Goodbye to Florida’s Kitsume Books
I was sorry to see Kitsume Books, a small press in the Florida Panhandle, close its doors at the end of last year. Small presses provide both readers and authors with opportunities that are not always easily available at larger publishers. However, these presses—as it was in Kitsume’s case—are sometimes at risk when their founders run into the vicissitudes of life and can no longer dedicate their time and energy to the business.
With a name like Kitsume, it was only natural for the press to tell us just what it meant. Quite simply, it’s a shape-shifting trickster out of Asian folklore. As a fantasy author, a Kitsume is my cup of tea. It was the publisher’s as well, describing the focus of the press as, “We sought to publish books that bewitched and beguilef, that provoked thought and evoked emotions, that produced laughter and invited play. Little bursts of foxfire to brighten the mind.”
Recently, I reviewed The Inn at Corbies’ Caww by Verlyn Flieger from Kitsume Books on Literary Aficionado: Once upon a time, before time and technology banished most magic beyond the farthest reaches of human awareness, travelers walked old and often diminishing roads until nightfall where, if they were favored by fortune, they spent an evening with cider, stew and fresh baked bread around a fire in an old country inn hearing tales that were in the process of coming true.
It’s a marvelous book by a long-time author and teacher in the realm of myth and mythic traditions. I hope the book will find a new home. It’s marked as SOLD OUT in the publisher’s remaining inventory, but is still available on Amazon. I looked at the Kitsume website this morning and noticed that many books are still in the Kitsume inventory and can be purchased from the website via the Catalog and Store pages. Here’s a snapshot of the wonders the press brought to us during its six-year history:
It’s hard to say goodbye, but then one way or another, the books are a continuing presence: Ellen Ashdown (Living By the Dead), Sandra Banducci (Conversations with Raine), Anthony Burdge, et al. (The Mythological Dimensions of Doctor Who and The Mythological Dimensions of Neil Gaiman), Verlyn Flieger (The Inn at Corbies’ Caww), Mathilde Freeman (Wholeness & Fragmentation), Jeannine Hall Gailey (She Returns to the Floating World), Paul Graham (Crazy Season), Vicki Hendricks (Florida Gothic Stories), K.E.M. Johnston (Big Boys Don’t Spy), P. V. LeForge (My Wife Is a Horse), Christopher McIlroy (Here I Am a Writer), Jesse Millner (Dispatches from the Department of Supernatural Explanation), Jesse Millner (The Neighborhoods of My Past Sorrow), Leonard Nash (You Can’t Get There from Here and Other Stories), William Orem (Killer of Crying Deer), Anne C. Petty (Dragons of Fantasy), April Petty (Kundalini Rising – Second Edition), James Protzman (Jesus Swept), Nina Romano (Coffeehouse Meditations), Helen Ruggieri (Butterflies Under a Japanese Moon), Gianna Russo (Moonflower), Mary Jane Ryals (Cookie & Me and The Moving Waters ), Jon Shutt (Blood Red Dawn), Randall Silvis (Hangtime: A Confession) and George Drury Smith (The slant hug o’ time).