Can’t start the new year without pausing to thank everyone who helped us along our path to make Bacon Press Books bigger and better.
Thanks first to our authors: JP Bloch, Ellis Chase, Joseph Jablonski (Darlyn and Peter Jablonski), Judith Podell, Al Sprague, Frank Tavares, and Danny Wynn. Every time we do a book we learn more about writing and about reading.
Thank you to all those who have helped produce and promote our books: Lorraine Fico-White, Magnifico Manuscripts; Al Pranke, Amp13; Lorie DeWorken, Mind the Margins; John Low, Ebook Launch; Paul Krupin, Direct Contact PR; David Johnson, Strategic Vision.
And to the people who promoted our books in ways we never could. Margaret, Tabitha, & Delene,Book Partners In Crime Promotions; Dorothy Thompson, Pump Up Your Book; Kate Tilton, Kate Tilton’s Author Services; James Fraser, Book Review Broker.
Half a dozen people at Fiverr, but especially booksbykatina.
Busy people who took the time to give us good advice: Angela Bole, IBPA; Mark Coker, Smashwords; Joel Hochman, Arbor Books; Brian Feinblum, MediaConnect.
Thanks to a few of the people we’ve worked with: Mark Dresdner, BabelCube, Amanda Barbara, Pubslush, and Rosy, Books on the Subway.
Thanks to Canva and Animoto for letting us pretend we have artistic talent.
Thanks to people we read regularly who have never heard of us: Joel Friedlander, Jane Friedman; Penny Sansaveri; Aaron Shepherd, Kevan Lee, John Kremer, Jim Kukral, Shawn and RJ, Randy Ingermanson, Shelley Hitz and Heather Hart, Jon Morrow, Orna Ross, and there are probably two dozen more we can't remember at the moment. (sorry about the lack of links, but there's only so much time.)
To our friends and family who have let us dither on way too much about publishing.
Many thanks to anyone who’s bought, borrowed or downloaded one of our books; to those who have taken the time to leave reviews and ratings; and to anyone who’s actually reading this blog - it still feels like we’re writing in a vacuum.
For the new year, our website has a new look. Thanks to our favorite web designer, Carly Rosenberg, we heard about SquareSpace and thought we’d give it a try. Check it out and let us know what you think.
We’re also starting the year with a great new book, Landfall by Joseph Jablonski. Hope you’ll pick up a copy.
Happy New Year!
You can pick up a paperback copy of Landfall by Joseph Jablonski on Amazon.
Seriously, this is a great book. Hard to describe, even harder to put down.
Landfall is the story of Jake Thomas who has retired from a life at sea. He has settled into a comfortable retirement and even has a new wife. Yet a secret from Jake’s past can undo it all. On Jake’s first sea voyage more than forty years ago, a woman was murdered and now her children seek answers from Jake. Does he know what really happened? Did the wrong man go to jail? Can they trust him to finally tell the truth?
Written in a style that compares to Joseph Conrad and James Patterson, the author drew upon his thirty years of sea experience to craft a book of mystery and intrigue.
Get a copy for yourself and if you're still in a giving mood, get one for a friend. It's worth your time.
EBook coming any day now.
Note: We're honored to be publishing Landfall. Not only because it's a terrific book, but also because of the unusual circumstances. The author, Joseph Jablonski, died suddenly last May. Only days before, Danny Wynn, author of Man from the Sky, had told us he'd passed along our name to his friend Joe.
Many months later, Peter Jablonski contacted us to see if we'd be interested in publishing his father's novel. We read it and loved it.
Here is our interview with Peter.
Publishing a book is hard enough when you’re the author, what made you want to publish this book on behalf of your late father?
One thing I was really sad about when my father died was that he didn’t get more of his work published. When I gave his eulogy, I told everyone that I was going to do whatever I could to get more of his work published.
I knew he felt discouraged that he had only had Three Star Fix, and an Op-Ed in the NY Times published (“Pirate Nights” in 2013), but he didn’t really like to dwell on his disappointments. Over the years, he talked less and less about his publishing prospects and I eventually stopped asking- so this was all sort of sad for me. I knew he worked on his writing almost every day and that his work was very good and deserving of getting published.
I felt like he got discouraged easily when it came to searching for publishers and so after he died, I wanted to find a way to get his writing published; sort of to fulfill an unfulfilled dream of his. I contacted my father’s writing buddy and novelist Danny Wynn about it and he guided us towards Bacon Press Books. I was so thrilled when I sent Michele Orwin the first manuscript for LandFall and she wrote back saying it was "pretty close to brilliant."
Have there been challenges in publishing you didn’t expect?
All the editing and marketing questions have been challenging, but my mother, Darlyn Jablonski, has really worked hard editing with Lorraine Fico-White, and getting the manuscript into shape. The marketing aspect is definitely challenging since my father has passed away. So there is no Facebook or Twitter account he can manage or book signings he can attend. One idea we have and plan to do is to get the book narrated and onto Audible.com.
Can you talk a little bit about what Joseph Jablonski was like as a writer? What prompted him to take up writing in mid-life?
I don’t know why my dad loved to write, but even from his mid-20s he was writing pretty entertaining journals and loved to relate sea stories. He was a magnificent story teller and other authors would tell him to write down the words exactly as he told them.
Before he passed away, he had expanded his stories to include a young adult series called The Sasquatch Detective Agency, which was born out of telling my son bedtime stories about two teenage cousins, Jack and James, and their adventures in tracking, interacting with, and protecting Sasquatch. We were all very entertained by these stories, to be honest.
Of course, as I think most writers probably are, he was a big reader- a true lover of literature- this also gave him lots of inspiration. One thing about my dad was that he never seemed to suffer from writer’s block- the words just always flowed for him it seemed.
What authors did he admire or influenced him?
Joseph Conrad was one of his favorites. He read so much- mostly fiction. He read across a wide range of various authors.
What was his favorite book?
Heart of Darkness was one of his favorites.
How would you describe Landfall? And why did he write this book?
Landfall is a dark and mysterious book that settled into my subconscious unlike any of his other stories I had read. Even years after reading the first draft, which was a short story based on a true story, I never forgot the dread and sense of darkness he portrayed with this huge monitor lizard belonging to this slightly crazy person on a freighter crossing the Pacific.
He wrote the book because it was one of his many sea stories. It is based on a true story of something that happened while my dad was sailing (although it did not happen on the ship he was on).
This is the second book with Jake Thomas as the main character, do you know if Jake is based on anyone?
To me, it seems obvious that Jake is based on my dad. Especially in the first published book, Three Star Fix, which is about a cadet’s first voyage to sea. It is kind of interesting to me that my dad inserted Jake Thomas into the lead role in Landfall (which is based on a true story of which my dad was not a part of). I never did think to ask my dad why he put Jake into this particular story.
Is there anything else you would like readers to know?
Just that I’m very proud that my mom and I got Landfall published and I really want to thank Michele Orwin at Bacon Press Books for believing in this novel. When I look at the cover and marketing material that has been generated so far for Landfall, I think of my dad and how proud he would be if he were still alive.
For me, this whole process is partially about honoring him and fulfilling one of his main unfulfilled dreams in life- which was to publish more novels.
Peter lives in Mill Valley CA with his wife and nine-year-old son. In addition to managing rental properties in New York City, he is a business banker with Wells Fargo in San Rafael. He is also a painter. One of Peter's paintings, Long Beach, is used for the cover of Landfall.
Bacon Press Books is pleased to announce our next title - Landfall, a gripping novel by Joseph Jablonski. It will be out in time for the holidays.
After a long career at sea, Jake Thomas thinks he’s finally put his life in order. He’s got a new wife, a new home, time to tend his roses and to write. But his past and the secrets he’s kept, even from himself, won’t stay buried.
Forty years earlier, a woman was murdered during Jake’s first voyage as a deck cadet on the American freighter, the SS James Wait. Her children want answers only Jake can give. But resurrecting old memories takes him spiraling back to the chaos and upheaval of the late 1960s.
In this riveting story-within-a-story, Jake’s peaceful routine in Portland, Oregon, stands in stark contrast to his days as a merchant seaman in Subic Bay, when he set off on a journey to discover his dark side. A journey that hasn’t yet ended.
Like Joseph Conrad, Joseph Jablonski has created a novel set at sea that is as much a careful observation of human nature and a powerful condemnation of war as it is a fascinating sea story.
What we love about this book
Landfall is one of those books that won't fit neatly into just one category. It's too large. It's about Jake Thomas's struggle to come to terms with his past. But beneath that is the struggle to come to terms with the war in Vietnam and its casualties. It's about the hypnotic spell of first love, the devastation when it ends, and how both remain for years. And it's about a modern marriage crumbling. Then there's the murder of Alice - the questions left unanswered. The search for truth, no matter the cost. All done in a simple, powerful style that reminded us of Joseph Conrad.
In other words, there's an awful lot to love about Landfall.
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