What are some upcoming trends?
This may be because it blends two of my favorite activities, but I’m so excited that the podcaster-turns-writer phenomenon seems to be taking off. We saw such a wonderful reception from Mike Duncan’s listeners last fall with his first book, The Storm Before the Storm. After 10 years of weekly podcasts—he’s the man behind The History of Rome and Revolutions series—it’s safe to say they turned out for the book, and turned it into a New York Times bestseller. With Dan Carlin’s and Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow’s books on the horizon; last year’s All These Wonders, a collection of stories from The Moth; and the enduring success of Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor’s Welcome to Night Vale series of books, I’m looking forward to seeing who will make the jump from pod to page next.
What book/genre/topic would you like to see cross your transom?
I’m craving historical biographies of women, by women. I just finished Goddess of Anarchy, about Lucy Parsons, and was blown away by Jacqueline Jones’ ability to capture the spirit of this woman who was so long lost from the historical canon. If a group of female historians wanted to band together to write a series entitled #ReclaimingMyTime, I would happily publicize the heck out of it for them.
What don’t you ever want to see again?
Any title that ends with in the Age of Trump.
What is unique about your corner of the industry?
I’ve spoken a lot about the past, but what I love about PublicAffairs and Nation is how in touch both teams are with the pulse of the nation today. Peter Osnos founded the PublicAffairs imprint with a dedication to truth telling and investigative journalism—and it is a legacy we have not lost sight of in our wee 20 years in the publishing game. And the Nation list continually speaks truth to power, with upcoming authors Darnell L. Moore, Kristen Ghodsee, and Carmen Segarra all telling stories of past, present, and future that challenge our preconceptions. There’s no fiction here, quite literally—it makes for a refreshing change.
What would you like to change about publishing?
The biggest thing that has to change—and is, I hope—is our industry diversity. And I don’t just mean recognizing the brilliance of authors from diverse backgrounds. We need editors, publicists, marketers, and sales people from every walk of life in our industry if we’re to best serve our writers and our readers. There’s a hunger for own voices and we’d be remiss as an industry not to support that from the top to the bottom of our imprints.
Kristina Fazzalaro is a publicist at PublicAffairs and Nation Books. During her time there, she has led publicity campaigns for such authors as Ibram X. Kendi, Mike Duncan, Jill Filipovic, Sarah Jaffe, and Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington.