Hard Case Crime news – 10/21/10

Full text of today’s Hard Case Crime newsletter below the fold.

In addition to the great news that they’ll continue publishing, we also learn that Charles Ardai’s John Blake novels (written as Richard Aleas) Little Girl Lost (which I just reviewed) and Songs of Innocence (which I’ll be posting on in the next couple of days) have been optioned for the movies. This doesn’t mean they’ll actually get made, of course–just ask The Green Eagle Score. But if the project moves forward in the right hands, it could result in a fascinating couple of films.

Friends —

Apologies for going so long between updates. I was waiting until I could announce some good news — and today’s the day.

As you know, our relationship with Dorchester Publishing (Hard Case Crime’s publisher since the line’s launch in 2004) came to an end a few months ago when Dorchester announced it was getting out of the business of publishing mass market paperback books. This left Hard Case Crime without a home. I’ve spent the past six weeks in meetings with other publishers interested in giving us a new home, and I was gratified to receive offers from five of the firms we met with.  They were all firms I respect greatly and would have enjoyed working with; but in the end, one stood out as clearly the best match, and that was Titan Publishing.

Based in London, Titan is a publisher both of fiction and of gorgeous art books focusing on pop culture such as movie poster art, pin-ups, newspaper comic strips, and Golden Age comic books; they have worked with filmmakers such as J.J. Abrams, Joss Whedon, and George Lucas; they’ve been around for 30 years and have more than 200 employees; and in addition to publishing books, they also have a magazine division, own retail stores, and produce merchandise such as t-shirts, sculptures, and accessories.  It’s fun to imagine what sorts of cool Hard Case Crime products we might create with them!

But first things first: books.

Titan plans to acquire all existing stock of our old books from Dorchester and to resume shipping those books to stores immediately.  New books will start coming next fall, with two titles planned for each of September and October 2011.  (Why so long a wait? It has to do with the sales cycle in the book publishing business. Titan’s sales force is already selling July/August 2011 titles to stores now; September/October 2011 is the soonest we can get new books out if we want to have enough time for booksellers to consider and order them, and then for Titan to print and ship them, etc.)

Our 2011 titles will include two you’ve hear about before — QUARRY’S EX by Max Allan Collins and CHOKE HOLD by Christa Faust, both of which were in the works at Dorchester but never got published — and two you haven’t heard about, by major writers in the field.  (Can’t say who yet…but they’ve both been named “Grand Masters” by the Mystery Writers of America, the organization’s highest honor.)  You’ll be hearing more about all four books over the coming months, I promise.  In the meantime, if you’d like a little taste of QUARRY’S EX and CHOKE HOLD, you can see their cover art and read a sample chapter from each at our Web site, www.HardCaseCrime.com.

We will also still be going ahead with our special hardcover ‘double’ volume with Subterranean Press, featuring two long-lost Lawrence Block novels bound back-to-back.  More info on that one as soon as we have a firm publication date and cover art to to show you!

In other news, HAVEN, the SyFy television series inspired by one of our books (THE COLORADO KID by Stephen King), just completed its first season and has been renewed for a second.  If you haven’t seen the show or only caught the first few episodes, I’d encourage you to give it a(nother) try — it got really good by the end of the season (and no, I’m not just saying that because I wrote the penultimate episode and came up with the story for one before that…).  It’s a little different from what you see in our books, since every story contains elements of the supernatural — but it’s still a show about a FBI agent, a cop, and a criminal, and features some awfully hard cases…

Also: Universal Pictures acquired the rights to two other Hard Case Crime books — LITTLE GIRL LOST and SONGS OF INNOCENCE by my close personal friend Richard Aleas — and has attached a director (Jonathan Levine, “The Wackness”) and screenwriter (Michael Bacall, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”) to the project.  No guarantee that a movie will actually get made, of course — but it’s a very exciting first step.

What else is new?  Well, Hard Case Crime’s sister line, THE ADVENTURES OF GABRIEL HUNT, is staying with Dorchester for the time being, and they have plans to reissue all of those books — including the sixth, which never came out in mass market paperback — in the larger “trade paperback” format (as well as e-book format).  If everything goes as planned, those should start coming next year.  If you poke around online, you can also find an audiobook edition of one book in the series, HUNT THROUGH THE CRADLE OF FEAR, produced by AudioRealms.  If there’s ever been a genre suited to audiobook adaptation, it’s tales of adventure!  (If you don’t feel like hunting for it — pun intended — here’s a link: http://www.audiorealms.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=HUNTCRADLE-MP3CD.)

That’s all the news this time around.  There will be more, probably fairly soon — you’ll certainly be hearing from me well before this time next year, when the new books come out.  But in the meantime, I want to thank you for all your patience and your support.  It’s great to know you’re out there, as passionate about our books as ever.  I promise: We’ll give you some good scratching for your itch just as soon as we can.

Charles Ardai