Thanks, Brian Keene, for unordinary reasons

Chuck Sambuchino, an editor and published author with Writer’s Digest, kindly posted on his blog a column I wrote chronicling my path (which I’ve yet to complete) to publication.

I couldn’t get into much detail involving the collapse of Dorchester Publishing but want to call attention to it here. This was my baptism-by-fire introduction to the publishing world. A first book deal in April 2010. Destruction of said deal in September 2010. Six months that began with jubilance and ended in misery.

Established Dorchester writers were never paid the thousands of dollars in royalty payments owed to them. Not only that, their contracted literary rights were in limbo. All things considered, I didn’t make out badly: I withdrew my manuscript and had my rights reverted to me over lack of payment. Others had to endure bankruptcy hearings and, eventually, if they didn’t get their rights back, Amazon offered to buy some of them. It was a mess.

There’s no way I can even begin to describe the crap at Dorchester without mentioning a particular writer who was royally screwed by them and painstakingly chronicled this royal screwing throughout the entirety of the screwing.

Courtesy: kobowritinglife.files.wordpress.com

Courtesy: kobowritinglife.files.wordpress.com

Brian Keene is famous in the horror genre and will take his place among the greats next month during the World Horror Convention in Portland, Oregon.

Keene will receive the 2014 World Horror Grand Master Award.

Now, I have no idea what winning the Grand Master Award entails. Getting a hamburger carton that keeps the hot side hot and the cool side cool? A zombie chewing your face during a special guest appearance on The Walking Dead? A healthcare plan with affordable monthly premiums and a low deductible? (Probably not–especially the latter.) But as our brilliant vice president of the United States would say, “This is a big f*cking deal.”

And it is.

Who else has won this award? Think of the biggest names–I mean the most-recognized names in horror and its sub-genres. The people who made you want to write. Got a name? Yes, he/she has won it. (Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Anne Rice, the list goes on.)

I congratulate Brian at the start of my career and hope to meet and thank him next year if he attends WHC 2015 in Atlanta. (I hope to go.)

Why thank him? Entertainment from his books is the easy answer, but that’s not my primary reason. Brian, sometimes very passionately with his frustration laid bare for all to read, continually updated me and the world about Dorchester’s activities on his blog. Please, follow this link and set aside a good block of time to read about what he and other authors endured. No other source provided the detailed information that Brian did. He was one of the first people I began following on Twitter. (AHEM!)

Brian likely didn’t realize at the time of his Dorchester blogging what kind of crash course he was teaching me involving the seedy side of the publishing world. I know it’s out there now, and am constantly wary of it. It’s a lesson I wish I didn’t have to learn but am glad I did early because it made me stronger as a person, and more determined as a writer.

So, thank you, Brian. I do hope to meet you down the road to shoot the sh*t. In the meantime, have a blast next month taking your place among that most horrific of pantheons.

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