March 8th was International Women's Day # IWD2021, and I posted on social media some of the fantastic women, and stories about, and by, women, in charity book 'Lights on the Horizon'. The full infographic is below.
Enjoy the behind the scenes look at the amazing women involved in our book.
On World Book Day 2021, we are so proud to show you a little something we've been working on behind the scenes:
Our new promotional video for charity book 'Lights on the Horizon'.
It features gorgeous shots from the book, as well as audio clips with readings from some of our authors.
A huge Thank You to the very talented Emer Sands of Avenue33 in Dublin who mixed the audio clips for us!
Now sit back, relax and enjoy our video - and share share share.
Oh and big news: our new website, www.lightsonthehorizon.com is coming soon. Watch this space...
'Lights on the Horizon' makes its radio debut!
I was only too delighted to speak to Treasa Goodwin-Smyth of New York City-based radio show, Ireland Calls, about our charity book 'Lights on the Horizon', on Saturday, 20th February 2021.
We talked about the story behind the book, Crafters Of Ireland, Jeremy Irons, and... cows.
Watch with sound.
20th January 2021 saw the inauguration of Joe Biden as 46th president of the United States. As my Dad is American, I followed this with great interest, and hence, I watched the entire inauguration. Of course, I too was blown away by the delivery and poignancy of inaugural poet, Amanda Gorman's 'The Hill We Climb' (her surname is so Irish, can we please claim her?!).
But who transpired as the absolute stealer of the show? None other than Senator Bernie Sanders. You've all seen the memes at this stage, but you haven't seen them all!
Did you know that Bernie actually went on a roadtrip of Ireland, following the inauguration, to try and get his mittens on a copy of 'Lights on the Horizon'?
Read on to find where Bernie travelled to.
Stop 1: Cork
Bernie’s Roadtrip, part 1:
Bernie, and his #cuddly #mittens, waiting patiently outside
Waterstone's Cork for bookshops to reopen, so he can buy his copy of #charity #book ‘Lights on the Horizon’. We really appreciate your dedication, Bernie! But... Cork’s in #lockdown . Lily, John, get that man a #coffee!
#charity #corkcity #cork #ireland #books #bookshops #lockdownlife #berniesmittens #berniesroadtrip
Stop 2: Kinsale
Bernie’s Roadtrip, part 2:
He must have heard about the #beautiful scenery in West Cork - and about
Bookstór , the fabulous bookshop in the centre of Kinsale.
Bernie, we can see how badly you’d like to get your #mittens on #charity #book ‘Lights on the Horizon’.
Sadly, Ireland’s still in #level5 #lockdown. Perhaps we could post you a copy with
An Post instead?
#kinsale #cork #ireland #books #bookstagram #bookshops #berniesmittens #berniesroadtrip
Stop 3: Clonakilty
Bernie’s Roadtrip, part 3:
He really is on a bit of a #roadtrip, our #Bernie. And he still has those mittens. Probably just as well, with the #sneachta .
His dedication to supporting #frontline staff and wanting to buy a copy of ‘Lights on the Horizon’ is unreal. #Clonakilty , arguably the best town in #Ireland , does have amazing shops. So good, in fact, that Bernie perched himself right between two of them: Annabel Langrish Galleries and Kerr's Bookshop .
I know Trish and her team at Kerr's work long hours, but I don’t want to burst his bubble and tell him the shops are... No, I can’t. I can’t do it.
Though I know for a fact Kerr's do post out nationwide. And, possibly, Vermont.
Alternatively, Bernie, why not stay in Dunowen House and we’ll hand-deliver a copy.
#charity #book #bookshops #clonakilty #cork #countycork #ireland #berniesmittens #berniesroadtrip
Stop 4: Mallow
Bernie’s Roadtrip, part 4:
And here’s our #berniesanders, and his mittens, which surely must have their own @Instagram page at this stage, like Connell's chain.
He (and I mean Bernie, not Connell), is waiting, undeterred, outside
Philip's Bookshop in #mallow .
Bernie, you won’t get your copy of ‘Lights on the Horizon’ this way, but June and the team might bring you a #hotchocolate and a pair of matching #earmuffs . Stay warm, mittens-lover.
#charity #book #bookshop #Cork #ireland #berniesroadtrip
The team in Philip's even had something to say about Bernie, and suffice it to say they weren't too pleased.
Stop 5: Galway
Bernie’s Roadtrip, part 5:
He’s only upped and gone to #galway ! The lengths this #legend will go to, hovering on that there Sean Gavin Electrical van. It’s probably wise to leave on those well-insulated mittens. Sadly, he’ll find Charlie Byrne's Bookshop is closed at the moment. But I’m sure Charlie, Vinnie and the team will leave no stone of the #SpanishArch unturned to get a copy of ‘Lights on the Horizon’ to Bernie.
That’s five bookshops he’s tried. Wherever will he go next?
#charity #book #galwaycity #bookshop #ireland #berniesmittens #berniesroadtrip
Stop 6: Dublin
Bernie’s Roadtrip, part 6:
He’s made it to #dublin . He tried the Guinness Storehouse and Trinity College Dublin. Doors firmly shut.
To pass the time, Bernie was hoping for a bit of a boogie and was devastated to find Lilys Bordello had closed for good. So, he’s shelved the idea of becoming the next Michael Flatley.
Now Bernie’s patiently waiting outside the lift in Rathfarnham Shopping Centre for Rathfarnham Bookshop to open.
Don’t know what to tell ya, Bernie. Ireland’s still closed. Maybe Joe and his team will bring you some #irishdancing shoes while you wait.
#charity #book #dublin #dublincity #rathfarnham #ireland #bookshops #berniesroadtrip
Stop 7 (Final Stop): Carrickfergus
Bernies Roadtrip, part 7 - The Final:
#carrickfergus is a quieter place these days, but it‘s buzzing today: Bernie has landed, in his quest to get his mits on a copy of ‘Lights on the Horizon’.
Or maybe he heard that Jo & Chris at The Secret Bookshelf are celebrating their first year in business - could you spare a glass of bubbles for Bernie? He may also need a plane ticket home...
Next time you’re over, Bernie, #ireland will hopefully be back open for business. We can’t wait to have you back with us. Bring waterproof #mittens ...
#charity #book #northernireland #carrickfergus #ireland #bookshops #lockdown #lockdownlife #berniesroadtrip #bubblesforbernie #getbernietoireland #waterproofmittens
We are getting quite a few queries, asking where you can buy 'Lights on the Horizon', so we thought we'd list all the places in the one post, to save you from scrolling!
'Lights on the Horizon' can be bought in the following bookshops. Please note that, although many are closed at present, due to COVID-19 restrictions, many bookshops do post out the book, so support your local shops, and give them a ring!
It was so heartening to receive the positive feedback on our book from the bookshops. Click into the gallery for some of the reactions.
And we are live! We have been following the rise of Shop in Ireland over the last few months, which is a one-stop-shop for Irish business to showcase their products. It seemed the perfect place to create another online presence.
It is, by creator Teresa Venables' own description:
Shop in Ireland - Ireland's only marketplace for buying Irish.
To check out the Lights on the Horizon page on Shop in Ireland, go to:
And then, on 25th November, the day was finally here! A sunny Wednesday, and we were just having our 11th cup of tea (normal consumption around 11 in the morning would usually be around cup 6, but, well, we were excited, and it was too early for gin!). Then we were completely distracted with something else (unruly doglets had destroyed their cosy fluffy dog bed, again, and had taken great joy in extracting said bed's innards). And then we heard it. The sound of a HGV, passing our gate, the sighing of the brakes, and then, the slow reversing. And let's face it, there are not all that many HGVs passing our gate on this very rural road in West Cork. So, our ears pricked up, perhaps a second or two after the doggie's ears. Dogs were quickly deposited back on the naughty step, aka the utility room, and I threw on my pair of boots and ran out.
We had started this journey on 11th July, the day Jeremy Irons had penned those few lines in support of our collection. And here we were, less than 20 weeks later, with a palette of books, containing stories crafted by all those fabulous writers around the country, enhanced by beautiful, carefully selected photography, and the most gorgeous graphic design and editorial prowesses, and it was all in aid of something good.
And there the boxes lay, dozens upon dozens of them.
And then, I have to confess, I did feel a little nervous. Mainly excited, but yes, just a smidgeon worried, too. Because we had had so little time to publish this edition of 'Lights on the Horizon', and with postal delays due to COVID-19, we weren't able to obtain a preview copy beforehand. Publishing such a book would usually take the best part of a year, time which we didn't have, if we wanted to get it out there in time for Christmas. A few leaps of faith were taken, that's for sure - but we were lucky, as we had been very well advised by those who had worked with this particular print company before: Gutenberg Press.
It looked absolutely fantastic, and I was bowled over by the quality of the cover, the endpapers, and the interior pages. We had had a last minute change to the cover - from gloss to matt, on advice of the printing company, and I am so glad we went with their advice. It also meant that, though I had received a sample of the gloss cover, I had no idea what to expect with the matt cover. There is only so much one can imagine, if one isn't a supply chain head. Then it was time to unload the palette, which had to be done before the school run, so the race was on.
We've been brilliantly supported by the local and national press so far, and we're delighted with the coverage. Slowly but surely we're finding ourselves in more and more bookshops, and it was excellence to get an online presence with our on-off-on-off-on-off lockdown scenarios, so we are grateful for our partnership with bozpublications.com. Everyone has been so helpful, and, step by step, we're making progress. Take a look at the coverage we have received so far, with more to come, hopefully!
Do note that some publications who featured us featured the cover of the previous edition. It's still great to get the coverage, but if you're in a bookshop (when these do reopen, again), and you're looking for our book, this is the one you're looking for:
We have an ongoing competition at the moment. If you find us in the media, and you:
1. Like our page
2. Send us a pic of the publication
3. Tag us
You can win a copy of 'Lights on the Horizon'.
Us publishing folk do get excited about... fonts and things. Yes, hard to believe, but true. Take a look at these before and after images, to get an idea of how our design evolved in just a few short weeks. I'm sure you'll agree that Ailbhe Hooper, our Graphic Design Director, did an absolutely phenomenal job!
We kicked off the project in late July, and only a few short weeks later, on 21st August, we had our first designs. By the time the second design came around, only a week later, we were already very close to the final version, with some minor tweaking here and there. Take a look at the before and after pictures of how some of the pages evolved from the first to the second to the final design. Enjoy!
1. Opening Page
The very first page when you open the book needs to be eye-catching in the best possible way. The first set of designs was really just playing with different fonts and treatments.
And this was the second design, just over a week later. A coffee table book needs to have fabulous design, coupled with a strong image, to make the reader want to turn the page. We originally dropped in this image from Portyglenone Forest, taken by the very talented Robin Quigley. It was just a placeholder, as we already had a place for it later in the book, and didn't want to use it twice.
Oh and what about this forest pic? Well, if you spot this image in the printed book when you've bought it, contact me on social (Facebook or Insta), and tell me what page this picture is on . You are entered into a draw and will be in with a chance to win a signed copy of Lights on the Horizon!
And this is the final design of the opening pages (double A4 page), which you will find in the printed book.
We absolutely love this page as the image perfectly depicts the quiet streets we all experienced during lockdown. Fondly known as 'The Boy on the Bike', and taken by the very talented photographer David Lynch, this image shows a deserted Dublin city centre during Ireland's first lockdown in March.
This image would also become the image for our promotional materials! You've probably spotted it on our posters on social media. Here's a little reminder. Click on the poster to pre-order the book!
2. Jeremy Irons Quote Page
Design 1, 21st August 2020: Draft Jeremy Irons quote page: After the boost that Jeremy Irons' endorsement gave us, we knew we needed to give this its own page, so the idea for this Jeremy Irons Quote page was born. We liked the look of it but there was some tweaking required on the fonts and colours, and an image needed to be added.
And this is the final double page spread in the printed book! The image is from photographer Robin Quigley - the very first photographer we had on board!
3. Preface Page
We wanted the design to be a 'Wow' - unusual, yet sleek, gorgeous, and truly premium. Take a look at the Preface page, from its very first design, to 2nd, and then final design. You will see that the 2nd design pretty much 'nailed' the look and feel we went with in the end. Seeing this, and many of the other pages in just the second design was the 'Wow! That's it!' moment for us.
And here are the left and right hand pages, which you will see in the final printed version. The colour treatment, and the dropped in image really make a huge difference to the design.
*** Competition alert! ***The first person to contact me on social (Facebook or Insta) to tell me what location this picture is of will get a signed copy of Lights on the Horizon!
4. Story Pages
Now let's take a look at how some of the story pages evolved - again, you get a good sense of the Before and After. We veered away from the large numbering, though we loved it, because of the space the numbers took up on a page. Here we're comparing one of the opening stories in the book, 'Saoirse and the Healing World', by the very talented Michelle Young of Ink Wing Academy.
We had some last minute changes to the author pages, due to image sizing, but I hope you'll agree that the final result of this double page spread is gorgeous! The three ladies that made up the steering committee (Ailbhe Hooper, as well as Tess Tattersall, our Editorial Director, and Niamh Cooper, the Publisher) were all instantly in love with the cursive font for the quotes. Yes, it doesn't take much to set our publishing hearts all aflutter. I think the cursive quotes really finish off the page in the most lovely way! Ailbhe had to stop me from putting these everywhere...
We hope you enjoyed getting a little insight into how a book evolves during the design process. We're so proud of the book, and hope that you'll enjoy it too. You can pre-order it here, or in five bookshops nationwide:
All proceeds go to frontline workers, and this will make a lovely Christmas present for your brother who's so hard to buy for, your cousin who's a nurse - or just for that hero in your life!
Very proud to be featured in the Ardfield-Rathbarry ARC today - not once, but twice! Thank you, Hugh O'Reilly, you're a legend, sir! For more details, see www.thearc.ie.