We had a great time at Yaoi-con. Although this is the first year that Blind Eye Books has had a table in the dealer’s room, all our staff had attended Yaoi-con before as regular members. We like yaoi and we like yaoi fans so we already knew we’d have a good time if we went to the convention, the question was: would we sell any books? There’s a long-standing idea in the text publishing world that manga readers don’t read traditional books. Because I read both myself I knew this was completely untrue. My main question was whether or not people would be interested in Blind Eye Book’s speciality: science fiction and fantasy.
It turns out they were. We sold lots of books and met many wonderful people. The most consistent reaction to our table was that we made gorgeous books and that pleased us enormously because making books that are good to read as well as being beautiful objects has always been our goal. And we were pleased to get a positive reaction from yaoi fans because the aesthetic of yaoi art has definitely influenced our cover designs.
Yes! We recently recruited Josh Lanyon
to write a book for us. He’s smart, funny, handsome and (sadly, for the lonely bishounen of the world) happily living with his boyfriend in southern California
. He has primarily been a writer of romantic mystery and adventure, but since he’s been dabbling in ghost stories recently I asked him if he’d like to write a book for us and he agreed. I’m just thrilled!
It’s like having a real Yuki Eiri on board! (If Yuki Eiri had… um… a sense of humor. 🙂 )
Josh will be writing a fantasy novel for us to be released in late summer 2009. That’s about all I can say about the project right now, since it’s still in the works, but I can tell you that I am really looking forward to sharing it with all of you at Yaoi-con next year.
Yaoi fans who would like to get to know Josh before next summer should pick up his novel, “The Hell You Say.” It’s part of the Adrien English series. Readers who enjoy “FAKE,” will find a lot to love about Adrien and his tough-cop boyfriend, Jake Riordan. (Plus, unlike in FAKE, the guys have more than just one kiss per story arc. A lot more.)
“The Hell You Say,” was the reason I wanted Josh to write a book for us. Though it’s the third book in the series, I think it’s the best point of entry for yaoi readers. There’s all kinds of angst and drama as Adrien and Jake try to sort out how they feel about each other.
The reason I decided to print “Wicked Gentlemen” is that I loved reading it. That’s all. I loved reading it so much I was willing to pony up the cash to manufacture a book so that other people could read it too. As an editor, when I’m reading a manuscript somebody has submitted, I’m not looking for some set list of criteria. I’m just trying to find a story that I don’t want to stop reading.
What I specifically appealed to me about the book was the synthesis of character, world and plot. All was in balance: not too much world-building, not too little plot and loads of character. And the prose was good, clean gorgeous stuff.
A number of readers have written me to tell me how much they thought “Wicked Gentlemen,” would make a great anime, and I have to concur. The images, the characters… Just beautiful.
4) One of the most fascinating works released by Blind Eye Books is “The Archer’s Heart” which was inspired by the Indian religious text Mahabharata. What about Archer’s Heart will appeal to yaoi fans? Can you think of another yaoi title (manga or anime) which has a similar rich background?
You know, I think any of the big mainstream anime fantasy titles would be parallel, such as if “The Heroic Legend of Arislan” or “The Vision of Escaflowne
,” contained a yaoi element they would be comparable to “The Archer’s Heart.” There are huge battles, magical creatures
, beautiful men, betrayal, sex—everything. Plus the author, Astrid Amara, has extensive excerpts of her novel up on her website, www.astridamara.com
, so readers can go there and get hooked for themselves.
5) What are Blind Eye Books’ goals?
To keep making beautiful books that we love to read.
6) Please introduce us to the Blind Eye Books crew.
I’m afraid there are only two of us here and only I have a blog, but I’ll go ahead and introduce us anyway. First there is me: I’m Nicole Kimberling and I’m the editor. I find, edit and promote the books we make. My LJ is here: http://kimnik.livejournal.com/ You can also contact me through the Blind Eye Books website here: www.blindeyebooks.com
My partner is Dawn Kimberling. She does all the book design, production and oversees manufacturing and inventory. She also does many of the illustrations for our books. For example, she did the drawing of Belimai Sykes on the cover of “Wicked Gentlemen.” She doesn’t blog, but she does have an email address: dawn(at)blindeyebooks.com
All Blind Eye Books may be purchased at the publisher’s site
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