Today I'm pleased as punch to offer the limelight to David Youngquist, one of the masterminds behind Dark Continents Publishing, who will be nurturing my next "heart" novel, Inkarna (you may have heard me muttering about the novel a few times on assorted social media). I'm very excited to be on board as I believe that Dark Continents is bringing the art back into horror and dark fantasy, with gritty often unrelenting offerings of fiction guaranteed to leave you thinking about what you've read for months, if not years after.
So, without further ado, I hand the mic to Mr. Youngquist...
I got around a lot as a kid. I crawled through the African bush with Peter Hathaway Capstick. On my hands and knees, I swatted away tsetse flies and waited for a wounded leopard to charge. After Peter and I had finished the job, I went on a trip to the future with Piers Anthony and a naked serf named Stiles and a magical, shape shifting unicorn mare named Neysa. I lay on the cold cobbled floor of a rundown barn in the Yorkshire Dales and helped James Herriot pull a calf on a cold winter night with snow sizzling on our backs. I even took a trip across the mores with Holmes and Watson as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle sent them in pursuit of The Hound of the Baskervilles.
They were amazing trips. Told through the voices, minds and eyes of people who lived in far away countries. I loved going on these trips through my reading. I’ve got a few books in my collection of each of these authors, and on occasion, I’ll dig them out and reread them. I love the flavor these writers bring to my world.
I’m sorry. I should introduce myself. I’m David Youngquist. Publisher/President and one of the founding members of Dark Continents Publishing. Nerine asked me to do a guest blog for her, and I’m happy to oblige. I cut my teeth writing an opinions column for my college newspaper, so I’ve had a little practice at this.
Dark Continents is a new publisher on the scene. We did our official company launch this past may at the World Horror Convention in Austin, Texas. We launched with 13 books from the authors in our company at that time. By Christmas of this year, we’ll launch another eight books. Not bad for a company who just has their one year anniversary a few days ago.
When we founded DCP, there were six of us from around the world who came together to take better control of our careers. We saw where the publishing industry was floundering, and where we could fix it. We also have a green mindset, corporately. We take only electronic submissions. No slush pile of manuscripts to recycle. Our books are Print on Demand. Therefore no books that didn’t sell that have to be recycled. We used corn plastic pens that are biodegradable as giveaways at conventions and signings.
A big thing that we do differently than other publishing companies is this: We welcome unique voices from around the world to be part of our publishing family. The internet has allowed for amazing things. Our original six founding members are from the US, Australia and England. Hence, our name. We have since added writers from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. One thing I wanted to do, when I started putting this together, was to bring some of the flavor back to people’s reading menu.
If you walk into an American bookstore, and start thumbing through titles, one thing you’ll notice is a severe lack of variety in the writers offered. Oh, you’ll get a few Brits here and there, but they’ve been homogenized by American editors to sound like the rest of us, so the flavor is pretty much gone.
But I like the differences we all bring to the table. A lot of publishers here in the US are afraid that Americans won’t be able to relate to a British author or an Australian author and vice versa, I’m sure. I give the reading public more credit than that, however, and have seen that with the rise of the internet, people can read authors, bloggers, reviews, and just about anyone else from around the world. Old style, traditional presses have yet to figure this out. They don’t believe that someone in Kansas would want to read a novel written by someone on Birmingham, England.
But isn’t that what reading is all about? Going to places you might never get to visit otherwise? Capstick has retired and is out of the African bush. James Herriot passed away a few years ago, and no longer walks his beloved Dales. I think I’ll dig some of those old books soon, and take the trips again.