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June 9, 2008

“THERE IS NOTHING more to do,” I said.  I had just finished reviewing the final changes made by the editor and was in a bit of a petulant mood.  “Editors, I swear, they really do think they were authors.”

My petulance soon gave way to stoicism and then doubt as I realized that the project was now done.  The book was ready.  Would anyone buy it?


Book Release Party, June 21
April 2, 2008

James handed me the phone. “Who is it?” I asked. I set my drink down. I was so focused on my writing that I had not even heard it ring.

“Sonny Mehta,” he said.

The Sonny Mehta of Random House?” I cannot say that I actually knew Mr. Mehta. It was far more accurate to say that I knew of him. He was the most powerful publisher in the book business — why in the world was he calling me? I took the phone.

“Yes,” I said into the receiver. “This is he. . . I see, yes. Well, I am afraid that it is too late, of course. . . Yes, I do appreciate the offer, I will keep it in mind. Bye.” I handed the receiver back to James.

“And?” He took the phone from me.

“He wanted to publish the book,” I said. “As you heard, I told him no. I would prefer to make an honest living.” I picked up my drink, downed it and motioned for another.