Although it is difficult to remember, I am convinced that Organizational Behavior by Robert Callahan, Patrick Fleenor, and Harry Knudson was the first major book I worked on. It’s not a matter of poor memory. I had nine projects to shepherd at any time–three for each year on the three-year editorial calendar–while at Merrill Publishing between 1983 and 1985. The books were from multiple lists–psychology, management, and marketing–and I worked with three wonderful acquiring editors.
I remember Bob, Pat, and Harry very well. They were funny and charming even when I persistently reminded them of the schedule. They were from Texas, and every editorial call to discuss manuscript revisions included forays into Tex-Mex food and restaurants, and rodeo jokes. After I left Merrill for a production editing position before their book was published, they tracked me down at Houghton Mifflin to tell me they would miss my long editorial missives (memos that preceded revision calls) and joke about the imaginary bullwhip hanging on the wall by my desk.