William Deverell — Novelist

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

He that filches my good name

Bry’s Blog / April 22, 2015

Good afternoon, Bill, wherever you are. Still not receiving? Or are you finally tuned in to your blog? I suspect the latter. I see you sitting tight, hoping I’ll go away. I know now why you ran off. Not to escape the horrors of civilization. To avoid me, Bry Pomerantz.

Not just because of the vast guilt and remorse you feel over plagiarizing plot, twists and title of Needles. Yes, the book’s goddamn title—you don’t remember who came up with that? How did I feel when my name didn’t even appear in your acknowledgments? Imagine the sense of being buried alive. needles covers But now you have defamed me. You’ll be singing a very worried song if I sue for libel, bub.

You had erased all your files from your computer (or so you thought), but you forgot to clean out your trash, and there it was, Worried Song2.doc, which I took to be an early draft. I got a few hundred pages into it. I appear as your nemesis. I am the literary analogue of the fucked up character who so prominently lurks throughout its early pages. Brian Pomeroy. Way to come up with an original name.

He that filches from me my good name…

“An edgy, cynical, chatterbox.” “Inventive, crazed, substance-abusing.” “A cocaine-induced psychosis that had him trying to write mystery novels.” “An infamous practical joker.” Pomerantz, aka Pomeroy, is thinly disguised as a lawyer “whose multiple offences ranged from sabotaging a prosecutor’s briefcase, from which, in front of a jury, she pulled out a dildo, to forging a love note from a judge to an attractive juror, a note that somehow made its way into the exhibit box, resulting in a mistrial.” Oh, and you have me trafficking psilocybin.

I am the bad messenger. I am the source of all of Arthur Beauchamp’s troubles in this book. I am the source of the magic mushrooms that I suspect are going to send him over the edge.

Let there be no doubt that you have faithfully rendered me. “Greying,” you write, “wiry and strong, a rugged jaw, a nose attractively broken” And you added, “with the facial creases of a life lived hard, a hint of dissolution.” (A hint of which, btw, used to turn the set designers mad with lust. The gay ones, anyway.)Pomerantz

You have me saying, “I tried AA, but there were too many drunks.” More proof that you plagiarized my character, because I did tell you that. I won’t deny the coke or the marriage breakdown. And okay, I did try writing mysteries when my screenwriting career took a nosedive. And, yeah, I did a trade in shrooms for a while.

Okay, so maybe I don’t have grounds for libel. But you are a body-snatcher. I am burned. I feel used.