A few years ago, when Big Engine was still up and running, I had an email exchange with a complete and utter twit whose novel was sublimely awful and who had an interesting perspective on the ideal author/publisher relationship. I chronicled the exchange but omitted his identity, as I'm a nice guy, it was the professional thing to do, and it was so much more than he deserved that I could feel immeasurably smug. The fact that I wasn't publishing him caused me several sleepless nights, because it's so hard to get comfortable when you're giggling uncontrollably.
And I still don't intend to name him, because the fool has gone public with Miss Snark and I'm off the hook. Miss Snark is a New York literary agent - or possibly a collection of the same who blog as a corporate identity - and her blog is invaluable for insights into the harsh reality of commercial fiction. And the snarklings who use the comments column are much less nice than me. Vindication!
I'm not giving the URL of his site because I don't want his logfiles to show that people came to his site from mine. It's there in the Miss Snark post, however. Go there and you will find such gems as:
- A rejection from the the Austin Wahl Agency / Thomas Wahl. This has a "Charges fee. Not recommended" against it from Preditors & Editors: or in other words, even the scammers don't want to touch him.
- My favourite ever fanmail: "Received autographed copies of your book and already sold all of them here in the Ear Nose Throat Clinic."
- And possibly my favourite ever opening line, in the excerpt that he publishes: "Oceana's triplicate synthetic recreation from the Space Ark's registry of binary data was the first Being to be regenerated from the Terrestrial Ark's deep well of androgynous doubles and carnal genetic ancestors."