All the time I'm asked why I rebelled against my publisher's demands. How could I let this rare gift of being a published author go? Isn't it better to have a book out there than not? I'll quote Ray Bradbury since he said it best . . .
"Some five years back, the editors of yet another anthology for school readers put together a volume with some 400 short stories in it. How do you cram 400 short stories by Twain, Irving, Poe, Maupassant and Bierce into one book?
"Simplicity iteself. Skin, debone, demarrow, scarify, melt, render down and destroy. Every adjective that counted, every verb that moved, every metaphor that weighed more than a mosquito--out! Every simile gone! Any aside that explained the two-bit philosophy of a first rate writer--lost!
"Every story, slenderized, starved, bluepenciled, leeched and bled white, resembled every other story. Twain read like Poe read like Shakespeare read like Dostoevsky. Every image that demanded so much as one instant's attention--shot dead.
"Do you begin to get the damned and incredible picture? How did I react to all of the above? By firing the whole lot.
"The point is obvious. There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. Every minority *** feels it has the will, the right, the duty to douse the kerosene, and light the fuse. Every dimwit editor who sees himself as the source of all dreary blanc-mange plain porridge unleavened literature, licks his guillotine and eyes the neck of any author who dares to speak above a whisper or write above a nursery rhyme." Ray Bradbury--Fahrenheit 451.
Some people may say, "But you're an amateur. You don't know any better. Maybe they were right to want to turn your book into a 'Box Car Kids' story or a 'Magic Treehouse' tale. I chose not to place my book on the sacrificial alter--to become something I hated. Is it better to be unpublished with your integrity intact or to have your book out there, raped and ruined?
Time will tell.