From Michelle L. on Twitter this evening comes a link to horror author Brian Keene’s blog, where he alerts authors that both Leah Hultenschmidt and Don D’Auria have been laid off and that “the entire editorial department is now Chris Keeslar.” Obviously, at nearly 10pm EDT I’m not reaching anyone at Dorchester to confirm this but if true, well, if there’s a death pool in publishing Dorchester’s step closer to the final flush, if Keene’s entry is to be taken verbatim.
Not only is Keene irate about the loss of D’Auria, but he has rather shocking tales to tell about availability of books, and his efforts to promote his upcoming paperbacks from Leisure at local bookstores:
At last weekend’s signings in York and Lebanon, PA, the store managers reported to me that they had trouble getting books in, and indeed, ended up with only about half of what they ordered. I’m told those shipments were fulfilled from their own warehouses, rather than via Leisure’s distributor.
Keene’s suspicion is that Dorchester is close to filing for bankruptcy, and says at the end of his entry, “What’s my advice to my fellow Leisure authors? Run. Get the fuck out and don’t look back. It is my opinion that we are well and screwed. At this point, you’re an absolute fool if you sign with them for anything else.”
Leah Hultenschmidt is one of the nicer editors I’ve encountered since I started knowing who editors were (as opposed to those mythical beings you don’t actually see or know about, like unicorns only with red pencils and full email boxes) and if Keene’s report is true, I’m so sorry to hear it. And even more sorry to hear that the continued difficulties are potentially getting worse.
ETA: I received an email from Leah this morning confirming the report. I echo the commenters – I hope she gets snapped up sooner than soonest. Good luck, Leah!