Monday, May 19, 2008

I'm adding to my arsenal, my pretty!

Stephany Evans called me into her office one day this spring. She said "I think this one is just right for you."

I thought she had a juicy crime novel. Or a biography of a contemporary artist, or even perhaps a novel about cowgirls. But no. No indeed. It was a book of curses. And hexes. And maledictions. Stephany just grinned.

What the heck I said. This looks kind of fun. I stowed it in my satchel o'stuff and headed out to meet an editor. I decided to use my time efficiently so I started reading. Well, I was supposed to get off at West 4th since I was having lunch with a Perigee editor. When I stopped laughing long enough I realized I was somewhere south of my destination; I'd overshot by two or three stops.

I clambered out of the subway, hailed a cab and got to lunch.

When I got back to the office I rang up the author. Wrong phone number on the proposal.
I emailed her. Bounced back as incorrect.

I seriously wondered if the proposal wasn't just about curses, it WAS cursed. Fortunately the author included her address and I realized the area code had transposed numbers. I phoned again.

We hit it off instantly. She's hilarious. I snookered her into signing.

Last week I sold the book after a small riot of interest from every desperate revenge seeking editor in town. Here's the announcement on Publishers Marketplace:

Dawn Rae Downton's THE LITTLE BOOK OF CURSES AND MALEDICTIONS FOR EVERYDAY USE, the modern day guide to exacting stylish revenge using spells, incantations, hexes, imprecations, and execrations for the worst messes (and people) in your life, to Ann Treistman at Skyhorse, in a nice deal, for publication in October 2009, by Janet Reid at FinePrint Literary Management (world English).

It will surprise none of you to know that I lobbied HARD for this book to be called The Agent's Tool Kit For Dealing With Recalcitrant Authors, Queriers and Editors...but cooler heads prevailed.


Just_Me said...

Oh. Dear.

And someone let you read this?

Without a chaperone?

Should we be worried?

(looks to block all sales of black candles in the 212)

Walter said...

Well, that explains my rash.

C.J. Redwine said...


I like your title better...

Merry Monteleone said...


Would I strike you as excessively scary if I wanted to reserve a copy now?

Ovidia said...

love your alternate title... now trying to decide whether to buy it once it comes out or wait till the 'Special Edition for Agents' or 'Special Edition for Writers' comes out!

Aimless Writer said...

I think this book would make a great gift. lol However, it could be dangerous in the wrong hands.
And they actually handed it to you???
I want one!

Julie Weathers said...


Oh, this made me laugh. I especially like that you got so caught up in it you missed your stop.

Seriously, I love it when an agent says they get enraptured by a submission.


ChrisEldin said...

Will it be ready in time for the holidays?

Jean said...

Janet Reid wrote, "It will surprise none of you to know that I lobbied HARD for this book to be called The Agent's Tool Kit For Dealing With Recalcitrant Authors, Queriers and Editors..."

Don't worry. It can be your little secret. The title that prevailed will appeal to a larger audience resulting in more $ale$. Always a nice thing.

Susan Adrian said...

Congrats again! It's been a good week!

Southern Writer said...

I know just the person I'd like to practice some of that on. I think about a dozen other people are with me on it. We'll need an arc immediately, please.

Mary said...

Sounds great!! I’ll give this book to my brother for Christmas 2009. He was recently cursed and needs to take revenge.

freddie said...

yes, southern writer, I was just going to say I know a couple of ex boyfriends I'd like to try this on. Bwahahahahaha.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

"Goat curses are among the most potent. Just ask the Chicago Cubs." - William E. Goat, III, esq.

jovic said...

This has nothing to do with this particular post, but I thought it was info you might want to know:
Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour

If you're not careful when you read your queries, you might waste away.

Picks By Pat said...

Hmmm...this book could come in handy at my day job. Any chance I could get my hands on an ARC?