Novelist

Missouri Breaks Press

This boutique literary press (acceptable synonyms for boutique are “small” and “broke”) was started by Craig in 2010 as a way of combining his professional training as a copy editor and graphic designer with his career in book publishing. It’s also been a way for Craig to work closely with writers he likes and admires.

At this time, Missouri Breaks Press is idle. Here’s a look at some of the books it has published:

GOLD UNDER ICE

Carol Buchanan’s follow-up to the Spur Award-winning God’s Thunderbolt, this novel delves into Montana history in the time of the Civil War.

The Lincoln administration prints greenbacks to pay for its war with the Confederacy, and on Wall Street a renegade money market known as the Gold Room pits the greenback against gold. By January 1864, the greenback loses nearly half its value. While far to the west, in Alder Gulch, Montana Territory, millions in gold lie under the ice of Alder Creek. Gold-seekers pray for spring. A lawyer from New York, Daniel Stark came West to get enough gold to rescue his family from the debt left by his father’s embezzlement and suicide. As he watches, the ice breaks, hurling a man into the frigid water. Dan rescues him, only to learn that he was sent by the Bank of New York to bring back Dan and the gold. But Dan is far short of the amount he needs. A financial report in an old New York Times gives him the idea of repaying the bank in greenbacks. Speculating in the Gold Room could earn a fortune large enough to repay the bank and secure his family’s future. Or he could lose everything, as his father did. Though he must return, Dan hates the thought of leaving his common law wife, Martha, and facing his autocratic grandfather. Although he promises to come back before ice covers Alder Creek, the pregnant Martha fears she will never see him again. Gold Under Ice is historical fiction set in Montana Territory and New York City.

Gold Under Ice, a 2011 Spur Award finalist, is available for purchase at Amazon.com and select bookstores.

THE BIG SKY, BY AND BY

Here, for the first time, is the collected work of one of Montana’s leading journalists, Ed Kemmick. In these timeless pieces spanning Kemmick’s award-winning career, he tells a contemporary story of Montana through the eyes of everyday, extraordinary people who define the rugged individuality and big-hearted kindness of the Big Sky State. Among the tales are those of Dobro Dick, the traveling troubadour from Livingston; Maryona Johnson, who ran a brothel in Miles City; Shirley Smith, the cowboy curator from Fromberg who meticulously maintains the state’s rodeo traditions; and Evel Knievel, who even in death gave his hometown of Butte another thrill (and a hell of an afterparty). On every page, Kemmick, the “City Lights” columnist at The Billings Gazette, brings humor and deep empathy to his subjects, making them every bit as vivid for readers as they were when Kemmick sat down to talk with them.

The Big Sky, By and By was released July 26, 2011. It is available for order at Amazon.com, through the author’s personal site, and it is also available for purchase in select bookstores in Montana.

QUANTUM PHYSICS AND THE ART OF DEPARTURE

In this collection of ten stories–some previously published, some not–award-winning novelist Craig Lancaster (600 Hours of Edward, The Summer Son) returns to home terrain of Montana and uses the short form to examine the notion of separation, be it from comfort zones, from ideas, from people, from security, from the mortal coil. These stories are populated by a host of memorable characters. A basketball coach caught between his team, his family and the rabid partisans in his town. A traveling salesman consigned to a late-night bus ride and a confrontation with what he’s made of his life. A prison inmate stripped of everything but self-righteousness. A teenage runaway. Mismatched lovers. The stories themselves delve into farms and cities, into love and despair, into what drives us and what scares us, peeling back the layers of humanity with every page.

2012 gold medal winner West-Mountain fiction, Independent Publishers Book Awards

Quantum Physics and the Art of Departure is available in select bookstores and at Amazon.com.

FAQ

Does Missouri Breaks Press accept unsolicited submissions?

No. Craig’s primary interest is writing his own books and getting those into print. Missouri Breaks Press exists as a way for him to work closely with people he already knows and likes, as well as a hedging of his bets in the ever-shifting world of trade publishing. There is simply no time for giving unsolicited manuscripts the attention they deserve. So please do not send anything or inquire about the possibility of his considering your manuscript. Your time is better spent seeking out one of the many, many publishers that do accept submissions.

Are any other projects on the horizon?

Not at this time.

How often will Missouri Breaks Press release books?

Infrequently.

Why call it Missouri Breaks Press?

Honestly? Because Hardscrabble Press was already taken. But the name does evoke a certain sense of place that fits with the kind of work published here.

I have a book that I’m looking to self-publish. Can Missouri Breaks Press help with that?

No, but Craig can as an independent consultant. Whether you need copy editing, story editing or book design, he has the tools to help you achieve the result you want. Check out his menu of services and prices here.

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