Powerhouse New York publisher Neil Nyren’s Crime Wave keynote address is titled “Myths and Truths About Publishing.”
Nyren did it all and saw it all with the Who’s Who of mystery and suspense authors he nurtured, edited, and published. “Crime and suspense is what I like to read and what I like to publish,” he says.
And he did it from the pinnacle of publishing, retiring recently as the executive vice president, associate publisher, and editor-in-chief of the legendary G.P. Putnam’s Sons. In appreciation of his many contributions to our field, the Mystery Writers of America has awarded him their coveted Ellery Queen Award for “outstanding contributions” to the industry.
Among his authors of crime and suspense were Clive Cussler, Ken Follett, C.J. Box, John Sandford, Robert Crais, Jack Higgins, W.E.B. Griffin, Frederick Forsyth, Randy Wayne White, Alex Berenson, Ace Atkins, and Carol O’Connell. He also worked with Tom Clancy, Patricia Cornwell, Daniel Silva, Martha Grimes, Ed McBain, Carl Hiaasen, and Jonathan Kellerman.
Before his thirty-three years at Putnam, Nyren was at E. P. Dutton; Little, Brown; Random House; Arbor House; and Atheneum. Others of his authors included Maureen Dowd, Charles Kuralt, Dave Barry, Bob Schieffer, John McEnroe, Bobby Orr (go, Bruins!), Art Buchwald, Secretary of State James A. Baker, and A. Scott Berg’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Charles Lindbergh. He was the first to publish Carl Hiaasen, Garrison Keillor, and Ian McEwan.
Nyren seems not to understand the concept of retirement. He writes a publishing column for the MWA newsletter The Third Degree and a series about debut thriller authors for BookTrib.com and The Big Thrill, sponsored by International Thriller Writers. To make certain he gets no sleep, he’s also a busy editor at large for CrimeReads, where he writes a series about classic mystery/suspense writers who deserve rediscovery.
But then, as he explains, “I love the mystery and suspense genre. I always have,”