I love books. I love reading. I love writers. I am quite insane. Put all that together and you get Pillar International Publishing.
My insanity is genetic. My grandfather, Victor Lloyd, founded the original Pillar in the 1930’s, naming it after Nelson’s Pillar, which had yet to be blown up. Alas, his pillar went the way of Nelson’s and was wiped off the face of the earth in the 50’s.
The musty smell of old books permeated my childhood. One, entitled ‘The Homecraft Book’ and written by my grandmother under the pseudonym Ann Hathaway, sits on my desk now and is a veritable treasure-trove of timeless advice, such as this: Freckle Cure: Mix one teaspoonful of flowers of sulphur into paste with some new milk. Cover the face with a thin layer on going to bed and allow to dry on. Wash it off next morning with warm water. This cures freckles, when in their early stages.
Personally, I never travel without my tincture of flowers of sulphur. I haven’t tried her cure for stubborn freckles as it involves hydrogen peroxide.
They did publish quiz and crossword books too but Pillar’s output consisted mostly of penny-dreadful murder mysteries with titles like Death Carries a Coffin! or She died of Death! assisted by brilliantly macabre covers. If you check ABE Books online you’ll still see some of them floating in the ether.
So, to return to the present time – with all of that history coursing through my veins, and understanding that life is the real thing and not a rehearsal, last year I set up Pillar International Publishing.
My goal is to find books and writers that I love and work with them to bring brilliant books to brilliant readers. Great writing. Great reading.
And how are things going so far? Excellent, thank you for asking.
My first undertaking was to publish Thaddeus Lovecraft’s Masters of Humorous Prose in both paperback and electronic format for the American market and, let me tell you, it was a wonderful experience. I recommend you all emigrate to America and buy the book.
Next, assuming you haven’t turned off your computer and begun the lengthy task of preparing to emigrate, I hooked up with The Limerick Writers’ Centre and published the E-books of Siege by Tim Cunningham and Heartscald by Alphie McCourt. Two beautiful pieces. I have loved Tim Cunningham’s work for many years, so that was a real privilege. Alphie, as you might know, is Frank McCourt’s brother and he writes like a McCourt – full of laughing sadness.
This very day, coming charging towards the presses like a rhino heading for the last croissant, is a book by Robin Walker. Robin is Tom Sharpe mixed with a dose of Montgomery of Alamein and lightly drizzled with essence of Alexander McCall Smith. The book, whose working title is Last Orders at the Changamire Arms, tells the story of the characters he knew during the dying days of Rhodesia. It is witty, wonderfully crafted, brilliantly observed and very, very moreish.
I have one or seven secret projects in my filing cabinet that will be unleashed on an unsuspecting world over the next year.
One is the 10th anniversary re-release of Ireland’s answer to Catcher in the Rye. It will make you laugh, wince, cry, laugh and sigh nostalgically – in that order. The crying bit is very real, so don’t complain to me that you couldn’t sell the book on because the pages were all wet.
Another is a charity project to subvert my catholic guilt. I’m not even a catholic – goes to show you how pervasive that guilt is. I have a charity selected for Ireland and one for the UK but I’m still looking for charities for other countries. So if you have any recommendations – answers on a postcard etc. etc. (I’m partial to charities that help children.)
Finally, I have a book written by an English author who is based in Spain and I am considering serialising it from May 2014. This one will tickle you and smack you at the same time.
It’s sooo exciting.
But I’m still not content. I want to see what you’ve written. Here comes the formal bit.
How to submit:
We are always looking for published and unpublished writers that will help to shape the future of writing and reading. If you have a great manuscript, then we want to see it.
Currently we are looking for manuscripts that make us laugh but we will also consider manuscripts that make us punch the air or come over all faint.
Ideally, your finished MS should be between 50,000 and 100,000 words.
However, we are interested in shorter pieces(1,000 to 10,000) that could be included in adhoc compilations and anthologies.
Submissions should include –
1. A 1-2 page synopsis of your MS
2. The first 3-5k words of your MS
3. A brief author bio