It’s been three months since my last “monthly” blog posting. So much to do and so little time to do it all. The time has been spent, instead, keeping up with our largest yearly list ever (16 titles for 2012, half of them mysteries), and trying to spread-the-word about the extraordinary critical receptions our recently published (and soon to be released) fiction has been gathering.
All this has made me aware of my own “Wish List.” No matter how much recognition our authors receive, there is a measure of Divine Discontent I feel when there is not even more of it. At the same time it seems important not to let wishes become expectations which can lead to hectoring others for frustrating my desire to have more attention paid. Without further apologies, here are my satisfactions and frustrations and as yet unrealized wishes.
I WISH our web site revisions, started a few months ago, will completed shortly. When one clicks on The Permanent Press website the only catalog one can download is that for 2011. Until that happens, here is a link to the 2012 catalog.
I WISH that Chris Knopf, with his tenth mystery, Dead Anyway, coming out in September, gains tens of thousands more readers. In my opinion, there is no better mystery writer alive, judging by the consistency of his work over the past seven years. Critics likened his five Sam Acquillo mystery series to Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade, Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, and Robert Parker’s Spenser, and repeatedly compared Knopf to Elmore Leonard and both John D. MacDonald and Ross MacDonald. Translation rights were sold in seven different countries, and Chris gained several literary awards for these books. So, why not have 50,000 in domestic sales instead of 5,000? And while I have this Chris wish list, I’ll gladly give an autographed collection of all his Sam Acquillo mysteries to anyone who can come up with a sub-title for this forthcoming thriller series. With the Sam books it was easy to add, under each title, “A Sam Acquillo Hamptons Mystery.” But Dead Anyway poses a problem since the narrator/protagonist has to continually change identities in order to stay alive. Page 13 of the 2012 catalog may give you food for thought in coming up with a winning concept.
I WISH Leonard Rosen’s All Cry Chaos, published last September and now a finalist as Best First Novel for both the Edgar Award and the $10,000 Chautauqua Prize (as well as being a finalist for ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Award) is announced the winner of one or more of these prizes—all to be announced within the next few weeks.
I WISH that David Schmahmann’s The Double Life of Alfred Buber finds some break-out room, having been listed in Doug Childers' column in The Richmond Times-Dispatch as one of his “Ten Favorite Books of 2011.” It was one of my favorites, too, and dismaying that so few reviewers took note of it.
I WISH that our string of great pre-pub reviews continues. Each and every title for the past year has had fine advance reviews, and lately, a spate of starred reviews for the 2012 titles. Ivan Goldman’s Isaac had a starred review in Booklist; Two mysteries—Connie Dial’s Fallen Angels and David Freed’s Flat Spin had starred reviews in Library Journal.
I WISH that Nancy Pearl, a respected and important NPR reviewer (and writer whose columns and blogs appear in Publishers Weekly and Library Journal) would one day be impressed enough by one of our writers to cover one of their novels.
January 30, 1980, saw the one and only full review of one of our titles (Richard Lortz’s The Valdepeňas) in the daily editions of The New York Times. Having failed to provide any of our subsequent novelists major review coverage for the next 32 years, I WISH this drought might some day end.
My final WISH, of course, is that I find the time to come up with something else to say without waiting so long between postings.
I invite your comments, hope you will check out the current Newsletter on The Permanent Press website, and sign up as a "follower" of this blog in order to be alerted when future postings occur.