Monday, October 28, 2013

The Story Behind Clickey & the Clockmaker

A strong theme in Clickey and the Clockmaker is waiting, and the story behind the book is a real life example. The book began as a script for a half-hour TV Christmas special, and I spent a good amount of time developing that. But as with many ideas in Hollywood, it drew nothing more than mild interest.

Years later I thought it would make a great book, and so I spent more time on it, writing the story in rhyme, sketching, scanning and illustrating the pictures in Adobe Illustrator. Then I sent out queries to any and every publisher likely to have an interest. One publisher offered to pick it up. They were a newer company and I couldn't find much information on them, but a lawyer friend looked over their contract and said it looked legit, so I signed on.

I discovered however that my book wasn't being published, it was being hijacked. After mangling my print-ready pictures and messing up my text, the publisher priced my book so high that no one would buy it beyond me and any friends I could guilt into paying extortion. Only after I signed the contract did Publish America's reputation become known on sites like Predators and Editors. They owned the rights to my book for 7 years. Sort of. They had it on their website, but since the book didn't sell one copy and they hadn't provided me the free copy promised, the contract was not fulfilled.

Then something immensely frustrating happened. My computer died before I burned another backup of the completed art. That was a tough lesson in backup for me, and it left me with Publish America holding my only copy of the finished art. I tried requesting the CD back, but they never answered. I could redo the entire book, or wait 7 years and hope maybe they'd do as their contract stated and return my materials at that time. So I waited, but nothing came.

So many years later, I set to work recreating the artwork from my scanned sketches, making my broken Clickey whole again. Why I would spend all this trouble to do it all over again? Because I believe it's a timeless tale that will enrich anyone who reads it.

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