There was a time when I was young and full of optimism. Full of life and thoughts I wrote a novel; the ulitmate novel. Everything about it was the best. It had a storyline with so much depth that some of the pages weighed as much as three pages from an early John Grisham thriller. It's only flaw was it had no flaws, which, if you ask me, is no flaw at all.

Confident that it would become a number one bestseller across the world, and eventually the universe, I sent a manuscript to my top five prefered publishers. None of them were interested. I was forced to seek the help of the rest of my top ten favourite publishers, but I had no luck. Pretty soon I was desperate. I was sending it out to anyone, even bus drivers. The same answer came back from all of them;

"No, it's a great book, maybe the best, but it's not what we're looking for at the moment. Try again in six months, because at the moment we just can't risk putting out a story that doesn't revolve around the adventures of a cryptologist hero. It's what the market demands."

My optimism for life and the world was fading fast. I thought about rewriting the story to include a secret ancient conspiracy and maybe adding a couple of background archaeologist characters, but it just wouldn't fit in with the main plot.

I found myself in a meeting with a small Sheffield based publisher on a rainy January morning knowing what his answer would be. He was an old man with kind eyes. He could see what was going on in my head.

"Look" he said "it's a great book, we both know that, but there's not a single riddle in it, maybe if there was a car chase we could do something with it, but as it stands it would be marketing suicide to put this book out today. Although, I suppose you have travelled a long way and I don't want you going home empty handed. How about I make you a deal? £10,000 for all the commas."

"What?" I asked.

"If you take out all the commas from your book and give them to us for another project we'll give you £10,000."

And that is the story of how I once had the best novel in the world, but sold it all for thirty pieces of silver. All I have left is a book with sentences so long that no human would dare to look upon them.

Michael, London.

1 comment:

  1. don't feel too bad. easy comma easy go