At Merlin Publishers we publish about 40 books per year. Because we are a small team of five, each and every title for us is a labour of love. We believe books help people not only to think but also to imagine – and a life spiced up by imagination is a much colourful one.
We love pushing buttons and tackling issues that are still a taboo in the small Mediterranean island society we live in. With Mingu we highlighted the controversial issue of hunting, with Fil-Kamra ta’ Jonas we talked about convicts, with Is-Sinjura Klaws we tackled feminism, and Il-Kulleġġ għall-Prinċpijiet Perfetti we went for a story which took up gender stereotyping.
We take our time to scout for foreign literature. In fact we are on a mission to introduce world literature to Maltese children so as to broaden the horizons of future generations. So far we have translated books into Maltese from countries all over the world map: Australia, Singapore, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Catalonia, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Colombia and Brazil and we’re always happy to trot round the globe for the best tales.
Most of Malta’s best authors, call Merlin Publishers their home. We pride ourselves on being always on the look out of young new authors with fresh, ingenious, unorthodox styles.
We are a small team but we are bound together by a passion for books, art and language, and the fact that we want to make a positive difference to readers’ lives. Through professional editing and design and through creative marketing and publicity, we are committed to promote contemporary Maltese literature.
Over the last decade we have also gained much respect with a smaller, but prestigious, imprint in adult fiction and several of our adult titles have been translated in a multitude of languages and won several accolades including the European Union Prize for Literature and the Young Authors’ Literature Award.
We also won the National Book Awards’ Best Publishing House Award, for three consecutive years. Our books have been exhibited at Frankfurt, London and Bologna Book Fairs. They are distributed nationwide by Miller Distributors.
Who are we?
When he’s not changing the printer toner, grappling with an overflowing inbox or making himself endless cups of coffee, Chris is editing manuscripts. Red pen in hand, those are the moments that remind him “How I love this job!” A close second is the sourcing of the manuscripts: sifting through the slush pile, reading pitches and excerpts, walking the aisles of book fairs looking for the next Great New Book for Merlin.
Though he’s been accused of having his phone practically welded to his hand, Chris does – promise – have a life outside work. Much of it is spent with his family, fooling around with his children, or reading anything that picks his fancy. He loves his food and drink, and is known to binge-watch TV series well into the early hours of the morning (sometimes doing all three simultaneously). And he’ll jump on a plane at the flimsiest of excuses.
There is more chance of finding Daniela at a headmaster’s office than at her office desk, and that’s because she is the main link between Merlin Publishers and all of Malta’s schools – government, Church and independent. Her Human Resources background makes her the most people-person of us all, and she is our resident trouble-shooter. She knows our textbooks and children’s readers inside out and is best to match the ideal book to the schools’ needs.
As an example to us all, Daniela goes to the gym at 5am because she loves exercising. She’s an inspiration to us all and our spirit is very willing to join her, but alas, our flesh is weak. She is in love with anything Italian, and with Hop, her dwarf rabbit.
A few years ago Rachel packed up her career as a hospital physiotherapist in search for something more creative. She found her spark in the world of books and has never looked back.
Her roles have so far included organising children’s book events, advising on school textbooks, co-ordinating textbook writing, and now also writing manuscripts and adapting texts in Maltese for the very young. She is the oasis of calm at the office, which perhaps stems from the fact that she is an organisation skills guru, or it could simply be the effect of her love of gardening.
He is a book designer by day, superhero by night, which is why, we suspect he is always wearing black. Out of the office he works mainly in conceptual art and installation and his pieces can be found in the National Collection, National Museum of Fine Arts, Malta, The National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik, The Little Constellations archives in San Marino, The US Embassy in Malta and in private collections both locally and abroad. He wakes up at 4am, is a three-times Squash World Champion and in his free time does a bit of ganutell. Not.