Jessica Perini Editorial Services > About me
Jessica Perini Editorial Services > About me
 

About me continued

I hear it’s a lot better now, all these years later. But the thought of returning brings back a sort of post-traumatic stress disorder type reaction, so I figure I should pay heed to the part of my intuition that says “RUN!”


Many people romanticise the idea of working in a bookstore. They say “How cool, you get to be surrounded by books all day long.” Yes, this is true, but if your store is even mildly successful you never get to read the beautiful tomes that surround you. And so it was my first year out of uni, surrounded by books I never got to read.

By this stage I had decided that I would get into publishing, come hell, flood, cyclone or firestorm, I would do it. One Thursday I saw job advertised in the paper, closing day for applications, Friday. The position was for a sales representative in a publishing company. I wrote a letter, packed it into an Express Post envelope, and kissed it for luck. The first line of my letter said “I have no interest in sales”. Some may see this as job harakiri but it worked! The next day I had a career as a sales representative. I promised I would stick around for one year then would try out for an editorial position.

A year later almost to the day, while holidaying in New Orleans, I was told I would be paid to read books all day long. My two friends and I danced the can can through Bourbon Street and back to the backpackers’ hostel, three girls with three professions they loved: a teacher, a nurse, and an editor.

 

About me continued

When I got back to Australia I started my new job. Like a butterfly in a field of honeysuckle I flitted from one manuscript to the other. The topics were not always the most exciting, one day torts, the other administrative law, but I didn’t mind.

After a couple of years I had the great fortune of meeting one of Australia’s most popular writers of children’s fiction, John Larkin. He gave me my first break in fiction editing, and I will always be indebted to him for this.

In 2001 I took up photography and have since had about 10 book cover photos published (including most of the photos in my latest book).

During 2003 I was approached by a publisher to write a book about refugees in Australia. I had a strong interest in the area, so I said ‘yes’ and that is how my first real book was born.

In November 2003, I became a freelance editor, and I have never looked back. Being a freelancer means I have time to work on books I love and can sneak in some volunteer work on the side (refugee advocacy, pets as therapy and bush regeneration are my current passions). It also means I have a great deal more variety in my life when it comes to projects; last week I worked on a history of the fall of Singapore in 1942, this week I am editing vampire fiction! Fifteen years later and I still can’t believe it: I am being paid to read!