Tag Archives: Michael Jacobs


Well, having a go this weekend seemed to move some, or at least got people to really read and so the project on Light of the White Bear edges unofficially over 10% and rises to 18 backers too! Thank you so much, but the reason it’s still only unofficial is that through an Australian fan and DJ in Melbourne called Sierra Jane, friends have promised to donate this week, which will at least get that £3 to edge over 10%. Brilliant.


Just to note one of their friends though, or acquaintances, calling me a ‘SOOK’ on Facebook! Clearly the kind of macho Aus ‘man’ who only posts pictures of himself kissing the girls or being beautiful and likes to engage in cyber sniping from the courage of his blind window on the world. In other words a SPOOK. I keep repeating, back room bullies are always cowards and its a major problem in the ‘culture’ of Facebook and other sites. But cheers for that spontaneous act of kindness and generosity, at such a moment!

Being of a generation that doesn’t use cheap dirt farmer outback slang, a sook means a wimp, un-suckled calf or someone without confidence. Always nice to increase the vocabulary. I was going to post back on Facebook but deleted the link in my email, so a few words about it here instead. Having been published by major houses for years in the UK, Aus, Canada and America I never wanted to have to use a medium like Kickstarter and so yes, on that I lack confidence and at times it feels like failure too, or rather humiliating. In fact, after six years of fighting at a blog, reaching only 10% in a week has made me want to throw in the towel early, even hide in an ice cave, and frankly, if donations don’t triple this week I think it’s exactly what I should. But now there’s still a real chance , so we can still get there and it would be great if you could see the video and follow a finger to a Back This Project button too!

But let me ask such a generous young man (this is known as irony) what he thinks a wimp really is? When your partner and someone you loved deeply and trusted too, right in the place of work and creativity, so stabs you in the back, and with a so-called best friend of years in London too, working on a ‘book’ called Hew, Screw and Glue, but then distorts the truth and so leads to the wrecking of a highly successful career too, it can have painful, indeed sometimes wimpish effects! I prefer Munch’s Scream, which was why a novel was once unfortunately called Scream of The White Bear. Men might imagine the danger and agony of that and the rage that came out too.

But wimps do not fight them on principle for two years, while bound there in contracts – authors have no protections whatsoever if powerful private employers get corrupt – then walk away but blog the truth of it too. A truth that was so much about their cowardice in not standing up to be counted, or just stopping the vicious internal politics, the cynicism, that sadly removed my old publisher, as my editor stole his job as Vice President. Then fight a UK lawyer called Manches, funnily enough specializing in posh divorces, who attacked me, as the President of a New York publishing house banned an entire department from reading my complex blog, and talked about protecting only their careers, but I also refused to be muzzled under European Privacy Laws and went on trying to fight back, despite the invasion. A President who now sits on a board against US Censorship, Michael Jacobs, who tried to trash a reputation he had distorted in front of the US Author’s Guild, until they resisted and as ever that particular bully backed down and gave back ebook rights. This publisher meanwhile were still publishing my books and so crippling a right to proper promotion and free speech too, or any self defence over what really happened with an ex and why. As well as snatching away a livelihood and voice that had taken years to forge. Then wimps, sooks or un-suckled calves don’t build a publishing website of quality over several years single handed and give out articles, stories and poetry completely free, because they are so worried about the ‘culture’ of the internet and still believe in the power of real writing too and telling some kind of truth.

Then go on trying to return to main stream publishing with numerous book projects, although a culture has shattered in the Twitter-jerk of cheap blogging comments (like sook) that pass for Democracy and publishing is one of the most ruthless businesses there are. But also turn around and single-handed sue a publisher in the New York Supreme court last year in Manhattan. That can be a little nerve racking. So fighting not one but two major New York attorneys alone, itself so telling about a publisher’s fears and the truth, who ended up provenly perjuring themselves last year, to win their disgraceful case. Rather it was dismissed on the form of an action alone – process – that ‘Mr Articulate’ in Australia could probably not get his pretty head around if he got out of the outback and studied for years, if he can read or write that is. It was dismissed by a Justice who would not let me speak to the court and did not read it, probably because Justice Cynthia Kern can’t be bothered to pick up epics or apply a real brain, not a position won out of the legal secretarial typing pool! The ultimate result of this belief in the word is losing literally everything you can, including a flat in London. So although it may not be entirely wise, sook or wimp just does not do it! That also annoyed though because said publisher also happens to publish the world selling series Diary of A Wimpy Kid, I guess you could rename it Diary of a Sook in Australia. But since it’s probably about dealing with bullies and growing up too, or at least growing, and part of my function was as a guiding kid’s author, I’m probably on the side of the sook. Except when, years back, you’ve stood under a banner in NYC twenty feet high of that precise series, in competition at your own publisher, and been so knifed by the two editors and women you were meeting there, supposedly to promote and protect my own award winning and contracted work, one of them an ex lover who became such an appalling and dishonest friend. The muse murdered the author. Then I guess life, love or anger, not to mention writing, can get on your head a little. Not sook dear, Barton Fink! But hell, sook’s a good word, and now I am being positive, as you’ll see on a Kickstarter video (forgive the puppetry).

If you’d all like to stop judging instead though and help suckle the struggling calf of publishing Light of The White Bear properly, which means real books, and supporting Phoenix Ark Press too, you can join the Kickstarter mission this critical week by CLICKING HERE

Thank you!


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For that friend called Tim, who tried to lecture me about ingratitude or claiming the ‘right’ to be an artist, somehow going on about some abstract suffering too, bigger than others, I’d like him to know that two new backers, with £7 and £20, are quite as important as £199, or £6000, and have edged me forward too.

Thank you so much, because whatever you can afford is precisely the energy I was talking about. The minimum pledge is £1, but if it was 10p it is a kind of listening too, or that’s how I can at least know! Another way is simply to write to this blog. You see, just words from fans very literally kept me alive a long time ago, so I have a little more experience than Tim. Just as, if people think that raising an eyebrow after only 5 days is giving up, they should know that what I’m talking about is really trying to communicate over six years, not just 30 days.

I’ve done a slightly different thing today then and as well talking to Cynthia Kern at the New York Supreme Court (who I’ve emailed in, bless her cotton socks – go on Cynthia – take the pledge and make up for your rank act of injustice!), or about Michael Jacobs, Mr so-called anti-censorship in New York, I’ve done a little reading from Fell and also speak about good or bad friends too, that became such a monumental issue, in the isolation of it all. But why this was a very hard fought battle and the opposite of some lazy gripe or sob story. The eloquence of stories are the things that should make us sob or laugh, or shout with joy, the need for art, fantasy, drama, catharsis and a mirror to real lives too. But TS Eliot said the artist must separate out the suffering man from the work and maybe that is just a process. Why it was so difficult becoming the story, or that coal face between words and facts, fantasy and reality got far, far too close, with astonishing results.

Never surrender, Light of the White Bear will come out this year at least to ebook! But Tim, a precious friend, is damn well wrong if he thinks this is just complaining, or that I did not earn the right to be an artist. I did and in contract and in humanity my publisher, people I knew very well indeed, had a duty to honour it all. Politics became the driving force instead and it was exploited shamefully.

I don’t know, I am just trying to talk and be heard and you can judge it by CLICKING HERE

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Hello all,

failing to hit even a 10% target (!), I’m afraid this never quite famous author is throwing in the towel, or at least throwing it at the camera and using Kickstarter and film to try and speak, to tell some truth about writers, human beings, publishing and the Internet too, even Kickstarter. I’ll still keep my promise to publish just to ebook this year.

You can see what I hope are just some frank words now though by CLICKING HERE.

Kickstarter’s tag line is “It’s Not Just A Project. It’s a story”. What could be truer at ‘The Storyteller’s publisher’ too, Phoenix Ark, which sadly and very stupidly stopped (or was made to stop) telling stories?! Much the problem of crossing the lines of fact and fiction and never become the story yourself!

So to a refusal to beg though and to the back story behind Light of The White Bear too and this attempt here, which, to use an appropriate arctic metaphor, for a long delayed novel about polar bears and melting worlds, is the very tip of the iceberg! To thoughts of what real gratitude is too, any ‘right’ to be an artist or succeed but out of the most basic attack on principle and a person by a major New York Publisher.

Words then to Michael Jacobs, now the Chairman of a campaign against American censorship(!), when this story epitomizes the very meaning of censorship, bullying and ultimately injustice too. I mean that most specifically about a story that could and should have stopped years ago and was not in some spy world, or the US military, but a world of supposedly human values, in books and publishing. I told them long ago Americans always use a hammer to crack a nut.

Words also directly to ‘Justice’ Cynthia Kern of the New York Supreme court too and why she so failed in her job early last year.

Thanks for listening and so many thanks to those you opened their hearts! Never lose the girl, and be nice to each other.



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I nearly fell off my chair laughing when an American friend sent this through.

Shelf Awareness Pro for Wednesday, October 9.

Congratulations to Michael Jacobs, president and CEO of Abrams Books,
who has been elected chairman of the board of the Academy of American
Poets. He is also chairman of the National Coalition Against Censorship
and is a member of the Board of Governors of Yale University Press.

I’ve already commented on the joke of someone like Michael Jacobs having anything to do with literature or poets. But to see him as Chairman of the National Coalition Against Censorship just highlights the rot going on in America, like the current Government crisis. I’d go so far as to call it evil. Michael Jacobs is the man who fixed an internal enquiry at Abrams, breached book contracts and lied to the US Authors Guild. The Guild lawyer informed me he would try to blacken my name, and insisted he respond, so he backed down. One of the whole points of that fight was the lies my ex and my editor had told over months, and a fight against the most fundamental principles of both law and non-censorship. Then he instructed an entire department at Abrams not to read this blog, while hiring lawyers in the UK to try and silence me too. I resisted. He had already wrecked my career in America, censored my books and stories, behaved appallingly in an extraordinary family crisis in late 2009, exploited a situation to remove Publisher Howard Reeves at Abrams, who he did not like, perhaps because Howard is gay, and finally it has lead to his two law firms provenly perjuring themselves to defend a law action in the New York Supreme Court, which involved a stream of lies and distortions. I have already asked the question, if any of this is libel, why hasn’t Phoenix Ark been taken to court, or elements of a blog removed? Because it is true and they cannot censor it or me.

It is only about money, highly orchestrated sales of questionable series like TTFN or Diary of A Wimpy Kid, upholding the ‘joys’ of text messaging or dubious attitudes inside Abrams to secrets of abusive behaviour, that came to define the abuse of an author and fundamental principles, but Michael Jacobs being an anti Censorship figure-head is like the money lenders deep in the Temple or like appointing President Assad to a Board of Clean Air and Anti-Pollution!



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The stats are continuing to rise and rise at Phoenix Ark Press, no doubt because of the growing interest in a terrible scandal at New York Publisher Harry N. Abrams, internal conspiracies, cover ups and now actual proven perjury in the New York Supreme court. Michael Jacobs should be especially wary.

It is a story that may make a blog a little dull at times, yet it is the way to bring out the truth, and far too humanly, legally and artistically important to put away. Michael Jacobs, Abrams CEO, literally tried to destroy a human being, contracted author David Clement-Davies, who Tamar Brazis and Susan Van Metre had behaved so viciously and irresponsibly over for months before, bringing a firm into breach of contracts. Their response to an appeal from a family, in such dreadful circumstances, in late 2009, is just humanly revolting. These are the guardians of good fairy tales and children’s stories! They should all lose their jobs.

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Michael Jacobs, CEO at Abrams and an old Yale man, fond of studying rivers, is one of the speakers on the Yale Book Course this year, to draw on the talents of the great and the good in American publishing. Did he have the guts to tell the truth though, about what happened with leading author David Clement-Davies, why Howard Reeves was removed, or why he paid two prominent New York firms of attorneys to totally distort the events of 2008 and 2009? Why he instructed an entire firm not to read an honest blog too, but simultaneously attacked Phoenix Ark Press through UK lawyers Manches. He is an expert in the attempted cover up but every time Abrams have fought shy of the courts, because they know the truth very well.

The man is a natural bully too, so disliked by Howard Reeves, Susan Van Metre and Tamar Brazis, whose little internal conspiracy against David he used completely, to remove Howard Reeves eventually, before he was forced to back down. His blogs on Coleridge and Wordsworth, as if he were any guardian of literature or writers, are a complete insult. Can he really hide the truth of strange and sad events in late 2009 though, the man who comes out with pseudo humble American phrases like ‘God willing’? His reaction was humanly disgusting and filled with cowardice too, as you might expect. Those are the events that one of his attorneys, Edward Davis, provenly lied about on paper before the New York Supreme Court and Justice Cynthia Kern earlier this year, 2013. Clearly at Abrams the plots thicken but are they all as bad as Diary of A Wimpy Kid?


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Isn’t interesting that in such dark times, (since the Twin Towers came down, perhaps,) my own editor and now Abrams Vice President, Sarah van More, could not defend a series of children’s books, starting with the novel coming this week, The Terror Time Spies, that were designed to help kids deal with a climate of fear?

The actual value of a story was irrelevant, in their ‘defence’ of editorial power, that wrecked a career and removed a publisher too. I argued, as I had with a partner and ‘so-called’ friend, that a lot of it was about American consciousness these days, projecting fear, but also massive arrogance, and a quality of selfishness and lack of depth too, that some have called Ego Consciousness. ‘Our rights’, but no-one else’s, and engaging the full weight and threat of a system. That projection is understandable in a climate of world terror and conflict, wherever it comes from, but not for a second in a world of children’s and Young Adult books.

Perhaps my anger was actually frightening, at times, but when a publisher is trying to publish a novel with ‘no contact with the author’, actually to mask the legal dispute that had developed, you really are in the realms of Kafka, or just plain tyranny and cruelty. In this case a business tyranny as bad as any other. Tara Break’s projected life fears were enormous, perhaps out of the darkness in her own strange family, and a terror of standing up too. But when a CEO, Mike Jacobson, threatens an author, fighting for their career out of so many personal betrayals, and on their own in London, with ‘issuing attorney’s notices in New York and London’, but also suggests that I had ‘some other motive’, as if I was some terrorist, then something very odd is going on. At one point I joked that that New York madness would involve delivering a literary manuscript in an armoured car!

The abuse of power was later reflected by instructing an entire department not to read a blog, as a publisher denied dialogue on books already there. The whole thing, for a year of trying to work, was because Tara Break would not put away an accusation that was a complete distortion of the events that led up to her changing a number, and the reasons for them. That jaunt through the fields of publishing, writing, true love or friendship cost me everything, and her publisher Howard Reeves his job too, but then she was hand in glove with my editor, Sarah Van More. Who, in her own collapsing life relationships, not only chose to ‘defend’ Tara Break, but invade her own author, breach his trusts to another publisher, Sharyn Novembre at Penguin, and apply no decent or equitable principle, in her scramble for power. The question remains of who the mystery man was, in the mix, who never had the guts to stand up to this supposed bully, and if he actually works at Abrams too.

But the real ‘Terrorism’ was the ferocious and ultimately cynical politics inside Abrams. It was how they both judged and accused without allowing any kind of proper hearing too. How they abused the principles of authorial respect, proper working conditions, emotional safety, freedom of speech, and honest dialogue too, to serve Tara Break’s interests entirely. Why exactly do they publish anything – for the money and their careers alone? In the end I couldn’t take their devil’s pact of silence for success, as they disrespected all their contracts too, so I walked away. Let’s hope, in taking so much poison out, and now publishing one of those three novels too, we can sweep away the awfulness and rebuild.

But if an American CEO can try to lie about the real issues to the US Author’s Guild as well, and promote Sarah Van More over Harold Roves, then under his leadership Abrams are a publisher that cares about nothing, and America will make its world reputation worse and worse. America is a free country, a great democracy, at root, and I once thought Abrams an extremely fine publisher, but If you think it’s an unimportant story because it is ‘only’ about books, or one person’s livelihood, imagine what could happen if innocence or personal freedom were involved? It does happen, in ‘real’ life, and in often frightening America.


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I’ll have to leave it there, I’m boring readers and I could never afford to sue Abrams. Let it stand with previous blogs, linked above, and this, some line in the sand!

The situation now: An ex and senior editor betrays every trust you can, then calls me mad, deluded and evil. It is known about by my own editor, yet nothing is done and damaging and impossible work conditions are imposed. That is done to threaten, under contract, to keep the secret from a CEO, while privacies here are breached all over the shop, including to another of my pubishers at Penguin US. While it is claimed there is ‘no issue there,’ my own editor of ten years, at Dutton and Abrams, makes a back room call to my agent that must have been so serious it loses me that agent. A bogus ‘enquiry’ ensues, that I force because I can’t go on, repudiation is admitted, but nothing effectively done to put the situation away, thanks to Tara Break and Sarah Van More, also in cahoots for nearly a year before, personally and professionally, itself horribly invasive. They saw the pyshologicial strain and harm from that ‘mobbing’, for months too, but three novels under contract are effectively thrown away, with the damage to two novels already there. The story in between is astounding. Tara Break asked me on the phone, months before I lost it if she was evil, when I told her what her bizarre behaviour had already put a visiting author through, and I said “of course not.” In the long run, I’m not so sure, though it is avoiding labels like that my stories are about.

Then a Publisher and far better spirit than the rest, Howard Reeves, loses his job, my editor Sarah Van More gets to the top, but a CEO, Mike Jacobson, stands over it all with no apology and no compensation. Actions over criminal libel are threatened to ‘protect careers’ there, yet they back down there too. So, they accept what I have said is not libel, and to publish to even two other people could constitute that, yet still do nothing. Have you ever come across a real publishing story that is the very definition of the corrupt abuse of power? Considering Tara Break’s history and behaviour throughout, where is the real evil and do normally sane or responisible editors usually get away with that? It is best encapsualted in Tara Break’s grand personal and work philosophy ‘life is unfair’, but each one engaged in professional negligence too. I repeat, under two contracts, I was the author at a once fine company that abused every duty of care you can. For my bads I know this, as editor, associate editor, vice president or president, just as a human being, not for one god damn moment would I have treated my worst enemy like that, let alone someone I had claimed to love, been a friend of, or an award winning contracted author, trying to tell stories that might help or inspire. Money and power alone defined it, because Sarah Van More had such success with books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Mike Jacobson had a negative agenda with Harold Rove.

Is Mike Jacobson actually serious about being the CEO of a prominent New York publishing house though, even if the key is probably the super ambition and arrogance of Susan Van Metre?

I lost, practically everything you can, and you need to learn how to lose, with the grace that vanished, perhaps, but never say it does not matter.


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