Selling bullet key rings in Bovington Tank Museum shop (Dorset).

And your first in the book industry?

Editorial Secretary at Hodder Children’s paperbacks in 1988, working on Rolf Harris’s Morris Mini Minor picturebook series. (They haven’t stood the test of time).

What is the silliest thing you have on your desk?

A traditional voodoo fetish, sent to me by a New Orleans-based crime writer. It’s supposed to bring good luck (I think!).

When was your first London Book Fair?


What do you love about The London Book Fair?

Those chance encounters by the water cooler; bumping into old publishing friends and new; catching up on all the industry gossip.

Learn more about Severn House here

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