It was a magical moment for Longford author Anne Skelly when she learned that her book ‘Estrangement’ (working title) was to be published by Book Republic, a boutique imprint of Maverick House publishing company.
“I am so delighted to have got this book deal,” said Anne in speaking to the Leader. “My feet have hardly touched the ground. The message for all writers is clear - ‘Don’t let rejection get you down, just keep trying.’”
‘Estrangement’ is Anne’s first full length work of fiction and it is based upon the storyline of Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’.
“It’s based around the story of Anne Elliott and Captain Wentworth. The book transports this tale into 21st century rural Ireland where it is set in a fictional village in County Longford.”
Estrangement looks at the life and loves of Skelly’s heroine, a character named Beth Maguire. Beth is a 34 year old primary school teacher who is single and living at home with her parents. Tension mounts throughout the plot as Beth seeks to find her ‘ideal’ partner. Will she choose the dashing Andrew McKay or will she bridge the gap that exists between her and former love Sam Butler?
A native of Dublin, Anne Skelly (nee Collins) came to Longford in September 1999 and shortly thereafter met and in time married local Abbeyshrule man Mike Skelly. Mike wasn’t her first love though. Since a very young age her heart belonged to writing and the English language.
“English was always my favourite subject at school and I’ve always loved reading, but I only started to write about 12 years ago,” said Anne, who now teaches creative writing courses in Counties Westmeath and Longford. Since that time Anne has had a short story published in the Heartland anthology of Longford writing, and a chapter in a collaborative novel (Goldsmith’s Ghost 2002). She has also been shortlisted for many short-story competitions.
However, today her focus is upon ‘Estrangement’ which will be published within the next two months and available to purchase over the summer. Anne believes that Book Republic are the ideal partners for her new publication.
“After all the delays and rejections I’ve had over the past six months from literary agents here and in the UK, it seemed nothing short of a miracle to find a publisher who paid me the courtesy of a quick response. I also think it’s wonderful that they’re dedicated to promoting new writing and giving emerging writers the chance to get published where most of the bigger mainstream companies will only consider you if you’re already famous.”
‘Estrangement’ will be officially launched in Longford County Library in the near future.