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Wanted: Brilliant Beginning Writer Willing to Become Famous

February 26, 1988|KIRK JACKSON | Times Staff Writer

Boies and Morales have other projects in the works. They have approached John Carlos Rowe, a media specialist who wrote a book on news coverage in Vietnam, to write a similar book on Nicaragua. In addition, they have asked Aliko Songolo, a black South African professor of literature at UCI, to compile a book of essays and poetry about his country. Both projects are being negotiated, they said.

The two said the political nature of the upcoming projects is unintentional. "Our bent is really serious writing," Boies said, "and a lot of serious writing is political."

In the future, he said, they hope to publish more poetry, novels and short stories.

Kanellos, who founded his organization in 1972, said it's very important that small press publishers pay close attention to the business end of their operation: "They go into it for love of art and literature, and they don't know anything about business. More than 90% don't survive their first year. They publish one book and that's it. They publish one issue of a magazine and you never hear from them again."

Boies and Morales, however, believe that theirs will be among the 10% that survive. "I'm a school administrator, so finance and management are part of what I do for a living," Boies said.

They also believe that their affiliation with UCI gives them an advantage. Although the university has not provided them with money, it has given them free office space, they said.

They were inspired by the success of Black Sparrow Press of Santa Rosa, which published the works of Charles Bukowski, who has been described as the "laureate of American lowlife" and who wrote the autobiographical screenplay for the recent movie "Barfly."

"It would be great if we could get a writer like that, if we could launch a writer that hits," Morales said.

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