FOR ALMOST THIRTY YEARS, Alyson Books has been publishing GLBT authors, often when no other publisher would dare sign them on. After the independent publishing house was purchased by Regent Media last year (which also owns The Advocate, Out, and many other titles in print and on-line, as well as TV shows), the new owners recruited Don Weise to build on Alyson’s longtime success by nurturing its reputation and establishing new categories, including self-help, erotica, and genre fiction.
Weise, who’s barely in his forties, has been working with gay authors throughout his award-winning career (he’s won three Lambda Literary Awards to date). Before joining Alyson he had been an editor at Cleis Press and Carroll & Graf, where he launched the publishing house’s gay and lesbian division. Weise has worked with many influential gay and lesbian authors over the years, such as Edward Albee, Edmund White, Leslie Feinberg, Ann Bannon, and Gore Vidal.
From his new office in New York City, Weise discussed his vision for Alyson going forward and shared his views of the current state, as well as the recent history, of GLBT literature.