Editing nature books

It’s a pleasure for me to work on books about the natural environment – birds, trees, plants, ecology, such as Shorebirds of New Zealand by Miranda ‘Birdman’ Keith Woodley. Keith is world famous in New Zealand – and in the rest of the world! – for his huge knowledge and research into godwits and other shorebirds.




Pounamu – the ultimate book on NZ jade

This most stunning title is THE book on pounamu by jade expert Russell Beck, with photographs by Andris Apse. It is full of fascinating detail about where jade is found in NZ and the world, the different kinds of jade, how it’s worked and what it was (and is) used for, as well as stories of jade from history and Maori mythology. The challenge in editing this book was to make the sometimes quite technical detail accessible to the general reader. Russell Beck is himself a renowned carver of jade, and good at explaining the details and the techniques. And of course Andris Apse’s stunning photos helped to make this book a serious pleasure to read.


Editing art & architecture

Beautiful big books on art, artefacts and architecture are a delight to work on. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to select the artworks and have them photographed, source historic images, find the artists and owners and get their permission to reproduce the works, check colour proofs and much more. The editor works closely with the author and the designer to produce a book that works well and is stunning to look at.

As Deidre Brown’s editor, I worked with her to develop books on Maori art and architecture. Her book, MAORI ARCHITECTURE, published by Penguin/Raupo, was a finalist in the 2010 New Zealand Post Book Awards.

Editing translations

Editing the translations of these two novels was absorbing and challenging. The novels were translated from the French by Jean Anderson of Victoria University of Wellingon.