Chuck Hustmyre: Dorchester’s got a movie-magic author

Most authors have a way with words (or their editors do). Some authors have a mastery over words.  This mastery is uncommon. It often results in the kind of reading that activates all the senses; the lines between reality and fiction blur, and suddenly you forget that you’re not really fighting a maleficent wizard or beholding Frankenstein’s monster, you’re not really d’Artagnan pursuing Athos in a duel, and that isn’t really the smell of Christmas dinner, and no that is not Tiny Tim sitting next to you. The ability to activate this kind of relationship between book and reader is rare. That being said, this rarity is exactly what film studios look for when opting to translate a book into film. They want that umami, that mastery that makes words into movie magic. It’s not every day that an author gets the honor of having their book made into a movie, and guess what? Dorchester’s got one of them.

Chuck Hustmyre is a new author at Dorchester. His first book with us, A Killer Like Me, is set to be published in August 2011. Yet Hustmyre’s already an authorial pro. He’s the author of An Act of Kindness (Penguin, 2007), House of the Rising Sun (Salvo Press, 2004), Unspeakable Violence, and Killer With a Badge (Penguin, 2004). He’s written nearly 700 newspaper and magazine articles and is the recipient of myriad journalistic awards. Being the impressively dark, gritty crime novelist that he is, it comes as no surprise his first novel, House of the Rising Sun, was optioned by Grindstone/Lionsgate in 2010.

House of the Rising Sun follows an ex-New Orleans cop who gets framed for a robbery and murder that takes place at the Mafia-owned casino/brothel where he works. This book has been called “lean, mean and nasty,” “grim,” and hailed as “superb detective fiction.” Edward Noeltner of CMG, the film’s international sales company, gushed that the “House of the Rising Sun is the ideal combination of crime, action, and thriller elements.”

Hustmyre is known for effortlessly transporting his readers into whatever crime scene he’s painting. His 22 years in law enforcement allows him to make even police procedure feel accessible to the average reader. There’s no doubt that he’s got something special, and needless to say we’re pretty proud to have a movie-magic author here at Dorchester.

Expect to see House of the Rising Sun in theaters in 2011. The film will star David Bautista (WWE Champion, Wrong Side of Town), Amy Smart (Crank, The Butterfly Effect), Dominic Purcell (Prison Break, Equilibrium), Craig Fairbrass (The Bank Job), and Danny Trejo (Machete). Brian A. Miller (Caught in the Crossfire) will direct. For more info on the film, please visit Chuck’s Web site.

Cast from HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN

Congrats to L. J. McDonald—Library Journal names THE BATTLE SYLPH a Top Romance of 2010!

“Deftly written, intensely seductive, and emotionally compelling, this riveting story introduces readers to characters they want to know better and a mesmerizing, magical world that they won’t want to leave. Fortunately for fantasy fans, McDonald’s first novel is the beginning of a series and a stunning, incredibly creative debut.”    —Library Journal, (starred review)

Enter the World of the Sylphs

A special message from L. J.

For years without count, the kingdom of Eferem has made sylphs into slaves, all bound into silent obedience.  From another dimension, they are brought into this world through a magical gate and tied to human masters they must obey. The sylphs’ masters use their own life force to both feed the creatures and keep them in a world they would otherwise be banished from.  Empathic, the sylphs can feel the emotions of everyone around them while their masters also gain that ability but only towards their sylphs.  Even with this unique connection, sylphs are seen as no more than clever animals, happy and eager to obey.

The sylphs are also beings of immense power that Eferem feels must be kept under control.  They are spirit creatures formed from pure energy, empaths who are able to change their shape and who use their energy in different ways, depending upon their type.  Five of the breeds are female and easy to control.  Earth, air, water, fire, and healing sylphs are peaceful, docile beings, able to control their respective element or to heal, who grow in power as they grow in age and are passed down through generations of families to keep them tied firmly to the world

There is a sixth type of sylph though, one very different from their gentle sisters.  These are the battle sylphs, the lethally aggressive males of their species, all capable of immense levels of destruction and death.  A single battle sylph could destroy an army or devastate a city, and where the elemental sylphs are content with their role of slave, the battlers chafe at it, looking constantly for a way to escape but bound to obey as surely as their sisters.

Where earth, air, water, fire, and healing sylphs are lured through the gate by gifts, art, music, or other quiet things, the battle sylphs are tempted by murder.  To draw them through, they are presented with the offering of a virgin girl who is sacrificed at the instant of the battler’s arrival in order to bind them to her killer.  Her blood ties them together, leaving the battle sylph master the only one who can control the monster.

Unlike the other sylphs, this control is absolutely necessary and the battlers are bound to only the strongest and hardest of men, for they’re always looking for a chance to break that control. They broadcast their hatred in an aura around them that is unrelenting.  Only the strongest of men would be able to stand up to it, for to be near a battle sylph is to feel their loathing and need to kill, to know that they would slaughter even their own masters if given the slightest chance.  They are evil, people whisper, for a battle sylph left uncontained will do nothing except destroy and a battle sylph has the power to destroy anything.  They’re nothing more than killing machines, waiting only for the rare moments when their masters set them loose to murder. But they are also necessary.  A kingdom without battlers would soon fall to those in possession of them, and an unexpected peace has risen from the existence of these beings who only want to kill.

But humans don’t know as much as they think they do about battle sylphs.

Battlers are indeed capable of a tremendous amount of destruction, though few men have ever thought to wonder just what it is about the world battlers came from that makes such destructive power necessary.  Hatched into hives that could have from hundreds to many thousands of sylphs, their purpose is two-fold.  To protect the hive with a protective instinct that is so strong they hate any male not of their own hive line and war against them constantly, and to love the queen of the hive.  Strong as their fighting instincts are, their need to be the lover of the queen is even stronger.  There lies the greatest tragedy of the battle sylph, for no matter whether the hive has a hundred battlers or a thousand, it only has one queen and most of the battlers that protect her will never get the chance to touch her.

The battle sylphs don’t come through the gate because they see a girl about to be killed or a man waiting to take control of them.  They come through because they see a woman they could love as dearly as they would a queen.  A woman they wouldn’t have to compete against a thousand other battlers to get to or ever fear would cast them away for the next conquest.  A queen they could give themselves to without reservation, for it’s more than just the giving of a master and a name to a sylph that binds them to obey.  That instinct is as inherent in the battler as it is in all sylphs.  They are born to do whatever their queen asks without hesitation, and the bindings that men put on them are merely a mockery of that.  It is a perversion of what they are and everything they’d hoped to gain.

The battle sylphs bound in Eferem radiate their hatred of that truth and use it to hide the pain of their loss.  Their hive, their queen, the woman they left it all for…all stolen from them, and if they didn’t hide their agony with their hate, their masters would know and that would be even more unbearable.

The greatest wish of a battler is to belong to a woman who would recognize her power over him and not hurt him with it.  Born a shape-shifter who won’t die of old age, instead just growing bigger and more powerful, he doesn’t care what she looks like.  He doesn’t care how old she is or how lovely or how flawed.  His empathy lets him look straight into her soul and once a battle sylph gives his love and his obedience, it is for forever.  All she has to do is love him back and he would destroy the world if that was what it took to keep her safe.

In Eferem, no one understands this, for even if a battle sylph was allowed to speak to his master, what master could be trusted to understand?  They’re just clever animals, hating everyone and everything equally and trying to break free.  Everyone knows that, for that’s the way it’s always been, and no battle sylph has ever managed to escape.

Until now.

~L. J. McDonald

Dorchester Publishing Names New CEO With an Eye to the Future

NEW YORK, New York (November 16, 2010) – Dorchester Publishing Co., Inc., founded in 1971, and what was until this year the oldest independent mass-market publisher in the U.S., has changed leadership in its mission to revitalize Dorchester and blaze a path as an exciting independent digital and trade publisher of genre fiction.

Taking over the role of Dorchester’s CEO will be Mr. Robert Anthony, current CFO & COO of Backe Digital Brand Marketing, who brings with him more than 25 years of experience in financial and operations management. Prior to his time at Backe Marketing, Anthony was the president of The Blue Sky Financial Group, which provides business consulting services on operational strategies and business development. As a CPA he has worked in public accounting, gaining exposure to a wide variety of business models, and he was the controller for one of the largest investment management organizations in the United States, Federated Investors, where he held an integral role in the planning, restructuring, development and growth of that company.

“My first goal with Dorchester is to reorganize and improve the accounting and internal financial reporting structure. This will include a complete review of the royalty system and other vitally important internal procedures, all of which are intended to focus on shoring up revenue sources and paying off creditors. We will create an atmosphere of transparency and efficiency that was heretofore lacking,” announced Anthony after taking charge on Friday. He is importing new staff to handle the tasks, though Dorchester’s remaining core will go unchanged.

Dorchester is known for having built such stars as Christine Feehan, Katie MacAlister, Connie Mason, Lynsay Sands, and numerous others, and its authors have been bestsellers of The New York Times, USA Today, Barnes & Noble, and many more. Earlier this year, Dorchester changed its focus from mass-market paperbacks to e-books and trade paperbacks. While the trade line was planned for some time, the mid-August shift to e-books was predicated by financial difficulties stemming from the contracting mass-market industry and came with a significant reduction in Dorchester’s staff, which caused some missteps in the implementation of the new company strategy. Mixed messages to media outlets and unpredicted procedural changes also contributed, undermining author confidence and leading to rumors of imminent bankruptcy.

“We are going to reinvigorate this company,” declared Anthony.  “I’ve quickly learned that the employees at Dorchester are a talented and professional group. We’re going to do whatever it takes.”

Some steps have already been taken: After a deal with Offset Paperback Manufacturers, previously unavailable mass-market copies of Dorchester’s author backlist are once again available to some vendors and through the company Web site—www.dorchesterpub.com—and after a short hiatus in new-book production, the company intends to release its Winter e-book list on November 23, 2010, just in time for the holiday season. An arrangement has been reached so that Ingram will be distributing Audio Realms audio versions of popular Dorchester books as well as the trade releases, and the company’s Web site will be revamped and launched right before the end of the year. Writers groups such as SFWA, RWA and MWA are being contacted to help spread news of the changes.

Contrary to mistaken previous reports, Dorchester intends to produce all titles in both e-book and trade paperback form, using both Ingram’s regular trade printing ability or advanced inventory technology as orders dictate. The trade paperbacks will begin appearing in January 2011 and be distributed through Ingram Publishing Services, who will sell Dorchester’s product into standard retail outlets such as Barnes & Noble, Borders, Waldenbooks, BooksAMillion, Powell’s, Wal-Mart, Target and K-Mart, among others. A recent changeover from LibreDigital to Core Source, Ingram’s digital warehousing and e-book sales arm, will also facilitate forward growth and the expedited availability of popular authors’ backlists in e-book form.

Welcome to the Dorchester Community Blog!

Dear Readers,

Welcome to Dorchester Publishing’s Community Blog!

2011 is all about new beginnings here at Dorchester. We’ve instituted our e-book and trade model and launched our new and improved e-commerce Web site that is capable of selling e-books and print. Bestselling authors along with bright new voices are filling the pipeline with the quality genre fiction you’ve come to expect from the Dorchester house. Exciting new titles as well as the latest installments in your favorite series are hitting bookshelves and e-readers everywhere. All in all, the team is poised to make Dorchester’s 40th year one like you’ve never seen before!

In addition to all these firsts, we’re adding one more to our list—the Dorchester Community Blog. This blog will foster an environment for both readers and authors alike to interact, exchange ideas, and discover new and exciting fiction. Aspiring writers will get an inside look at the biz—everything from perfecting your elevator pitch to tips on marketing yourself in the digital age. With updates from all departments, exclusive author interviews, contests and giveaways, sneak peeks at upcoming titles, and some serial fiction, there’s something for everyone!

So go ahead and add the Dorchester Community Blog to your bookmarks (you know you want to!) and join in on the discussion—we welcome all questions/comments/suggestions.

We wish you all a warm and cozy holiday season. If you need a good book to make your holidays that much cozier, you’re definitely in the right place!

Best,

The Team at Dorchester Publishing