Thursday, March 31, 2011

Publishing News in WI - the passing of April Derleth

Sad - I used to read Lafcadio Hearn for Forensics when I was in High School - went to state my first year. ~Lisa

This article is shared with Blogger from the Sauk Prairie Eagle web site.

Publisher April Derleth dies at 56

Jeremiah Tucker, Sauk Prairie Eagle
Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 10:00 am

April Derleth, the former president of Arkham House Publishers and daughter of the company’s co-founder August Derleth, motions toward books stored in a small building behind her house in this 2009 file photo. April died March 21.

..The Arkham House publishing firm plans to resume releasing horror and science fiction books after taking a few months off to adapt to the unexpected death of its president April Derleth, daughter of the company's co-founder Wisconsin author August Derleth.

April, 56, was found dead in her Sauk City home March 21, said her mom Sandra Kiser, who lives in Phoenix. Kiser said April lived alone in the home her father named the "Place of Hawks" when he built it early in his career at the end of a long, secluded driveway across from St. Aloysius Cemetery.

Kiser said April suffered from high blood pressure and her health had been in decline in recent years. April's brother, Walden Derleth, said she died of natural causes.

Sauk County Coroner Greg Hahn said he investigates the cause of most home deaths in the county and said he would be surprised if the cause of death was due to anything but natural causes.

Walden said April's children, Damon Derleth and Danielle Jacobs, both adults, would inherit their mother's majority ownership of Arkham House Publishing, Inc. Walden said he has a minority stake in the company.

"They do plan at some point in the near future - right now everything is temporarily suspended - that once probate is finished they can get (Arkham House) back and up running," Walden said. "Once we finalize everything dealing with April's death, they will continue the business."

April began overseeing Arkham House in the mid-'80s and became the company's majority shareholder and began running its day-to-day operations in the '90s when she quit her job as vice president for sales and marketing at Mueller Sports Medicine.

In a 2008 interview with the Eagle, April said she tried to maintain a schedule of publishing one to two books a year, but that the book industry was volatile and she hadn't maintained that pace. Like her father, she filled book orders herself and ran the business out of a long, rectangular shed her father had built behind the house.

At the time, April said the books of H.P. Lovecraft accounted for nearly 80 percent of the company's sales. August and co-founder Donald Wandrei started the company in 1939 for the sole purpose of publishing the works of the horror author they helped make one of the most famous authors of the 20th century.

"He thought if he didn't publish (Lovecraft's work), it would end up in an attic or basement and never be seen by the public," April said in 2008.

When April hired Arkham House's current editor George Vanderburgh in 2009, the company hadn't published a book in three years. Although the company no longer was as influential as it had been in its prime, Vanderburgh said the name Arkham House retains its cachet.

"I have been absolutely fascinated by the brand identity Arkham House has, virtually every writer of horror and science fiction read Arkham House books as children and they all think very fondly of August Derleth publications and the ability of Arkham House to draw collections together," Vanderburgh said.

The company has published a long list of notable authors including Robert Bloch, author of "Psycho," Ray Bradbury, Robert E. Howard - creator of Conan the Barbarian - and Clark Ashton Smith.

Vanderburgh said April encouraged him and his business partner, Bob Weinberg, a book seller who specialized in Arkham titles, to pursue a plan of publishing one new book of fiction every year and one book from Arkham's extensive back catalog.

"I think basically my plans would be to carry on the proud traditions of Arkham House publications to the best of my ability and to the best of Bob's ability," Vanderburgh said.

Kiser, who married August in 1953 and divorced six years later, said that although running Arkham was a struggle for April, she enjoyed it.

"Arkham House was what August wanted to be his legacy, and I think April did a good job (continuing it)," Kiser said.

- Emily Bialkowski of the Sauk Prairie Eagle contributed to this report.

Posted in Local on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 10:00 am

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Patrick Rothfuss

Sci fi/fantasy weeks here.

Gotta love a homie. Patrick Rothfuss is a Pointer!

Patrick Rothfuss had the good fortune to be born in Wisconsin where long winters and lack of cable television brought about a love of reading and writing. His mother read to him as a child, and his father taught him to build things. If you are looking for the roots of his storytelling, look there.

Pat continues to live in central Wisconsin. He still lacks cable television, and the long winters force him to stay inside and write. He still teaches at the college he grew to love as a student, and acts as advisor for the College Feminists and the local Fencing Club. When not reading and writing, Pat wastes his time playing video games, holds symposia at his house, and dabbles with alchemy in his basement.
About The Name of the Wind:
I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

You may have heard of me.

So begins the tale of Kvothe—from his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a difficult and dangerous school of magic. In these pages you will come to know Kvothe as a notorious magician, an accomplished thief, a masterful musician, and an infamous assassin. But The Name of the Wind is so much more—for the story it tells reveals the truth behind Kvothe's legend.

The legend continues in The Wise Man's Fear

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kevin J. Anderson

The first thing I do when I realize KJA is not only from Racine, but--ahem--close in age, is run to my yearbook. I think if he'd have made close billing with our class astronaut if he'd gone to Horlick. Then I get the skinny from the man's own web site, and he's really from closer to the middle of the state, Oregon.

The things I keep learning about Wisconsin. I heard Patrick Rothfuss on the radio and I agree, Wisconsin is a great incubator for writers. I'm hoping to catch that wave one of these days.

Kevin J. Anderson is the author of more than one hundred novels, 47 of which have appeared on national or international bestseller lists. He has over 20 million books in print in thirty languages. He has won or been nominated for numerous prestigious awards, including the Nebula Award, Bram Stoker Award, the SFX Reader's Choice Award, the American Physics Society's Forum Award, and New York Times Notable Book. By any measure, he is one of the most popular writers currently working in the science fiction genre.

Being a big Star Wars fan, I read a few of those books. Then there are the Dune books: Saga of the Seven Suns, horror Stories, cartoons and X-Files.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Jenny Turner and Voyage to Viking Island

Congratulations to my friend Jenny Turner, and her new series!

Voyage to Viking Island, book one of the Dragon Diaries series

Ebook By J.R. Turner

Published By Echelon Press LLC

$0.99 Rating: Not yet rated.

Published: Mar. 21, 2011

Category: Fiction » Children's Books » Fiction

Words: 8668 (approximate)

Language: English

Delbert Dallas has all kinds of issues, brothers and stuff like that. But one day he discovers the new guitar his father gave him as a gift can turn into a dragon named Firebrand. The dragon can’t talk, but man can he travel!

Delbert and Firebrand end up back in time on Viking Island where Prince Rolloff and his new best friend, Walter Wheeler, are planning a wild escape by longboat.

Can Delbert convince Prince Rolloff that Walter Wheeler plans to drown the prince at sea and take his place as heir to the throne? Or will Walter’s magical time-traveling dragon Barbeque Bob live up to his name?