Sagittarius 25° (December 17)


We are writing today to address what has surfaced as a disturbing dynaic vis a vis Starsky and Cox’s relationship with Harper Collins. Our only goal here is to get to the truth and to find some kind of understanding and resolution. First I want to thank May C. specifically for the kind words regarding our latest book proposal. Because you had expressed interest some time ago in seeing our next proposal, we wanted to honor that request. (The proposal was also sent to Judith Curr who came to visit us a year ago when we were in town for an event, staying at the Lowell hotel, as she too expressed a desire to review it.) Meanwhile, it was Liz S. at Harper Design who was most keen for our proposal. Liz came to see us in November at the Marlton when we were in town and we spent over two and a half hours together discussing all the ins and outs of working together, and we really made what we thought was a valuable connection. Liz communicated that she would be making an offer and we were thrilled at the prospect of working with someone with whom our existing work seemed to so strongly resonate and to be able to write our next book under the Harper auspice so that, though not at the same imprint, both Sextrology and the new book would be under the same roof. But that was not to be.

In our meeting at the Marlton, Liz did bring up the fact that certain individuals at Harper had made negative comments about us and even provided some ancient emails to illustrate the point. One individual was not even at Harper when we published our book. Moreover, nobody to whom this email is being addressed was at Harper at the time we published Sextrology, including Jonathan Burnham who, it seems, forbad Liz to buy our new book. More than troubling, we found this sudden turn of events to be something needing to be addressed in all seriousness. It has been fifteen years since the publishing of Sextrology, which was a difficult process, and we have made every effort to work with our editors and publishers, as our book moved around from imprint to imprint over the years, to eradicate all existing obstacles to a happy and healthy working relationship, and to forge a collaborative professional bond to further the success of our book to our mutual benefit. This has not always been easy but we have striven to rise above all our prior difficulties.

Sextrology was purchased by Rob W. in 1998 and it was meant to be published under his eponymous imprint, as a hard cover. Soon after we signed our contract, Harper Collins bought Morrow and dissolved Rob’s imprint. Finding ourselves orphaned and left on the doorstep of what was then called Harper Resource, we were given to a first time young editor called Greg C. under the editorial direction of Megan N.. Our then agent, the extraordinary late Elaine M. was unhappy with this; and she spent a year trying to move the book to another publisher and we were in limbo. Perhaps word of this got out we don’t know. But Elaine was unsuccesful in her efforts and we stayed at Harper Resource where we were never really wanted and where we were treated rather carelessly. We had a design clause in our contract—this is why Sextrology looks as striking as it does—which seemed irksome the Harper Resource folks. After painstakingly hand-writing in edits to a first round draft, Greg C. “lost” half of our manuscript “at the gym.” And we had to re-do all that work. In an email not intended for, but accidentally sent to us, Megan wrote “don’t tell Stella and Quinn the book isn’t going to be hardcover,” just months before publication.

We had to advocate at least for a decent paper quality and a french flap to the trade paper back. We were told there would be a small run of hardcover, as compensation. That never happened. Megan and Kate S. were leaving for Penguin at that time and Kate had put together an inteire tour itenerary that included appearances at Book Soup and Booksmith in Los Angeles. Only, the whole thing was fabricated and none of the plane tickets had been purchased nor had the book stores even been contacted. Joe T. and Mary Ellen C. wrote us a check for us to create and conduct a replacement tour of appearances, which we put together ourselves. People basically laughed at us when we said we were going to launch at Barneys in multiple cities, Marc Jacobs, Louis Boston,Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and the like, given our fashion and fashion journalist backgrounds (Stella had worked for many famous designers and Quinn was a Styles write for the New York Times and we were co-executive editors of Wallpaper* magazine in London). With a stylish looking book, we made good on our promises, and Simon Doonan even designed the windows of Barneys in a Sextrology theme; while Starsky + Cox were the live window display at Marc Jacobs on Bleecker Street for two weeks. Everything we said we would do we did, amid broken promises from Harper Collins…..


To view the original Sabian Symbol themed 2015 Cosmic Blague corresponding to this day: Flashback! The degree pointof the Sabian Symbol will be one degree higher than the one listed for today. The Blague portrays the starting degree of for this day ( 0°,  for instance), as I typically post in the morning, while the Sabian number corresponds to the end point (1°) of that same 0°-1° period. There are 360  degrees spread over 365 or 6 days per year—so they near but not exactly correlate.


Typos happen. I don’t have a proofreader. And I like to just write, post and go!
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