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 review of THE DEFINITIVE ALBERT J. STERNE

It’s lovely to know that some of our old favourites are still filtering through people’s ‘To Be Read’ piles, and here’s a review of Julie Bozza’s THE DEFINITIVE ALBERT J. STERNE from Rosa at My Fiction Nook to prove it.

“I think this is a love it or hate kind of book. It’s a bit dry in the beginning, but once you push though that and kind of go with the flow of the novel, it’s awesome and singularly different from other MM books.”

We quite sympathise, Rosa! Albert, the dear old curmudgeon, doesn’t give his readers an easy or a comfortable time – but the end is totally worth the journey, and we’re very glad you stuck with it. Thank you for your lovely comments!

New review of THE DEFINITIVE ALBERT J. STERNE

The Kindle edition of Julie’s popular first ‘Albert’ book, THE DEFINITIVE ALBERT J. STERNE, is finding a whole new readership, many of whom have discovered it first through the discussions on Goodreads. This was the case with the author A.B. Gayle, who has recently taken the trouble to post a wonderfully in-depth review entitled Charm: A Two-Edged Sword!

It’s a little difficult to pick out a quote – you’ll understand why, if you read the review – but we especially liked this line:

This isn’t a romance, but it is a love story. Not romantic love but deeper, more meaningful love.

It’s the ultimate compliment for a writer when another practitioner of the same craft can spare time from a busy schedule (all writers are busy, by definition!) to comment on their book, and in this case the praise that’s heaped on Albert’s head – and Julie’s, too, of course – is in our opinion entirely merited.

Statistics for April

To nobody’s great astonishment our overall best-seller for April was the resurgent THE DEFINITIVE ALBERT J. STERNE – possibly assisted by a recent good review, but always one of our most consistently popular titles anyway.  Duking it out for the title of best-seller via the website were END OF THE TRAIL and FOOL’S RUSH, which actually finished the month in a dead heat.  While it’s always good to see a new book performing strongly, there’s a small corner of our hearts in which we’re very grateful to see that our older titles are still finding new friends; it gives us great hope for the future!

New review of THE DEFINITIVE ALBERT J. STERNE

Julie Bozza’s epic THE DEFINITIVE ALBERT J. STERNE has always been one of our strongest sellers but slightly unfairly (in our view) it seems on the whole to have eluded the attention of the reviewers. This situation has now been remedied, however, with a review by Sirius at Dear Author which is extremely positive on all fronts.

I recommend this book very highly, especially if you love snarky, complex heroes and if detailed descriptions of murder with torture do not scare you.

Congratulations, Julie – praise very thoroughly merited!

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.

New titles go online

We’re delighted to report that, as of a few minutes ago, THE WALLED GARDEN by F.M. Parkinson and UNSPOKEN by R.A. Padmos are both available to purchase via our online shop module. We’re looking forward eagerly to seeing what readers make of these two novels, which shed light on some of the problems facing gay relationships in times less enlightened than our own.

While we’re here, this would also be a good moment to bring you up to date on direct sales statistics for April. We didn’t have an overall top seller; Chris Quinton’s FOX HUNT and Julie Bozza’s THE DEFINITIVE ALBERT J. STERNE (yes, the original ‘Albert’ book, not the sequel!) tied for the honour, and our average response time for the month was respectable enough at five hours and 34 minutes.

Progress on our two 1 August titles is pretty spectacular; most of the work on them is done already – covers designed, much of the proof-reading dealt with – and we’re now turning our attention to November instead. (Indeed, the weather here at Megaheadquarters makes this seem perfectly seasonable!) Naturally we’ll keep you up to date with everything new that happens!

Nobody tells me anything!

In doing a Google search round-up today (essential to catch up with any stray reviews or unauthorised download sites), we found an article on the Advocate website which name-checks some of the authors honoured in the Rainbow Awards, including our very own Julie Bozza and Morgan Cheshire.

And yes, we found more unauthorised download sites …

More kudos for Julie Bozza and R.A. Padmos

We learned yesterday that reviewer Lady M on the Jessewave website had named THE DEFINITIVE ALBERT J. STERNE as her ‘Top Pick’ of 2011, and RAVAGES appeared in the top ten list of another reviewer, Sirius. Well done to both authors for leaving a lasting impression on reviewers who must get through millions of words in a year, which we feel is quite a considerable achievement!