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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Creature Features Rejection from 1987

I thought we all could use a chuckle today. This rejection letter came to me back in 1987. I’d been sending out my second novel, titled ‘The Void’ for a few years. My kids were little, and I’d only been an auto shop owner for four years. I sent my two novels out sparingly when I could afford it. When I was in high school, John Stanley hosted a late night horror fest called ‘Creature Features’. When I found his publishing company in California, I couldn’t pass up a chance to send him ‘The Void’. The rejection letter above seemed like a real letter, and he actually signed it in red marking pen. Finding it last week amongst my other stuff, I knew the story behind it, and the actual rejection letter with his signature letterhead of Creatures at Large would get a smile.


I’ve been looking for some of the rejection letters I received on my first novel called ‘Roc’, but without success. Boy, did I get some rough notes of rejection from that one. ‘Roc’ stirred more than a couple publishing people into sending me something beyond the usual form rejection. At least I knew from their letters, they had read it though. Well, have a good voting day. I voted at 7AM and there were only a handful of people there, so it only took about fifteen minutes from start to finish. :)



17 comments:

Miladysa said...

The election must be well under way there now? From the reporting over here it seems to be a one horse race?

Virginia Lady said...

That is a good rejection letter, Bernard. I love the graphic at the top. I voted at about 10:30 today, trying to avoid the commuting voters. I didn't really have a wait, but then I chose the paper ballot. There was a line for the electronic booths and the fact that there was more voters than registrars at the poll for that time of day told me the turnout is high this time around.

Charles Gramlich said...

I still have pretty much all of the rejection letters I've recieved over time. Plenty ofthem too.

BernardL said...

We have a lot of bond issues and ballot measures out here in California to vote on, Miladysa. Besides, as I wrote on December Quinn's website, I have a duty to vote in every California election in order to cancel out Alec Baldwin's vote. :)

It's the best one I've ever received, VL. Our voting precinct has went from marked with pen ballots, to poke the chad ballots, to computer touch screens, and all the way back to marked with pen ballots like today. :) I believe the turnout will be huge too.

BernardL said...

I should have kept more of my first novel rejections from the seventies, Charles. I thought I did, but I haven't been able to find them. :(

Beth Partin said...

So, Bernard, how many novels have you written?

I've managed only one so far. How do you keep cranking them out?

I used to save my rejection letters, but lately, unless there's a personal comment, I don't keep them.

BernardL said...

I'm working on numbers fifteen and sixteen now, Beth; but except for the five I self published, the others haven't been in print, other than fresh off my printer. :) Numbers don't mean much if they never break through, but I had a great time writing them. The ideas come, and I get so wrapped up in the characters, they become my outlet. I only wrote the two while my kids were growing up. The rest were all in the last ten years. I'm hoping the contract I signed for 'Lancelot' develops into a real writing credit.

Your writing hooked me, Beth. I'm certain you have more than one novel in you. Maybe a change of genre would give you a boost.

Vesper said...

At least in 1987 somebody had to work a little and type it rather than just print a form out of the computer.
Good thing you kept it, Bernard.
:-)

BernardL said...

I am happy I did, Vesper. The letterhead gave me a laugh when I saw it. :)

raine said...

What's odd to me is that I don't remember "Creature Features", & I was a horror show freak at the time...
A good, personalized letter, though.

BernardL said...

When I wrote the post, I thought of you right away, Raine. The first guy doing the horror gig back in Ohio was a guy who called himself 'Ghoulardi'. His real name was Ernie Anderson, I think, and the name of his late night horror show was Shock Theater. John Stanley and Creature Features came along in the late sixties. It was syndicated, and went on into the eighties. Ghoulardi was the best though. I still remember him blowing plastic dolls up on set and making fun of Parma. :)

raine said...

Ghoulardi!!!!
Well, why didn't you SAY so!!

Of course! I remember the show as "Ghoulardi". Dark glasses, pointy beard, Parma, turn blue, "Dorothy" (Fuldheim), white socks and flamingos and blowing things up. Of course!!

Ernie Anderson went on to become the voice behind "The Love Boat."
But Ghoulardi was the BEST!! :-D

BernardL said...

Ghoulardi influenced my brother and I to do some crazy stuff with firecrackers and plastic figurines, Raine. :) We had our room decorated 'Ghoulardi' style too.

Leigh Russell said...

I don't think I've ever received a personalised rejection letter. I might fish them out and have a look. There aren't many, as I was incredibly lucky to find a publisher almost straight away, but I have a few from a handful of agents I wrote to.

You know the anecdote about the would be writer who was convinced no one ever read his rejected MSs. He copied out several pages from a washing machine instruction manual and submitted it, only to receive an identical rejection letter.

Some publishers do read MS - I'm proof of that. So keep trying. It happened to me, it could happen to you. Don't ever give up. But the important thing is not to be published, but to write, and keep on writing.

BernardL said...

Back when I received my 'John Stanley' rejection, it was common to get my manuscripts back in my postage paid packages without even a comment. Getting any comment was a good thing.

This post was strictly for funny reminiscing, Leigh. I have no intention of ending my assault on the publishing world, especially if my contract for 'Lancelot' actually gives me a legitimate writing credit. :) I just received a note from an editor, she was forwarding my novel 'Cold Blooded' for a closer look by her staff.

raine said...

I just received a note from an editor, she was forwarding my novel 'Cold Blooded' for a closer look by her staff.

Oh, squeee!!
Best of luck, Bernard!

BernardL said...

It would be nice to sell a couple things, Raine, thanks. :)