Nevermore Press, Ltd. / Trap Door Books
Lunenberg, NS , Nova Scotia
Ernest Hadley (Publisher/Editor) has been a professional writer for over forty years. A former reporter and editor with the Lewiston Daily Sun and Bristol Press, he received his MFA in Writing (Fiction) from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and has also studied fiction writing at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, Grubb Street in Boston, and the Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill in Truro, MA. In 2015, he was awarded a fiction writing residency by the Outer Cape Artists Residency Consortium.
Ernie also spent over thirty years as a civil rights lawyer and is the author of more than a dozen books in the field of employment discrimination law, including a treatise that is currently in its thirty-first edition. In addition to the Vermont College of Fine Arts, he attended Bates College and Antioch School of Law.
Annie Mullins (Assistant Editor) fell in love with Atlantic Canada as a child reading Anne of Green Gables. Throughout her life, reading has provided Annie with an introduction to, and escapes into, other views and worlds. She is a graduate of Bates College and Antioch School of Law. Her eclectic background includes working with writers and visual artists at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, and the Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill in Truro, MA, in public schools, an AIDS support group, doing legal research and editing, archaeology and museum work, cooking and raising children and cats. Before moving to Lunenburg, Annie washed ashore at the tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Jayme Spinks (Production Manager) has been designing and producing printed material for arts, culture, and queer communities across Canada since 2007. After gaining her Bachelor of Design from OCAD University, she worked at several of Toronto’s top studios and publications, including TIFF and Toronto Life. Jayme’s fascination with the interplay of language and typography has always informed her work, and in 2015, she was awarded a Master of Design degree from NSCAD University where she focused on the ways typographic emphasis influence the content of printed matter. In the summer of 2017 she came to visit friends in Lunenburg and never left.
Heidi Tattrie Rushton (Marketing Manager) was born and raised in Nova Scotia and currently lives in Fall River. She has a professional background in event planning, communications and marketing, as well as a Masters of Education from MSVU and a Bachelor of Recreation degree from Dalhousie University. Heidi has managed social media and events for organisations, worked as a freelance writer for many publications and built a popular resource website for Halifax area families. Surrounded by books her whole life, she thrives on finding creative ways to get the word out about the amazing writers in Atlantic Canada. Heidi can usually be found curled up in her favourite chair with her nose in a book or enjoying the outdoors with her husband and their two young kids.
Tell us a bit about your press. How did you start? Who are your influences, in Canada and beyond? What is your mission?
After 30 years of visiting Nova Scotia, my wife and I moved to Lunenburg in January 2018 and started Nevermore Press in a small suite of offices in the historic Lunenburg Academy.
As a publisher of fiction and creative nonfiction, Nevermore Press is constantly searching the sea of voices to find stories that explore and celebrate our vast cultural and ethnic diversity; stories that serve as both a window and a mirror for our readers – a window for readers to see into another world, and a mirror for those who are underrepresented in literature. What we look for are character-driven narratives that allow readers to experience other worlds. We don’t tie ourselves to genre. We believe that a young adult novel or a mystery can be as much of a piece of literature as an historic novel. We simply look for good, well-written stories.
Trap Door Books, an imprint of Nevermore Press, publishes books for middle grade and YA readers. We believe dreamers and storytellers are educators who inspire children and provide them with a refuge in what is often a confusing and chaotic world.
What about small press publishing is particularly exciting to you right now?
The most exciting part of running a small press is working with our writers, many of them first-time writers, to make their stories be the best we can possibly be. At Nevermore Press, we take a team approach to publishing a book that takes into account not just the way a book reads, but also how it looks and feels.
Tell us about some of your publications. What makes them special, needed, and/or unique?
Broken Symmetry by Rosalie Osmond was our first published book and was shortlisted for the Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award. The book not only tells a family story, it tells the story of the local community.
Jacques’ Escape by Anne C. Kelly was our second book – the first published under our Trap Door Books imprint – and is shortlisted for the Hackmatack 2020-21 Children’s Choice Award. What makes this book special is that it deals not only with the expulsion of the Acadians from Nova Scotia, but the aftermath of that expulsion.
How does your press work to engage with your immediate literary community, and community at large?
Nevermore Press routinely collaborates with the South Shore Public Libraries in community engagement. For the past three years, we have been a sponsor and actively participated in the Lunenburg Lit Fest, including organizing a Pitch the Publisher event that kicks off the Fest. We have also collaborated with SSPL in bringing books to the students at Bluenose Academy, and in starting an online Quaranzine to feature the works of local writers and artists focused on the current pandemic. During the shutdown working with our writers we produced virtual readings as means of bringing their work to the public. We also participate in public events like The Word on the Street.
How have the current multiple global crises impacted your work with the press?
As a start-up, the current global crises have had a significant economic impact on Nevermore Press. Certainly, the biggest impact has been on sales and distribution, as well as attempting to find new and creative ways to launch books during a pandemic. Another challenge has been to maintain the sense of comradery in working together as a team even though all of our contact is now virtual. Despite those challenges, we have released four books this year and will release two more this fall.
After seven years, Emma Wentzell finally has the child she’s longed for and she is determined that Eleanor will be brilliant. Life, it seems, is all it should be, but Emma soon finds out that she has a rival for Eleanor’s affection – her older and childless sister, Virtue. The jealousies of the past and present emerge and start the sisters on a course that neither wants yet neither can alter. Caught between the two, Eleanor fights for her own identity amidst the vagaries of what it means to be a family, doubts about church and God, her mother’s failing health and her own future. Set in Lunenburg in the 1940s and 50s, Broken Symmetry is the tale of two sisters and the one daughter who tore them apart.
Anne C. Kelly
Fourteen-year-old Acadian Jacques Terriot is being deported with his family to the British colony of Massachusetts. He longs to escape and join his older brother in fighting with the French. Jacques is about to set out on a journey that will teach him the true meaning of family and home, as well as what it means to be Acadian.
Twenty-One Ways to Die in Saskatchewan
Twenty-One Ways to Die in Saskatchewan is a poignant collection of fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry. Nova Scotian author R.E. Stansfield reflects on growing up on the Prairies while exploring, both metaphorically and physically, the many ways we “die.” From the young boy called to the principal’s office, to the immigrant adolescent confronted by schoolyard bullies, to the grandfather haunted by the German soldier he killed, to the Cree truckdriver hauling nuclear material, Stansfield brings to life those soul-crushing events we all experience, sometimes leading to redemption and rebirth.