What I Want Doesn't Change from Year to Year

ring ring
caller id: The Overlords of Publishing
me: I've been waiting for you to call back. Good job on Lofty and Sharpe, but you haven't done anything about the other requests I made.

OOP: We have misplaced the list.

Me: Yeah? Like those two publishers that have lost my manuscripts? Three manuscripts gone. Do you know in four years, two have gone astray at the large place that shall not be named but has had two names in during the years they've--

OOP: Look we don't have a lot of time and we are so very tired of whiney writers, so unless you have--

Me: Okay, here's my list. You'll get these people fresh contracts asap. Got a pencil ready? Okay. Nancy Butler, Megan Frampton, Myretta Robens, Nonnie St. George--

OOP: Wait. They write quiet books with practically no violence or sex and absolutely not a vampire in sight.

Me: You're right. No vampires. Plenty of tension, though. Tension should be enough for some books. Not every book has to move at the same breakneck pace and not every book has to have loads of action or sex. Stop ignoring the quiet ones, dammit. And give them better covers, print runs, distribution and store placement for God's sake.

OOP: Is that all?

Me: Go find Emma Jensen and beg her to write again. Same with MacAvoy. You KNOW my list. I keep giving it to you over and over.

OOP: Sigh. Are we doing anything right?

Me: You were right about Pratchett and I'm sorry I sneered all those years.

OOP: So pleased you're not totally snotty this round. But we must say we're surprised you're not on and on about yourself.

Me: Oh, I'm not done. I want a multibook contract for me, natch. Something like Sally's would be nice. Print books, I think, with ebooks coming after that. And I want gorgeous covers that have something to do with the inside copy. Pay attention to this bit: I want real publicity I don't have to pay for OR organize. Don't get all huffy. I promise to take part. I'll brush my hair and teeth and show up if someone points me in the right direction. But hells bells, I'm a writer, not a PR expert, Jim.

OOP: What you are, Rothwell, is a dreamer, or idiot. You pick the label you want.

Me: Pish tosh, as Evan says. Only a couple more and I'll let you go. The form letters to Doug have to stop. And I wonder if you can get readers blog to write positive posts about historical writers who get the facts absolutely right or--



  1. Well, at least now I know what I did wrong with my H/H.

    They're not vampires.

    (They do enough sucking, though. Perhaps if they drew blood . . . ?)

  2. Thanks for the shout-out, Kate!

    I wish I had a fat contract, too.

    And I wish publishers would stop losing your mss.

    No vamps for me, sadly; I love reading them, but just can't world-build like that.


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