First death threat

Well I got my first death threat today. Quite entertaining actually. Here, let me share…

I’d rejected a manuscript, personally explaining why this particular manuscript was not publishable by our house – and actually, I didn’t feel it was publishable period. The story was about a sadistic murderer who liked to rape their victims first – their underage victims. The more I read on, it turns out the guy not only is a pedophile, but a necrophiliac…

Ok, so far not good but not entirely bad. Until I reached the end of the third chapter. Then I closed the word document, turned off my screen, and sat back in my desk. Stewing. I was actually pissed I’d wasted over twenty minutes reading that submission. Nothing had happened in the thirty pages – nothing except for seven rapes, seven murders, seven long and detailed accounts of graphic and over the top torture scenes. No plot, no characterization, no dialogue except “Please no!” and “Die!” No, I didn’t like it, and no, I didn’t think any part of the “Saw” movie rip-off had any chance at publication. Not that I didn’t care for the movie – wait, no, that would be lying – but it’s one thing for something to be portrayed on screen, another on paper.

I said just as much in a very nice paragraph, explaining my opinion, and ending with a polite, “no thank you, but we wish you the best.”

Then I get a wonderful little email disguised with “Thank you for your kind comments” in the subject line:

What the hell do you know? Who do you think you are to tell me my story is shit? You piece of ******* **** **** *******! I’m going to send a ******* bomb to your house and blow up that dumbass smirk on your face, you ****. **** you! You’ll see what a mistake you made a year from now. You’ll see I made it big, and they’ll make a movie out it, and you won’t get shit because you passed up on a golden opportunity you *****!!!!

I’m the dumbass? Last time I checked, buddy, you’d sent me your full name, address, telephone number, and email address in your submission. For someone who calls themself a “creative prodigy,” I’m surprised you weren’t creative enough to actually open an untraceable email account to message me instead of hitting “reply” on the original message.

…it brightened my day, to say the least, that someone actually cared enough about what I said that they found it necessary to rile himself up so. If only every author cared so much….


8 Responses

  1. LOL! That’s funny. What an idiot.

    Do you get emails like this often?

  2. Hmm….not usually this crass. Though I do get angry emails every once in a while.

  3. Wow, I’m astounded. I liked your post for today (about things to check before you send out a story), but I think this just might serve as a case study on how NOT to be published:

    1. Death threats
    2. Stories that are actually vehicles for your bizarre fantasies
    3. Insults
    4. Rampant stupidity

    LOL, good luck with the rest of the pile — just remember they CAN’T be that bad in comparison!


  4. Heh, yeah I was a little surprised myself. Thanks for the comment Caryn.

  5. Well, I solemnly swear any comments I every get from you or any other editor will be treated for what it is: Good advice. For the record, I once received two handwritten pages of rejection from Eric Heideman, the editor at Tales of the Unanticipated. I rewrote the story using his thoughts as a guide and sold it to another magazine. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

  6. It’s too bad more writers don’t feel the same as you, Michael. It’s amazing what an easier time people would have if they just opened an ear every once in a while.

  7. I am constantly amazed by the treatment editors recieve from people hoping to sell them their work. Has common courtesy become so uncommon? What do these people hope to accomplish? That you will publish his story out of fear?

    The mind boggles. **shakes head**

  8. Threats get a person nowhere.
    Flattery works much better.

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