I grew up in a house full of paperbacks. There were hardbacks as well — Dad was a member of the Science Fiction Book Club for years — but he also fed his book-a-day monkey at J.P. Brown’s drugstore in Nashville, and our shelves grew that much more full each day. We didn’t have much money, so usually he brought home paperbacks: Ace Doubles, DAW, Signet, Pocket, and Bantam, to name a few. These were the successors to the pulps of his father’s generation, which were on the wane when Dad was growing up in the 50s and early 60s.
But while Pocket was the first major paperback house, Fawcett’s Gold Medal imprint changed the game when it started publishing original fiction, rather than reprinting cheaper versions of extant hardback books, and in that role, Fawcett became where a number of great writers made their genre debuts and built their careers. When I decided to write a novel, I imagined it as being a latter-day version of those books. Maybe I got there. You can see for yourself.