Never give up – never give in

Crimewave had a story of mine that got put in the wrong drawer. Then they found it again and decided to publish it. Yippee! It would have been better, perhaps, if I’d given them a gentle nudge about six months or so ago, which might have caused them to open that right/wrong drawer sooner, but I always find that life is too short to query submissions: I’d rather tidy the cutlery drawer. I am officially chuffed – Crimewave is a top-gun publication in my book.

On the other hand, an Indian publisher has had a piece of mine (and many other writers presumably) for over two years. Two years! And they just sent me copy edits. Well, they said they were copy edits. I say they were a joke. I started re-editing the copy editors copy edits but found that once again, life was too short. I just did a page to show the commissioning editor why I was withdrawing my piece immediately and without negotiation. To whit:

My original text – She’d flogged all the jewellery, the good clothes, the CDs, everything. The TV, Mum’s sewing machine and three piece suite had been left behind when she ran.

Their version – She[KS1] had flogged all the jewellery, good clothes, CDs, TV, mum’s sewing machine and three piece suite was left behind when she ran.
[KS1] Nonsensical wording, mine is two sentences that show the TV, sewing machine and suite were left behind, not that they were sold!

My original text – Now she rented a room for cash: no laundry, no cooking (toaster and kettle grudgingly permitted), no visitors, and communal bathroom with a fifty pence meter for the bath

Their version – Now she rented a room but no laundry[KS1] , no cooking (toaster and kettle grudgingly permitted), no visitors, and communal bathroom with a 50 pence meter for the bath.
[KS1]Again, nonsensical, of course she didn’t rent a laundry! The original wording shows that she has a room IN WHICH she is forbidden to do laundry, ie she cannot wash her clothes there.

So win one, lose one. But I did buy lots more chocolate to console myself, then somebody (thanks Brian!) facebooked me some, and then a dear soul actually delivered the real thing, in person (you know who you are, sweetness) and so I am chocolate-replete.

PS – that’s me, in case you were wondering. Annual photo, just to prove I exist.


  1. Lou
    7th August 2008

    be tough! ;=) I know what you mean with life being too short … by the way you look really slim considering all that chocolate you seem to be eating … let’s hope you’ll also have chocolate to celebrate future publications! x

  2. Dave King
    8th August 2008

    Congratulations on the story accepted – even if it was unfortunately delayed. If it’s any consolation, I preferred your original version to theirs every time. Saw no reason whatsoever for any of the changes. Unbelievable!

  3. The Burry Man Writers Center
    9th August 2008

    Kay! We miss you at Inked-In!! Forgotten us so soon?

  4. Kay Sexton
    12th August 2008

    Thanks Lou, but looks can be deceiving!

    David, I’m glad you agree, and it was great to get into crimewave.

    Burry man – I came, I saw, I posted!


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