The Horror… The Horror: An Autobiography by Rick Hautala was released on Monday, May 27, by Crossroads Press. At the moment, it is only available as an e-book.
Holly Newstein Hautala, Rick’s wife, said that Crossroads Press will do a print edition since enough people have expressed interest in it for them to go ahead with it.
“I will assume at this point a POD trade paperback,” Holly said about the print version.
Rick passed away in March and Holly found the manuscript two weeks after his death.
“He had a ‘man corner’ in the living room, where all his war games and ‘to be read’ books were piled up,” Holly said. “I was winnowing down the pile and found a Manila envelope. Inside was the manuscript with his handwritten edits. I had no idea he was working on anything like this.”
Rick wrote his autobiography almost four years ago, she said.
“I searched his thumb drives and external hard drive, by title and phrases, and came up blank,” Holly said. “I can only assume that he wrote it, began editing it, and then decided in his Eeyore way that nobody would be interested and deleted it. It really was the only secret he ever kept from me.”
She read it immediately and knew it was an important story, Holly said. It’s not only important for the people who knew and loved him, but also because it captures a chapter in the publishing industry.
“When Rick’s career began, publishers were still promoting and supporting ‘midlist’ writers, who might or might not have a breakout novel in them, but were modestly profitable.”
The tax codes changed and this doomed the midlist writers, she said. “There were no more tax advantages in promotion and in ‘growing’ authors – it was all about the mega-best sellers. With the advent of digital and on-demand publishing, the small presses came into their own and filled the vacuum left by the demise of the midlist, and Rick’s career got a second wind. The Horror shows in a very personal way the carnage and redemption that the changes in publishing have wrought.”