My Semi-Fictional Life #131 (Yo, E., What Ever Happened to PENNIES FOR THE DAMNED?)

Hello peeps. Today I want to answer a question I’ve been avoiding like a syphilitic hooker. Ever since the book was taken down from Amazon, I’ve received dozens of emails and messages and Goodreads Ask the Author questions wondering where readers can score my fourth novel Pennies for the Damned. The short answer is, you can’t. Sorry. That’s just the way it is. I do wonder where everyone’s interest was when the book was actually available for sale, because, to date, it’s the worst a book of mine has ever performed. It even beat my short story “Come” for fewest sales on release week.

Pennies for the Damned was even on Netgalley for a while. Half the reviewers my publisher got from that experience either reviewed the wrong book in the series or flatout lied in their glowing five-star reviews. Seriously, two reviewers just invented stuff for their review, mentioning things that never happened in Pennies for the Damned or its predecessor, Hope for the Wicked. Then again, I’m kinda glad so few people bought and read the book. Because it’s not the book I wrote. Curiously enough, I ended my relationship with this publisher over my lack of interest in procuring reviews. Is there any wonder I wasn’t looking for reviews? I didn’t want anyone reading the fucking pile of shit.

So why did I allow it to be published in the state it was published? Well, I didn’t. I was rushed through the process because the publisher was tired of sitting on it. Why were they tired of sitting on it? Because the first editor who worked on it made a fucking mess of the book, suggesting a complete overhaul of key scenes and a brand new ending, as well as a complete rewrite of one character’s dialogue. I was literally forced to change the way a character spoke.

Why did the company accept the book if it was so goddamn bad? Fuck if I know. Long story short, the first editor left the company or was made to leave (I’m still not sure which) and the next editor to come along tried their damnedest to fix the book but ended up making an even bigger mess of it. Finally, the owner of the company called me and said “We have to move forward with Pennies. Where are you at with it?” I told them I hadn’t finished all the rewrites and had no idea when I’d be done because it was such a mess. I was told to “send it over” and the owner would finish proofreading it themselves. The book was in dire need of line editing but we were, for some reason, skipping from content editing to final proofreading? What the fuck, man? And then, as if all that wasn’t bad enough, I was told by the owner that they didn’t actually read the whole thing, only the parts I had changed. I recall saying “Whatever. Just make sure to have your final proofreaders do a check for continuity regarding the word Fuck because the character whose dialogue I changed so much of had a strange way of saying it. Fok instead of Fuck.” Simple enough, right? I mean, you can literally search for every instance of Fok in Word and then correct it. The publisher refused to send the manuscript back to me because I’d already taken so long, so I was forced to trust them. Guess what? All instances of Fok were left in, and so were the fixes, so there was no continuity. But this is what happens when books are rushed out to the public. Needless to say, I will never work with that publisher again, and I’m sure the feeling is mutual.

Pennies for the Damned marks the only time I’ve ever thrown my hands up and given up the fight with a book. I don’t mind killing my darling if there’s a reason. But if the entire book needs a fucking overhaul, why the hell did you take it in the first place?

My apologies to anyone who read the book in the condition it was in. Will I ever republish it? Sure. Once I get it back to the way it was before the fuckery occurred. There are three more books done, which concludes the Larry Laughlin series, but I can’t do anything until I fix Pennies. Until then, it and its predecessor and its sequels will remain in the vault.

See you tomorrow,


Pic of the Day