Jotting down some of his thoughts during the years, combined with his art, has served Lloyd Pretty of Stephenville. Those jottings helped lead him to the publication of his first book.
Titled “Elijah Lloyd Pretty – My Visual Self Revealed,” this 128-page book with stories and inspirations relating to coloured images of 50 of his paintings was actually years in the making.
The stories came from sitting down and writing them out on his computer as they came back to him.
“I wrote them simply to not forget them and wasn’t thinking of a book at all,” Pretty said.
It was about five years ago that he was talking about having all those items tucked away on the computer, along with having hundreds of paintings from over the years.
That’s when his son David Pretty, who is a writer living in Halifax, N.S., suggested his dad compile them in a book.
Pretty hemmed and hawed but finally put a manuscript together, creating a book on an Apple App, which he sent to Apple and that company sent him back a prototype.
He loved the book but the problem was that it was too big and publishers said it would be too expensive to do in Newfoundland.
To fit the market, Paula Cornect of Beavercraft suggested the current format and size, which is a scaled down version of the original.
He said one Newfoundland publisher said it could do it but after four years of not happening he checked several places on the mainland, which was of no avail.
A client of his put him onto Tina Crossfield of Crossfield Publishing in Toronto, ON and he sent her a manuscript of the book which she loved and wanted to do it.
His son edited the book and a month later Crossfield Publishing sent him back the full concept and after his okay proceeded to do the first printing of 500 copies in June of this year.
Cornect took on the distribution through Beavercraft and by the end of September all of the first printing was sold out.
Since that, Pretty got a call from Downhome Publishing, who he said loved the book and wanted to take the second printing of 1,000 copies on as a distributor in Newfoundland. Those books are supposed to arrive soon at Beavercraft and go out from there.
While he never met her, Pretty said Tina Crossfield is an amazing woman, taking on his publishing when others wouldn’t.
Jim Mercer of Stephenville Crossing, who purchased a copy of the book, said he feels Pretty really captured the old traditions of Newfoundland from 50 to 70 years ago.
“If you’re up in age, it brings back great memories of those times,” he said.
Mercer said it’s also a perfect piece of literature for younger people who want to learn about culture in outport Newfoundland, which is captured greatly.
“It’s delightful. I’ve read it twice and will be taking it down from the shelf again this winter,” he said.
Lloyd Pretty’s future plans:
Limited edition hard cover book (little larger) in 2019.
Second book with different images (mostly sketches and water colours) co-authored by him and son David with guest stories.