It was to Sharyn November at US Penguin that Sarah Van More breached a private trust about David’s split up with Tara Break, then relayed back to him via his own agent Ginger Clarke, who at the time had no idea of the implications of it! In the weird and wacky world of New York publishing Sharyn November had sent a round-robin about her sad split up once, though editors never have to face the public. It shows how wise protecting yourself emotionally can be, especially in New York City.
In their respects for you the reader though, Sarah Van More told David she had not put up a new photo in ten years. Yet at Abrams David had to go on working with an editor whose actions and attitudes became the most absolute invasion to him, who became so bullish and arrogant, the real judge of what should have been private, but never was, yet like her best friend Tara Break refused to stand up and take responsibility for anything important, in life, law or in publishing. Imagine the hypocrisy of being told to keep your mouth shut, then threatened under contract if you did not, for months trying to work, which caused a kind of psychological torture, while privacies were breached not only internally, but to another New York publisher. Right down the line though the hypocrisy at Abrams in this story is phenomenal.
David Clement-Davies has his own perceptions about the politics and arrogance of editors, but it was also to US Penguin that Macmillan UK granted eBook rights, in another breach of contract. The bizarre impression that an author who was by then unagented, neither existed nor mattered a damn in the money and jobs game, came when David was told to his face a publisher had consulted his ex London agent, which it had not. It was US Penguin that made such a hash of the Fire Bringer paperback, one young reader threw against the wall, and, we actually think in part through the good offices of Sarah Van More, that new, far better and more succesful paperbacks were issued by Penguin.
But don’t believe, in the world of super capitalism and super publishing too, so interconnected, as editors move between company jobs too, and agents bottom feed around them, the echoes of ‘private’ issues do not go everywhere behind the scenes. Do publishers nowadays have McCarthy style blacklists of authors, because any ‘trouble’ might affect their profits? Perhaps that is the real defence of Tara Break’s rights’ to privacy, with no respect or duty of care the other way at all. Experience of it before in the UK was a deep cause of the indignation and crisis over personal and professional betrayal. David had had very high regard for American respect and standards and at Abrams they threw those values into a bin. Imagine what that feels like when love and friendship are involved too. But perhaps unless you are at the top, the truth is you play by their rules, or woe betide you. The authors do not matter in the long run anymore, the publishers do. So David Clement-Davies cannot get an agent, his hardcopy books like Fell have plunged in the ratings, another threat hanging over his head in the background at Abrams, Fire Bringer has now been taken out of print by Macmillan UK, despite 12 years and inspirational reviews, and he waits to see what will be done to The Sight too. Years of work, or the meanings inside books matter not a damn to them. God bless those editors and agents who fight both for truth and writing! He has been a bestseller, his presentations consistently praised, his books loved by readers, they have received Kirkus starred reviews, were 76 selection winners in America and family award winners, and he has heard from Librarians they hardly stay on US Library shelves, he was long listed for the Carnegie Medal in the UK and short-listed for the Tir Na Nog prize. Woe to any guy and author who falls in love in New York city though, or is that just with the likes of Tara Break, Sarah Van More and Harold Rove?!
Phoenix Ark Press