Rutherfurd on Rutherfurd


Turned Down

Q. Yet despite that success, your publishers didn't want your next book. They turned your new proposal down.

A. They didn't absolutely refuse to publish, but they were so negative that it was useless to proceed.

Q. Why was that?

A. Publishers are very good at knowing what sold before - and that's highly valuable information. So they want more of the same - and that's usually good business. The movie business is similar. When large owner corporations put relentless demands upon editors, it makes them even more timid and you can't blame them. But in my opinion, an editor needs to think like an automobile manufacturer. Keep improving your existing models and redesign them from time to time. Anyway, in this case I proposed a book that was similar, but also somewhat different to what had gone before, and they were horrified. They wanted no change in treatment at all, and they hated the subject.

Q. Can you tell me the subject?

A. I'd prefer not, because I still hope one day in the future to write the book. I think it's quite an ingenious tale.

Did You Know?
In Manhattan in the early to mid nineteenth century, scores of pigs roamed the streets – about 20,000 of them at peak population in the early 1820’s, a ratio of roughly one pig to every five humans ! Many of them belonged to families. The city was quickly growing in the nineteenth century – in population and wealth disparity. Despite rapid urbanization, non-wealthy New Yorkers continued raising hogs as a means of surviving. A family could always slaughter one of its pigs to feed itself, or sell one of them since pork was a staple of the American diet. Why pigs? Other animals weren’t quite so compatible with urban life. People could let their pigs wander the streets, rummage through trash for the piles of spoiled food that was left out on the street during the day, and count on them to return home in the evening !




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