I had, in the parlance of the trade, "inherited" Tilar's previous book--The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It, about the shrewd, passionately determined, inventive grand-mere of champagne Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin--when the enterprising editor who had acquired the project left the company. I came on the scene at a delicate moment: just as Tilar was poised to deliver her manuscript. Fortunately, we hit it off, and what followed was not so much an editing process as a stimulating conversation between author and editor as stand-in for the reader. I saw the project through that stage and the initial set-up to publication. When I left Harper, my friend came on board as editor No. 3, shepherding the book through production and into publication, where thanks to the efforts of Tilar and many others who had a hand in the process, it hit the New York Times Bestseller List.
Writing conferences and blogs abound in stories of the traumas visited upon authors by the business of publishing, including stories of "orphaned" books that slip between the cracks. I'm not here to say that disappointments don't happen (I'm an author, too). But there are many, many people in publishing who work with care and dedication on behalf of authors and their books. In that spirit, from having been fortunate to have had a ringside seat at a happy ending, I offer this example. Congrats, Tilar. Can't wait to read this!
Copyright (c) 2010 by Toni Sciarra Poynter