I am delighted to announce the launch of my new publishing imprint, Nightingale Editions, an imprint of Blackbird Digital Books. The imprint has been founded by me Jacqui Lofthouse together with Stephanie Zia of Blackbird Digital Books.
For some time, I’d considered the idea of publishing the work of others, but when I read Sara Bailey’s haunting and lyrical novel Dark Water I felt a strong sense of connection with the book and realised that the time was right. I am lucky enough to know Stephanie Zia who has the technical know-how and together we decided that a new imprint of Blackbird was the best way forwards. We knew that the name Nightingale was right when we both thought of it independently! It was important to me that the imprint should have a visual link with The Writing Coach, so I worked with my husband artist David Lewis and Hayley Thomas of Goburo to create the lovely bird logo and lettering that you see here.
I am so looking forward to publishing Dark Water. It is an incredibly atmospheric coming of age novel, a psychologically intense portrait of adolescent yearning and obsession, set in the beautiful Orkney Islands where Sara lives. Indeed, the novel had a wonderfully auspicious start to life when Sara Bailey had an unexpected encounter with JK Rowling in the setting of Orkney Library. She writes about this encounter in full on the Nightingale blog here.
Sara Bailey’s story
Rowling’s visit to Orkney Library has already been widely covered in the media. However, Sara Bailey’s insider story is fascinating. The visit happened on the very day that Sara had signed her contract with Nightingale Editions and ended with this treasured note in Sara’s Moleskine notebook.
In Sara’s words, Rowling said,
“Do they know you’re a writer? You must tell them?” I hushed her and went even redder. This is Orkney, we don’t shout out things like that in public. She signed the notebook and wished me lots of luck.
I am so delighted that Sara’s book Dark Water has had such a special start in life. I am certainly looking forward to publishing the novel. I am also very excited about Nightingale and all that it stands for. The Nightingale, of course, is a bird which sings in the darkness, and is considered symbolic of beauty and immortality. At Nightingale Editions, I aim to publish unique, original voices, voices which will endure. I can’t wait to begin this journey with Sara and Stephanie. It’s time for the Nightingale to sing…
If you are interested in writing about Nightingale or Dark Water, the press release is here.