Lorain Day, author, publisher "and friend to many in the New Zealand publishing industry," died June 28, Booksellers NZ reported. Day began her career in publishing almost 40 years ago as an editorial assistant at Heinemann, but it was at HarperCollins New Zealand that she made her mark. As publishing manager, "she supported and developed the careers of many new and established authors, both within New Zealand and on an international level. Her ability to build and maintain strong relationships with authors, agents and overseas connections resulted in a number of spectacular successes.... Lorain was a strong advocate of children's literature and the power of imaginative fiction."
Tony Fisk, former managing director of HarperCollins, recalled: "Above all else, Lorain was very much a 'people person.' She had a natural sensibility of people's feelings and a strong sense of justice. She provided her colleagues with tremendous support and common-sense advice. Eventually, some of the HR issues were formalized as part of her position, and she undertook them with total commitment and enthusiasm, as she did with every other aspect of her role."
Author Tessa Duder praised "her ability to make her authors feel cherished, their growth and careers important to her. Lorain's 'old-school' values of loyalty, optimism and enthusiasm remained central to the many enduring friendships she developed with authors. She will be remembered as an outstanding and influential publisher, and good friend."
Describing Day as "the consummate editor," author Ian Brodie said she was "passionate about her work, an expert wordsmith, a kind and loving person, a dear friend. I will miss our long chats about gardens and food, life and books. I will miss her terribly. Lorain knew everything about everything. She was always right but she was never superior. She made you feel like you were the best author in the world.... I am stumbling for words. I want to run this past Lorain first."