Not the movie kind. The ones in your head or that you write on a blog or tell your friends. The best reason not to do this is because you are always wrong.
On Friday my editor called me. I was surprised to hear from him as it was a long weekend and he doesn’t call me socially. We chatted for a few minutes about Thanksgiving and even then I was writing a script in my head: he was calling me to tell me they weren’t going to offer me another contract. Again I was wrong.
The reason he was calling me was to tell me that he was leaving the publishing company. Not because he was moving on to a new job, but because he’d had it with the business. He said he hated to use the term burned out but that’s what he was. I was stunned. I told him I understood and I do. He worked too much and he wanted a life. He doesn’t know what he’ll do but whatever it is won’t be in publishing.
I asked him if this was the reason I hadn’t been offered a contract. He said no. It was because they wanted to see how Dame performed. I know that can’t be the reason because Dame has done her performance by now. If he’d been staying on he would’ve pushed for a new contract (if that’s what he wanted) but it wasn’t up to him, since he was leaving, to make deals.
This coming week he was going to sit down with the head of the company and talk about what authors should be with what editors. That doesn’t say anything about my situation.
What worries me is the new book, Too Darn Hot, which will be published in June. Even if a new contract hadn’t come my way, this editor would’ve still been on top of things and moved the book as much as possible. As the book is finished and there’s nothing for a new editor to do on it, it’ll lie there like a lox. Unless there’s a new contract and then it’ll be different. At the moment my book is an orphan.
When I called my agent and told her he was leaving she said, “This is very bad news.” Then she said she was very close with the head of the company and she’d call that person on Monday.
This doesn’t put paid to my earlier anxieties as everything I worried about still applies and in fact adds to my worries. Who will my new editor be, if I’m going to have one?
Not to insult anyone, but this editor is the last of a certain breed…a gentleman and a man of experience. I don’t know for sure, but I’d say he’s in his early fifties. He mentioned the possiblitity of one editor and I asked how old the person was. Twenty-nine.
I know any editor is probably going to be younger than I, but twenty-nine? He/she could be even younger, not only at this publishing house but almost everywhere. I’m not saying an editor of that age has to be horrible, in fact I know that someone so young could be the best editor I’ve ever had. Still, it gives me pause.
So that’s it. The next step will be hearing from my agent after she talks to the head of the company.
I’m going to try to use this extension of my “vacation” to enjoy myself. I’ll also allow my mind to be open to new ideas. I won’t search but I’ll be open.
So, as you’ve already gathered, the moral of this story is, thinking you know all the possibilities is stupid and useless and makes you a bigger asshole than you already are.
Pardon me while I stand in the corner.