Today’s Surprise

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I rarely indulge in ego-tripping across the web so am sometimes surprised by what I find.This afternoon, I was reminded that my pal, Max Allan Collins, has a Ms. Tree novel coming from Hard Case Crime next month. I clicked over to Amazon and entered Max’s name, then sorted by publication date. Well, first I see The Legend of Zorro, the Moonstone collection we’re both in (and coming out in December). Idly looking over the listings, I decided to click on my name and see what happened.Again sorting by pub date, the first listing was The Avenger Chronicles, which has a June 2008 pub date. Well, that was news and good news, too, since I had fun with the story. It appears I will share the covers with Tom DeFalco, Moonstone publisher Joe Gentile, Ron Goulart, Clay Griffith, Susan Griffith, C. J. Henderson, Howard Hopkins, Robert Jeschonek, Paul Kupperberg, Max McCoy, Chris Mills, Will Murray, Gary Phillips, Martin Powell, Andy Bennett, and Dave Aikins. I’m rather amused by the large percentage of authors and friends I already know and have worked with elsewhere.What came next, though, was a surprise. Rosen released Frequently Asked Questions About Loneliness (Faq: Teen Life) on September 30. Yes, I wrote it, so that’s not the surprise.In the spring of 2006, between DC and Weekly World News, Rosen’s editors asked me to help them revised and update some of their older health and social science books which were then being made available online to schools. Essentially it meant taking the original manuscript, updating facts, statistics, adding new information as was necessary and revising the “for further information” data. It required some research and in some cases rewriting. Overall, I thought this was a clever use of their material and a good way to remain vital and useful to teachers across the country since so often new information makes these books dated pretty quickly.I tackled such topics as Sexual Orientation, Safe Sex, Interfaith Marriage, and yes, Loneliness. I was told the original manuscript for that last one was in such a sorry state that they’d pay extra if I did a top-to-bottom rewrite. Which I did, reviewed the edits, took my check and thought nothing further about it.Now I see it is a book, which was not covered in the contract, nor was the compensation based on publication nor did anyone think to even send the author a copy. I popped off an e-mail to Rosen and await their response.

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