Dear Mr. Jones: I very much enjoyed the freshness of your work, however, I find that there are two kinds of writers, those that want to write and those that need to write. If your story is as thinly disguised as I suspect, Mr. Jones, then you are one of the latter, and I count you in good company. Those who want to write, generally, want to be published and rewarded for their efforts. Those who need to write are primarily concerned with the product of their labors, recognition being an afterthought. In light of the current hard cover fiction market, I see no way in which your work will be published in its current state. Whether or not you wish to subscribe to the parameters of popular fiction in order to alter the fate of your work is up to you. In the end, you may be happier with the job at McDonald's. Warm regards, Hillery Borton
Dear Ms. Borton: You apparently want popular fiction to continue to be fatuous, formulaic and stupid. Why? Why not give people a chance to read something fresh and true? Something entertaining and honest and funny and tragic? You sound like someone with some integrity. Why, then, wouldn't you rather work at McDonald's than continue to promote the fatuous, formulaic claptrap and crap that passes itself off as popular fiction? Thanks for your warm regards. Gerard Jones
Dear Hillery: I got a letter from Seva Gunitskiy dated 7/31/01 which said: "Gerard, Go ahead and send the rest of the GINNY GOOD manuscript, but address it either to myself or to Hillery Borton, Putnam Editor. Best, Seva." I sent the manuscript in, addressed to both you and Seva, and haven't heard anything from either of you. It's been over a year. What's up with it? Thanks. Gerard Jones
Out of office auto reply: Hillery Borton no longer works at Penguin-Putnam.