It's a funny thing how the discovery of old journals makes a person realize how much he has changed over the years. Once again, last night, I read a very excerpts from my long-lost journals and noted this one entry:
"MM called today and informed me that Legends to Live By has passed into the sacred halls of publication and that the editor will be sending along contracts and financial offer very soon. She has also informed the publisher that I could produce a trilogy. Conversation ended on a high note and the promise that she would call from England once the offer is approved by the publisher."
Now, this doesn't mean much from just a cursory reading, and I'd forgotten all about this little incident (isn't it incredible how we push pain out of our minds?). But MM was my agent at the time. She was returning to England and had just called to inform me that the big ol-bad publisher was eager to snatch up one of my books and was actually going to pay me!
But of course, you guessed it . . . the whole deal fell through at zero hour, the editor in question left for another publishing house (one of the recurring sidebars in my literary career), and all of the editor's projects, including mine, were dumped on the trash heap of history.
I skipped ahead in my journal and noted that it wasn't long after this that my agent also dumped me (thanks MM!!) and I, of course, went on to publish several more books on my own, without representation, a sales force, a name, a web site, or a brand: one of the most difficult set of accomplishments in this man's life, bar none, as the publishing industry is all but closed to any writer who doesn't have a high-powered agent for a friend or a bank account to cover air fare, hotels, and the millions it takes to market a book to success.
But hey, who's complaining? I've got it all down in my journals. And some sweet day I'm going to send little excerpts anonymously to all the players who have had a hand in helping to make me the grand failure I am today! I wonder . . . would they pay me hush money?