A Letter from Robert R. McCammon


McCammon's update letter from October 30, 2008

In October 2008, Robert McCammon provided this update.
Hi all. I wanted to report on what was happening with Mister Slaughter. Unfortunately we don't have a publisher yet, but never fear, we're still pushing ahead. The deal is that I just didn't think Pocket did a very good job with [The Queen of Bedlam]. There was no promotion at all (well, there was a small ad in the New York Times Review of Books, but that was because the publisher at Pocket liked the cover) and I just can't throw Mister Slaughter into the fire.

If you guys want to know where I am mentally, just read the commentaries in the new Pocket editions of Boy's Life and Gone South. I'm not saying you should buy them if you already have them, but take a look at those commentaries. They tell a harsh story, but it's where I am.

Due to the economy, publishers are buying fewer books and seem to be reluctant to put money in promotion or author's tours. If the book doesn't make X amount of profits, whoever championed that particular book gets his or her head cut off, because of the corporate structure of the publishing world. And in my particular case and the case of Pocket, I honestly think they have no idea how to promote the Matthew Corbett series. Really...I don't think they understand the books or see the potential in Matthew's story.

Wouldn't be the first time, guys. Recall that I had to fight to keep Boy's Life from being turned into a run-of-the-mill mystery piece, and that was only one of many fights I had with Pocket over the years.

So here I am again, similar to when I took Speaks the Nightbird home and thought I was done with publishing. This time, though, I have lots of options and I'm determined to continue Matthew's story to the finish. The problem is that sorting all this out is going to take some time, and I want to be careful that I find the right people in the business who'll help me continue on.

I had hoped that Mister Slaughter would be out in October of 2009, but it probably won't be. I'm cleaning house, and what I have to do may add several more months to the schedule.

One of the elements of Mister Slaughter is that Matthew is really beaten and bruised by Tyranthus Slaughter during the course of the book, but he never gives up. The book is about not quitting in the face of adversity, as a matter of fact. Matthew is not a quitter. He's a good example for me to follow, and that's what I intend to do.

Thank you for hanging in with me, and hopefully within a month or so, I'll have some better news.

Best Wishes,
Robert McCammon
October 30, 2008

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