• AJ Vanderhorst

Glorious News of Freedom


The Mostly Invisible Boy book cover
Redesigned Mostly Invisible Boy cover

Allow me to ask you a question, dear reader.


You know that feeling you get when something good takes place that you really, really hoped would happen but deep down you doubted ever would? (I hope you do.) Well, that’s what I’m feeling right now!


I’ve spared you the details about my dysfunctional small press (who will not be named), but things finally came to a head last week. Here’s what happened.

  1. I stopped playing nice and sent my publisher a formal Termination of Contract letter.

  2. They broke several months of radio silence to say, Ok, fine, we’ll split up.

  3. I said, Great, there’s just one more thing I’ll need…

  4. And they sent me a Reversion of Rights letter. It felt like winning the lottery. Or grasping the hilt of an ancient Sylvan sword when your back’s against a wall. Or discovering the source of Sentry Tree elixir. Excelsior! Hallelujah! Let's gooo!

Getting my book rights back may not seem like a big deal to you, dear reader, but it means I NOW CONTROL MY OWN DESTINY (you know, within reason). And now I’m gonna drop the dear reader shtick if you don’t mind and say, seriously, this is the best news I’ve had in 2021, maybe including 2020. (To be fair, that’s like saying, “It was the best news I had during the dumpster fire.”)


From this point forward the Casey Grimes books will rise or fall on their own merits as far as design, quality control and marketing. No middlemen or middlewomen taking a cut and mucking things up. This is SUCH a relief, I’ll likely be celebrating for a while.


The new Casey editions, published by Lion & Co (that’s me ☺️) are now out there:

  • New and improved covers.

  • Updated text—I purged all the little errors my press introduced and never got around to fixing.

  • New interior design flourishes.

  • And in Casey #1, I added a few sentences that clarify the nature of invisa-fade and the origins of Casey’s invisibility. Reviews suggested this was one of the book’s main probl—uhm, I mean, the only conceivable misstep in the book’s magnificent career.


That’s it, guys. That’s the update. The books are mine again. We’re free. For those interested, I’ve posted the before and after covers on FB with some additional commentary.


What does this mean for you?


Down the road, going the self-pub route means I can publish the books and stories I want, with the quality I want, whenever I want. That means I can do things like promise you I’ll be publishing another full-length novel this year that takes place in the Casey Grimes universe. (It shall be done.) Maybe two! Look for a timeline in my June update. And since I’m feeling generous (and liberated) I’ll probably throw in another surprise short story in 2021 as well.


Guess I’ll end on that note. Man, it feels good to be free.


When your back’s up against the wall, may your wildly grasping fingers find the hilt of a razor-sharp, ancient Sylvan sword just when you need it.

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