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 1890, nine-year-old Daisy Ashford wrote a novel and never showed it to the world. It was only after her mother’s death some twenty-eight years later, when she was sorting through old papers with her sisters, that she found the manuscript in a drawer. After the manuscript found its way to publishers, the book – The Young Visiters – came out in 1919, (yes, that is how the title was spelled) to great acclaim. After the book went into several editions, Daisy bought a farm with her earnings, commenting, “I like fresh air and royalty cheques”.

Please choose your regional preference: