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From Cape Cod to Lunenburg, Nevermore Press has a story of its own

Nevermore Press production manager Jayme Spinks (left), production manager Ernest Hadley and assistant editor Annie Mullins recently published their first two books.
Nevermore Press production manager Jayme Spinks (left), production manager Ernest Hadley and assistant editor Annie Mullins recently published their first two books. - Contributed

Local publishing house launches first two books

Ernest Hadley and Annie Mullins are the first to admit they’ve taken a circuitous route becoming publishers.

“We’re kind of a strange little publisher in terms of how we got here at all,” said Hadley, who opened Nevermore Press with his wife after 30 years as a lawyer in the United States.

“This is sort of the next phase in life for us in terms of what we would like to do.”

And if you’re wondering how two Americans go about opening a publishing house dedicated to sharing Atlantic Canadian stories, the answer has been in the making for some time.

Following retirement from their previous careers, Hadley and Mullins made the jump from Cape Cod, Mass., to Lunenburg via a special entrepreneurial immigration stream.

Hadley said they had always been interested in literature and decided to create a small publishing house in their favourite Nova Scotia town.

Taking the leap, he said, was the culmination of countless trips to the Maritimes.

“Whether we planned it or not, we always seemed to wind up here at the end of the trip,” he said of Lunenburg.

Fourteen months after opening, Nevermore Press now occupies an office in the Lunenburg Academy and has published their first two books.

Broken Symmetry, which was written by Lunenburg native Rosalie Osmond, and Anne C. Kelly’s Jacques’ Escape were both launched within the last few months.

But their journey hasn’t been without a few twists.

For example, Hadley explained many of the manuscript submissions Nevermore received were young adult (YA) stories like Jacques’ Escape.

“It’s a project I’ve really liked and one I didn't anticipate doing,” said Hadley, adding they broadened their original vision of publishing solely adult fiction and non-fiction to incorporate some of the YA stories they were receiving.

“Ultimately, what we decided was to create an imprint for Nevermore, called Trap Door Books, meant for YA and middle-grade readers.”

Nevermore is also expected to publish another two books sometime this year.

When asked about the editing process, Hadley reflected on the physical transformation between loose-leaf manuscripts and polished products.

“It comes back in boxes, you open (them) and out come these books. That’s sort of an enlightening process,” he said.

Hadley noted Nevermore’s staff was nervous to open their first ever batch of finished books.

“There’s a mixture of excitement and anxiety,” he said, adding they were proud to have accomplished what they set out to do once they gave the books a quick look-over.

Lunenburg’s literary community — like Lunenburg Bound and Lexicon Books — were also credited in making Nevermore a reality.

Ultimately, Hadley said the energy in both the Academy and the town contributed to Nevermore’s goal: telling good stories.

“You’ve got people who are all working on their individual passions,” he said.

“There’s a certain atmosphere in the building, I think, that is conducive to creative work. That’s been a lot of fun.”

@joshrjhealey / joshua.rj.healey@gmail.com

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