Between You & Me – Issue 1
I’ve received quite a few questions about The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom over the past couple of years, most of them of the frequently asked variety—and with good reason, given the tardiness of the book’s promised release. Rather than continuing to field these queries individually as they land in my various inboxes, I’ve decided to address them below in a public Q&A that will be the first installment of an ongoing series entitled Between You & Me.*
- Will The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom ever be published?
- When will The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom be published?
As of my last communication with the publisher, and according to this listing on Amazon, the expected release date is August 1, 2014, so I’m hoping to see the book no later than that.
- Some on-line sources say that The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom will be published by Double Feature Press. Others say it will be published by Anomalous Books. Which is correct?
The long answer: Several years ago, Sarah L. Covert approached me about being part of what was to be the maiden voyage of her newly formed publishing company, Double Feature Press. Her plan was to pair a slim collection of stories by me with one by Joseph S. Pulver Sr., a writer whose work I hold in high regard, and to publish them as a single volume—a sort of literary analogue/homage to the once popular motion picture phenomenon known as the “double feature” and somewhat reminiscent of the tête-bêche paperbacks made popular by Ace Books in the 1950s, 60s, and early 70s.
Intrigued by the idea and already tinkering with something I thought would be a good fit for the DFP format, I agreed to take part. Unfortunately, however, my progress toward that goal was interrupted on several occasions by stints of work in film and TV. Further complicating matters, my intended contribution had begun to grow into something a good deal longer and more idiosyncratic than was suitable for a two-in-one package, not to mention too elusive and cantankerous for a certain word-slingin’ cowboy to saddle up and ride. So, greatly disappointed, I advised Sarah to proceed without me, interred the manuscript in my private potter’s field of ill-conceived undertakings, and turned my attention to projects of a more tractable, less daunting nature.
But the book just wouldn’t stay buried; it dogged me day and night—mostly at night—driving me out of bed, back to the altar, back to the page. And little by little, spoken of to no one and unacknowledged even to myself, The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom clawed its way into being. When it was done, I had no idea what to make of such a thing, and little hope that anyone would want to publish it. But much to my surprise, several publishers showed interest. Foremost among them—in passion if not in size—was J. P. Fortner (of Anomalous Books), who, fortunately for me, seems to be something of a glutton for punishment when it comes to my particular brand of auctorial deviance.
To make a long story a little less so, I weighed my options and decided to go with Anomalous Books. The key factors in my choice were J. P.’s enthusiasm (it’s difficult to say no to someone who displays such a pronounced and abiding fondness for one’s work), his editorial acumen (he never fails to improve upon whatever I send his way), and his attention to typographical detail (a rarer trait than one might think among modern-day publishers and editors). Do not, by the way, underestimate the importance of this third and final factor; in recent years, I have seen several of my works severely disfigured by the abysmal copy editing and typesetting of editors and/or publishers who either don’t know better (should find another line of work) or who do know better but don’t give a damn (should be knouted and punched in the throat).
So there you have it: The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom will be published by Anomalous Books. Whatever the outcome—and your opinion of it—J. P. Fortner deserves at least half the thanks, and yours truly no less than all the blame.
The short answer: See the paragraph immediately above.
- The bibliography on your web site lists The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom twice, once as a book and once a novelette. Which is correct?
Both. The book entitled The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom contains a novelette entitled “The Untold Tale of Ozman Droom.” The novelette serves as the linchpin piece for the cycle of stories of which the book is composed.
- Is The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom a novel or a short-story collection?
A bit of the former, much of the latter, and altogether something else.
That’s all for now, friends. If you would like to see your question added to those above or included in a future installment of Between You & Me, feel free to send it my way. Your interest is appreciated and your correspondence welcome.
*I am not a blogger. On the rare occasions I have anything to say that is worth the effort of writing down and that I think—in a fit of self-delusion—others might find of interest, the words take the form of a story, poem, or essay that on even rarer occasions ends up in a bona fide book. Unfortunately, this aesthetic sensibility, combined with an innate seclusiveness at odds with the cyber age, is widely mistaken by readers (both actual and potential) for casual indifference or outright disregard. Hence this Q&A—an ongoing, if sporadic, series entitled Between You & Me.** It is my sincere, though admittedly inelegant, effort to trick myself into providing more content and into being at least a trifle more accessible to those who are kind enough, concerned enough, or curious enough to care.
**The questions in Between You & Me are quoted verbatim from actual correspondence. The answers, though honest, are but rough approximations of my own.