Leslie Le Mon is an author and consultant. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Leslie lives in Los Angeles where she is a member of the Book Publicists of Southern California. Her books include Cold Dark Harbor and Other Tales of Ghosts and Monsters, the collection from which “Windigo” appears, the YA fantasy series Sircus of Impossible Magicks, and the unauthorized Disneyland Book of Secrets 2013. Visit www.leslielemonauthor.com for more.
Ten years ago, in 1955, my husband and I lived in a cold water walk-up in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It was at the top of an old house on the waterfront, circa 1700, which sounds picturesque, but it just means the building was falling down around our ears, that we froze in the winter, and broiled in the summer, and that the smell of salt and fish and tar marinated our three small rooms year-round.
Ernest had graduated from Bowdoin with a degree in literature. He didn’t want to teach; he didn’t want to pursue a graduate degree, and he didn’t want to work in advertising. He wanted to write the great American novel–not a great American novel, but The Great American Novel. That meant he pounded on an old Corona typewriter all day and night, and sent queries to the big literary houses in Boston, New York, London, and Paris.
Ernest was very earnest, and so was his novel, but no one on either side of the Atlantic was interested. Polite rejection after polite rejection landed in our mailbox. Worse, they were boiler plate rejections–absolutely impersonal.