Paul Halter’s collection of short stories came out in 2006 in hardcover and trade paperback format, published by Wildside Press, to whom I shall be eternally grateful for taking the risk and allowing the Anglophone world to finally appreciate his work. Despite critical acclaim, and one of the stories (“The Flower Girl”) being short-listed for the Barry Award for best mystery short story, Wildside declined to publish any Halter novels.
After many more rejections from publishers, I learned about self-publishing and print-on-demand from a Wall Street article and decided to have a go with The Lord of Misrule. I chose that novel because, even though I like it a lot, it doesn’t get rated as one of Halter’s best and I was still nurturing the hope of a ‘real publisher’ picking up his novels: anything I had just published myself would obviously be ruled out. That turned out to be irrelevant, because the mainstream publishing houses still didn’t believe there was a market for Golden Age locked-room mysteries (see the interview with Little Brown in Miles Jupp in a Locked Room. (When The Crimson Fog appeared ahead of Little Brown’s books in Publisher’s Weekly’s Top Mysteries of 2013, I emailed Dan Cole and asked him if they were now considering publishing Paul Halter. He hasn’t replied and I’m not holding my breath…)
The Lord of Misrule had a really tacky cover, but when Paul and I decided The Fourth Door would be the next novel in English, he came up with a great cover picture. I selected a different cover template, one in which the title did not obliterate the image, and the resultant LRI style has been used for all the subsequent novels.
When we met in Paris, we decided it was time to republish The Night of the Wolf (a) to create an e-book version and (b) to re-issue the tpb in the same style as the novels. The great thing about print-on-demand is that you can make this kind of decision with almost zero up-font cost (and the books never go out of print.) So, voila! (Actually, not as voila as I would have liked because technical problems delayed publication until three days before Christmas–there, I wrote the C-word)
Incidentally, Paul now has his own self-publishing company Eurydice, and we are going to try and synchronize publication of English-language and French-language titles, including some that weren’t written by Paul Halter. That will probably include republishing The Lord of Misrule in the LRI style. For those who are interested, I usually produce a rough sketch for the cover and Paul,who is adept at Photoshop creates the finished article.