Hey all. Gerry Boyle here, and I’ve been looking forward and backward of late. Forward because Islandport Press, a smart independent publisher in Maine, is going to publish my next Jack McMorrow novel, ONCE BURNED. Backward because Islandport has made plans to reissue the first eight McMorrow novels as well. So all those books written over the past 20 years will have new life, new covers, and new readers.
This is good news for a couple of reasons. For one, the business end of the book business—all those flipping percentages!) is work. Two, it’s been hard to hear in past years that readers who have just become acquainted with McMorrow have to search for the early books. Some have gone out of print (three of a writer’s least favorite words) and some are just hard to find. This is more and more common as major national publishers scramble to make big money and decide keeping a writer’s last six books in the warehouse isn’t a good return on investment.
That’s their problem. I’ve found a new publishing home, right here in Maine, with kindred spirits who care about good writing. A lot.
I’ve been fortunate in my writing life, in that I’ve had one (many very talented writers haven’t been so lucky) and it’s going into it’s third decade. That’s a lot of making stuff up, and you could fill a bus with the people I’ve invented, grown fond of, killed off. In that order. Now I’ve been given the bonus of looking back at the early books as I write new introductions to new editions of DEADLINE (1993), BLOODLINE (1995), LIFELINE (1996), and on up the line. Where did these books come from? What was I thinking?
That sort of retrospection is a hell of a luxury. When it’s coupled with immersion in a new book, with new characters (and some I just love to hate), well, that’s the sh–. As my characters would say.
I have a good friend, a renowned and wonderfully talented poet. We talk about baseball mostly, but when we don’t talk baseball we occasionally talk about why we write, and wonder if we would do it if there were no audience. We don’t come to a conclusion and, in the end, we’re glad we haven’t had to. We put pen to paper and words come out. Miraculously, people want to read them. I think I can speak for all of the Maine Crime Writers when I say we don’t take that—or you—for granted. Not for a second.
So that last bit is the point of this ramble. Sorry if I’ve indulged a bit here. Next time, back to business. Tonight I’m just sitting by the fire in my village in Central Maine. It’s cold outside but inside I’m just glowing.