"The happiest people don’t
necessarily have the best of everything;
they just make the most of
everything that comes along their way.
Happiness lies ahead for those who cry, those who hurt,
those who have searched, and those who tried … for
only they can appreciate the importance of people who have touched their lives!"
Writing tip of the day - Famous authors who were rejected!
Here, to follow on from yesterday's blog, is a list of famous authors who were treated disdainfully by many publishers. So, take heart. Buckle up, get stuck into your work and stop whimpering. The revered sage Frank Sinatra once said, "The best revenge is massive success." Bring it on!
1. Stephen King
Mr. King received dozens of rejections for his
first novel, Carrie; he kept them tidily nailed to a spike under a
timber in his bedroom. One of the publishers sent Mr. King's rejection
with these words: 'We are not interested in science fiction which
deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.'
2. William Golding
Mr. Golding's Lord of the Flies was rejected
by 20 publishers. One denounced the future classic with these words
(which should be inscribed on the hapless publisher's tomb): 'An absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull.'
3. John le Carré
After Mr. le Carré submitted his first novel, The Spy Who Came in
From the Cold, one of the publishers sent it along to a
colleague, with this message: 'You’re welcome to le Carré – he hasn’t got any future.'
4. Anne Frank
According to one publisher, The Diary of Anne Frank was scarcely
worth reading: 'The girl doesn't, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling
which would lift that book above the 'curiosity' level.' 15 publishers (other than this dope) also rejected The Diary of Anne Frank.
Clancy's Comment: I visited Anne Frank's house in Amsterdam in 1973. I then went onto visit four concentration camps in Europe and have been reading about those atrocities ever since.
5. Joseph Heller
In an act of almost unparalled stupidity, one publisher wrote of Mr. Heller's Catch-22: 'I haven’t the foggiest idea about what the man is trying to say… Apparently the author intends it to be funny – possibly even satire – but it is really not funny on any intellectual level.'
6. J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (later Sorceror’s)
Stone was rejected by a dozen publishers, including biggies like Penguin
and HarperCollins. Bloomsbury, a small London publisher, only took it on at the
behest of the CEO’s eight-year old daughter, who begged her father to print the
book. God bless you, sweetheart.
7. Ursula K. Le Guin
One publisher sent this helpful little missive to
Ms. Le Guin regarding her novel, The Left Hand of Darkness:
'The book is so endlessly complicated by details of reference and
information, the interim legends become so much of a nuisance despite their
relevance, that the very action of the story seems to be to become hopelessly
bogged down and the book, eventually, unreadable. The whole is so dry and
airless, so lacking in pace, that whatever drama and excitement the novel might
have had is entirely dissipated by what does seem, a great deal of the time, to
be extraneous material. My thanks nonetheless for having thought of us. The
manuscript of The Left Hand of Darkness is returned herewith.'
Clancy's Comment: The Left Hand of Darkness went on to win both the Hugo and the Nebula awards.
8. George Orwell
One publisher rejected Mr. Orwell's submission, Animal Farm, with
these words: 'It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA.'
9. Tony Hillerman
Mr. Hillerman, now famous for his Navajo Tribal Police mystery novels,
was initially told by publishers to, 'Get rid of all that Indian stuff.'
10. William Faulkner
One publisher exclaimed in the rejection letter for Mr. Faulkner's book,
Sanctuary: 'Good God, I can’t publish this!'
11. John Grisham
Mr. Grisham’s first novel, A Time to Kill, was rejected by a dozen publishers and 16 agents before breaking into print and launching Mr. Grisham's best-selling career.
Clancy's Comment: There ya go, folks. Amazing, eh? Remain steadfast and write your heart out. I rejected four contracts for my first book after consulting a literary lawyer: London, Sydney, Melbourne and New York publishers. Why, because I did not believe they were being being fair and reasonable. Plus, I had great faith in my own work. Why would I 'GIVE' my work to someone who had not contributed one comma or fullstop? I, like you, own the 'C' in the circle. It's called copyright (c)! So, when that great moment comes for you, slink away to a private place and do what I will do - punch the air and scream, 'Yeeeeeeeeeeeeees!'
Don't be shy ... head to the top of the page and make a comment, ask a question or disagree with me. I love a debate.
Thanks for listening.
I'm Clancy Tucker