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Harper Collins Canada News

An ISO 9002 Newsletter

April 23, 2002

Recently, PW Daily made the forthcoming Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography its first ever "Book Cover of the Day." Reverse the dust jacket and this objectionable book is cleverly disguised as a benign childrenís story, The Pony Party. (The device is intended to protect the reputation of readers--readers unable to resist the book in the way that passing motorists are unable to avert their eyes from a car crash.)

The PWD news item also noted that the idea for the jacket belongs to series editor Susan Rich. Youíre forgiven if you jumped to the conclusion that Susan Rich is the stereotypical fast-talking, chain-smoking, New York editor with severe bangs and a lunch date at Sardiís. Au contraire. The editor of this wildly successful series is a Canadian from Winnipeg. You donít get more down-to-earth than that. And she works in our office, in Toronto.

I havenít met her, myself. I met her limousine driver, Rutger. I was in the parking garage last week vacuuming the vice-presidentís car, and Rutger parks Susanís limo on the same indoor/outdoor carpet. Heís ex-CIA and trained to kill a man five ways without a weapon. He was telling me that Susan divides her time between the Toronto and New York offices of HarperCollins. Apparently, she discovered Snicket while teaching a workshop in childrenís writing at Bellevue. (Snicket wasnít a patient there, she just happened to meet him around that time).

The rest, of course, is an unfortunate series of events. Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography will be unleashed on an unsuspecting public May 7th (0060007192 $17.99 cl).