William Deverell — Novelist

The official website of William Deverell, Winner of the Dashiell Hammett Award for Literary Excellence in North American Crime Writing

The Blog: August 1, 2014

My Grovelling Apology

bill_keyboardPursuant to Article 3 (a) of the Terms of Settlement in the matter of Widgeon v. Deverell, executed this date, I hereby issue the following public statement:

I, William Deverell, sincerely and without reservation apologize to Horace Widgeon, OBE, MBE, (a) for infringing copyright of his various works and writings and (b) for this blog’s many hurtful and unsparingly insensitive comments about his character and his abilities and reputation as a writer, and express my deepest regrets over the distress thereby caused.

There. That was hard to swallow. But Brian Pomerantz, my counsel—and a notorious reprobate—warned that my chances were so bleak that I might walk out of a courtroom stripped of everything but my socks and underwear. (I’d been reluctant to hire such a wild man as Pomerantz, knowing he had just served out a suspension by the Law Society, but no reputable lawyer would take it.)

(A side note: Those of you who have not been following this irregular blog, and are unaware of Horace Widgeon’s whopping suit in damages against me for libel and plagiarism, may wish to peruse the entries under 003 blog.)

Having thusly grovelled, let me suggest, Horace (if you are reading this), that you ought to have taken my postings as harmless parody—they were merely intended to provoke friendly bantering between comrades of the pen—and I regret wrongly assuming that you’d been blessed with, among your other admirable traits, a sense of humour.

Pursuant to Article 5 (b) and (c) of the Terms of Settlement neither party may divulge what went on during our negotiations, and the transcript of the examinations of discovery are sealed, but followers of this blog are entitled to at least a hint of why Widgeon, despite his solid case, accepted an apology in lieu of his claim for half a million dollars.

Without comment, I reproduce Widgeon’s dust jacket photo from The Butcher of Illings-Close and a closeup that my wily counsel developed of the book Widgeon is caressing: the writings of the Marquis de Sade.

Widgeon 2 Widgeon DeSade

Pomerantz roughed him up a bit during pre-trial discovery but I am restrained from mentioning the master story-teller’s remarkable effort to explain an apparent prurient interest in S&M… Enough said. Widgeon and his counsel exited the discovery room, and after a brief and apparently strained conversation (given the flushed faces), they returned to strike a deal.

I am indebted to Brian Pomerantz (literally, until I can find the wherewithal to pay his bill) who is a wannabe crime writer himself. His failure to find a publisher, I regret to say, may have contributed to his unnecessarily harsh cross-examination of the best-selling plaintiff, whose novels, interestingly, eschew themes of normal, healthy sexual intimacy.

In my next posting we’ll explore some of Widgeon’s do’s and don’t’s when it comes to matters carnal.