To: Dr. Raven
Subject: Proposal for The Most Dangerous Man
Thank you for turning in the revised outline of the proposal for your book entitled The Most Dangerous Man so quickly.
The edits aren’t enough.
Your premise still feels too much of a stretch for our nonfiction line. Readers will simply ignore any evidence they find so contrary to what they’ve been told before—especially concerning the Bloomington Blast. You may remember in the ’80s, we took the “direct” approach on Our Secret History and it nearly bankrupted us.
Don’t misunderstand—we want to make this work. If done correctly, your book could really fly off the shelves.
Have you considered a dramatization? We could publish under our fiction line and put “inspired by actual events” on the cover. That would give us leeway in how we tell the story and not scare people off. It would also keep the more powerful players (and their lawyers) at bay.
Take some liberties. Get inside the heads of those you’ve researched, especially this Wells fellow. Mix chapters with actual documentation and transcripts. Make it a hybrid. Your docs are fascinating, even with the censoring.
I know your feelings on censoring, but we don’t have the budget to fight it—a major reason no mainstream journalist other than Crowley ever chased this story down.
Let me know your thoughts. We can make this work! We’ll have to play with that title, though, not a fan.
(Copyright 2014. Dave Cravens.)