Regular readers know that this year, I'm really ramping up CCLaP's publishing program in a way I never have before, and will be putting out six original books in 2011 as well as a new hipster photography e-magazine called Imago (first issue coming out in two weeks!); and that's going to keep me as CCLaP's owner a lot more busy as an editor, designer, marketer and more, meaning that I'm simply no longer going to have the time to belt out the 150 book reviews a year that I've been doing here in the past. And that's why I'm happy to announce that the center's staff is officially doubling as of today, from one writer to two, and proud to announce New York essayist, blogger and editor Oriana Leckert as CCLaP's newest staff writer.
Oriana first came to my attention over at the obsession-forming literary social network Goodreads.com (here's my profile -- friend me!), where she and I have been acquainted for almost four years now; I've been a big fan of her write-ups there this whole time, and have always appreciated her ability to sometimes espouse controversial views without being a controversial person herself. (And ooh boy, she sure has the ability to sometimes arouse controversy over at Goodreads, I'll tell ya.) Oriana started her career in the industry on the retail side, at the legendary New York bookstore known as the Strand, then graduated to such publishing houses as Random House; she's currently a freelance editor and proofreader whose recent clients have included McSweeney's, the New York Review of Books, Melville House and a lot more. She lives in the infamous hipster heaven/hell known as Brooklyn, and in fact runs a blog about local culture and creativity at Brooklyn-Spaces.com, sharing her own space with her longtime boyfriend and their two dogs. When I asked her if there was anything quirky and interesting to be known about her, she replied, "I read like a godd-mn maniac and I smoke too much." Welcome aboard, Oriana; you'll fit right in.
Oriana's going to be with us for at least the next year, and is for now posting new essays every other Wednesday, starting today; half the write-ups she'll be doing will be the same general contemporary book reviews you've grown accustomed to from me, regarding books that are two years of age or newer, using CCLaP's well-known overly analytical ten-point scoring system, and with her of course eventually helping to pick and re-analyze CCLaP's favorite books of the year in December. And then much like the existing "CCLaP 100" and "Naughty Netflix," once a month Oriana will also be posting a special themed essay here, in her case each time looking at a graphic novel (er, book-sized comic) that has recently been picked by her all-female reading club, specifically for all-female reading. (We have yet to come up with a title for this series, so post your suggestions over at Facebook if you want.) At the end of the year, then, I will collect up the twelve essays and publish them as CCLaP's newest original book, which people will be able to download on a "pay what you want" basis, or purchase for a flat five bucks at places like Amazon, the Apple Store and Google Books.
I welcome Oriana once again, and look forward to seeing what she has to share with all of us as the year progresses; and speaking of which, I'm very amenable to adding yet another staff writer these days, for those who might be interested. If you're familiar already with CCLaP's tone, style, subjects of interest, etc., and know of a person who might be a good match (maybe yourself?), just drop me a line at cclapcenter [at] gmail.com and let me know.