Towards the end of the first year of the pandemic, Writing Magazine inserted a list of publishers actively looking for specific material.
Buried in the middle was a small ad from Gill Books in Dublin seeking children’s books with an Irish interest.
“Not unlike most folk on the vulnerable list in this country, I was under house arrest at the time so I started to do a bit of research,” said Pam Henry, who lives just outside Salisbury.
“Shortly after our first non-Christmas, I had completed the first of what was originally a series of five chapter books told in the first person by a centuries-old Irish cat and aimed at the mid-grade age range. The stipulated submission was duly sent off to Gill Books sometime early in 2021.
“They very kindly wrote back that they liked it but it wasn’t for them. Being stubborn, as I am, and having done all that work, I decided to give one more Irish publisher
“On Easter Monday I emailed the first chapter of the first book to Currach Books. The managing editor obviously had a quiet moment over the holiday because the very next day I received a response from him saying that he liked what he’d read and could he please read the whole thing.
“Following some to-ing and fro-ing on email and a Zoom meeting, he preferred the five to be condensed into four and asked how long it would take me to re-jig the first book and write the other three.”
Pam signed a contract with Currach Books in July 2021 and finished the remaining three books by early 2022.
The first in the series, A Saucer Full of Secrets, was published on August 1 and is now finding its way out into the world, in bookshops and on all online outlets.
“I’ve just returned from my first book tour in and around Dublin, where I had a whale of a time visiting bookshops and doing signings.
“They want me to go back again next spring, with a view to visitings schools and libraries to meet some book readers as well as book buyers.
“I’m also getting a mention in Writing Magazine shortly, as their Magazine is what kick-started my success story.”
A Saucer Full of Secrets is published by Currach Books.