An Editorial Letter from Margaret McElderry
This letter is an example of how MKM got what she needed for her book line (in this case, coaxing a very young me into delivering a manuscript sooner than I thought I could) while still being nurturing and encouraging. I can only say that it charmed me into a fevered attempt to do what she asked. It also gives the flavor of her elegant style, and her ways of working (taking a ms. on Christmas vacation).
Letter to me from MKM Dec. 9, 1983
We're trying to finalize (a word I dislike!) our list for the fall of 1984. Your CLAN GROUND is on that list and I very much hope that the manuscript will come in time for us to keep that schedule.
In your last letter you spoke of being behind, both because of Breadloaf and your move to a condominium. I'm sending this note to inquire when you think the manuscript may be ready. If it isn't relatively soon, it will have to be postponed, so I shall keep my fingers crossed terribly hard in hopes that you will reply that it is practically on the point of being mailed off.
Ideally if it could get to me by December 20th, or even a day later, it would be perfect, because I could then take it up to Rhode Island, where I spend the week between Christmas and New Year's working quietly on manuscripts.
Do send me a quick note to let me know the situation.
All the best--
Margaret K. McElderry