I’ve been Publishing for a long time and I’ve dealt with all kinds of editors. Some are laid back. Some are very hands-on. Some are hard to pin down. Some are extremely helpful and supportive. And a few–very few–are difficult or even opaque. They tell you one thing but mean something Completely different that you couldn’t have guessed at.
Here’s what happened a few years ago with one of those.
I pitched an idea to a magazine about the farkakteh theory that Shakespeare was a Jewish woman (yes!), which is just another bit of nutty Shakespeare Denialism that’s been a flourishing industry for way too long. James Shapiro wrote an entertaining book about it: Contested Will.
The editor really liked my approach–at least I thought so.
Then he sent back my blog and basically told me that I had to completely rewrite it. And not just completely, but write what he wanted to say, which was bizarre, since in our previous emails, he’d never told me any of his opinions. If he had, I would have gone elsewhere.
Was I annoyed? Of course I was. I’d been publishing dozens of articles, essays, short stories, and books for years and dealing with editors who were much more professional than that. Except for one, but that’s a different blog….
I sent the piece to The Huffington Post. They took it right away, beginning my long relationship with that site, and you can read it here. I waited till it was posted on that web site and wrote back to the first editor that I was sorry he didn’t like my approach, but someone else did.
I included the link.
Sometimes Revenge isn’t just sweet, it’s swift. This time it was so swift that it wasn’t even worth saving the editor for a character to put into my Nick Hoffman mystery series–appropriately disguised, of course. I just brushed it off.
Lev Raphael is the author of 25 books in many genres which you can find on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LevRaphael