Eating My Book

It’s not every day that your cake decorator gets in a wrangle with the legal division at your publishing company.

The question was whether my girlfriends Could or Could Not get a book cover scanned onto the frosting of a surprise cake for the author of said book. The baker works for a large corporation that shall remain nameless in case frosting images of book covers ARE illegal. Long story short: Jenny V. had to call my publisher–or actually Pyr’s parent company, Prometheus–and ask them to call the baker in Wenatchee Washington and give permission to use the cover image of Bright of the Sky. Not all Jenny’s persuasions made the slightest difference to the scrupulous baker, not even: WE’RE GOING TO EAT THE COVER, LIKE, RIGHT AWAY.  I was mortified to hear about the call to Prometheus until Jenny told me that the person (whose name she has now forgotten), laughed and said she would be happy to call. And she did, right away. (Although, how did the cake lady know it wasn’t my aunt Cynthia in Ohio calling?)

I can now say I’ve eaten my book, which is more than most of you can claim, I”ll bet. (It was delicious.)

12 Responses

  1. lmarley says:

    I’ve been through the same thing!

    Now where’s my piece of that cake?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Bright of the sky

    Just finished reading your book. I was thoroughly taken by the imagery and the interaction between the characters. In short, I loved the book. Can’t wait for the sequels.

  3. Kay says:

    Re: Bright of the sky

    Thanks! The second book is heading into production–that is, copy editing–and I’m thrilled with that story. I’m So eager to see the second Martiniere cover, but no clue yet about what it’ll be like. Writing book 3 now, and Book 1 seems like a distant memory…. or is it amnesia? 🙂

  4. thecrimsony says:

    As customer support of a large company that will remain nameless because I want to keep my day job, I’ve gotten countless calls/email/etc. with this question. I’m glad your publisher had a nicer answer than my merciless Japanese masters. :p

  5. Kay says:

    Well, copyright infringement is getting to be touchy, but on a cake? And what is your experience with the issue? Want to say?

  6. viistar says:

    I used to work for a large corp. grocer with a bakery (which catered to slightly higher end clientele) and i was occasionally stashed in the back to draw copyrighted characters on cakes. tinkerbell, princesses, baby einstein, hello kitty, really anything my boss would agree to let me do. as long as there wasn’t a kit for that item and we had time, she’d let me do it.

    i figured they’d eat the evidence, and i preferred decorating to order and stock.

    It was such a rare occurrence that we never thought of it as a big deal, i guess.

  7. Kay says:

    That’s fun. There are just times when the rules are STUPID, as in the cake decorating, when you eat the evidence.

    I saw a bizarre example of mindless rule-obedience at a government office. There is little state office in a tiny town in Eastern Washington. It has three employees. They are required by state law to post an “evacuation plan,” in case of fire. So, um, the person at the first desk goes through the front door. The guy at the back desk goes through the back door. And the fellow in the middle? A few inches closer to the back door, so out he goes. All diagrammed!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Tom Digby (idea_fairy) once extended that palindrome a bit:

    “Spam rats live on no evil star maps.”

  9. Anonymous says:

    fantastic thing you are doing


    Great book. I just want to say what a fantastic thing you are doing! Good luck!


  10. Anonymous says:

    Very well said, bad is bad.

    I am pretty sure I would rather pay for Cosmos magazine say, which has that real stuff, rather than an ordinary ‘mundane’ book.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations! That’s terrific!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the very nice workshop on dialog, and your insightful comments on various panels. I hope you plan to come back to Condor (and don’t forget Conjecture) in the future.

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