I suspect most of you are well aware of Borderline, a long-lost pseudonymous effort of mine from 1961, re-issued with a gorgeous Michael Koelsch cover by Hard Case Crime. Much to my surprise, this early walk on the dark side has been getting a warm reception from readers and reviewers alike, heralded as a pulp classic, cheered for its vigor and energy, and making the folks at Hard Case very happy. A pulp classic? Really? I feel like the Moliere character who wasn’t half chuffed to learn that all his life, quite unbeknownst to himself, he’d been speaking prose!
One copy of Borderline found its way to Mike Dennis, a voice artist with a soft spot for hardboiled noir. He got in touch to express enthusiasm, and included his rendition of the first ten minutes of the book. I loved what I heard, and Amazon’s ACX platform provided a way for me to self-publish Borderline as an audiobook. I engaged Mike to narrate and produce; while he was so occupied, I was able to arrange with Michael Koelsch to use his cover art, and Jaye Manus turned the book-shaped rectangle into an audiobook-shaped square. Mike delivered an outstanding reading, and ACX has made it available at Amazon and Audible and iTunes.
It’s far too early to tell what kind of return I’ll get on my investment, but it’s already paid off emotionally; just looking at the cover and seeing the LB Publishing logo in the upper left corner is hugely satisfying. I enjoyed the whole process so much that I didn’t stop there. A couple of Jill Emerson novels have never made it into audio, and I picked one of them—Thirty, the sassy diary of a savvy young woman in her pivotal thirtieth year—and hung it out there for ACX auditions. The book really resonated for Emily Beresford, and her reading brought diarist Jan Giddings Kurland vividly to life, and I can’t wait to hear the rest of her rendition—and to share it with all of you.
This is fun!
And it’s enough for now, except that several of you have inquired about signed copies of Defender of the Innocent: The Casebook of Martin Ehrengraf, available for pre-order now from Subterranean Press. We don’t plan to offer the book in LB’s eBay Bookstore, but encourage you to order directly from Subterranean; however, if an autograph is important to you, I’d suggest you reserve a signed copy from Mysterious Bookshop (800.352.2840) or VJ Books ( 503.750.5310).
I’m off, back sometime in August. David’s off as well, for what he would like you to believe is a well-earned vacation; the eBay bookstore will re-open upon our return. I’ll close by wishing all of y’all a Glorious Fourth of July—especially those of you in the UK, who may well congratulate yourselves for having got rid of us when you did.
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