Monday, July 28, 2014

When You Find Out Your Heroes Have Feet of Clay

What do you do when you find out your heroes aren't as perfect as you imagined them to be?

I've followed Dave Farland (aka Dave Wolverton) for a long, long time. I love his style of writing. And considering he survived a stint in Hollywood with his morals and sense of humor intact, I thought he was a man of integrity.

Until I clicked open his latest Kick in the Pants e-mail this weekend. The second paragraph started:

"I've had a number of readers ask about the Amazon-Hatchette debate. As you may know, they're involved in a massive lawsuit."

Lawsuit? What lawsuit?  Amazon and Hatchette's last contract expired in March, according to an Amazon press release which Hatchette has not disputed. The disagreement is over new contract terms.

Neither side has filed a lawsuit because there's NOTHING to file a lawsuit over. Neither side has been legally wronged by the other at this point. They are trying to hammer out new terms because the old ones expired. (Okay, one party may be trying a little bit harder than the other, but that's between the two corporations.)

When I read that second paragraph of Kick in the Pants, my eyes stung. Why would David lie? Then in the third paragraph he admitted to having a contract with Hatchette UK. The rest of the statement went downhill from there, including jabs at everyone's favorite whipping boy, Hugh Howey. I was shocked by David's attitude since he's done his fair share of indie publishing. I clicked the window shut after reading it, and I took my anger and disappointment out on the old kitchen tile I'm removing.

You'd think that at nearly fifty years of age and a solid twenty-five years in American corporate and legal culture I wouldn't be this fucking naive. But I guess I am.

Maybe that's why I write. I can't deal with the world as it is.

Note: David's Kick in the Pants columns are normally posted on his website, but the site's been down since the wee hours of Saturday morning when I read my e-mail. I'll link to the post when I can.

[Edit to add: Here's the link to David's post.]