Manifold Press paperbacks

The Press doesn’t issue paperback editions of all our titles, as the decision to do so is driven by the individual authors. That being said, we’re delighted with the twenty titles that have made it into print thus far! There are new ones on the way, so it seemed to be a good time to take stock of what we have so far.

A veritable rainbow of books from Manifold Press!
A veritable rainbow of books from Manifold Press!

Our current paperback titles are listed here, along with Amazon US buy links:

The Apothecary's Garden paperback coverAlways With Us by Morgan Cheshire

The Apothecary’s Garden by Julie Bozza

Between Now and Then by Adam Fitzroy

Butterfly Hunter (#1) by Julie Bozza

Of Dreams and Ceremonies (Butterfly Hunter #2) by Julie Bozza

The Thousand Smiles of Nicholas Goring (Butterfly Hunter #3) by Julie Bozza

The Butterfly Hunter Trilogy (incorporating all three novels plus the free short story Like Leaves to a Tree) by Julie Bozza

Dear Mister President by Adam Fitzroy

Make Do and Mend paperback coverThe Definitive Albert J. Sterne (incorporating the novel and the stories published separately in the eBook Albert J. Sterne: Future Bright, Past Imperfect) by Julie Bozza

Ghost Station by Adam Fitzroy

Homosapien … a fantasy about pro wrestling by Julie Bozza

Make Do and Mend by Adam Fitzroy

Mitch Rebecki Gets a Life by Julie Bozza

A Pride of Poppies Modern LGBTQIA Fiction of the Great War – anthology including stories by Julie Bozza, Barry Brennessel, Charlie Cochrane, Sam Evans, Lou Faulkner, Adam Fitzroy, Wendy C. Fries, Z. McAspurren, Eleanor Musgrove and Jay Lewis Taylor

A Pride of Poppies - paperback coverRavages by R.A. Padmos

Solemn Contract by Morgan Cheshire

Stage Whispers by Adam Fitzroy

A Threefold Cord by Julie Bozza

The ‘True Love’ Solution by Julie Bozza

The Valley of the Shadow of Death by Julie Bozza

We hope you’ll enjoy these paperback editions and – like us! – are looking forward to more titles coming soon.

AUTHOR GUEST BLOG NUMBER NINETEEN – Julie Bozza

Exploring the light and the dark – The Definitive Albert J. Sterne

THE DEFINITIVE ALBERT J. STERNEThe Press has asked me to talk about the first novel of mine that they published, back in November 2010. The Definitive Albert J. Sterne was also the first ‘proper’ novel I ever attempted, at the grand old age of 29. I began writing it way back when The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991) was still new. I was fascinated not only by Jodie Foster’s Clarice Starling, but also with Anthony Hopkins’ Dr Hannibal Lecter, and I loved that they were fascinated by each other as well.

(I was also very much into vampires at the time, from Bram Stoker’s to Anne Rice’s, which may or may not be relevant. The fantasy rather than the reality…? Anyway!)

Inspired to dream up a gay / FBI / serial killer tale of my own, I began writing a short story in which Albert and Fletcher are investigating a nasty crime, and becoming intrigued by each other. The present-day scenes were interspersed with short (italicised!) flashbacks to Albert’s childhood and the death of his beloved parents. These terse bits of backstory became more and more significant to me, and even once I’d finished the story to my satisfaction, my imagination wouldn’t let the characters go. I realised there was more to Albert than one short story.

I started writing another story about another crime investigation, but then – sitting in the car one evening, waiting for Mr B to finish work (I remember it so vividly) – it suddenly occurred to me that there was a whole novel in Albert. And if there was Albert then there also had to be Fletch, his one and only love. And if I was dealing with a forensics expert and an empathic FBI agent then I needed a villain worthy of them.

Albert and Fletch were both bisexual, and I wanted a villain cut from the same cloth. I started reading voraciously about violent crime and serial killers, and soon found John Wayne Gacy. He – or, to be honest, the insidiously charming version played by Brian Dennehy in the film To Catch a Killer (Eric Till, 1992) – provided the starting point for John Garrett. My imagination had to fill in the rest.

To my surprise and disquiet, that proved remarkably easy. To the point of seductive. I am a pacifist who has fits of conscience over causing any kind of hurt. I was a vegetarian at the time – a choice I shared with Albert. And here I was writing about a killer. And I got right into this! I was as engaged with Garrett as with either of my heroes. I sought to understand the definitive John Garrett as well as I might. Writing his chapters was intriguing, despite the fact that I tried to make his victims as likeable and sympathetic and ‘young man next door’ as possible.

Where did that come from? I don’t know, but it was a part of me for a long while – for the two years of writing, and for all the reading, pondering, researching, editing throughout. It was discomforting, but after a while I felt I just had to accept it.

Eventually, however, after a few more years, it was as if I’d got that out of my system. I was no longer so interested. I was no longer so thrilled. I haven’t even watched any of the new Hannibal TV series (Bryan Fuller, 2013-2015). Once, when I was reflecting on that time, I found myself thinking, ‘I’ve done my time in hell.’ And I felt no need to go back.

These days, as some of you will be aware, I write lighter fare, with heroes who are low on angst and high on decency. A friend talks about the BBC series Merlin (The Four Jays, 2008-2012) being her ‘happy place’. I aspire to writing novels that provide happy places for people, somewhere in which to dwell for a while sans souci – akin to Butterfly Hunter’s Dave and Nicholas being safe and happy at their Dreaming waterhole.

I’m proud of what I accomplished with The Definitive Albert J Sterne and its companion volume, however, and I still love Albert in particular. So very much. He’ll always be a part of me! For whatever reason, that novel punched down into deeper layers than anything I’ve published since. Because of that, it may be judged my best work overall – and it may remain so, no matter what I write next. I have to conclude that my time spent with the absolutely unpardonable John Garrett is one reason why.

New books now on sale

Apologies for the delay in updating our LiveJournal this time – various logistical and technological hassles have made this one of our ‘slightly less smooth’ book launches, but we’re just about back on the right track now!

So, we’re delighted to report that Jane Elliot’s THE DEVIL IN DEAD HORSE, the sequel to END OF THE TRAIL, and Adam Fitzroy’s new wartime saga MAKE DO AND MEND are both now available to buy from our website/online shop.

In addition, we’re very pleased to be presenting our first-ever ‘box’ set – an opportunity to buy Julie Bozza’s two ‘Albert’ books in one value package! See THE COMPLETE ALBERT J. STERNE for details!

– – – – –

To conclude, here are the statistics for October. Julie’s BUTTERLY HUNTER was again, to nobody’s astonishment, our highest-seller, although that should not overshadow the achievement of Jane’s ABOVE ALL which has also been selling magnificently. In fact we’ve just completed one of the busiest and most successful quarters since we started trading, and we’re on a firmer financial footing than we’ve ever been – so the chances of our continuing to publish must be very much improved.

Average response time for October was very respectable indeed at 4 hours and 46 minutes.

Statistics for July; new titles available on distribution sites

The highest seller from our website during July was F.M. Parkinson’s THE WALLED GARDEN, and the average response time steady enough at four hours and three minutes.

The overall best-selling title in July, though, was a dead heat between Chris’s FOX HUNT and Julie’s ALBERT J. STERNE: FUTURE BRIGHT, PAST IMPERFECT.

What’s more, we’ve just uploaded THE WALLED GARDEN and R.A. Padmos’s UNSPOKEN to the sites of our distribution partners, Rainbow and AllRomance, for the benefit of anyone who has difficulty making our online shop module work. We hope to be announcing some new distribution partnerships later in the year.

New review of ALBERT J. STERNE: FUTURE BRIGHT, PAST IMPERFECT

ALBERT J. STERNE: FUTURE BRIGHT, PAST IMPERFECTReviewer Jen at Top2Bottom Reviews has delivered her verdict on the second of Julie’s ‘Albert’ books, and it’s very much in favour; we have never before received a review that concluded with the words “All in all, this book was magnificent and you’ll want to read more” – and once again it’s congratulations to Julie for garnering such warm words of praise!

Year Two Week Forty-Three

A nice boost to sales following the week’s excellent review of ALBERT J. STERNE: FUTURE BRIGHT, PAST IMPERFECT, so there should be no mystery about this week’s best-selling title. Our average response time didn’t exactly suck, at four hours 47 minutes.

This is probably a good moment to mention that Year Two will only be forty-eight weeks long as we’re changing our accounting procedures. That actually sounds more important than it is; the idea is to try to fall more closely into line with the UK tax year. It’s not essential, but anything which might be useful to our authors is fine with us.

We’re expecting two books back from proof-reading this week, one of which is for May publication and the other one – nicely ahead of schedule – is for August. We also have covers ready for both our August books, even though one of them isn’t actually finished yet! So, we’re now in the odd position, at the end of February, of looking ahead to decide what we’re likely to be publishing in November.

When we started this venture we said we would give it two years to see how it turned out. The two years will be up at the end of April and it certainly looks as if we’ll be continuing for the foreseeable future; we feel we’re getting the effort/reward balance just about right at the moment and that’s good enough for us. We’re very glad to have all our loyal readers along with us for the ride.

New review of ‘Albert J. Sterne: Future Bright, Past Imperfect’

Guest reviewer Lady M at Jessewave has been very quick off the mark with a very enthusiastic review of Julie’s new book!

If you read The Definitive Albert J. Sterne, this collection is a must read. If you didn’t, I wholeheartedly recommend both books to you. Both the novel and the stories are great addition to this genre and the complexity of the characters alone recommend them to anyone who enjoys reading. To borrow from my fellow reviewers, run, don’t walk, to buy and read this book. And, if there is more Albert and Fletcher in the future, I will not complain. On the contrary, I will be the first in line to read their new stories.

Year Two Week Forty-One

A quietish week, although sales from our website have kept going at a modest pace – and in addition we’re doing reasonably well on the two distribution sites. Our top seller this week has been Julie’s ALBERT J. STERNE: FUTURE BRIGHT, PAST IMPERFECT which seems to be finding its market among all those who loved her first ALBERT book. Average response time was three hours 28 minutes.

In addition we’ve pushed ahead with future projects; one of the May books is being proof-read and one is being edited at the moment, and in addition one of the two books for August is already with its proof-reader. As if all this wasn’t enough, we’ve also received an enquiry from another author with a proven track-record in the genre who we hope will have something for us to look at later in the year. All the ‘paperwork’ (much of it online) from the two 1 February releases is up to date with the exception of sending off the deposit copies to the British Library, and the only admin task still hanging over our heads is the awful one of issuing multiple DMCA notices. That’s pretty much the worst chore we ever have to do around here, though, so on the whole we certainly aren’t complaining!

Two new books now available to buy

Our two new titles are now available to buy – Julie Bozza’s ALBERT J. STERNE: FUTURE BRIGHT, PAST IMPERFECT and Chris Quinton’s FOX HUNT and we look forward to your reactions to them both! In the past hour we have also uploaded Julie Bozza’s THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH and Adam Fitzroy’s GHOST STATION to both AllRomance and Rainbow for the benefit of those who have struggles with our online shop facility.

A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OUR READERS

We’re delighted to announce our first two titles for 2012!

ALBERT J. STERNE: FUTURE BRIGHT, PAST IMPERFECT by Julie Bozza

Three young boys on a collision course: Albert Sterne – isolated, driven and fiercely intellectual; Fletcher Ash – bright, dedicated and with a strong sense of justice; John Garrett – hurt, marginalised and determined to do to the world exactly what the world has done to him. The eleven short stories in this companion volume continue and expand on the lives of the characters from the same author’s outstandingly popular THE DEFINITIVE ALBERT J. STERNE, which should preferably be read first.

FOX HUNT by Chris Quinton

Robert Rees, full-time librarian, part-time art restorer, is called in to finish a commission when his father goes into hospital – a pair of Elizabethan portraits on oak panelling, Adam Courtney and Ann Darcy. Trouble is, there’s more interest in the paintings than Rob ever bargained for; a lot of people want to get their hands on such priceless treasures, and they’re not always particular about their methods. Just as well he’s got his brother’s mysterious friend Fox on hand to look out for him, then, isn’t it? Or, for that matter … is it?

These will be available to purchase through our online shop from 1 February, and we hope you will enjoy reading them every bit as much as we have!