In the 1960s, my manuscript, Where There's Smoke, a crime novel featuring a 14-year-old male protagonist who set fires for the sexual thrill of it, was simply too original and disturbing for mainstream publication. Editors kept saying, "There must be a reason no novel has ever been published with this kind of protagonist." My answer was, "There is a reason, publishers like you are gutless followers." That response didn't help my cause. But it was true.
Thornton P. Knowles