RARA-AVIS: Hard Case Crime in Canada; GRIFTER'S GAME

From: Charles Ardai ( charles@winterfall.com)
Date: 20 Feb 2004

Bill Denton wrote:

> Looking good! I love those covers. On behalf of all the
> non-American rare birds, I hope you can work out easy
> international distribution, so we can read Mr. Guthrie's
> book, and all the others.

First off, thanks -- we're really pleased with how the covers are coming out, too. It's hard to find painters who can work in the right period style, but when you find them, boy, it's great to see what they come up with! (Of course, we had one ringer in the lot: the painting of the girl on the rooftop was done for us by none other than Robert McGinnis...)

As for international distribution, the books will definitely be in Canada as well as the U.S. As for other countries, we don't have any current plans -- but if there's enough interest, we'll do our best to make it happen.

Mark Sullivan wrote:

> One question, Block's Grifter's Game doesn't ring a bell.
> Was it originally published under a different title, or under
> a pseudonym?

There's an interesting story behind that one. Larry wrote more than 100 pseudonymous books for various publishers before ever signing his own name to a book. When he finally wrote one he was proud enough of to put his name on it, the publisher -- Gold Medal -- decided to change the title on him. The title he wanted to give the book was "GRIFTER'S GAME," but Gold Medal had a piece of art they felt would go better with the title "MONA" -- so Larry's first novel under his own name appeared as "MONA." Many years later, Jove reprinted it as "SWEET, SLOW DEATH," and then a decade ago Carroll & Graf re-reprinted it as "MONA" again -- but the book has never (until now) appeared under the name Larry originally meant for it to have. It's a treat to have a chance to do that for him. (Of course, on the front cover we'll say "Originally published as MONA," to make sure no one mistakes it for a new or different book.)

And Jesse Willis wrote:

> Do you intend there to be a numbering
> system for HCC Books?

You bet. Every spine will carry, at the bottom, an "HCC" number. GRIFTER'S GAME is "HCC-001"; FADE TO BLONDE is "HCC-002"; and so on. I realize this is a little short-sighted of us, since it means we'll have a problem if the line runs for more than 999 books -- but we should only have such problems...

Thanks, everyone, for all the enthusiasm and support -- it feels great. Can't wait to get the books in your hands! (Not to mention mine...)

In the meantime, if you have other questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Best, Charles

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