News, Updates, Additions

March 21, 2013

I feel like I’ve come full circle with my article about William Ard in the Huffington Post.  I was able to credit Mike Nevins and provide links to Paperback Parade and Ramble House both important players in the resurrection of Ard.

June 7, 2011

When detective fiction scholar Mike Nevins and I got together we talked for hours about books and about Ard.  Mike said in the nearly half century that he’s been working in this field he has never even seen a copy of Ard’s The Sins of Billy Serene.  Well, I finally did see a copy.  I wasn’t able to obtain it, but I got a picture of it.  You can find it in the photo file.  It’s a Monarch book published in 1960.

March 27, 2011

William Ard, after nearly 50 years, is back in print. I recently received a note from Fender Tucker of Ramble House Books that two Timothy Dane novels, The Perfect Frame and .38 are now in print as a double novel under the title Perfect .38 with an introduction by hard boiled lit scholar Francis M. Nevins.

When I first began working on this website and working with the Ard family who so generously shared information and photos, my only thought was to keep William Ard and his works digitally alive.  That his works would — could — return to print, was beyond a dream.

My thanks again to Francis Nevins for his work in getting Ard back in print and to Fender Tucker for publishing the two titles.  Please support the project by purchasing the book in paperback or hardcover. You can order on the Ramble House Books site.

***

Found this recently on ebay.  Digit book originally published under the title Hell is a City.

***

April 3, 2009

Cry Scandal

I was excited to find this Ard title recently.  It’s the first British title I’ve seen.   It was published by Digit, but I’m not sure when. It simply states copyright by William Ard 1956. If anyone has any information on other Ard titles published in Britain, France or other countries, please let me know.

***

March 18, 2009

Just discovered a great site called Killer Covers, which, for a vintage paperback lover like myself, is nirvana.  The March 16 post is about William Ard covers with links to Robert McGinnis and Francis M. Nevins Jr.  There are also some kind words about this site, for which I’m grateful.

Check it out.  If you love vintage paperbacks, hard boiled fiction and the outstanding cover art of the ’50s-60s, you love this site.

***

November 2, 2008

It is with great sadness that I report that Eileen Hendrick passed away October 22, 2008.  Her daughter, Eileen Heishman, was thoughtful enough to email me and give me the news.

Mrs. Hendrick was a wonderful person, full of life, humor and faith.  It was a joy working with her on this site, and sharing her excitement with each photo or document or news and corrections that she sent me.  I’ll cherish our phone conversations and our email exchanges.

A memorial service was held for Mrs. Hendrick Saturday, Nov. 1 in the Faith Methodist Church in Largo, Florida.  As her daughter Eileen rightly pointed out, Saturday was All Saints Day.

My deepest sympathies to Eileen Heishman on her loss, and my eternal gratitude to Mrs. Hendrick for her contributions to this site keeping alive the work of a great writer.

***

October 2, 2008

I’ve been sidelined by a trip to California and then a serious car accident. I’m still recovering but am well enough to get back to the site.

Eileen Hendrick came across some of Bill’s original book contracts, which is incredibly exciting.  I’m trying to figure out the best way to present them here as they’re a bit blurry.  I’ll definitely share the information which gives a rare insight into the paperback publishing world at that time.

I’ve also recently acquired many Ard first edition hardcovers which are extremely scarce.  I’ve created a new page entitled “The Hardcovers.” I’ll be adding more cover photos as I receive them.

July 21, 2008

I recently found William Ard works in two magazines. Man’s World, February, 1958, contains “Syndicate Madam,” a book bonus adapted from .38 published in 1952. It just happens I was reading .38 when I received the magazine. .38 is not about a syndicate madam at all. I imagine the editors chose the title to lure men into it. Patently false advertising but, what the heck, it’s a man’s world.


The second magazine, Man’s Magazine, November 1963 contains part 2 of “Death of a Busy Body.” It does not name the novel from which it was adapted. Maybe I’ll find that in part one in the October 1963 issue.

July 3, 2008

New Photo

Eileen Hendrick sent me a new-found photo of her, daughter Eileen and son Bill, shortly after her husband Bill’s death in March, 1960. Daughter Eileen Heischman estimates this to be circa 1961.

Buchanan’s Title Changes

June 2, 2008

A few months ago I made a mistake saying that William Ard had written three Buchanan titles in full. I knew better, but I’m glad now that I made the mistake. It prompted Eileen Hendrick to go back through some old papers and she came up with information that’s gold for Ard fans.

She sent me a note saying that each contract would give the book a title, but it often was published under a different title. Here’s the information she sent me.

The first title, The Name’s Buchanan (1956) was originally titled Buchanan.

The second book, Buchanan Says No (1956) was originally titled Buchanan’s Last Fight.

The third book, One Man Massacre (1957), was originally titled Buchanan Gets Mad.

The fourth book, Buchanan Gets Mad (1958), was originally titled The Wild Man.

The fifth book, Buchanan’s Revenge, (1959), was originally titled Buchanan Comes A’Killing.

The sixth book, Buchanan on the Prod, (1959), was the only book whose title remained the same from contract to publication.

Thanks, Eileen. I hope you continue your search through old papers. This type of information is invaluable to Ard/Ward collectors and fans.

May 7, 2008

The Story Behind the Ken Hamlin Pseudonym

When Eileen Hendrick read the post on the Guns of Revenge title that Ard wrote under the pseudonym of Ken Hamlin, she responded with this information.

“Ken Hamlin was a golf friend of many years, who passed away quite a few years ago. Bill. . .often used personal friends, sometimes in surprising personal ways, such as perhaps a character in a poker game and perhaps exaggerating a personal trait.” His friends, she said, enjoyed being characters in his books, which you can see in the May 1952 alumni notes.

Ken was, in fact, partly responsible for the Ards moving from New York to Clearwater.

The Hamlins and Ards lived in Scarsdale, NY in the same huge apartment development. “Ken actually owned a bit of commercial property in Clearwater,” Eileen said. “Ken and his wife traveled down to Clearwater several times a year. “They kept telling us about the area.” She continued that “We often went out to dinner with them and one wet, cold winter night. . .Bill got on the subject of snow, ice and cold, then beaches and palm trees.” Bill, an avid golfer, asked Eileen what she thought about moving to Clearwater.

“I was slow to move in that direction, leaving our family and friends,” she said. “But, as Bill said, if we didn’t like it we could always move back. We decided to try it. After all, Bill’s job went where he did!”

Ken & Lois kept continued to coming down to Clearwater to visit. “The came down every Christmas,” Eileen said. I always knew where they were staying and would have a little Christmas tree decorated and waiting for them to plug in and light up to have a happy welcome After a few years, they decided to come to Florida to stay.”

The Ard family move to Clearwater was a good decision, she said. “I am to this day thankful for the dear friends that are a precious part of my life — the friends from Carlouel from 1953 and others so dear from my church family.”

She added that Guns of Revenge is the only time Bill used a friend’s name for a pseudonym.


May 5, 2008

The one Ard book I don’t have in my collection is Babe in the Woods (Monarch, 172, 1960. That’s because a VG+ copy goes for over $130. I contacted Grant Thiessen, who’s been in the book business since 1965 and asked him why the high price. He answered that writer Lawrence Block wrote the book and a lot of Block collectors seeking complete collections, are searching for the title.

Ard collectors shouldn’t worry. Since Ard’s wife, Eileen Hendrick, said he was working on a Buchanan novel at the time of his death, chances are Block was commissioned to write the full text of Babe. John Jakes wrote the three final novels, Make Mine Mavis (Monarch 215), And So To Bed (Monarch 231) and Give Me This Woman (Monarch 269).

April 17, 2008

I just received alumni correspondence, transcripts and obituaries from Dartmouth, Ard’s alma mater. I’m sifting through and organizing it now and will post it soon. Many thanks to Sarah Hartwell at Dartmouth’s Rauner Library

April 14, 2008

Eileen Heishman, William Ard’s daughter, surprised me today with a collection of family photos, including a wonderful portrait of Bill and Bill and his wife Eileen.

I’m really excited because when they’re posted it will be the world premiere of these photos. And by the sounds of things, they may be the only photos of Bill in existence.

I can’t thank Eileen enough for digging out, scanning and sending me these photos. She’s continuing her search for more.

*

In other news, I contacted the Dartmouth Alumni Department and they are sending me Ard’s transcripts which, aside from their historical interest, may give a clue to the seeds of his literary influences. I’ll post them as soon as I receive them.

I hope to add a lot of information to this page.

First, I want to thank the whole Ard family for their outpouring of support. I was surprised, humbled and am very appreciative.

*

I hadn’t been in touch with Eileen Hendrick for more than a decade. I did save her address and wrote to her. I was sitting in my favorite dumpy little restaurant in Mansfield, PA having lunch when my cell phone rang. I accidentally hit the loudspeaker and through the noise of the restaurant all I could hear was a vaguely familiar voice and “Hendrick.” I frantically hit the loud speaker button and jumped up from the table, leaving my tuna salad sandwich untouched. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so surprised and excited.

I ran outside so I could hear but lumbering trucks through the February slush made it impossible. I ran back inside, past customers who probably wondered if I had flipped out totally. I found a quiet spot and we agreed I would call her that evening.

Eileen remains a charming, wonderful woman with a great sense of humor. We caught each other up on our respective family news. I told her I would call her with questions that had come up since I began this site.

*

The next night I received an email from daughter Eileen who offered to help find some personal items to share.

*

My Valentine’s Day present was a note from Ard’s half-brother, Robert, who shared some great information. Robert said he was 14 when William and family moved to Florida, which was the last time he saw William. However, Robert’s father told the family stories about the popular author.

It seems that William had wanted to be a writer all his life. Robert writes: “As my father tells it, when he was 13 or 14, he proudly presented his parents with the latest copy of, I believe, The Saturday Evening Post, and showed them his published short story. They had no clue he had written or submitted it for publication. Fear of rejection, maybe?”

This was a major revelation. The Saturday Evening Post and Look were the two leading magazines of the day. Professional writers would have given a year of their life to have something accepted. For a 13 or 14- year-old to have a story accepted is nearly unheard of. I’ll be trying to track this one down.

Robert added that for the last year or two before his untimely death, William wrote screenplays. “I recall hearing he wrote an episode of 77 Sunset Strip,” Robert writes, “and as I am sure you know, Buchanan himself made in to the silver screen in the person of Randolph Scott. As my father told me, there was much pressure from producers for Bill to relocate to Southern California where his presence would make production more convenient, but Bill did not want to be a part of the Hollywood scene, preferring instead to “mail it in” from Florida.”

Robert rightly notes that this refusal to move was a curious transformation for a man who wrote movie ad copy and reviews. Many of his novels also reflect his fascination with the New York theater and club scene.

*

To all members of the Ard family and friends, thanks for your news. Please keep it coming!

Guns of Revenge (March 1, 2008)

March 25, 2008

More Information From Eileen Hendrick and Daughter Eileen

(Note: I’ll post this recent interview here as “news” and later add it to the more appropriate existing post. Look at this as the latest piece of news in my quest for information on William Ard).

Mrs. Hendrick said that Bill was desperately trying to finish his last novel as he fighting his losing battle with cancer. “He even had his typewriter in the hospital as he was dying,” she said. He had requested it and the doctors let her bring it into him. Unfortunately, he was unable to complete it.

Mrs. Hendrick doesn’t remember what book he was working on, and given the circumstances, that’s understandable. It was probably Like Ice She Was, completed by John Jakes and published in 1960 by Monarch, or Buchanan On The Prod, completed by science fiction writer Robert Silverberg and published in 1960 by Gold Medal.

Gangsters, hard-hitting detectives and loose women populate Ard’s books but the author couldn’t have lived in a more different world. He was a homebody,” Mrs. Hendrick said, and devoted to his family. “We were married for 14 years. During that whole time he was away from home one night. He was definitely a family man. He didn’t lead a wild life in nightclubs; his imagination was wonderful.”

“We were a typical 1950s family,” daughter Eileen said. “We sat around and watched TV after dinner. The only thing unusual about our family was that Dad was home all day. “

Bill usually went out for breakfast while I got the kids ready for school,” Mrs. Hendrick said. “He’d come back and write all morning and in the evenings. During day he’d play golf or we would hang out together. Our life was very quiet.”

Bill used one bedroom of their three bedroom house for his office.

Both Bill and Eileen were avid readers. “We read all the time,” she said. He read whatever books were out at the time. I don’t remember his favorites but I do remember one writer he didn’t read – Mickey Spillane.”

Ard had a few passions. He was a member of the Carlouel Yacht Club and the Pelican Golf Club. He loved golf and roque,” according to daughter Eileen.

We had wealthy friends but we weren’t wealthy,” Mrs. Hendrick said. “We lived off the money he made from his latest book and when the money ran out he started another one. That’s why he wrote so many!” She laughed

Daughter Eileen was 12 when her dad died. Her brother Bill was nine years old. He also died of cancer at age 38.

Eileen later married an acquaintance, Herbert Hendrick. They lived on a yacht for a year. She put all her personal items in a storage unit. The unit leaked and ruined all her possessions, including her family photos of Bill.

4 Responses to “News, Updates, Additions”

  1. Guns of Revenge « William Ard Says:

    […] The pseudonym is actually the name of a close friend of the Ards at the time. He has since passed away. For Eileen Hendrick’s recollection, click here. […]

  2. Francis M. Nevins Says:

    Dear Dennis Miller:
    Good morning and happy Thanksgiving! Having spent a chunk of this morning browsing your website, which I stumbled upon by accident while looking for something else entirely, I believe you know my name. Congratulations on a truly excellent tribute to William Ard!
    Years ago, while working on my Ard essays for The Armchair Detective, I had several phone conversations with Eileen Hendrick and with Bill Ard Jr. I was able to cover The Sins of Billy Serene in my essay only because Eileen loaned me a copy. I’ve never seen one since. I’m very sorry to read on your site that she died two years ago.
    As it happens, I’m acquainted with the owner of a publishing house in New York that has been reprinting many books from the Fifties of the sort that Bill Ard wrote. If someone from the Ard family will get in touch with me by E-mail, I may be able to facilitate getting some of Bill’s novels back in print.

    Sincerely,

    Francis M. Nevins

  3. B faud Says:

    I found my way here after picking up (by chance) an Italian translation of an Ard book and wondering more about the author. The book is ‘the Last Night’ in Italian, trans. of ‘Private Party’– in hardback no less!

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