March, 2012

Posted by Carole Stuart on March 19, 2012 | (22) Comments

NEW BOOKS

When you hear the name Raoul Felder the immediate connection is…Divorce.  It could be a dictionary definition of the man. That, as it turns out, is only one aspect of Raoul Felder.  He is a gifted writer and we will soon be publishing his autobiography. We met when Raoul participated on a panel on divorce at Fordham Law School. He mentioned he’d written his autobiography. Only knowing of his deft work on behalf of celebrities seeking divorce, I was surprised by this deeply felt, well-written book about his beginnings which were, no surprise, humble.

A Brooklyn boy, brought up in Williamburg, he was the younger brother of Doc Pomus, one of the best known songwriters of the 50’s with songs like “Hushabye,” “Can’t Get Used to Loving You” and “Save The Last Dance For Me.” (That one I can remember slow dancing to.)

Doc was crippled by polio as a young boy and spent his life on crutches and in a wheelchair. The impact on Raoul’s life was profound and telling the story of his brother contracting polio and the pain he went through all his life are only part of the book. Raoul started out studying Medicine in Bern, Switzerland before making a complete turnaround going on to become an internationally known attorney. His story surprised and moved me. “REFLECTIONS IN A MIRROR Of Love, Loss, Death and Divorce” will reveal a Raoul Felder not seen before.  It will have a Fall 2012 publication.

I LOVE PARIS IN THE WINTER – WHEN IT (DIDN’T) DRIZZLE
How lucky to celebrate my birthday in Paris.  That’s where I was on February 22nd.  Our group of nine friends covered a lot of ground.  The dress code was casual. No jackets or ties. We dined very well in Paris without getting dressed up. Home was a charming hotel in the 6th Arrondissement.   We covered a lot of Paris on foot and by Metro. Our travels took us to the top of the Arc de Triomphe for a spectacular view of the city to Montmartre to mingle with the tourists (well, other tourists) and have another great view.  We climbed many steps to the famed Eglise Saint-Sulpice.  And went back down on foot too.  My calves were aching for days afterward

I was particularly interested to visit, Espace Dali, a small museum a few blocks from St. Sulpice designed by Enrique Sabater who was one of Salvador Dali’s managers.  The museum was as much a tribute to Sabater as it was to Dali.  Much of the art on display were works Dali had dedicated to Enrique. It was well laid out and designed so that you had to pass a shop on the way out where they were flogging a variety of lithographs, all signed and framed.  We knew Enrique in the ‘70s when Dali designed 78 lithographs based on the Tarot Card deck published by Citadel Press.  That was an adventure that resulted in Lyle renting a pied a terre for four years in the super chic 16th Arrondissement from Captain Peter Moore, at the time another of Dali’s managers. One outcome was a watercolor portrait of Lyle by Dali that hangs in my living room.

 ART, ART, ART

In Paris if you’re not eating great food you can dine on fine art.  We feasted on works by masters.  We spent a good deal of time at the Musee D’Orsay where the newly renovated Fifth floor houses some of the most remarkable Impressionist art in the world.  We also went to the Luxembourg Gardens Museum for a special show of Cezanne’s work.  February was a good time to avoid crowds – even the Louvre was not crazy crowded.  We got a close up look at the Mona Lisa. A special treat was an exhibit of photographs by Bereniece Abbott at the Jeu de Paume. Many of them were from the Changing New York Works Progress Administration/Federal Art Project. Abbott lived in Paris in the 1920s and also made portraits of many of the most notable and influential writers, artists, politicians and personalities of the day.

The weather in Paris was remarkably mild unlike the usual cold and rainy forecasts.  We ended our trip with a Croque Monsieur at Café de Flor onRue St. Germain.  Just great!

PASSINGS

 BARNEY ROSSET died this past February 21st. His accomplishments were well covered in the press. Perhaps less known was the connection between Barney and Lyle. After selling Lyle Stuart, Inc. in 1989 and having time on his hands and license to publish other books, he started Barricade Books in the rear of Barney’s office on 4th Avenue in Manhattan. They had different publishing styles but both were known as personalities. Both men went through fortunes. When Barney produced the wildly successful film, “I Am Curious Yellow” he bought a building on Mercer Street in West Greenwich Village.  He furnished it lavishly with top of the line designer furnishings.  He didn’t hold the building very long but it was impressive. Barney was generous too. He gifted land in the Hamptons to close friends and employees.

Money was not for amassing, certainly not for Lyle.  He gave generously and made loans to many people often not paid back. (I have an envelope thick with Promissory Notes.)  Tired of being an easy touch, he finally printed a reminder card that he kept in his wallet: No loans to anyone for any reason.

I believe when Barney sold Grove Press to Anne Getty it was a turning point for him.  As entrepreneurs quickly discover, it’s not you they want – it’s your business.  No matter how iconic you are – it’s about the bottom line.  When Price/Stern/Sloan was sold to Putnam Berkley, Larry Sloan went to Frankfurt that year to participate in the new company. Boy, I’ll bet he was surprised to receive no great welcome for one of the creators of a vibrant company.

I’m sure there are happier stories but these are memorable.  I once read a comment made by Leonard Stern, the son and heir of the Hartz Mountain pet food fortune. He was talking about acquiring companies. “When the check is handed over, the previous owner goes out the door.” Harsh?  I agree, but when Lyle sold Lyle Stuart, Inc. to Steven Schragis, who had invested in the successful magazine “Spy” and got the appetite for media, he offered to stay away from the office so that Schragis could assert himself.  “I’ll be available any time you want to talk.” Schragis never called him. 

I’ve grown to think that Stern was right – take the money and move on.

HOWARD KISSEL died on February 27th.  He was the longtime theater critic for The Daily News.  He had a sharp tongue and great wit.  To quote from Anita Gates’ obit in the New York Times, “He wrote that the 1995 Roundabout revival of Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Company,” a quintessential Manhattan show, looked as if “it had been done by people who had never been here.” Howard had a house in Columbia County, as did I.  We saw each other frequently.  I thought it interesting that having to make a trip from Manhattan weekend after weekend, Howard did not drive.  He usually had a friend who was available for his comings and goings.  His wife, Christine, stopped coming back to Manhattan and lived full time in Philmont.  She died on the same day that Lyle died in June, 2006.

Also gone is DONALD SMITH whose obit appeared in many publications including the New York Times.  Donald was known best in recent years for The Cabaret Convention that began at Town Hall and was a delightful not-quite-ready-for-primetime event that often lasted until 11PM.  But the talent!  Andrea Marcovicci, KT Sullivan, Steve Ross, Barbara Carroll, Julie Wilson and many, many more, some getting their first break with the help of Donald. He started the non-profit Mabel Mercer Foundation and eventually the event became grander and better organized and was held at Jazz at Lincoln Center.  K.T. Sullivan will become the artistic director for the New York convention. It was Donald Smith who, in 1981, brought cabaret back to The Oak Room of New York’s legendary Algonquin Hotel that unfortunately, has recently closed down.

In earlier years, Donald had been a top publicity man.  At the time, Citadel Press was publishing a book by John Springer, “They Had Faces Then,” a coffee table book with lots of photos of the great Hollywood Stars.  Donald did the publicity for the book and arranged for a party at the Rainbow Room.  Music, dancing, open bar, fabulous buffet.  Joan Crawford and Henry Fonda were the hosts.  It was truly star studded.  (There was one mishap when Butterfly McQueen was detained at the door…not recognized as a film star.) I don’t know how Donald managed it but the total cost of the party was $1500!

He was a gentleman and a gentle man. I love the comment by K.T. Sullivan about Donald’s apartment: She recalled, “…sandwiched between autographed photos of Joan Crawford and Audrey Hepburn, was one of Walt Disney’s Snow White. Mr. Smith had signed it himself: “To Don: Love, Snow.”

HAPPY ENDING

To end this Hot News on an upbeat note – I’m pleased to announce that I’ve gotten the rights back to a book I wrote some years ago, that was published by Lyle Stuart, Inc. – WHY WAS I ADOPTED?  I was Carole Livingston at the time and was assisted by illustrator Arthur Robins and designer Paul Walter. This was part of a very successful series of books that started with WHERE DID I COME FROM? and WHAT’S HAPPENING TO ME? Both were written by Peter Mayle who worked with the above Paul Walter and Arthur Robins.

WHY WAS I ADOPTED? Has reverted back to me and I expect Barricade Books to publish it sometime in 2013.

Until next time……
Carole

December 2011

Posted by Carole Stuart on December 01, 2011 | (211) Comments

 

More about that 800-pound gorilla –Amazon

These days the publishing world is divided by how people feel about Amazon.  I love Amazon…really.  Honestly, when they order a book, they don’t return it. Returns are the tragedy of this business.  You ship the books out, promote them and hold your breath, hoping they don’t come back at you.

Every so often a bright newbie to the industry comes up with a genius idea:  Give booksellers a bigger discount and sell books non-returnable.  Why doesn’t that work? Because if booksellers don’t want your books they won’t want them even if they are free.  If they don’t sell, back they come.  These days, with more people reading on e-readers, sales of actual books are declining.  The good news about e-books is they don’t get returned.  And sales are increasing for those who use a Kindle, iPad, Nook, etc. Still, not a happy situation for publishers who like to see their actual books on the shelves of stores. 

Self-Publishing

It used to be you had to have a publisher if you wanted your book published.  There were and are Vanity publishers who will put anything between covers (or on e-platforms) for a hefty fee. At the same time, writers are getting smarter.  More writers are self-publishing. It’s easy to find a company that will design your book, cover and all, edit it, put it into composition and produce it as a digital book. 

Some writers are very good at self-publishing.  I read about those who have sold thousands of copies of their self-published books but there are many others who have gone through the process and then what happens? Not much. To repeat myself (see the August 2011 Hot News) it’s still up to the marketing to get anyone to know you are there. Some authors are better at this than others. Often, if they haven’t been successful selling their books, they look for a traditional publisher. 

Backlist, Backlist, Backlist 

Years ago a very talented editor started a new publishing company. It was going to have only front list books.  That means you only publish for “now.” But the key to keep any publishing company in business is backlist. Books that are headline driven can have very short lives. If you sell enough of them in the first go, that’s great. And best-selling authors can provide that happy situation for themselves and their publishers.  Those books make it through their first appearance and many, many more printings. Barricade has always tried to publish what are called “backlist” books.  Those are the ones that are introduced with a big push when they are first published.  But the hope is they become backlist titles that sell and sell.  Sometimes very well, sometimes modestly. Many go on for years. 

Some of my favorite examples: 

LIVING THE MARTIAL WAY by Forrest E. Morgan, Major USAF.  First published in 1992, it’s still going strong twenty years later. Another favorite is ENCYCLOPEDIA OF UNUSUAL SEX PRACTICES by Brenda Love.  First published, 1992.  Its many foreign editions are still in print and soon there will be an Icelandic translation. As many know, we have a long list of true-crime and Mafia books.  One, THE RISE AND FALL OF THE CLEVELAND MAFIA by Rick Porrello made its debut in 1995…nearly 17 years ago.  It has been in print for years and is a consistent seller. THE COMPLETE BOOK OF US PRESIDENTS by William A. DeGregorio is now in its 7th edition. Originally copyright 1984.  We update it every presidential election. 

A brilliant idea that I wish I could take credit for was to republish the cult classic by Helen Gurley Brown, SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL.  We met Helen and David Brown and Lyle suggested bringing her book out again.  Helen was pleased but concerned that we not lose any money.  We re-published in 2003, a relative “child” on our list – we’ve only had it for 9 years.  2012 marks the book’s 50th anniversary from the original publication.  There will be much celebrating this birthday, including a BBC Radio special that interviews many people like Letty Cottin Pogrebin, who was involved in the first edition published by Bernard Geis.  We’re printing a “50th Anniversary Edition.”

Before we published, I went to Helen’s office at Cosmopolitan Magazine to talk about the book. She was really the epitome of “That Cosmopolitan Girl” although a beautiful mature woman by then.  Her office walls were decorated in a leopard pattern and she was dressed very sexily down to her fishnet stockings. 

Hearst, the publisher, in a smart move, later made her Editor of all the international editions of Cosmopolitan.  She traveled all over the world as each new edition was launched.

Books into Movies

The fun thing about books is that some times old ones surprise you. We have activity in film options on a number of our books.  In development are SHARON TATE AND THE MANSON MURDERS and MY FACE FOR THE WORLD TO SEE, a memoir by the late Liz Renay that has both movie and theatrical interest.  Miss Maggie Moore, whose film work has included HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH a one-woman show based on Ann Margret and many other credits, is determined to play Liz in a musical stage production.

BRONX DA, by Sarena Straus, published a few years ago, has been optioned by CBS TV as the basis for a television series.  Strong women seem to be very popular on television these days.  If you haven’t watched it yet, don’t miss COVERT AFFAIRS an action drama on the USA network.  The name of the lead character is “Annie Walker.” Beautiful, blond and very smart.

Previously mentioned is I'LL DO MY OWN DAMN KILLIN' the story of Benny Binion, under option by Nick Cassavetes and BACK DOOR CHANNELS by Leon Charney that covers the peace talks in the Jimmy Carter era. The new paperback edition coincides with the release of the movie based on the book. In addition to theaters it will soon will be broadcast on PBS television stations across the country.

Option Money

Option money can be good income. I recall a conversation with Melvin Van Peebles some years ago. Van Peebles made a splash with the film SWEET SWEETBACK'S BAADASSSSS SONG in 1971, and over the years sold options on other projects.  As the option time expired, it was often renewed -- for additional payment. Or, it could be sold to another party.  It was, as he described, "a living."

I’ll end with a few personal notes:

My very dear friend Jeanne Johnson died this summer after a yearlong battle with cancer.  Jeanne lived life on her own terms and up to the very end was funny, smart and went out of this world as she wished to – having all her friends and the wonderfully supportive woman who Jeanne worked with, come to visit her. Her son Bill and daughter, Holly, were with her as she knew time was precious.  Jeanne had great style and every one of us thought she was our best friend.  She was.

Rory Stuart, that master of multitasking, and my stepson, is now a full-time faculty member at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.  Look for notice for his gigs on his website: www.rorystuart.com

 

Until next time, my best wishes for a happy holiday,

Carole

 

 

 

 

August, 2011

Posted by Carole Stuart on August 09, 2011 | (126) Comments

 

The Book Business—

The challenge is how to keep up with the changes. The giants in publishing are covering every base, and e-books are growing in popularity. For the record, our books are available on electronic platforms, and our monthly reports show that sales of e-books are increasing. That’s good news.

800-Pound Gorilla—

Amazon is a major force in the business. You no longer have to go to a bookstore to buy a book. Go to the Amazon website, put in the title of the book you are interested in or the name of the author, and you’ll find it. What you can’t do is browse the way you can in a bookstore and discover a book that you hadn’t been aware of.

Bookstores.

They are ordering very cautiously. But books that you can hold in your hand remain a vital part of our business. What sells a book is still the same old word-of-mouth. If you hear about it, read about it, a friend tells you about a good book, you are more likely to buy it. Whatever the format, as long as people are buying books, we’ll be supplying them.

Good news—

Bruce Mowday (“JAILING THE JOHNSTON GANG”) has partnered with Jim Donahue on “Why The Hall Not? and the Amazing Ride to Cooperstown.” This just-published book about baseball’s Richie Ashburn, who played for the Philadelphia Phillies, has already gone back to press for a second printing. Books are shipping now to fill back orders.  Co-authors, Bruce and Jim are everywhere in Pennsylvania promoting this “feel good” book about Ashburn, a baseball hero and genuinely nice guy who finally got into the Baseball Hall of Fame, partly due to the efforts of his greatest fan, Jim.

Future news—

Any day now “DENNIS HOPPER: The Wild Ride of a Hollywood Rebel” by Peter Winkler will be in bookstores and available as an e-book. Last month it was featured on the Turner Classic Movie channel as their monthly Book Corner pick. Hopper lived an incredible life, was married five times - was friends with Elvis Presley, John Wayne, Natalie Wood and Peter Fonda. Publishers Weekly says  “…Winkler presents Hopper’s descent into drugs, alcohol, and violence; (and) the making of Easy Rider, the seminal 1969 counterculture film…” 

Coda—

Recently I wrote about Allan Wilson, who died a few months ago. I was friends with Allan for forty years, but only knew a part of his life. A diehard bachelor, he had lots of relatives and many of them gathered at the apartment of Jim Tannenbaum, whose generosity made Allan’s life comfortable in his last months. There were too many people to name, but everyone had an Allan story. They loved him, and he generously provided books for their particular interests. There were many stories about Allan’s love of the track and other forms of gambling— all of which undoubtedly contributed to making the casinos richer.  Jim Tannenbaum told about Allan taking him to the track at Belmont one Saturday. On the way back, he said he had to make a stop. Puzzled, Jim soon learned that the stop was at an OTB where Allan placed a bet on a horse at Santa Anita. It was a love fest, and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. Thank you, Jim, for the party, the great food and the delightful touch of having a terrific pianist entertain us, closing with “Luck Be a Lady Tonight” from “Guys and Dolls”—an appropriate song for raising a glass to Allan J. Wilson.

Short takes—

A few years ago we published I’LL DO MY OWN DAMN’ KILLIN’, a bio of Benny Binion by Gary W. Sleeper.  Binion, famous for the Horseshoe Casino in downtown Las Vegas and the patron saint of the World Series of Poker, was a horse trader, a bootlegger, and the “boss gambler” of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas.  He was a real rough guy who admitted to killing a couple of guys. Now, Benny may have his story turned into a major film. We just optioned it to Nick Cassavetes who has appeared as an actor in a number of films such as “The Substitute” and “Backdoor Dreams” and is also a director, “She’s So Lovely” and “The Notebook.”

Last minute news—

We are rushing into a print a prepublication edition of Leon Charney’s “BACK DOOR CHANNELS: The Price of Peace” to coincide with a mid-September screening of the documentary film of the same name. The book and film reveal the story of the interplay between the official government channels and those who acted largely behind the scenes of the first Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel that began during the Jimmy Carter administration. Variety, in a review of the film, quoted Stuart E. Eizenstat as saying that all of Carter’s advisers warned him that getting involved in such a contentious foreign conflict would be political suicide. One thing to take away from the documentary is “…the tragic realization that not one American politician of (Carter’s) stature has been similarly willing to risk their future to push for peace.”

On the Road—

If you want to live vicariously, follow the bicycle journey of New York Times writer Bruce Weber. As I write this, Bruce is biking from Portland, Oregon, to New York, repeating a journey he made 18 years ago when he was 39. He’s now 57. He is marking his 25th anniversary at the Times with this adventure and blogging about it.  You can follow and Tweet him at nytbruceweber. Go Bruce!

Personal news—

I’ll indulge myself a bit to celebrate the arrival on June 20 of my fifth grandchild, Miss Sloane Dara Kern. She joins her brothers, Dylan, Justin and Jackson, and parents Brad and Jen Kern. Ms. Sloane is the first girl in a long run of boys in our family that includes grand nephews and cousins.

Until next time . . .

Carole

 

 

 

APRIL/MAY 2011

Posted by Carole Stuart on April 25, 2011 | (86) Comments

 

We will continue to offer our particular style of edgy books – many of them true crime; others are memoirs or books that inform, that make a difference.  Here is the background on one of them.

 

 

When we published HONOR BETRAYED –Sexual Abuse in America’s Military by Dr. Mic Hunter I thought – and still think – it was one of the most important books we’ve had on our list in recent years. It talks candidly about an issue that has been largely ignored but deserves attention. I expected a lot of media coverage about how military personnel, male, female, gay, people of color - are mistreated.  The subject and the book persist, as the author tells us. This is how Mic came to write it:

 

 “The year was 2005 when I got a phone call: ‘You’ve written all these books on sexual abuse, when are you going to write one on the sexual abuse that takes place in the military?’ I was completely ignorant about this and concluded if I hadn’t read about it, maybe there was no problem.

Curious, I began to look for information. I like to have first person accounts in my books rather than just report the findings of research.  But, never having sserved in the military, I wondered if veterans would trust me with their stories?  I anticipated getting nowhere when I revealed I was a civilian. I was completely wrong.  

 I sent out a few e-mails and posted notices on military related websites. Almost immediately, I started getting phone calls and e-mails. Sure enough, the interaction began with the question, ‘In what branch of the military did you serve?’” Much to my surprise, when I revealed I had no military experience, every single person had the same response: ‘Good, I was afraid you’d be military, and then you wouldn’t believe what I’m about to tell you.’ In many cases the women and men who sent me their stories included medical records or other evidence to back up what they had shared with me.

Now, with first person accounts, I began my research into what had already been written on the subject and was shocked by what I found; I became whole heartedly committed to seeing that the American people learn about what had been perpetrated on some of our troops.

For the first time in my writing career I contacted a literary agent, He was impressed with the information and was convinced he would have a publisher on board quickly. After submitting a finished manuscript to more than 100 publishers, they all turned it down; believing that sexual abuse in the military is so rare the topic doesn’t warrant a book

My research from the Department of Defense showed double-digit abuse rates. But those that would acknowledge the abuse claimed that military personnel are not seriously harmed.  If that was true why did Veteran Administration hospitals have units dedicated to the treatment of military personnel who had suffered serious emotional damage as a result of being sexually abused?            

I had been through this process before in 1989 when I was seeking a publisher for my book, Abused Boys: The Neglected Victims Of Sexual Abuse. At that time, I was told that boys don’t get sexually abused and even if they did, it wouldn’t hurt them, at least not in the ways girls are affected. Of course, now it is common knowledge that boys can be, and are, abused, and that it damages them.

Finally, Carole Stuart at Barricade Books, decided to take on the project. Once the book was printed I reached out to both the print and broadcast media. After having been interviewed hundreds of times, I was confident that I would have no trouble finding reporters to cover a story that could lead to our troops getting better treatment. I was interviewed but when it came time for the material to be printed or broadcast, the story was cut, - “The topic isn’t news worthy.”

I sent copies of the book to those in Congress who have direct responsibility for veteran’s affairs and the Department of Defense, but only one even acknowledged receiving it.

Despite the lack of attention from the media and elected officials, I keep getting letters and e-mails from those who suffered the abuse… thanking me for writing it and letting me know how important it has been in reducing the shame and isolation that comes from thinking ‘I was the only one this happened to.’

 

Here’s where the “better late than never” part comes in.

 

Recently, a few stories on sexual abuse in the military have appeared, which gives me hope. Hope that those veterans whose injuries, both physical and psychological, resulted from sexual abuse will be treated with the respect and concern we show veterans wounded by the enemy.

 My publisher had a request for the book from The Oprah Radio network. A long article about sexual abuse in the military recently appeared in Newsweek on line by Jesse Ellison titled “The Military’s Secret Shame” that made reference to Honor Betrayed: Sexual Abuse In America’s Military.  And just a few days ago, an order for a large number of copies came to the publisher from Pakistan.

Twenty years after it was first published Abused Boys is still in print because the conditions that foster child sexual abuse have not been adequately addressed. I fear that twenty years from now our society will not have adequately addressed the conditions that permit, and even encourage, the sexual mistreatment of the most important part of our military-those who volunteer to serve. No author wants to be ahead of the curve but if Honor Betrayed is finally getting noticed, I’ll be content that my book is making a difference.

 When I see bumper stickers that exclaim, “Support our troops;” I think, what could be more supportive than seeing to it that they aren’t sexually abused by fellow Americans?

 

 

 

NO GET OUT OF JAIL CARD IN THIS MONOPOLY GAME

 

As most readers of Hot News know, we publish many True Crime books. Recently, the contents of one were used as an attempt to appeal a prison sentence. 

 

JAILING THE JOHNSTON GANG: Bringing Serial Murders to Justice by Bruce Mowday is the story of the dedicated law enforcement team that brought to justice, Norman, David and Bruce Johnston – serial murderers.  They had their particularly style: when they couldn’t intimidate witnesses to their crimes, they murdered them.

 

As reported in the Pennsylvania press recently, two surviving members of the notorious gang, tried to use the book as evidence for a new trial but Judge Howard Riley of the Chester County Court rejected the bid by the surviving brothers, David and Norman Johnston. They had petitioned the court after reading Mowday’s book.   The judge ruled that the evidence was already available to them at their trial.  Sometimes things turn out as they should. They will remain in prison – serving life sentences. 

 

Mowday has a new book coming soon – Richie Ashburn, WHY THE HALL NOT?  The Amazing Journey to Cooperstown.  It’s the story of Richie Ashburn, the much-loved Phillies’ baseball hero who was overlooked by baseball’s Hall of Fame.  That all changed when co-author, Jim Donahue, was a boy. Jim met Ashburn and the player signed a ball for him. –  Years later, Jim mounted a campaign and gathered nearly 200,000 signatures on a petition to get Richie Ashburn into baseball’s Hall of Fame.  It’s a heartwarming story.  Look for it this summer.

 

NORMAN CORWIN – Another Play Opens

 

 

I have to share the latest news about Norman Corwin. Now a very active Centenarian, he has a play that will be on soon. TOGETHER TONIGHT: Hamilton-Jefferson-Burr will be presented in classic radio drama style on May 7th at the Beverly Garland Holiday Inn Little Theater in North Hollywood, California.   The play is a conversation between the scrappy Aaron Burr, elitist Alexander Hamilton and the down-to-earth Thomas Jefferson.  The meeting, did not actually happen but Norman created the piece using the characters’ own words, taken from their writings and speeches. 

 

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

 

Over the many years I’ve been in publishing, first at Lyle Stuart, Inc. and now at Barricade Books we’ve had many talented young people working with us. Some were employees, others interns.  Most are still talking to us!  They’ve gone on in most cases, to other publishing jobs. Some are freelancers and continue to work for us as independent providers. They are all flourishing. I asked them to tell me about their lives now.  Here, are a few of the people who made up the staffs of Lyle Stuart, Inc and Barricade Books. 

 

 

STEVEN BROWER

Steven Brower is a designer who was the art director at Lyle Stuart, Inc.  Steve grew and blossomed and is remarkably multi-talented.
He works in many mediums: He is writing and designing books of his own. These include “Satchmo: The Wonderful World and Art of Louis Armstrong,” “From Shadow to Light: The Life & Art of Mort Meskin,”and “Breathless Homicidal Slime Mutants: The Art of the Paperback” Steve won the National Magazine Award twice for General Excellence, and achieved Gold and Silver at the Society of Publication Designers during his tenure as Art Director/Creative Director at PRINT magazine.  Steve’s next book will be on Duke Ellington. He’s working with Ellington’s granddaughter, Mercedes Ellington. Rizzoli will publish so you know it’ll be fabulous to look at as well as to read. If he ever gets Barney Rosset to let go of his memoir (he’s been working on it for twenty years) Steve will design it. Steve has a solo exhibit of his design work at the Art Institute-Inland Empire in San Bernardino, CA that is on through mid-May. 

 

 

AMY PACKARD

Amy Packard got her start in publishing as an intern for us in 1996. When she left Barricade Books in 2000 she was Publicity Director. Amy relocated to San Francisco in 2001.  After a yearlong stint at a PR firm, she went back to her love of books and found a job working as the Publicity Director for a small, political, non-profit publisher called Encounter Books.  She was with Encounter Books for four years then moved on to the San Francisco office of John Wiley & Sons publishers.  Since 2006 Amy has been working primarily for the Jossey-Bass imprint of Wiley as the Publicity Manager focusing mostly on Leadership and Management titles.  Over the years, she has worked with some high profile clients and authors including Ed Koch, Mr. T, Victor Davis Hanson, Patrick Lencioni, and Kouzes & Posner.  Amy married a handsome, Italian man from Verona in 2007 and they currently reside in Oakland, CA with their cat Peanut.

 

 

 

Until next time

Carole

Allan Wilson

Posted by Carole Stuart on January 27, 2011 | (307) Comments

 

ALLAN J. WILSON died on January 17th He was 94 years old

Allan Wilson, longtime editor and friend, was a partner with Morris Sorkin in Citadel Press that was later purchased by Lyle Stuart, Inc.  Both Morris and Allan were with the company up to and after Lyle sold it to Carol Publishing. He was comfortably passed retirement when the sale took place but Lyle made Stephen Schragis promise to keep Allan and Morris on.  That he did. Morris eventually retired and then died but Allan stayed on. Ultimately, Carol Publishing let Allen go. Lyle and I told Allan he would always have a desk at Barricade Books. He was delighted and soon was traveling from NYC, where he lived to Ft Lee, NJ by bus. The work and journey soon became more than he could handle and he no longer came to the office.

Allan J. Wilson’s book career started in l941 when he worked at Concord Books, a famous bookstore on Broadway. He purchased the store in 1951. It specialized in remainders, purchased in large lots either from wholesalers or directly from the publisher. Allan Wilson was also, as we shall see, a partner in the Jack Woodford Press. From Macmillan he got many copies of Ian Fleming novels, which sold wonderfully just at the start of Fleming‚s popularity in this country. Other big sellers were James Jones’ From Here to Eternity. From Jack Brussel he got sexologist Ivan Bloch’s book on de Sade, and a book about practical mathematics, Magic with Figures, the rights to which he eventually sold to Barnes and Noble, which published it under the title Math Without a Computer. Allan would buy as many as 4,000 books for a dime apiece and sell them for 39 or 49 cents. His general stock brought in people of all classes, and included the famous, among its customers O. Henry, Marlene Dietrich, and FDR. Allen sported checks for books ordered by FDR and Harry Truman. He sold half a million books in 1958, many to theatergoers. But this was his last good year. The advent of paperbacks and the consequent decline in sales of any kind of hardback hurt the Concord, as did the closing of the Paramount Theater, and the hardening of Times Square’s reputation as a dangerous place to be after dark. The Concord got increasingly less attention from theater and movie goers, who did not like to share sidewalk space with people who were rowdy, drunk, or high on reefers (a quaint name for marijuana) Such characters, when they wandered into the Concord, made other customers uneasy. They brought the scent of recklessness and defiance from the street into a respectable establishment. More and more playgoers left the area as soon as their shows were over. When Wilson closed his doors in 1965, the Journal American and the Times ran tributes, as did Walter Winchell.   Lyle worked at Concord as a young man and it was there that they started a relationship that spanned close to sixty years.

Alllan’s last years were spent in an assisted living apartment where he was looked after very nicely by the staff and a private aide, Ana Al who his nephew, Jimmy Tannenbaum provided. Allan really took to Ana Al, and the feeling was mutual.  Allan never married although he had several long-term relationships with ladies. He had no siblings or children but thanks to Jimmy Tannenbaum and Ana Al, he had the comfort of a real family in his last year. Ana took him home with her from time to time and he experienced family, dogs and all.

He almost made it to 95. That was his wish.

Most of his productive years were filled with books, travel, cigars, vodka and gambling.  He went to casinos but most of all, he loved the track. He’d go to the track every week and then the “track” was OTB.

He had quite a publishing career. He was a terrific editor and in his time made some best sellers including Evelyn Keyes’ SCARLETT O’HARA’S YOUNGER SISTER, by Evelyn Keyes. He produced some 140 books for Citadel Press in their famous “Films Of” series that featured illustrated books about such stars as Humphrey Bogart, Gregory Peck and many others.

Donald Bain, an author and friend, said “He truly was a gentleman and I treasure memories of having drinks with him at the Gramercy Park Hotel, a favorite haunt of his. He could be demanding (he edited CAVIAR! CAVIAR! CAVIAR!) I always loved working with him.”

 

Allan was buried in his family’s grave plot next to his mother in Valhalla New York in the Mount Pleasant cemetery.

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Lyle called Allan a bon vivant. He wore an ascot tie, smoked cigars and held open doors for ladies. Lyle said he reminded him of Franchot Tone.  He was quite a gentleman.




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