The Vagaries of Writing and Publishing

Boy, let me tell you something. If you’re going to write a book, be prepared. And be forewarned . You never know when something is going to crop up and place a monkey wrench in the proceedings.

Right now my publisher has strongly encouraged me to check with legal counsel regarding the use of my cousin in my book. Even though she lives in a different country and I’ve changed her name, there is the potential for a libel suit. My cousin and I have been estranged for nearly nine years. The law is such that, she could possibly sue if she feels defamed. I’ve spoken of her in glowing terms and I’ve been forthright in our estrangement. Yet she can sue because I haven’t gotten permission to reference her.

This is yet something else to slow down the book. I guess that’s a good thing. I would rather do everything right and to the best of my abilities while following the letter of the law. I get frustrated, though, because so many people ask about the publication date of the book and I still can’t say. It’s gratifying to know so many are interested.

So, I’ve communicated with a libel attorney and sent him excerpts that include my cousin, “Gretchen” so he can see what I’ve written. If I have to delete her completely from the book, then so be it. It won’t be that hard to do. I’m just hoping that I don’t get any more roadblocks. This book has been in gestation for over 9 years and I’m ready to give birth.


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