From the Publishers
2017 featured several breakout titles from two authors we published for the first time: David Appel’s The Mask of Sanity and James Conroy’s The Coyote Hunter of Acquidneck Island—our only fiction nominees for The National Book Award. Other successful titles—review-wise and sales-wise were Steve Zousmer’s Falling Into the Mob and the introduction of Baron Birtcher’s South California Purples, a new thriller series with a second installment coming up this year.
We’ll be publishing seventeen titles this year, one more than we’ve ever done before, because of bringing back a new edition of William Herrick’s Hermanos originally published in 1969. Interest in older classics after Hitler came to power is still acute. Phillip Metcalfe’s 1933 which we published in 1988, has also proved resurgent, with Balans in the Netherlands reissuing it in a Dutch edition as this catalog goes to press. It is actively being considered in China and other quarters. This validates our policy of never letting substantial books go out of print.
Thirteen of these books came from writers we’ve published before. For the first time since we began publishing in 1980—38 years ago—we will have a warehouse with close to 600 titles in print. Back again are a core of mystery writers who’ve been successful over the years: Ira Gold, Connie Dial, Howard Owen, William Wells and our co-publisher Chris Knopf. And we expect that Tom Rayfiel’s Harms’ Way will attract as much attention as last year’s The Mask of Sanity from Jacob Appel.
A few different things to add: for the first time in our history there are two memoirs scheduled—one by David Bouchier and another from Maria Flook.
If there is any theme that stands out to connect some of these novels, the word would be “resilience,” and it shows up particularly in three novels: Abe Aamidor’s Letting Go, T.S. Farley’s The Impotent Avenger, and Kathleen Novak’s The Autobiography of Corrine Bernard: A Novel. In each of them the narrator is a person who has been suppressing overwhelming emotional pain whether it stems from the loss of a child, the impending loss of a spouse, or from killing an abusive husband. Yet each one of them is able to purge their pain after holding it in for a decade or longer.
Martin Shepard & Judith Shepard
catalog illustrations: Mac Shepard (August 10, 1907–May 14, 1972)