12 September 2007


I knew the MS From Hell would repeat on me. It was too good to be true.

In the middle of the afternoon today, I got an email from the publisher. Or at least from the editorial assistant I first dealt with. The tone immediately got my back up. I was asked if I had, perchance, two illustrations that had gone missing and could I please check the original MS?

The underlying suggestion was that of course I must have them. The fact was, not only did I not have them and had never seen them, but I didn't have the original MS either. I'd been sent a photocopy (that I hadn't asked for in the first place as I only edit on-screen). No publisher EVER sends out an original MS. That's asking for trouble - if it gets lost, you have one very pissed-off author to deal with.

Nevertheless, I dutifully riffled through the pile of unrequested MS that is still cluttering up my office (point 2: if it was original, I'd have been asked to send it back when I finished the job 15 days ago), but of course there was no sign of the missing illustrations.

I mailed back and told them so. Politely. Even though I felt like saying something very rude indeed.

Two minutes later, back came the response: "Sorry about all that, we just found them."

Idiots. And they still haven't paid me.

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