I am now tantalizingly close to being able to share with you the list of titles being released in October by the new Furrowed Middlebrow imprint—I'm planning to make three announcements in the coming week or two, one for each of the authors being published—but as a preliminary I have an exciting little tidbit to share with you. (Well, it's exciting for me—hopefully for you as well. At any rate, I have to share it with someone or I'll explode, and who better than you?)
I already described, a while back, how I first decided to put out feelers about the possibility of setting up shop as a publisher in my spare time, assuming that it was an outlandish dream that would be hopelessly time-consuming and/or expensive. And how one of the feelers went to a publisher with whom I'd already been in contact regarding the books they were publishing. And how, in the kind of poetically astonishing way usually reserved for Hollywood movies, his response was that he'd be happy to offer advice, but why didn't I just work with him on the project instead of doing it myself? Can you imagine?!
At that point, however, I didn't actually reveal the name of the publisher, and it's high time I did that. Furrowed Middlebrow will in fact be an imprint of Dean Street Press, whom many of you already know from the marvelous Golden Age mysteries they've released over the past couple of years—I've reviewed two of them here and here—as well as select other titles. So they're already blazing a trail for reviving lost British women writers such as Annie Haynes, Ianthe Jerrold, and Harriet Rutland, not to mention, most recently, a whole slew of nearly forgotten novels by Patricia Wentworth, whose work extends far beyond her best-known series, the Miss Silver mysteries.
Fortunately for me, Dean Street had been hoping to extend their scope into other fiction of the same time period, so clearly our virtual meeting was pure kismet. In the time since, we've been looking at the rights situations for the "wish list" of books I sent them, containing the books I most wanted to see back in print. We've had extraordinary success (and, alas, one sad failure with a high-profile title which, it appeared at first, seemed destined for our list). The successes will be apparent in my subsequent posts over the next week or two. (The disappointment I shall keep to myself apart from the occasional veiled, wistful reference.)
And in the meantime, I am thrilled to be able to share with you the new Furrowed Middlebrow colophon! (I never dreamed I would have a colophon of my own, but it's a lovely feeling.) And I have to hasten to note that, because I have all the design sensibility of a rampaging rhino, I owe the creation of the colophon entirely to Dean Street. We discussed various symbolics involving the letters F and M—could the M somehow be an open book? or perhaps we could somehow combine them into eyeglasses and a furrowed brow? (the answers to both of those questions being "no")—and finally they came up with the idea of incorporating a flower—mildly feminine, elegant, domestic, and suggesting the new flowering forth of these books buried for so long. I think it's perfect, and I can't wait to see it on an actual book—a book I've been yearning to see in print for ages, no less.
So, without further ado, I give you the Furrowed Middlebrow colophon! (Note that the added touch, which you won't really notice here, is that the non-black portion is actually clear, meaning that it will vary according to the color of the books it appears on.)
What do you think?
Stay tuned for the first announcement of titles in just a few days!