About the Publisher
Hank Boer, president and publisher, is a long-time Alberta educator with a BEd and an MEd in Educational Administration. Hank worked in the public school system as a teacher, principal, consultant and assistant superintendent. He also developed achievement tests for Alberta Education and was a sessional instructor at the University of Lethbridge and the University of Alberta.
Hank has many writing credits to his name including instructional materials and curriculum documents in mathematics and science. The experience led Hank to pursue an interest in publishing. As a result of his years of experience in the school system, Hank facilitated the creation of titles intended to be sold in specialty markets and school systems.
Upon opening Quagmire Press, Hank is now directing his knowledge, skills and creative energies into building a company that stems from a fascination with crime and mystery novels led to publishing titles about true crime, espionage and mysterious phenomena, both nonfiction and fiction.
An Interview with the Publisher
Q: What got you interested in publishing books about true crime and mysteries?
A: Like many people I am both horrified and fascinated by acts of crime, whether tragic, psychotic acts of violence or crimes with some oddity or even hint of intelligence. Crime appears to be a pervasive element in our communities and at times, people react with ambivalence and others, morbid fascination. That said I’m not interested in glorifying or sensationalizing crime. There is always a human element, which goes beyond the investigation of the crime. I’m also intrigued by the processes and procedures law enforcement and the courts use to bring people to justice. The solving of a crime by police and getting into the psyche of a perpetrator is, to me, more fascinating than the crime itself. Seeing the resilience of the victim’s family is another interesting and compelling part of presenting true crime stories.
Q: But you also publish fiction?
A: I love reading mystery and crime fiction, so, yes, I certainly want to publish good ones and add to our repertoire. Where Quagmire goes remains to be seen. It’ll depend in good measure on the quality and nature of manuscripts that we are able to secure.
Q: Where did the name Quagmire come from?
A: (laughs) Take a close look at book publishing some time. If it’s not a quagmire, I don’t know what is. It’s also an immensely rewarding business from the point of view of entertaining and educating people.
Q: As we’re talking about the challenges of the book publishing industry, what makes you feel you’ll be successful when many other small publishers have failed to get past their first few years?
A: My passion for and knowledge about the true crime and mystery genre are some of the reasons why I am confident that Quagmire Publishing will prove a success. It’s also important that we have the right kind of support, especially early on. I feel we have that in the agreement we have with Canada Book Distributors, a distributor with an extensive North American distribution network, that will handle our distribution and marketing.
Q: So, what’s the next step for you?
A: Quagmire wants to build a network of strong nonfiction and fiction writers who truly enjoy the crime and mystery genre to work with us on a series of titles, and we actively recruit talented writers who can help us fulfil our mandate. We’re looking for manuscripts from strong writers in the mystery and espionage genres. We believe we can offer an excellent editorial relationship; we have access to first-rate book designers; and we have strong marketing and distribution. That’s a good set of assets to bring to the table, and we look forward to the partnerships we’ll build with authors keen to increase their reputation as writers in the fields of true crime, mystery and espionage.