Former Houghton Mifflin Harcourt director of field sales Paul Von Drasek has joined Capstone Publishers, which publishes children’s books for the educational market. He will lead the company’s planned expansion into the retail market.
At Thomas Nelson, Russ Schwartz has been promoted to director, Christian independent retail sales, taking over from the recently-promoted Tom Knight.
In the UK, Natalie Jerome was promoted to publishing director at Harper Non-Fiction, and Anna Valentine was promoted to senior commissioning editor.
Author Colleen McCullough is due to have brain surgery in January in an effort to alleviate her trigeminal neuralgia, “an illness nicknamed the ‘suicide disease’ because it causes excruciating pain to all parts of the face.”
Hans Georg Heepe, 73, “master of the trans-Atlantic literary transfer,” died of cancer on November 18. Longtime editorial director of Germany’s Rowohlt, he began his career in publishing as right-hand man to publisher Heinrich Maria Ledig-Rowohlt, and over the course of five decades was among the instrumental in bringing American authors–including Paul Auster, James Baldwin, Harold Brodkey, Marilyn French, John Irving, Toni Morrison, Vladimir Nabokov and Thomas Pynchon–to German readers. The German translation of Endpoint, a volume of poetry by his favorite author, the late John Updike, was the last title he edited and saw into print. A memorial service will be announced later.
Last week, nominees for the UK’s Costa Awards were named in five categories. The novel award pits Booker winner Hilary Mantel against Family Album by Penelope Lively; The Elephant Keeper by Christopher Nicholson; and Brooklyn by Colm Toibin.