An exciting new chapter has begun for Irish duo Órla Carr and Clare Appezzato as they publish their debut ebook from their independent press, Castles in the Air.

Órla, a native of Fanad, and Clare, from Kilkenny, founded their new publishing press in Vancouver. Both graduates of English Literature, the friends had a shared love of stories and a passion for supporting authors.

Órla and Clare are gifted storytellers themselves, so we invited them to tell the story in their words:

We set up Castles in the Air Press in August 2020. We had both recently moved from Ireland to Vancouver, Canada when the pandemic hit. We originally moved here as we both wanted to work within the publishing industry at home but found little opportunity. Hoping to find more in Canada, we moved here, however, the wave of CoronaVirus meant that job opportunities were few. After an online internship fell through due to the pandemic, we both decided we were sick of waiting for an opportunity to present itself and that we would create one ourselves. 

With our collective knowledge and experience and our shared passion of stories, we felt confident that we were up to the task. After an excited discussion at our kitchen table, we decided to take the plunge and set up our own business. We had our first meeting the next evening, where we decided on the name. Castles in the Air is a reference to Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, which is a shared favourite. We hired a freelance designer to create our logo, which we drew up by hand and asked them to replicate on screen. We built a website basically overnight, learning everything as we went. 

We sat for hours and discussed our aspirations for the business, and when we realised we were both so aligned with each other, we knew we were creating something special. Our vision for Castles in the Air Press is to create a space for Irish voices that are not commonly heard, to donate a portion of the profits made to a charity of the author’s choice, and to bring a fresh perspective to the Irish publishing industry. 

Castles in the Air Press founders Órla & Clare

We sent out an announcement that we were launching our own independent press. After the amazing support of some kind individuals in the publishing industry, we began to receive many, many submissions. We are so grateful to everyone who has submitted writing to Castles. We are constantly in awe of the talent in Ireland, and one of our main goals with this business is to showcase it. From those submissions, we found Radhika Iyer, who’s writing immediately struck a chord with us. We both remember reading the opening few pages and instantly thinking “this is the one”. After she agreed to be our first author, we couldn’t believe our luck, as not only is she a talented writer, she is such a humble, kind, and hard-working person. 

Author Radhika Iyer

We’ll be diving back into the submissions to look for our second book as soon as we release our first title. We love reading every single submission in depth and giving each a lot of thought and respect. We always welcome submissions, so check out our guidelines on our website, 

Why are you here? is our first ebook. This is a powerful collection of short stories, set across four different countries. They focus on domestic violence, the pandemic lockdown, but they are mainly about the migrant experience. 

The organisation that Radhika has decided to donate 10% of profits to is the Immigrant Council of Ireland. 

Why are you here? is currently available for preorder and will be released on August 1st. You can buy it at any ebook retailer, such as Apple Books, Kindle, and Kobo. We are so incredibly proud of it and excited to share Radhika’s talent with the world. 

We hope you buy a copy and love it as much as we do!

Órla & Clare

Twitter: @castlespress Instagram: @castlespress