Chapter Ten: Beverly
So then. Beverly Quan Gianelli. Our star New Zealand novelist, of Chinese and Italian extraction obviously. I have mentioned her a few times.
Her first wonderful contribution to White Cedar was Outback WereCats.
(“Outback?” Paulo had asked me. “She’s in New Zealand. Why is she writing about the outback?”
“Reaching out to the next-door market, I guess?” I answered.
“What’s wrong with her own back yard? It’s like these American soccer teams that call themselves F.C. and A.C. and the rest of it. Real Salt Lake, for God’s sake. It’s sad. Name your club the Bison, or the Turkeys. Take some pride in yourselves.”)
Outback WereCats concerned—well, I’m sure you can guess. There were attractive young people in it. Let’s move on.
I believe I have mentioned the werewolf-vampire genre only very briefly so far, here in this memoir. It is true, however, that we did see much of this sort of material being sent to White Cedar, and getting published as well, once Warner began. I feel it is too easy to spend much time poking fun at it, and probably too dull for everyone, at this point, so I am leaving it alone. Candy from a baby; no sport in it. Also, I do admit, I suppose, that werewolves and vampires have earned themselves some standing in our cultural heritage, just like plucky orphans and self-made entrepreneurs.
Come to think of it, that could be a story, couldn’t it. Gertrude, the plucky orphan werewolf. Wonderful. Or Stan, the self-made vampire entrepreneur.
At any rate, Beverly started it for us; she brought White Cedar into the Werewolf Age. The Auckland office had hired a few more staff members by then, and two of them promptly quit when we began buying Beverly’s books. Rebecca Hampsworth stayed on; Mandy told me she was plodding along in disbelief that Will was ordering these contracts. She had met him on his initial trip, when he must have been the perfect combination of literate progressive, scruffy New Yorker, and appreciative patron. When he started buying the paranormal romances she must have felt like . . . like . . . an analogy escapes me. Like Caesar getting stabbed by Brutus, perhaps. Or in this case it would be more like Brutus getting stabbed by Caesar. Or perhaps Boswell getting stabbed by Johnson. Truman getting stabbed by FDR.