Bestselling author’s novel published by UCLan students

Four students with lecturer Debbie Williams, all holding copies of the book
Pillars of Light publishers

Students in Preston have published a bestselling author’s book in a first of its kind deal for a University.

The MA Publishing students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have worked with historical fiction author Jane Johnson to publish Pillars of Light, an epic tale of love across the divides, war and survival set in 12th Century.

The postgraduates edited and typeset the copy, worked with artist Noel Betowski to design the front cover and liaised with a printing company to arrange for 800 hardback copies to be printed on textured paper.

Debbie Williams, Head of UCLan Publishing, said: “We are the only student-led, student-run publishing house in the world and this is the first time that such a high profile author has ever been published by a University. To get someone like Jane, whose is usually published by industry leader Penguin Random House, to come to UCLan Publishing and for her to trust us to deliver a wonderful novel is amazing.”

Jane has worked in the book industry for over 20 years, as a bookseller, publisher and writer. She is the author of The Tenth Gift, The Salt Road, The Sultan’s Wife, and Court of Lions. She was responsible for publishing the works of J. R. R. Tolkien during the 1980s and 1990s and worked on Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, spending many months in New Zealand with cast and crew. She is also the editor for Game of Thrones and editorial director for Harper Collins.