What are some upcoming trends for the next year?
In both fiction and nonfiction, we’re seeing books that connect to current affairs capture readers’ attention, and I expect it will continue. That doesn’t just go for the political titles that expand on our ceaseless news cycle. Readers want books that give them a broader perspective on the issues—racism, sexism, immigration, the list goes on—that we’re trying to come to grips with in the world today, whether it’s fiction like Exit Westor The Power or nonfiction like Bunkand Women & Power.
What book/genre/topic would you like to see cross your transom?
It’s my aim that each book on the Hanover Square Press list offers readers something new and a valuable perspective or idea. With that in mind, I’d like to increase the list’s diversity in every way possible. I want books by authors who come from a wide variety of backgrounds and possess unique viewpoints that can enrich our understanding of the world as readers. And as a new imprint without a backlist, we have more of an ability to showcase those new authors than a publisher with a more entrenched list might. In this vein, I’m looking forward to publishing surgeon Linda D. Dahl’s Tooth and Nail,in which she tells of her experiences as one of the first women to become a ringside boxing doctor in New York City.
What topic don’t you ever want to see again?
I don’t think psychological and domestic suspense are going away, and I still enjoy reading (and acquiring) crime fiction that falls into this category, but new authors should know that it’s a very competitive field at this point. The unreliable narrator premise may have run its course. That said, authors are endlessly creative. It’s fun to see how the genre has evolved since the publication of Gone Girl—five years ago now—and I’m sure that some writer out there is devising a new twist that will keep the genre fresh. For instance, Amy Lloyd’s The Innocent Wife, which we publish in March, does this by turning a critical eye toward the recent revival of true crime in pop culture.
What is unique about your corner of the publishing industry?
Publishing never gets old. There’s always a new idea coming across your desk. And as a generalist, publishing both fiction and nonfiction, it’s especially exciting to be able to look for new stories, both invented and real. I acquire the same type of work that I read, which is a lucky position to be in.
Anything else you’d like to add?
As engrossing as the news cycle is, it also can be exhausting. It’s important to let yourself take a break. Some people have talked about a rise in “escapist” lit, but I’d argue that we need to give ourselves some time to recharge. To that end, I’m especially excited about a beautiful book, Tomorrow by Damian Dibben, about an immortal dog’s search for his master in 18th-century Europe. It’s a captivating story that calls to mind André Alexis’ Fifteen Dogsand Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and a must if you’re a dog lover like me.
Prior to launching Hanover Square Press in 2017, editorial director Peter Joseph worked as an executive editor at Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press. While there, he co-founded the Tony Hillerman Prize with Anne Hillerman.