THE GARDENS RESTAURANT
went ahead and started going through Mr. Preston’s things,”
said as she started thumbing through the stack of files and folders she’d
brought with her. “It seems like
he was a far more prolific writer than I’d ever imagined.”
so?” Trevor Callison asked as he leaned forward, eager to hear what she’d
“Well, I found at least three fully completed
novels filed away in his office and no fewer than five nearly completed works in
progress.” She paused and pulled a
page of notes from the bottommost file in the stack.
“And from what I can piece together, there are possibly several more
novels that haven’t gotten past the first draft stage.”
“This is… incredible.”
He took the list of works from her and began to review them.
“I can’t even begin to tell you how happy my father’s going to be
when he hears this.”
“So explain to me again what you’re doing.
Why are you so interested in all of Mr. Preston’s manuscripts and
“It’s about our contract with Mr. Preston,”
Trevor began to explain. “We still
want to honor it. Thanks to your
help, The Manhattan Conflict is on
schedule to be out in bookstores by the end of the summer.
We don’t want to stop there.”
“I’m… not sure I understand.
I would’ve thought that the contract would’ve ended when Mr. Preston
wrote a very solid contract. When
Mr. Preston signed it, he effectively signed over all publishing rights to
Callison Publications for at least his next five novels and that contract
extends to his estate."
“Ah,” Sara nodded as she slowly began to
understand what he was saying. “You
want to publish all of the novels Mr. Preston had finished.”
we need your help and approval to do it.”
Trevor looked down at the list he held in his hands.
“Unfortunately, the one glitch in the terms of the contract was that
Mr. Preston was only required to publish one book.”
“I’m not following.”
“Mr. Preston only had to publish one book with
us,” he went on to explain. “If
he didn’t want to publish any other books, he wasn’t required to.
However, if he did publish any future books, at least the next five have
to be published by us. To break it
down in the simplest terms possible, since he’s dead, if his estate doesn’t
want any of his completed works published, then the estate isn’t required to
publish them. If the estate does
decide to publish the remainder of his works posthumously, by the terms of the
contract they have to be published by Callison Publications.”
Sara tilted her head to the side and rubbed her chin as she considered
the possibilities. “So the
decision to publish rests with me and Dane since we inherited the estate.”
“That’s where it gets a little interesting.
I’m not exactly sure whether you know this or not, but thanks to
Douglas’s work with Mr. Preston on the changes to his will, Mr. Preston
grouped all of his writings and manuscripts into a separate part of the estate
– a part he left exclusively for you to control.
Dane has no part of this at all unless you allow him to be due to your
why are you involved? Shouldn’t I
be working with an editor from the company or some other executive or
“Well, you probably should,” Trevor sighed,
“however, my father
decided that he wants me to be the one to work with you
because… well… if you think about it, I’m partly the reason you got mixed
up with Thornton Preston in the first place.
If I hadn’t talked you into taking that job with Mr. Preston so you
could spy on him for us and….”
“I remember, I remember.”
Sara waved her hand as if to dismiss the memory.
“I don’t want to sound ungrateful – I do appreciate all of the help
you’ll be – but isn’t this going to interfere with your other job?”
“I haven’t really written much of anything
for the paper in months,” he confessed, “at least not since Grace left.
I think that’s a lot of the reason my father wants me working on this
– he wants to keep my mind occupied and off of Grace.”
“Then you just leave things to me.”
Sara reached across the table and gave Trevor’s hand a reassuring
squeeze. “I think getting these
manuscripts in shape for publication is going to keep both of us busy.”