The idea for Coral Press came while I was writing the novel Pink Cadillac, set in Memphis in 1955–56, when blues and country music came together to create rock and roll. As I worked on the book, a dramatic fable about the creation of and search for a lost 45 record, I spent years back in that time, inside a magical roadhouse with a swirl of strong characters—and I loved it.
Wanting to test the waters for musical fiction, Coral Press put out Pink Cadillac first as a print-on-demand title. To our startlement it was picked up in 2002 as a Book Sense choice—and Coral Press was born. (The name comes from Buddy Holly’s record label.)
More novels followed. The next, Cutting Time, is set in the blues scene of Chicago in early 1963. Then we published a novel by L.E. Brady, Lone Star Ice and Fire, that follow the adventures of two Texas guitar-slinging brothers. Our fourth novel, Soul Cavalcade, takes readers along on a Motownlike bus tour from Detroit through the Deep South to NYC in 1964; our fifth, Meet the Annas, is a tragic romance set in the girl-group world of the early ’60s. In 2008 we put out Roger L. Trott’s Getting in Tune, a tale of a traveling cover band on the cusp of the punk revolution. In 2011 our Summer of Love tale, Look at Flower hit the street, followed in 2014 by Stations of the Cross. Our most recent publication, Howard Massey’s Roadie, came out in 2016. Also scheduled is Savage Joy, a novel about New York City in the ’70s, joining uptown literary life with the downtown punk scene. More info on Savage Joy coming soon.
What is Coral Press? Simply we publish novels that marry music, as both subject and style, with exceptional storytelling. It’s our belief that a great record always takes us to the singular place and time of its creation; and that it’s a simple jump from listening to the music to wanting to immerse yourself in worlds the records come from. We also appreciate the musicality of fine prose and believe our novels capture that.
And we’re doing great. Coral Press books are distributed by Thomson-Shore Distribution, one of the best independent distributors. All of our novels have been well reviewed; Meet the Annas, got a rave in the Feb. 12, 2007, Publishers Weekly.
We’ve also been developing our website. Besides full info on our books and excerpts, we’ve been moving into multimedia. Our first book trailer, for Meet the Annas, was the “example” video under Book Trailers on the Squidoo site. We even have recordings from the groups themselves, including one of the Annas’ hits, “He’s So Bad (I Love Him).”
You can find more info at our website, www.coralpress.com.