There Be Monsters by Dylan James Quarles

Winner of the 2021 Best Indie Book Award for Adventure!



First edition, 2021 - 300 copies

4.5x7in - 406pgs


Dylan James Quarles is the author of 4 other novels. All of which move plot and character at dizzying speeds through imaginary lands. This book, There Be Monsters (2021), comes at the tail end of these experiments in novelistic world building, inspirational genre-play, and cinematic adventure. Each aspect on full display as Quarles strings this wild yarn together.


We were at the bar in the Green Room, crossing paths, when Dylan first told me about There Be Monsters. He framed it as a side project. An experiment in pulp-fiction. Something that I may be able to publish in three smaller parts. I was intrigued. I’d just moved back to town a month or so before and was looking to begin publishing books by other writers. We shared in a handshake deal.


The path from there was long and meandering. Each of us had to learn what it meant to publish a big novel on a small scale. And what it means to collaborate on a prose story of such breadth: the editorial work, the patience and diligence, the navigation of personal hardships. Nearly two years from the first draft of Book One, we pulled together the threads of what would be the final flesh and bones of There Be Monsters.


The story became one where genres regularly mixed and played into the other. Yet somehow throughout this phantomagoria of styles each genre held its interior logic. Dylan’s gift here is to carry a propulsive plot forward, with dozens of individual threads, all while subverting genre in a way that never looks down upon it. In There Be Monsters, the reader will find a vital and unfolding imagination.


For the design I chose to begin from classic pulp-style books and films. A brash and bold yellow font against a harrowing painted scene. I went from Cover into the interior, mirroring the bold style with elements of cinematic devices: the title splash, the stinger scene, the act breaks. The book was long. Even after we pared down the overall length in edits. So like those old pulp novels I stuffed the text in with minimal margins and a clear and legible font.


This book was the first time I dealt in contract work. It was the first novel I published. And it was the first time I hosted an event in Port Townsend: We launched the book in the summer of 2021. The pandemic still rolling. Outside, in the courtyard, at the Castle in PT we hosted a group of about 40 people. In the heat of the evening we said a few words and celebrated the text. Beginning its further travels out into the world of readers.


Conner Bouchard-Roberts

publisher, Winter texts

feb 2022

There Be Monsters by Dylan James Quarles