5 questions for Tahira Rahemtulla, host of BookMachine Toronto [INTERVIEW]On March 14th BookMachine is coming to Toronto! If you work in publishing and live in or around Toronto, we’re pleased to say that Tahira Rahemtulla, of Unambiguous Edit, will be hosting the very first BookMachine Toronto shindig. We caught up with Tahira ahead of the event…
1) First of all, tell us about you …
Well, the most obvious thing about me is that I love books, and more specifically, I love a good story. Though I’m a new contributor in the production side of the industry, I can trace my beginning with books back to the first grade, when I pretended to be sick so I could stay home to finish the Polka Dot Private Eye series. (Really, who doesn’t love a good mystery?!)
Despite some delays in the journey, it was an easy choice to get into publishing, and now I get to spend my time reading books and calling it work (with a bit of editing on the side, of course!)
2) You’ve got a full time job at Unambiguous Edit, what made you want to run a BookMachine event, too?
After hosting the BookMachine conference at City University London, and then organizing another debating event for BookMachine, it was an easy decision to get involved again. It was wonderful to take what I’d learned about publishing in my classes and meet some of the people who were already making it happen. Besides, when you have a room full of publishing people drinking and debating about the process and the product, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be a good night for any book lover!
So when I heard that BookMachine was branching out to North America, I knew I had to be part of bringing BookMachine to Toronto.
3) If you were at some sort of magic drinks reception full of current and past legends, who would you want to have a chat with?
Oh… that’s a good question, though it’s one I can’t answer adequately. I’m sure those who know me would know at least one particular author I would like to have a chat with! (If you don’t know, I guess you’ll have to come to the event and ask me yourself!)
Other than that one, though, I think there are too many important contributors to the realm of books and storytelling who have astounded and inspired me to be able to name them here.
4) What did you learn on your Publishing MA which has been most useful in your career so far?
To think outside the box. Though the MA took on a business approach of the industry, we also had a lot of practical components throughout the year, and the most consistent thing I learned was that the projects that had an unexpected component had no competition. This concept not only helped in getting me to an editorial position, but is also feeding several other endeavors I’m taking on.
5) Why should publishing folks come to BookMachine Toronto?
First and foremost, because it’s a great place to network with other publishing people in a relaxed setting. Secondly, because a BookMachine event is always fun. Third, it’s the first BookMachine Toronto, and there will only ever be one first! And fourth…what else would you rather be doing on a Thursday night?!
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