Pan Macmillan is the most populist publisher in this country, and it's the one I've never had a decent contact at. After emailing a girl for years she eventually told me she wasn't even a publicist, she was just a co-ordinator.
When I did ask her if I could visit one of the publicists during a visit last year she just brushed me off with a 'sorry, they'll all be too busy'. I wanted to say 'do you want me to publicise your fucking books by writing about them for you or not?', but even though I haven't tested that approach I doubt it'd work.
A few months back I somehow got hold of an email address for a real publicist. I suggested getting together with her on my last trip to Sydney (last week) and she was so lovely and very professional, so finally I have an inside man at what's – by several measures – the best publisher in the country.
I told her about the books for boys story and she seemed very excited by the possibility. We got talking about it because I mentioned that I'd love to interview John Birmingham, who's one of theirs. He has a book coming out this year and it'll be the perfect way to start contact with him.