British-based Hemlock Books was formed in 2007 by author and film historian Denis Meikle, whose own books include A History of Horrors: The Rise and Fall of the House of Hammer (1996), Jack the Ripper: The Murders and the Movies (2002), Vincent Price: The Art of Fear (2003) and Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out (2006).
The company was set up with a dual purpose: as a retail publisher of niche titles for horror and fantasy fans on one side, and as a retailer of (mostly) American fanzines on the other side. Hemlock has many exclusive US contacts and is now the online presence in the UK for genre magazines like Little Shoppe of Horrors and Rue Morgue. It is the official distributor of GoreZone and producer-director Charles Band’s new publishing offshoot, Delirium.
Hemlock’s publishing arm was established to produce ‘cult’ titles of specific interest to fans of classic British horror. Many of these would be too narrow in their appeal to be of value to mainstream publishers but with modern digital technology, a niche publisher like Hemlock can print in lower volume and produce books for a limited audience who would not otherwise be catered for in the conventional marketplace. The model for this fan-based approach was US publisher Midnight Marquee Press, with whom Hemlock has a co-publishing agreement.
Some books have been specifically commissioned, such as those in Hemlock’s ‘British Cult Cinema’ series, but most are unsolicited submissions. Anyone can suggest a book to the company, the criteria being that a) the author can write, b) it should bring something new to the table in a field where many of the topics have effectively been ‘done to death’, and c) unique access or exclusive material is a definite plus. Proposals can be submitted to email@example.com
New and forthcoming titles include X-Cert 2, the sequel to John Hamilton’s X-Cert (2012), Frightmares: The Films of Pete Walker, a new series of ‘Hemlock Horror Companion’s featuring Witchcraft & Black Magic in British Cult Cinema, the films of Canadian cult director Bob Clark and actor Udo Keir, as well as four new Midnight Marquee UK editions.
Future titles will include the sequel to 2013’s Empire of the B’s, examining Charles Band’s days with Full Moon Features, and a new definitive film biography of Vincent Price.
In the space of a few years, Hemlock Books has established itself as the leading publisher of genre titles in the UK, with a reputation for original and quality writing.