Wasn't this the plot of a movie starring Joan Crawford?

No, I'm wrong. It's Bette Davis. Thanks for the title, Edie and Denise. The rest of you, guess the movie this vaguely echoes. Careers and roles aren't actively stolen....but still reminiscent, okay?

Let us say that a few years back, Author A got a note from a fan who wrote about how much she enjoyed the author's work. There's some back and forth and the fan asks author to look at her manuscript.

The author did read it and made some suggestions--quite a few as she recalls, although the manuscript was pretty freaking good and the author said so in reviews she left everywhere once the book was published.

She got a chance to beta-read another of the fan's manuscript, that one needed more work. By the third manuscript, however, the fan had an editor and an agent and didn't need more feedback. She was also now Author B.

That was the end, except for a congrats note here and there, liking posts on facebook--that sort of thing. They were supposed to meet up at a convention but Author B doesn't have a minute available on her schedule and they just don't do more than wave and blow kisses at that conference or the next.

Author B's dance card is full because now she is a big name author, getting bigger all the time.  She hits the lists.

Author A is puttering along, not doing badly but not hitting any lists. She decides to take her career more seriously and this means PROMO HELL. She writes a note to Author B asking her if she would be willing to read an Author A book and perhaps give her a pull quote. Or if that's a nuisance, remember how she wrote that note saying she liked Author A's book? Author A was self pubbing it now. So maybe she could provide a quote about that one?

She gets a form letter back from Author B's assistant about how the Author B doesn't have time to read or provide quotes. Author A sends another note a "wow, an assistant! glad you're doing well!" note (or so it's reported) and gets no response . . . other than an unfriending on facebook.

Two days later, Author A gets a newsletter from Author B asking for her fans to be sure to write reviews if they love her latest book.

"Were you tempted to hit the two-star review thing over at Goodreads?" Author C asks.
"Of course not. I would never do that. I might not buy the book though."

She's a vengeful type....not buying the book, forsooth. Author C simmers a while then asks,
"Can I call her out? Or ask her about it? I remember you helping her, so I know this hap--"
"Well, when she wins a big award, we can sit at a table and glower at her, a la Bette Davis at the end of All About Eve

It's a date. 


  1. Oh yeah... I have SO been there. Thanks for sharing. And hey, if we're ever at the same conference, can your assistant call my assistant to schedule drinks? ;)

    1. I've been there to a degree, but not like you or Author A. ( I was author C when I wrote that). Your ability to forgive and move on is pretty amazing. I don't have that but I've made my peace with the world.

      I've basically dropped to the basement when it comes to the ladder of success. No ladders, no need for climbing and I've decided it's a comfy place and easier to write from.


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