Publisher Delves into Family History
by Jason Harris
Recently, I had the good fortune to meet Jim Dyer, who started Fenham Publishing, a small independent publishing house, located in Narragansett. Dyer is the grandson of author C.M. Eddy, Jr.
Dyer got the idea about publishing his grandfather’s collections after going through his grandparent’s papers and manuscripts. According to the website, he chose some selections as a basis for the titles produced thus far.
Dyer wanted to produce a cohesive collection of their works, he said.
“Many of my grandfather’s short stories have been included in some anthologies through the years, but they had never been collected together in book form,” Dyer said.
When his grandparents passed away, their papers, letters, and manuscripts were put into storage. Dyer periodically went through them and made inquires to some small publishing companies, he said.
“There was quite a bit of interest from all the publishers in putting together some collections of my grandfather’s stories, and after further discussions I decided I could take my grandparent’s works, edit, design and develop them into book form.”
By creating Fenham in 2000, it allowed Dyer the control to make the collections look and feel the way he wanted them to, along with managing the quality. He was able to get all of the details the way he envisioned them, he said.
So far, Fenham has published these works by his grandparents: The Loved Dead and Other Tales, Exit into Eternity: Tales of the Bizarre and Supernatural, and The Gentleman from Angell Street: Memories of H.P. Lovecraft by Eddy, Jr. and Muriel E. Eddy, his wife. All three of these books can be found at www.fenhampublishing.com.
The collection, Exit into Eternity, was originally published in hardcover in the 1970s by Dyer’s aunt and mother in a very limited edition, so when he started Fenham Publishing he reprinted the edition in a trade paperback, he said. He then published the other collections.
“I have many more short stories that I am currently going through to assemble into more editions.”
According to a 1963 Providence Evening Bulletin article, Eddy knew and worked with Houdini and H.P. Lovecraft. He was one of Houdini’s ghost writers along with Lovecraft. This article also states that Eddy’s wife typed up Lovecraft’s manuscripts.
His grandmother had written quite a few essays and remembrances of H.P. Lovecraft throughout the years for various magazines, newspapers, fanzines and books, he said.
“Many people wanted her to give her personal memories and view of Lovecraft, as she knew him as a friend,” Dyer said.
Muriel E. Eddy was also a poet and author. She wrote short stories in the thriller, romance and mystery genres, Dyer said. Her stories were in various publications such as Midnight Magazine, Scarlet Adventuress, Personal Adventure Stories and Complete Detective Novel Magazine. Many of her poems have been published in newspapers through the years such as The Attleboro Sun, The Norwich Bulletin, Boston Daily Record, Philadelphia Inquirer and The Providence Journal/Bulletin, Dyer said. Her poetry
has been included in some anthologies and small press collections, he added.
Fenham Publishing titles are distributed by Baker & Taylor, and are available at your favorite local bookstore as well as the major online retailers.