Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Not one word was left out

"The book is long, all right," grinned Harrison Leussler, the publisher's Western representative. He flew from Palm Springs, Cal., to attend a cocktail party for Miss Kennelly at the Multnomah hotel. He recounted how Houghton Mifflin Co. had received a note from an unknown author out in Portland saying:
     "I've written a book, my first. If you are not interested, please wrap it up and send it back."
     "In a few days, along came 1000 sheets of closely typewritten copy," Leussler continued. "It was enough to floor a first reader, particularly when the author was unknown."
     But the first reader read it line by line--all of it. So did the other five readers, then the editor and finally the editor-in-chief "who lost no time in writing a contract."
     "The book would have ordinarily taken 660 pages, but by lengthening lines and crowding margins a little, it was published in 375," said Leussler. "Not one word of the manuscript was changed or left out."
     --"First Novel of Portland Author, 'Peaceful [sic] Kingdom', Blunt, Lively," in the Oregon Journal, November 11, 1949, page 1