UPDATE September 2020: In order to rescue literary lost souls from publishing Purgatory, Jonathan P. Thompson is launching Lost Souls Press, a micro-publishing house. We did an Indiegogo fundraising campaign in the early days of 2020, and a lot of you contributed. Thank you so much!
As you may have surmised, the COVID-19 pandemic hit just as we finished up the campaign, throwing a wrench into some of our plans. For example, the Lost Souls Press and Behind the Slickrock Curtain launch party was delayed indefinitely and, as such, we also decided to hold off on publishing Slickrock Curtain, hoping that maybe the world would get to a point at which we could still throw the party. That hasn’t happened, so without further delay, we have now published the novel as an ebook, and the paperback will be available no later than Sept. 24, 2020.
For those who contributed to the campaign, you’ll be getting your first round of perks shortly. There will be a few hitches: The pandemic has kept me in Bulgaria for the time being, meaning I can’t sign your paperbacks, yet. And I also can’t deliver cookies from way over here. So those things will have to wait. But rest assured, when things get kinda back to sorta normal, we’ll be sending those out, too!
Why Lost Souls Press?
Before his untimely death in 1998, my father, Ian M. “Sandy” Thompson, wrote two novels, The Wingate Project and Ortega. In spite of the fact that he had secured a top-notch agent to shop the books around, they never found a home. This has always bothered me: He put hours and hours of work into writing the books, and more on top of that trying to find a publisher, and yet all he had to show for it was a pile of rejection letters.
Sure, the publishers had their reasons for not buying the books. They figured they wouldn’t sell enough copies to make it worth their while. There’s nothing wrong with that: Publishers are businesses, too. Still, I thought, shouldn’t the readers at least be offered the opportunity to buy and read the book? Shouldn’t at least one copy be put out there into the world? If it were a painting, say, rather than a book, and if all the galleries would have rejected him, he still could have hung it up somewhere for the public to see. But with books it’s a different story. You really need a publisher to bring one to life.
I stewed on this for years. And then, a couple of years ago, after finishing writing River of Lost Souls: The Science, Politics, and Greed Behind the Gold King Mine Disaster (published by the fantastic Torrey House Press, 2018), I wrote my own novel, Behind the Slickrock Curtain, and then experienced my own round of rejections. It seemed that it, too, was doomed to flit around in literary limbo, a lost soul with nowhere to go, 300 pages of potential life that would never be born.
But things have changed dramatically in the publishing world since my father’s time. And as bad as Amazon and the internet and all of that have been for publishing houses and independent bookstores, they’ve also opened up opportunities for bringing books to life. It is now possible for me not only to publish my own book, but to start a micro-publishing house, and to do so without a ginormous pile of cash.
Of course, publishing, even on a small scale, isn’t free. The Wingate Project doesn’t exist in digital form, for example, meaning I’ve got to convert all 500 pages into a word-processing file, then I have to edit the book and bring it up to date. We also need to pay for editing, designing, marketing, and the oodles of coffee required to coax the words out of one’s brain and onto the page.
That’s where you come in! I hope to raise enough up-front through pre-orders and donations to cover the basic costs of publishing our first three books:
Behind the Slickrock Curtain: An environmental thriller starring Malcolm Brautigan, Eliza Santos, and Utah’s Canyon Country, by Jonathan P. Thompson, (Summer 2020).
The Wingate Project: A sweeping epic that spans several generations about a proposed uranium mine in the fictional Dominguez County, Colorado, by Ian M. Thompson, (Fall 2020).
The Feral West: Writings and images from the home place, by Jonathan P. Thompson (February 2021).
The proceeds from the sales of those books will then go toward publishing the other volumes in the hopper, including but certainly not limited to:
Black Snow: A former hobo reminisces about riding the rails, politics, and philosophy, by James O. Aldrich
Better Than Keks Cookbook: Healing recipes for a f#$#ed up world, by Jonathan P. Thompson
Snow Screen: In which chem-trails, murder by avalanche, cloud-seeding, and small-town journalism collide. Starring Malcolm Brautigan, Eliza Santos, and the Woman with the СНЯГ tattoo.
Ortega, a novel by Ian M. Thompson.
Carbon Colonies: The rise and fall of the fossil fuel empires in the Southwest, non-fiction by Jonathan P. Thompson
Title TBD: The incredible saga of a German Jewish family that narrowly escaped the Holocaust, found refuge in Shanghai, and landed in America, by Wendy Thompson and Jonathan P. Thompson.
Mine Pool: An Eliza Santos and Malcolm Brautigan novel, by Jonathan P. Thompson
Pinhead Chronicles: A fictional retelling of the true story of Nikola Tesla, Telluride, the electrical grid, and Lucien L. Nunn, by Jonathan P. Thompson