by Ami McConnell
Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Respected author friends, I’m so pleased and proud to introduce Thomas Nelson’s new publisher, Daisy Hutton!
AM: Daisy, you’ve been in publishing for your entire career, and with Thomas Nelson for several years, racking up the frequently flyer miles. Can you share a little about your journey?
DH: My very first job in publishing (well, my first real job after answering the phone and reading the slush pile at an independent publishing house in New York to which I walked uphill both ways barefoot!) was working as an assistant for a literary agent named Georges Borchardt. Georges is a Frenchman who began his career back in the 1950′s bringing the great 20th century French literary giants to readers in America. My work with Georges combined two of my greatest passions – my love of truly great writing and my deep interest in other cultures and languages. After I left the agency, I went to work in international licensing. What I loved most about that work was watching stories find their readers across cultural, geographical, and linguistic boundaries. I’ve spent the past twelve years on the international side of publishing – working with publishers, agents, and retailers all over the world, many who are publishing into truly challenging environments. It has been an amazing education, both in publishing and in human nature. My work in international was a fascinating vantage point from which to observe and experience what makes a story truly universal, and I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to apply my years of experience once again to the creative side of publishing – helping authors shape their stories and helping those stories find their readers.
AM: Then it’s safe to say you are a book lover! Are your kids big readers?
DH: Both my husband (a high school English teacher) and I came from reading families and are voracious readers ourselves, so our children were bound to be bookworms. One of our challenges right now with our 7 year old son Leo is making sure he doesn’t walk into the street and get hit by a car, because he always (always!) has his nose in a book. One of the most profound delights of this stage in parenthood is watching my children fall in love with reading. Our younger son, Silas, is only four and is not yet reading, but his older brother now reads out loud to him so between the three of us, he is getting lots of reading time.
AM: Sounds like you admire the work these authors do.
DH: Before my husband began his current day job as a teacher, he was, for years, a songwriter and working musician. I still watch him coping daily with the burning desire and need to express his gift and put something something beautiful, some part of himself into the world. While God did not gift me with this kind of consuming creative passion, I do believe that he has given me the gift of a deep appreciation for beauty and the profound desire to support others who have the creative gift. This is how I see my role as a publisher and my own calling – as supporter and facilitator to those who are called to birth stories into the world.
AM: When you look around at the publishing landscape today, what do you see?
DH: I see more opportunity than ever before for great stories to find their readers, and I see more engagement with the written word than humankind has ever known. As far as I can tell, there has never been a more exciting time to be a writer or a publisher. We are closer than ever to our readers, and they are closer than ever to us. We are certainly facing great challenges as we navigate the changing ways in which readers engage with and discover stories, and we have a tremendous amount of work to do. But Thomas Nelson has a 250+ year history of passionate commitment to bringing the written word to the world, and we will, through partnership with our authors, continue to do so, even in the midst of the very real challenges and the unprecedented change we are all experiencing in our industry.
AM: Your predecessor was notorious for his love of spicy foods, especially salsa. What does our new publisher love to eat?
DH: Cheese, cheese and more cheese – the stinkier the better!