Freehand Fearless

Happy Friday!

Keep Calm

Christmas is only days away.  I hope you

have finished your running around and

pre-Christmas chores and can find time

to relax and spend time with friends and

loved ones.  When you read this, I will be

on vacation, hoping to do just that.

Merry Christmas,



Hi guys!

By now you’ve heard a little about the Richmond mail out, which is pretty intense each

season. There are stories of paper cuts, sweat, and tears. The Richmond reps even change

their office shoes to running shoes for the occasion, running shoes. I don’t really know

what goes on over there but I do know that they have about three times more mail to

send out than the Toronto office. Having said that, I’d like to share the pleasant wee mail

out experience the Torontonians just had:

TO Mail

We wore stilettos ;-)

- Tamara

Christmas Tree

Our Christmas tree is up, but a work in progress. This year’s Noble Fir is

a departure from the more traditional bushy tree shape and is causing some

consternation in the family as well as  comments such as “what happened to the top half?”

and “ maybe we should even it out a bit.”  In chatting with friends I have heard numerous

stories about modifying the Christmas tree by fastening extra branches in bare spots.

But  I subscribe to the old adage , “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”   And I know

our Christmas tree will grow more beautiful with time – and a few ornaments -

and perhaps an eggnog.  Cheers!


So you know how all the Ampersanders have spent the last few weeks

learning about new titles? Now it’s time to tell our accounts about them!

The main tool we use is the catalogue, and that means we have to get

them out to everyone. This week is the mailout, and here’s a picture of a

small portion of the madness!



Happy Friday!

During our  Spring Sales Conference last month,

we were presented an upcoming book by a local BC author,

BBQ Brian Misko, who has recently won the World Food

Championship in the Barbeque catagory.  He had just

returned from the contest in Las Vegas and had the

medal around his neck as proof.  He came to Sales

Conference to tell us a bit about himself and his book.

Brian is a self-taught chef who worked as a software

salesman but decided to follow his passion to be a

barbeque chef; he quit his job and took a leap of

faith.  He has done quite well for himself:

he’s been on CBC, CTV and Global Television and was a

guest chef at the Vancouver Olympics.  He has sauces and

rubs in over 300 stores across Canada, mostly Mom and

Pop places.

As I was flipping through the advance materials I saw

a recipe I had to try – right away – no waiting  for

barbeque season.  I tried it on the weekend, using the oven

in place of the barbeque and it turned out wonderfully and

should  only be better on the barbeque when the weather

gets better.

The title of the recipe is Thai-Style Shrimp-Stuffed

Chicken Breasts.  Brian says in the book that he was inspired

by lemon grass skewers wrapped in shrimp.  He wanted to

add chicken to the taste mixture and I think his recipe is a

winner.  You only have to wait until May for the book to come

out so you can try it yourself.


Grilling With House of Q

Figure 1 (Raincoast)

9781927958100  $24.95 Pb

Have a great weekend!



Hi there!

The Quill and Quire had five designers pick their five favourite covers of the year and guess who made two

out of the five? Goose Lane Editions was chosen for Sharps by Stevie Howell, cover design by Julie Scriver. 

Designer Kate Hargreaves says she, “instantly fell for the striking minimalism of the design.”

Sharps Goose Lane Ed.


Another one of our wonderful publishers, McGill-Queen’s University Press was chosen for the striking

cover of their Spring 2015 catalogue, designed by David Drummond. Designer David A. Gee gets

pretty excited commenting on how difficult it is to design an original catalogue cover and his reaction

to this one, “Then you see this sly yet completely fucking obvious solution to the same brief you’ve read year

after year and yell, “Drum-mond!” while pumping your fist in the air and feeling like a complete hack. (Or is

it just me that does this?) That’s a great feeling, and this is a great cover.”

McGill-Queens University Press Spring 2015 Catalogue Cover



Check out the article here.

- Tamara

Victoria Truck Parade


Last Saturday I attended one of my favourite Christmas events  -

the annual Victoria Truck Parade.  A fund raising event for local food banks,

the truck parade is sponsored by the Island Equipment Owners Association.

Truck owners and companies put a lot of time and effort into producing

dazzlingly displays. Cement trucks, dump trucks, slingers, crane trucks,

fire trucks, grocery trucks and buses form a convoy to the delight of thousands of spectators.

The convoy takes two and a half hours to complete the route around Victoria.

That’s a lot of honking and waving! And a great start to the festive season.




So I’m finally home from sales conference! My head is abuzz with new titles,

and I keep interrupting people to excitedly tell them about a new book coming

that they definitely HAVE to read (this is very annoying to my friends, because

the books are never published yet).

I took a day off last week to recover from jetlag, and to decorate my apartment

for Christmas. I’ve been using this advent calendar for the last few years, so

it’s out, and I decorated my little potted Christmas tree, so I’m all set. I also

started plotting recipes for my annual Christmas party, which always includes a

big vat of mulled wine. I love December!





Happy Friday!  I hope you had a good week.

Do you read more than one book at a time?

This pretty well sums it up for me -

Reading one book

Who would want to do that?  Have a great weekend.


Hello friends!

It dawned on me last night that I still think of December as a magical time filled with carols,

family, and beautiful fairy lights. This is good news considering my head was filled with such

a blur of data, catalogues, and pdf’s that it led me straight home and to that bottle of vodka that

had been calling my name since lunch. No, I don’t have a drinking problem, (I say to myself

at this time every season) but I will say that a cup of hot water just doesn’t do the trick, (thanks

for the suggestion below, Mark).

Everything feels slightly chaotic and everyone is in a state of exhaustion from conference and preparation

for appointments. Here are a few live quotes from the staff that I’m hearing from my office:

“This is how I feel every season: ‘What? I don’t remember you. What are these, books?’”

“Is anyone on-the-line?”

“She means online.”

“Is anyone mad that I’ve been playing 90′s music for the past 24 hours?”

“Should I be updating?”

We’ve all got to get through it together and at the end of the tunnel there will be spiked eggnog…I mean

books. There will be books.

- Tamara


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