Dispatches from the Desk: Please Don’t Lie


by Libby Cudmore & Matthew Quinn Martin

…hello all, your president and vice president here with our another of our semi-regular featured blog posts.


Ah, autumn, where we are treated to hot apple cider and donuts, crunching leaves beneath our feet…and the annual reminder that a certain fellow writer in our circle has a novel coming out “next fall,”…the same novel that he’s told us was coming out next fall for the past six years. We’re starting to think that he’s been lying.

And we take a rather dim view of liars.

We see it all too often…as we mentioned in our article for the (now-defunct) Writer magazine, lying is not a good way to jumpstart a career. Unpublished writers (and sometimes published ones too) can sometimes have this terrible habit of referring to a work as “forthcoming” when it isn’t forthcoming from any place other than their desktop printer (or, more likely, imagination).

…who WOULDN’T want to read this???

While it’s great to think positive, if Libby went around telling everyone about her “forthcoming” marriage to Jason Sudakis, you’d look at her like she was crazy—so when writers talk about a “forthcoming” novel that they have yet to finish (or a “debut” novel that has yet to get published) they look just as nuts.

Here’s a great example––self-proclaimed “World’s Youngest Novelist” Gloria Tesch. Ms. Tesch, now 18, had her book Maradona and the Seven Bridges published through “Liberty Media.” This “small press” has only published a handful of other books, and ALL of them are part of Tesch’s the six-book Maradonia trilogy (yes, she calls a six-book series a trilogy)

It’s a bit like hearing a writer going on and on about their agent only for you to find out later that they were talking about their real estate agent. We knew a writer who boasted about her agent, only for us to find that not only did her “agent” not have her listed as a client, this “agent” didn’t have a single writer listed there. We were, frankly, embarrassed for her. We didn’t make a funny YouTube video about it…but perhaps we should have.

we’re 99% sure THIS is the agent she was talking about

And if we spot any of you engaging in these deceptive tactics…we just might.

Bottom line, if you want to be a successful, and more importantly a respected, writer…save the fiction for the page and keep it out of your press releases.


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