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Haskell Smith on Publishing’s “Broken Telephone”

mark-haskell-smith.jpgWhen we ran an item on product placement in fiction focusing on Mark Haskell Smith‘s Lexus-sponsored short story last week, the reaction was instantaneous – and often erroneous, as Haskell Smith found out. Watching the news spread “has been like watching a game of telephone in action,” the author told us by email. “Amusing, to be sure. But kinda alarming too.” That’s because various blogs have since reported that Lexus paid him an “undisclosed amount” (aka a lot of money) and gave me a free car. “They let me drive one of their cars for a day or two, it’s true. But my trusty Subaru Forester has not been displaced from my driveway by some sleek lux-mobile.”

Haskell Smith freely embraces his so-called “whoring credentials” (he lives in LA, after all) “the fact is that my actual novels do not feature product placement and the only corporate entity that asks me to make changes is my editor at Grove/Atlantic.”

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