Early in his career, Mr. Ashmead ran ads in a local newspapers announcing that he was coming to town to hear book ideas. That openness to ideas extended to junior employees at Harper who thought they had written masterpieces — a type of writer not exactly popular with editors.
But he finally read Kate Morgenroth’s psychological thriller about a mass murder in a retirement home, partly because she had baked brownies for the office. The novel, “Kill Me First,” was published in 1999, received good reviews and was followed by more books.
Can you imagine an editor running ads in a local paper to hear book ideas now? The very thought sends me (and most likely them) under the desk quivering and sobbing.