Órla Carr and Clare Appezzato from Castlecomer
A Castlecomer native is behind an ebook publishing house which is dedicated to finding and supporting unique and diverse Irish authors.
Clare Appezzato, from Castlecomer founded Castles in the Air Press, along with Órla Carr from Donegal.
The Kilkenny woman explained how the business came into being.
"We set up Castles in the Air Press in August 2020. We had both recently moved from Ireland to Vancouver, Canada when the pandemic hit. We originally moved here as we both wanted to work within the publishing industry at home but found little opportunity. Hoping to find more in Canada, we moved here, however, the wave of CoronaVirus meant that job opportunities were few. After an online internship fell through due to the pandemic, we both decided we were sick of waiting for an opportunity to present itself and that we would create one ourselves.
"We sent out an announcement that we were launching our own independent press. After the amazing support of some kind individuals in the publishing industry, we began to receive many, many submissions. We are so grateful to everyone who has submitted writing to Castles. We are constantly in awe of the talent in Ireland, and one of our main goals with this business is to showcase it. From those submissions, we found Radhika Iyer, who’s writing immediately struck a chord with us," she said.
On August 1 the publishers launched their first book, Why are you here?, written by Radhika Iyer, who is currently living in Dundalk. This is a powerful collection of short stories that focus on themes of womanhood, identity and domestic violence.
Iyer’s unique style is quirky yet powerful, as she illustrates a sense of otherness, as an immigrant and as a woman of colour
Iyer explores the struggle of being a woman in different cultures, as the stories take us from the harrowing results of a family scandal in Malaysia, to an internal cultural identity struggle in Dubai, to an abusive marriage amplified by the lockdown in Ireland.
This collection is ultimately about the female experience, and being different culturally, and in terms of shape and size.
The women of these stories face their internal and external battles, and as we follow their journeys, we come face to face with the struggle and the strength of women. Radhika Iyer was born in Malaysia to migrant Indian parents and is now living in Dundalk.
Why are you here? is currently available at any ebook retailer, such as Apple Books, Kindle, and Kobo and 10% of the purchase price will be donated to The Immigrant Council of Ireland.
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