Wednesday, November 30, 2005

My Last Word On This

In the past two days I’ve been called: a nitwit, pretentious, angry, mean, sour, a whiner, crazy, suicidal, insulting, a nightmare author, difficult, and have been told to shut up.

I’m sure I’m leaving some nasty name calling out, but I think any reader will get the general idea.  A lot of this bad-mouthing came from a blog called Miss Snark, the literary agent.  She/he might as well call him/herself Miss Anonymous. I doubt very much if this person is a literary agent.  I know my agent would never have the time to write a blog.  Not to mention the inclination. 

I had no idea what I posted would create such a brouhaha.  I was simply continuing to do what I state above this post.  All along I’ve taken the reader with me on this last book.  Losing my editor was another step.

I’ll continue my blog as before.  As of this moment this tempest in a teacup is over for me.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Never Write Scripts

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.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Galley Pages

I’ve finished doing them.  Not many mistakes at all.  I felt very cranky having to do this.  What will I be like if I have to go back to work again?  And what will I feel like if I don’t have to go back to work?

Still no news.


Friday, November 18, 2005

The Weekend is Here

And I’ve heard from no one.

Next week begins the countdown to the holidays.  Unless something is decided in the first part of next week I feel it’s unlikely that I’ll know anything before the 1st of the year.  Maybe I’m wrong about this, but it’s my feeling.  Yeah, I know: feelings aren’t facts.

The  Reader’s Digest sale made back in the spring for  This Dame came to life today when a copy was sent to me.  It’s strange to see my jacket cover on the book with three other authors.  And at the end of my novel there’s my picture and a bio.  Also they’ve taken material about me from my blog and website.  Of course there are mistakes.  I didn’t graduate from Columbia University, for instance. I guess they couldn’t believe it was Columbia High School. But that’s fine. Columbia University is a terrific school.

My galley pages have arrived but I’m not doing anything about them until Monday.  And I’m not going to think about the contract thing either.  It’s bad enough that I have to have a root canal tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Next Step

Email from editor:

This afternoon we'll place in the mail to you the loose galley pages of TOO DARN HOT.  I'm crossing my fingers that they'll be in tip-top (or close to tip-top) shape and that you'll breeze through them with very few corrections. 

However, whatever those corrections are, could you send them to Paul and me by November 28?  You need return only the pages on which you make changes.  In fact, if the changes really are few, you can just e-mail us:  page number, paragraph (or line number), and what the change should be.

Anyway, expect the package to arrive to you either tomorrow or Friday.




Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Wait Goes On

Still waiting.

I got the cover art back…the latest with the wrong hemline.  They corrected the problem by moving the figure down on the jacket so that you won’t know where the hemline is. Puhleeze.

However, I think it’s a nifty jacket.

Waiting some more.


Friday, November 11, 2005

Oh, Okay

January, the online magazine, gave me a great review.  I sent one to my editor and one to my agent.  I told my agent I wanted her to be armed when she talks to the editor.  This is what she wrote back to me:

Hey, thanks for sending this.  And stop worrying.  love, Agent

I wrote back and said I couldn’t change my whole personality at this point in life.  Laid back I’m not.  Surprise!


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Email

Hello, Agent

I got your voice message.

Hereabouts this week is jam-packed with launch meetings for next year--both the preparations for the meetings and then actually giving the presentations; so every minute is precious.

Once the dust settles next week and I can get people focused on something other than the launch, I'll set in motion the Sandra Scoppettone discussion.  Thanks for your patience.


Monday, November 07, 2005

Still Waiting

At 3:40 the phone rang.  I rushed to answer.  It was the trashman’s wife to tell me the pick up will be on Sat. instead of Thurs.  It’s now 10:20 pm and that phone call never came.

Target Day?

Yesterday I spoke to my agent and reminded her that it was November.  She said she’d call my editor today.   Six more hours to go.  Do I believe this will happen?  No.  And even if it does that might not mean my editor is waiting for the call so he can offer a deal.  Or the deal will be so hideous I’ll have to work at the library.  I guess there could be worse places here to work.  Now that I think about it, the library is looking good.


Friday, November 04, 2005


"No one says a novel has to be one thing. It can be anything it wants to be, a vaudeville show, the six o'clock news, the mumblings of wild men saddled by demons."

Ismael Reed