Farewell Wilde City

Curiosity led me there.

Back in 2014 I wanted to know more about fellow Australian author, Christian Baines, so I googled. I discovered he had a short ebook titled The Prince and the Practitioner. What struck me first was its cover. I’m a visual person and the quality of the artwork sparked my interest. Who was the publisher?

Christian Baines' Wilde City release
Christian Baines’ Wilde City release

Art Deco heaven…

Then I found Wilde City Press, his publisher for this one-off short story. On the website a small bi-plane moved across the top of the screen and slowed down, coming to a stop just near the name of the publisher. A representation of a skyscraper not unlike the Empire State, was part of the header, hinting at the classic, King Kong. And a silhouette of a city skyline against a yellow background added to its Deco design. This theme was replicated in their logos as well. I was in love.

I was pimping…

At the time I had the sequel to my first novel which I was trying to find a publisher for. My own publisher, whose only gay book for sale was mine, had hired a new commissioning editor. She was not interested in my second book.

I contacted Ethan Day, an author and part-owner of Wilde City, who encouraged me to submit my work. A couple of days later another small publisher wanted to give me a contract for the same book. I had a dilemma. Their’s didn’t have the panache that Wilde City’s site had. Their cover art was nowhere near as good. And to be honest, that last point was why I let Ethan know what was going on, so he fast-tracked the commissioning process and fortunately Wilde City was interested.

In the meantime I didn’t reply to the other publisher until I had the green light from Ethan.

I’d made the right choice. When I saw the cover art for my first Wilde City release I instantly wrote back to Adrian, the graphic artist, saying it was nothing like I expected. It was a hundred times better!

Good books, good reads.

My first Wilde purchase was Looking after Joey, David Pratt’s re-imagining of Woody Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo. In Pratt’s version it’s a character from a porn video that comes to life who expects the real world to have the same clichéd dialogue and ready-on-tap sex as his world. It is a very clever book.

There were several others I loved but one that stood out was Eric Arvin’s Wave Goodbye to Charlie. Tender, unique and memorable is how to describe this tale of young homeless Charlie. We discover his harsh life and then become aware of his reality as a ghost. Another recommended read.

And Wilde City itself became a star as the backdrop of Geoffrey Knight’s noir Buck Baxter detective series, and Ethan’s own contemporary romance, Love Me Tomorrow.

The email went out. They are shutting their doors.

After several years all the authors and editors received an email – Wilde City is to be no more. Eventually their books will be gone. Another small press lost to an aggressive market.

I have fond memories of being part of their story. The to-ing and fro-ing on cover art for my romance novella with Adrian. Working with editors Jerry L. Wheeler and Jason Bradley. Changing Australian cultural references which Americans may not understand.

My own novels are moving.

During this year all my current books plus three new ones will be released through NineStar Press, who I thank immensely for signing me on. My first new book with them will be out on March 21 and is an erotic comedy titled From Top to Bottom, about a trio of tops discovering a new pleasure zone.

So here I am beginning a new chapter with more fond memories to make.

But I’m going to miss that familiar Art Deco website.


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