In the book, Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie, it is Mrs. Darling’s stories that draw Peter to the Darling children. Despite Wendy’s belief that he visited because of her, he admits he found the stories first, and Wendy second. The stories traveled to Neverland with Peter, who delivered them to the lost boys, babies who fell from their prams and were never claimed. On the night he visits to reclaim his shadow, Wendy shares the ending of Cinderella with Peter who then hurries to leave for Neverland and tell the lost boys.
“Don’t go Peter,” She entreated. “I know such lots of stories.”
Of course, we all know the rest. Wendy and her brothers fly to Neverland with Peter, second star to the left and straight on ‘til morning. The lost boys build a house for Wendy, and she in turn, tells them stories and tucks them in at night.
A house for stories. When Ashley Hutchison and Chad Ryan first met on Twitter, it was stories that brought them together. They connected on a public thread, the topic forgotten like a shadow tucked in a drawer. What emerged from that discussion was a new team: the founding team of Lost Boys Press. At first the duo focused their efforts on writing a book together (Godsrift in draft now), but their partnership soon grew bigger. What if they developed their own publishing house? Weary of traditional publishing’s formulaic and homogenized outputs, Ashley and Chad decided it was time for a publishing company that in Ashley’s words “was the spirit of the Lost Boys…a sense of never growing up, of looking at literature as a playground–a place where we could play with stories and themes and characters, not putting limits on our imaginations.” On October 31, 2020, Lost Boys Press went live. It is certainly not the only indie publisher, but as a company that celebrates and seeks the experimental and imaginative, it is an indie publisher for those creators who seek a home for their unconventional stories in the spirit of Neverland’s lost boys.
This inaugural blog post is an invitation for readers and writers who seek more than what can be found in everyday life. Lost Boys Press publications are “stories with something to say, that aren’t afraid to break the formula and simply be themselves.” If you are looking for something to read, you will find more than expected in Lost Boys Press publications.
Starting the list is Chad’s Ghost River. Part horror, part American magical realism, Ghost River is a dark, gritty, and desolate journey into the peaks and gulches of the human spirit. For mature readers only, this is the story of the people living and dead in Orphan Rock in the middle of desolate, haunted, cursed Ghost River Territory.
Ashley’s Map to the Stars is a novella based on her childhood. Part prose, part poetry – all primal scream – Map to the Stars is a portrait of a stolen childhood. In addition, Ashley’s novella, The Garden of the Golden Children is an allegorical story with lush but dark imagery. We all live somewhere. In this experimental book, the children of Somewhere attend the prestigious Academy with a spectacular garden that celebrates its finest pupils. The history of the Academy is rich as chocolate, but things are not as they seem.
Chimera is Lost Boys Press’s first anthology and features stories about mythical, dazzling, and sometimes dangerous creatures made up of parts from various cryptos, monsters, and legends. It is edited by Ashley, as is a second anthology, Not Meant for Each Other. This is a collection of stories, not about true love, but rather relationships that weren’t in the stars. Sometimes there is no happily ever after. Readers searching for the unexpected will find it in all of these publications from Lost Boys Press.
The house built for stories is growing. Currently, submissions are open for the next Lost Boys Press anthology. Heroes will be published in March of 2022. Writers may submit their short stories before October 31, 2021. In addition, manuscript submissions will open before the end of the year. Lost Boys Press is excited to welcome writers to share their manuscripts and fulfill Ashley and Chad’s dream, a playground of stories, themes, and characters with no limits on imagination.
Lost Boys Press story lovers can wear their hearts on their sleeve, or on their shoulder or notebook for that matter. Lost Boys Press’s online store has clothing and accessories featuring artwork from its publications. Check out Chimera’s store or browse merchandise for Ghost River.
True to the spirit of the lost boys, Ashley and Chad will give a home to any baby who falls from her pram. I am excited to join their team, as the blog writer and manuscript editor. Learning to fly in the publishing realm will be quite an adventure. Subscribe to our newsletter and check back here regularly to see what Lost Boys Press is reading or writing. Whatever we’re doing, it won’t be growing up!
Emily Rozmus lives in rural Ohio in an old, haunted house, just one of the many she has lived in over the years. A former English teacher and school librarian, she has published non-fiction writing in School Library Connection, The Ohio Journal of English Language Arts, and on the Nerdy Book Club blog. She also reviewed children’s books for School Library Connection. Emily is drawn to gothic literature.