Something Wicked This Way Comes

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

REJECTED, BANNED AND ACCESS DENIED

Every time I return to this blog I vow to do better about writing on it. The truth is, I never wanted a blog. I was told I had to have one, and it was repeated over and over by so many people so many times that I finally created one. But you know what? I think they were full of shit. I've never been good at journaling and I barely have time to keep up with my social media - which I do enjoy and get involved with, and can therefore be myself on - so this whole, "Tucker, you have to have a blog to be successful" thing is just a load of crap. I think I'd be much better off having somebody create a website for me and pay them to maintain it, rather than this blog that I neglect outrageously.

Which leads me to the first part of my update. 


Sigh. Yet another round of rejections on the Feywild Faerie Tales. This makes three now (a total of six publishers) and I'm struggling to understand just what exactly I'm doing or not doing. When editors from different publishers give you advice that is directly in conflict, it's kind of impossible to know if any of the advice is actually sound, or if its all just their whims. And that makes me want to scream, because then I wonder well shit, if somebody else had read it, somebody who had a greater liking or understanding of fantasy or fantasy tropes, would I be looking at a contract now instead of this confusing email? And if I weren't so determined to see it available in print - if I were willing to settle for a digital only release - I have no doubt it would be out by now. But I am determined. So I continue to deal with:


That was the month of March.

April was even more fun.

I was trying to think of ways to be more engaged with my blog and several of my writer-type friends (or perhaps acquaintances is a better word) suggested I join the Wednesday Flashers. I know the group, of course. I've edited for several of them and even more are authors on GA where I'm an author. However there was a huge stumbling block to me joining the group. It's run by Julie Lynn Hayes. As the first Editor-In-Chief at Romance First Publishing, she was my boss when I originally went to work there back in early 2012. Then I took a contract editing a series she was writing called Forbidden and she became one of my authors.

Long story short, Julie and I have completely opposite working styles, and we were utterly unsuited to working together. This was abundantly clear to me after doing the first few installments of her series. The trouble was, it wasn't so clear to her since she was putting forth minimum effort & getting great editing that she didn't have to pay for (and guess what? the publisher never paid me either!) So after five months of this nonsense and five months of no payment, I quit. I went to the only other employee of the publishing house - the president - and asked to be let out of my contract. Below is the email Julie sent me. Keep in mind she was supposedly the Editor-In-Chief of a publishing house, and my boss, when she sent this.

Sent: 7/1/2012 8:56:46 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: disappointed
Tucker,

I am not only disappointed and frustrated but I am very hurt that you could not discuss this with me, as an adult - I'm not even counting the brief flurry of text messages we exchanged - but you chose to skulk behind my back and then stab me in that same back.

We should have been able to work this out, but you chose not to, for whatever reasons, whether it was because you didn't want to work on Forbidden any more (although I asked and you said you liked it), you didn't want to work with me any more, or.... what? I'm at a loss.

Is it because I do not conform to your ideas of what a writer should or shouldn't do, because I choose not to outline? I apologized for running so late this month, and I said I'd do better, but I also said, in all honesty, I couldn't swear to being able to conform to a schedule. And because I told you this, you chose to dump me like yesterday's trash?

You went behind my back to Stephanie, and that was a place you should never have gone because there are things you don't even know. Doing this has probably cost you, for reasons I won't even go into.

The point is that I liked how you edited Forbidden, I enjoyed working with  you, and I wanted to do better. But you couldn't be bothered to talk to me, so I guess that tells me what you really thought of me.

Tuck, we all have our problems, everyone does, and I understand that. You're a wonderful editor, no doubt about it. But from where I stand, you have no heart, no soul, and no conscience, and a definite lack of people skills. I thought I was bad, but I would never have done what you did.

I'm guessing you just don't care about editing for RFP. No, not because you shafted your EIC, but because I was your biggest and only supporter. I hope that in the future you'll think twice before you do this to anybody else.

Have a good life, Tuck.

Sincerely,

Julie L. Hayes

I took over as Editor-In-Chief when she left RFP, and she's held a grudge ever since. I explained this to several members of the Flashers, but they insisted they could "get me in" to the group. After numerous emails back and forth, I bit the bullet, humbled myself, and took the plunge. I emailed Julie requesting entry into the Flashers.

Here's the email I received back.

Sent: 4/27/2014 10:43:25 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: Re: Wednesday Flashers
Mx. McCallahan,

After careful consideration of your request, I must reluctantly deny it, as I do not think it would be in the best interests of the group. I wish you luck in finding another flash fiction group to join. I'm sorry this did not work out for you.

Take care.
Julie L. Hayes

Two years has certainly improved her manners. But I imagine she had a little happy going on as she hit send. And what that email amounted to was this:

I sent an email to those authors I'd edited for and rubbed elbows with on GA, to let them know what had happened. If it were me, I'd want to know that the leader of a group I belonged to was keeping people out based on her personal grudges rather than their writing skills or lack thereof. Unsurprisingly, even those Flashers who had been so sure they could get me into the group had nothing to say about the situation, and I'm sure not a one of them said a single word to Julie or challenged her decision.

This is why I don't belong to many groups. I get disenchanted with how despicable people are pretty easily.

And now we're on to May. 

My family gets to deal with the lovely concept known as "eminent domain." For anyone who doesn't know what that is... Google it. I'm not teaching a civics class here and I'm still too angry about what's going on to be able to write about it reasonably. I'm also too damn busy helping to pack up a huge house that a ton of people have called home for eight years...

The jist is this: the government has decided they'd like the land on which my family's house sits. So we have to leave because they're taking it. Period. We have until the end of June to relocate. 


Gonna be one helluva summer.

8 comments:

  1. Honestly, as much research and marketing as I've done ..... it's not absolutely necessary to have a blog, especially if it's not a medium that you enjoy using.

    I think if you have one easily accessible place where people can find you... that's great. There are authors that I follow that just have a webpage that links right back to their publishing house or to other sites where you can buy their work. Granted that's not the most ideal thing but it's something.

    I think things work out the best when you use mediums that you like and enjoy. What resonates best with you? What can you do that you know you'll keep updated and not really mind doing it?

    Life is entirely too short to conform to other peoples whims and ideas of what you should do and how you should do it. Stay true to what makes you happy and I commend you for not settling. If you want your book published in print then damn it you should be able to have your book published in print. I wish you the best in finding a publishing house that will like and appreciate your work. I've read most of it that's been on Lit an GA and here and wherever else I've found it and I love your work and your style and you always have fabulously entertaining dialogue and deep plots and fun characters.



    I am so sorry to hear that you have to uproot yourself and your family from your home. It's sickening that our government (or anyone) can do that. Especially when they make it so hard for people to even own the land they're on.

    I sincerely hope that you all find a wonderful place to live that suits all your needs and that you can be happy in.

    I know that even if not today you will achieve your goals and be wildly successful in y our endeavors. Let nothing stop you!

    Have a fabulous week, stay cool (if it's hot where you are) and don't let everything get you down :-) You're unstoppable!

    Peace, Love, Blessings, and much positive energy your way.
    Yael

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    1. Ah Yael,

      I remember corresponding with you years ago when I wrote on Literotica. That's the curse of a researcher's memory... especially one who happens to be fascinated with names. We remember them - and we never forget the *really* good ones. And baby, you've got an AWESOME name! :^)

      Thank you so much for your very kind words. The publishing business has changed so dramatically from what it was when I first jumped in feet first as a very young kid in the early nineties. I remember getting my first few articles published in academic journals, seeing my name in print, and thinking, "Oh yeah! I want to do this forever!" Then I figured out it took approximately four to six years to do the research required to write one piddling article that would then be rejected by every academic journal on the planet until it was peer reviewed a hundred times over...

      I started writing screenplays. So much more satisfying! I could kill people, blow stuff up, destroy things, and nobody got angry about it. In fact, the more outrageous and over the top my scripts were, the happier my bosses seemed to be. Until they transferred me to Feature Animation and wanted me to write for kids. Eeep! I got the hell out of Hollywood and started writing fiction. But I couldn't sell it. I couldn't even get anybody to read it, Then came Literotica (chorus of angels here), and a smutwriter was born.

      But you know... at heart, I'm still that researcher. I'm currently working on a piece that involves a love affair between an Air Force officer and an Italian kid, and since I've never been anywhere near the Air Force, I've been buried in their guides, regs, stats, rank lists, pay grade codes, emblems and symbols, slang terms... And I really wonder if other smutwriters do the kind of intensive background research that I do. I know it makes my characters alive, vibrant, vivid, and real. But I suppose I could skip about half of it and still write a fairly decent book.

      However, just like I am not satisfied with digital-only publishing, I am also not satisfied with writing a "fairly decent" book. It'll be ultimate bad-ass, or it won't happen.

      Call me a purist.

      The Fam and I are taking the move in stride, We're looking at it as an adventure, albeit one we didn't entirely plan. We've put an inspirational quote up over the living room as we pack and prepare to leave. Though we're witches (and damn proud of it) and the quote is often attributed to Buckaroo Banzai, it's actually a Buddhist quote. This is it in its completion:

      "Every wakeful step, every mindful act is the direct path to awakening. Wherever you go, there you are."

      And that is where I shall leave you. Have an awesome weekend, my friend!

      Peace, Love, Blessings, and much positive energy back to you!
      Tucker

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  2. Sorry, not sure if this question has been asked/answered before but I dont know where else to ask. I read your posts on Literotica and cant find an old story of yours I really liked. I cant remember exact title but it was something like Almond Oil. Thanks

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    1. You're certainly always welcome to interact with me here on my blog, or to email me at tuckermccallahan@gmail.com. As for my "old stories" you won't find any of them on Literotica. I pulled all but one of them, "Dark Miracle." The only reason it's still up is because it's fan fiction and it can't ever be published. For that reason, it's safe to leave on the site, because if it's stolen or plagarized, whoever does it will have bigger worries than me. They'll have Christine Feehan to deal with, and Ms. Feehan has infinitely more resources than I do.

      Now, in regards to those "old stories"...

      This one to which you referred was called "The Scent of Almonds." It was the very first story in the adventures of Pika and Shar that eventually became the series "Read My Mind." I actually was nominated for an award on Literotica for "Most Original Sex Scene" in "The Scent of Almonds," & though I didn't win the award. I still think losing one's virginity while covered in almond oil and having interspecies sex is pretty original.

      I'm very glad you like the story. However it's now the opening of Book One of the "Read My Mind" series that I'm shopping around to different publishers. So unfortunately it isn't available any longer.

      Check back here as I'll be making lots of changes this summer to my catalog with what's available on eBook and in print.

      Thanks for your comment!
      Tucker

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  3. I'm sorry you are having to deal with all of that. It really sucks...for lack of a better word.

    If you are truly interested in joining a flash group, one was recently started by NightTempest (nighttempest.blogspot.com). She is an amazing writer. I don't know her personally, but I have been reading her blog for so long I feel as though I do. That may be a new home for you.

    I think your writing style is phenomenal and I would love to read your flashes. Good luck Tucker.

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment. I don't know if flash is the right thing for me at the moment. I have a bunch of irons in the fire (so to speak) and I'd hate to join a group only to end up not participating.

      I am, however, extremely well acquainted with NightTempest. We go way, WAY back. Eons ago before she even had a blog we used to write together on Literotica. I knew she was flashing but didn't know she'd started any kind of group or circle. That's nice to hear. Good for her. She's a great chick.

      If I don't join a flash group then I may start posting bits of sample chapters up, just to spark interest in my work. Thanks again for your support and for your comment.

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  4. God damn, Tuck, I wish I could be more help. Imminent domain is nearly impossible to fight from what. I understand, and of course, that could be very costly. As for the book, I will most likely never be I'm the position to publish, but I do know that. I have friends who have self published first and released through the google play store or kindle market, and then later gotten distribution through a big publisher. Not much help I know, but maybe a little hope? As for the lady, well, I'm not a gynecologist, but I know a cunt when I see one.... Sending love and light your way! Let me know if i can help, even If it's just finding a phone number.

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    1. Ahh Jer,

      You old sweet-talker. It's cool. You helped just by posting a comment, babe. Eminent domain is impossible to fight. So we're not going to fight it. I'm so much more a lover than a fighter. Hell, even when I'm fighting... I'm loving. (Grins, you figure that one out.) But the cool side of being part of the polyamory community and having two partners who love so unconditionally is that when something like this happens, none of us are afraid to look at unconventional solutions. When the other couple I see heard about our forced impending move, they decided they were ready to leave their home, too. So we're all moving into a great big house together. You'll get to read about it as I blog and write about "The House That Love Built." Should be one epic adventure!

      Thanks for the love & light, my friend. It's always repaid by three. Have an awesome holiday and hopefully I'll have novels out there for you to peruse soon.

      Be well -
      Tux

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