Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Guess who dropped in?

This time around on Criminal Minds, I asked my friend and CM alumnus, author and founder of Bronzeville Books, Danny Gardner to tackle this week’s question. And having already had a look at his post, I’m sure glad that I did. — Dietrich
by Danny 

My dear friend, the author Susan Shea, drew the February questions for the group, and she reached me on the Bat phone (blackphone? haha.) As my blackness is preinstalled, she asked for access to the Danny Gardner Woke-API. Susan is my gurl, and the answer is always "of course," because I know she wants it done with heart. She sees the need. I included this business question: Discuss diversity in the sense of the market. What do you want to see on bookshelves from black authors in 2020?
Good question, huh? See, it puts the burden of the answer on the writer asking, so I'm safely out of there. So then Dietrich says, "Take my week, Danny." 
I did it to myself. I know.
Former criminal mind that I am—I say former, but my criminal spirit seethes wanting his day of the week back—I went and founded my very own publishing house, led by the illustrious Renee Asher Pickup, and Renee went and did what she does, which is build coalitions and foster great art. And so, whaddya know, from amongst the cries, "Oh, where are the black books??" Bronzeville has a few, and we found them low-key, with love and caution, and determination.
Here are three selections from our 2020 front list which will give you a feel for our sense of blackness. We are stacked with a depth of talent and projects that will help us grow to be a trusted diverse publishing brand. We are distributed by Ingram, and represented by Dana Kaye and Associates for marketing, and PR. Bronzeville lives.
In Love and Other Criminal Behavior, crime fiction powerhouse Nikki Dolson drops thirteen stories exploring the many different ways to love—and just as many ways to end up dead. Love and Other Criminal Behavior will keep your heart pumping fast, right up until it's broken. Nikki is featured currently in Three Rooms Press's follow-up to the Obama Inheritance, The Faking of the President, as am I, but this is about Nikki. We have high hopes for this book starting a new rhythm in short fiction. I've made the Hollywood rounds with ARCs. The buzz here is starting. She's a fine author, in any right, but what she does with the black voice is instructive. Renee saw to the work as her editor and co-conspirator, and I feel we've started something.
Destinee Schriner's debut novel, When Bluebell Blooms, has been acquired for publication in 2020. When Bluebell meets a great guy an unexpected kiss from her best friend compels her to question her sexuality and what happily ever after means to her. She is a fantastic talent, writing from a region and a perspective unique to the American experience. It's the sort of book having diversity in your DNA helps you find. Everyone here is bullish on Destinee's work. Lots of folks wanted that book. She trusts us with it. I'm crazy excited, personally.
Somewhere this year, you'll be able to enjoy The Tales of Elliot Caprice: Ace Boon Coon. Set within the immediate aftermath of A Negro and an Ofay, Elliot is called back into action when a real estate investment scam leads to the murder of a civil rights activist and brings Elliot nose to nose with each faction of Chicago's ethnic underworld, including his old friends and enemies amongst Chitown's black power elite. I put it all on the line with this one, and I hope you find it and make it a part of your bookshelf. 
So, please check for the B, and go beyond these recommendations to find the Black American voices that will help you inform your own personal experience. Thanks for having me back to guest, and keep it criminal, y'all.


You can find out about more about what Danny’s up to and about Bronzeville Books here.


Frank Zafiro said...

Good to see you on the blog, Danny! Looking forward the more Elliot Caprice.

catriona said...

Danny! Great to see you back here and get book news. Cxx

Susan C Shea said...

Well, look who dropped in! Thanks for helping create questions, Danny, and for sharing the book news. I, too, am looking forward to more Elliot Caprice and Bronzeville's contribution to the book market. Smart, Dietrich, to turn the question back to our CM alumnus.

Dietrich Kalteis said...

Thanks, Susan. I was very happy to do it, and even happier that Danny took the time out of his busy schedule to drop in and say hello.

Danny Gardner said...

Thanks, everyone!

James W. Ziskin said...

Good to see you, Danny!