MY BOOKS by the co-founder of an indy press, celebrating the launch of his company’s second novel
My name is Sean Campbell and I am the co-founder and editor at époque press. We established a new independent publishing house in order to support authors in getting the very best of literary fiction out to as wide an audience as possible. We were inspired by independent publishers such as Salt, Galley Beggar and Tramp, who have done an amazing job in getting great writing out to the wider public and we only hope we can be as successful as they are.
I am passionate about all forms of literature but I am particularly focused on work which has a strong voice, a great sense of character or is highly evocative of a certain place or time. Publishers are often asked about what makes a submission stand out to them, but to me there is no straightforward answer. It is just sometimes a book will come along that will really make you sit up and you get absorbed in the writing.
We currently have three titles: the first was El Hacho by Luis Carrasco.
Jon McGregor (Costa Book Award Winner 2017) called it “a tiny diamond of a novel, told in a voice at once softly-spoken and fearless as hell.”
The Groundsmenby Lynn Buckle will be published on Friday (28th September 2018). In fact the launch is tonight at The Irish Writers’ Centre in Dublin. It’s at 6.30 if you’re passing… June Caldwell, author of Room Little Darker, calls The Groundsmen a “dark compelling tale of under-the-covers failed decency and warped family relationships.”
The Wooden Hillby Jamie Guiney is due for publication in November 2018. All three authors have a remarkable voice and we have been so lucky to have the opportunity of working with them.
Can you name a book from your childhood that made a big impact on you? Lord of the Fliesby William Golding – a terrifying night time read.
What book are you reading right now?
2666 by Roberto Bolaño.
And the one you read before that? Aside from the marvellous works by our own authors, it was The Red Haired Woman by Orhan Pamuk
Burning books is wrong. What contemporary book (written in the last 30 years) would you save from a bonfire? Impossible to only be able to name one, there are just too many. In fact, as you have said, no book ever deserves to be burned.
Favourite poetry book? Or poem? Howl by Alan Ginsberg
What book (if any) have you found yourself re-reading over the years? Wuthering Heightsby Emily Brontë
If you were giving a book as a present what book would you choose? I would have to choose all three of our current titles.
Finally, what do you prefer: a real book with pages that move, an ebook, an audio device? A real book every time. When you spend so much of your day with an electronic screen in front of you, whether that be a phone or a laptop, I find it essential to switch off from that and pick up a ‘real’ book.
It also acts as a psychological reminder about the type of activity I am engaging in. Reading is to be savoured, and far too often with electronic mediums we resort to scan reading with short attention spans. I love the act of opening up the leaves of a book and then losing myself for a few hours in it. I just don’t have the same connection with ebooks. But each to their own. The important thing is that people are reading, irrespective of the medium which they use to do so.
Would you like to take part in MY BOOKS? I would love to hear from you so drop me a line at bridgetwhelan AT hotmail.co.uk if you would like to contribute. Please put MY BOOKS in the subject line.