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The Deixis Press Weekly - Issue #41
Just a quick one this week—I’m immersed in non-press work (managing and reading entries for the First Novel Prize), but a couple of wonderful things have happened.
First, THE WORKSHOP OF FILTHY CREATION by Richard Gadz has WON Best Horror in the 2022 Next Generation Indie Book Awards!
This is so, so gratifying. I read the first chapter of WORKSHOP when I was an agent, and on the basis of that initial preview I took Richard on as one of my authors. When we met in person, I encouraged him to write what was in his heart rather than trying to figure out what might sell.
Richard is already a professional author in another arena, and as time went on, he finished this book, but I stopped agenting, and I wondered how bad my advice had been for him—had I wasted his time? And when I took the book on as a new publisher and he had to endure all of the various mistakes I made (and continue to make) while learning how to publish books, I still had doubts that I had helped rather than hindered him by encouraging him to ignore market forces in favor of art. I continue to worry about it, when various forms of advertising and even national press coverage of this wonderful book seem to make very little difference to sales.
For the book to go on to win this prize means so much. Sales figures are one measure of success, recognition of quality is another—and while those two things don’t always match up in the way that they should, I can now say definitively: You can write great books. I can find great books. Now together we just need to find even more great readers.
Speaking of great books and great readers, here’s the second wonderful thing: I wrote a letter to Alan Moore a while back thanking him for his BBC Maestro course (which, again, I really recommend). I cheekily included a copy of Siôn Scott-Wilson’s SOME RISE BY SIN, because Siôn’s work seems to me to be very like the kind of literature that he describes in his course. I made it clear that it was a gift, and that I didn’t expect anything at all in return: I just wanted him to have it because I thought he would like it.
I was shocked and delighted to receive a letter back from Mr Moore. I won’t quote it in its entirety, but the important parts are: he devoured SOME RISE BY SIN, he loved it, and he says that Siôn seems to be a writer after his own heart. If you haven’t yet read this wonderful novel, that has to be your cue. I’ve written back to him to ask if I can quote parts of his letter on the book’s description on Nielsen, etc. Fingers crossed, and if he says yes, I’ll be sure to point you to those quotes when they are live.
Siôn has written a beautiful sequel to Some Rise; I think I can say now that I will be publishing it (probably toward the end of the year or early next year). It retains the energy of the first, as well as the meticulous research, and a range of well-drawn characters. You will love it.
I’ve also decided to start thinking about my digital-first imprint; I’m in very early discussions with an author about whether he’d like to go down that route with me. It’s going to be another learning curve for me, but I am fortunate to have found an enthusiastic and patient group of authors.
Enough for now. Back to the First Novel Prize :)