Friday, May 16, 2014

Catherwood update / in-print books

Small vignette for Glimmerglass
by Clive Hicks-Jenkins

After the Entertainment Weekly tip-of-the-hat to "heartstopping" Catherwood, used book dealers sold a good many copies of the book--this, of course, was both lovely and a little frustrating, as I have in-print books that need homes and am planning on a new edition of Catherwood. I've decided to turn down (with many thanks, and after too much dithering on my part) some offers from publishers to reprint, and to experiment with doing the reprint myself in my so-far-imaginary free time. Despite the usual too-crammed schedule, I am aiming to have the book out in paper and ebook within a year.

And my books now in print--

See tabs above for reviews and other information on A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage (novel, winner of The Ferrol Sams Award and a Silver Award, ForeWord BOTYA), Thaliad ("exciting and heartbreaking myth of origin"), The Foliate Head, and The Throne of Psyche. The first two were both on the end-of-year 2012 Favorites at Books & Culture. The last two are poetry collections, and I'll let this quote recommend my work in that line:
Youmans is a traditionalist in her use of forms, and her work will delight those who enjoy classical poetry with direction and structure, yet her strong and inventive metaphors and similes evoke an otherness that only Coleridge attained....wholly beautiful and brilliant. Youmans is a writer of rare ability whose works will one day be studied by serious students of poetry. Greg Langley, The Baton Rouge Advocate
All four of these books were lucky to have exceptional designers--Burt and Burt of Macon, Georgia (who won an Addy for The Throne of Psyche), Elizabeth Adams in Montreal, and Andrew Wakelin in the UK--and several have beautiful art both within and without by Clive Hicks-Jenkins.


  1. Busy as always, up to good stuff! You're an inspiration.

    1. Busy spinning my wheels at the moment, I fear--

  2. Why the aversion to publishers reprinting your book(s)? I'm curious.

    1. Me, too. I'm curious as well--that's why I'm doing it. The book has been edited (I've always been told that I don't need much in that line, but it has been done.) It was published with what I thought the best publisher in the country. And it had great reviews and was Literary Guild alternate and sold foreign and paperback rights. Then the paperback mega-publisher collapsed and took down imprints and had to re-structure. That was the end of the book, at least for many years.

      What do I gain by going with a publisher for a book that is already a little know and already edited? I'm not sure. If I'd gone with the ones that asked, the book would be prettier. But I already have pretty FSG, pb, large print, Spanish, French, and German editions. I don't think I'll miss that too much.

      You tell me what I'm missing! Maybe I need to be told. And maybe all this is harder than I realize. I'll let you know!

  3. Oh. Marly, I know so little about writing and publishing that I could not dare speculate and answer your question, "You tell me what I'm missing!" But you hint at what I suspect is the obstacle to reprinting with a publisher: they want too much editorial control. In any case, I look forward to how your reprint plans work out for you -- and for your readers.

    1. Honestly, RT, writers who don't have lead books just don't make money. If we can improve things on that front, we should!

      I haven't really had trouble with editors, as I tend to have a smooth surface with few errors--there's a bad side to that, but with editors it's good. My feeling is that if you have style and sharp characters, they tend to not much with what works to any large degree. I've had nice editors, though I've had a lot of orphaned books, where the editor departed before the book came out. That's always disheartening.


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.