Crafting the written word has long been used not only as a tool for communication, but for healing. To purge the soul of the anguish within so that the body may begin to heal. On rare occurrences, such emotion-filled text can reach beyond the writer, to help others. I myself endeavored for such a goal when I penned my first book and likewise has the subject of this article, Cathy Langella. Surely to reach beyond the pain you feel and try to shine a light into the world is a lofty goal that no one would dare hinder. But sadly, even the well intentioned can be fooled by shady business and bad ethics. Such is the focus of this series of articles I’m doing in the hopes of bringing about a sense of commonality and brotherhood. Stories of other writers, like me, that fell on the sword of a bad publisher who, to coin a phrase, done them wrong. My hope is that by sharing our stories, we can ENCOURAGE other authors who have found themselves in this same spot and maybe help a few avoid the pitfalls we all so painfully discovered. This is Cathy Langella’s story.
More than 30 years ago, Cathy Langella was first driven to write after she struggled to escape the grips of an abusive alcoholic. Her spouse, employed in the legal field, had intentions so dark she felt sure her very life was at risk. Her struggles were a burden almost too hard to bear, but she felt a calling to fight on because more was at stake than just her own safety. “I knew I wanted to write not just for myself but a for others. I was desperately fighting a corrupt legal system in my hometown. I HAD to get my story out and I was determined to fight even if it killed me.” Langella’s spouse was a local attorney, and had friends all the way up to the courtroom judge. Her attempts at solid legal defense seemed impossible and writing was her only outlet. When she finally found freedom, writing was how she began to try and process some of what happened to her.
“It took me 4 years to complete the book. I suffered from debilitating PTSD and re-living some of those moments took me back to places I never wanted to revisit.” Still, Cathy’s determination to overcome the abusive scars and rise above proved stronger and in 2014 she found Tate Publishing. According to Cathy, her time with Tate was almost as painful for her. “It took another full year to complete the editing and publication process, mostly due to Tate’s employees dragging their feet at every turn. It was a mediocre experience at best. Right away I couldn’t get phone calls returned in a timely manner and things were NEVER delivered as promised.” Langella refused to quit as her goals were unchanged. She endeavored to expose the horrors she was subjected to by such a corrupted system. She wanted her book released to shine a light of accountability and to help protect others. But her efforts were largely in vain. Her book, “Judicial Terrorism” never really took off. The only few copies available now marked up for sale at an exorbitant $600.00 dollars.
Cathy Langella never was contacted by Tate Publishing when they closed. She only found out
about it at the end of 2016 by a passing blog post. She was nearly crushed. “When I realized what Tate was doing, I was beyond devastated. I had invested so much more than time and money. I had literally invested my anguish, my grief. Heart and soul, every time I had to re-live what I endured during writing and editing.” And as if the Tate closing wasn’t bad enough, she discovered she wasn’t alone. She found an online community of Tate Authors via a private Facebook page...other authors who had endured what she had. She also learned she was luckier than most.
“I was ‘lucky’ in that I only paid about $1,000.00. Trinity Tate-Edgerton kept offering me matches if I’d make more payments so my money out-go was smaller than most. I knew they were in big trouble financially. Still, I never got royalties and I was NEVER paid for any sales on Amazon.” Langella went on to share she was never given any publicity or marketing, and never got the website that Tate promised her. A story all too familiar for the Tate Authors I have interviewed.
So much of Cathy’s story rings familiar but her outlook going forward is much darker than many who have been able to re-publish. “I am still nearly frozen when I know I have to deal with Tate and their issues. I am on an extremely fixed income, well into my 60’s. I can’t afford to fund a republication at this time.” Cathy says she is looking at all her options and TRYING to figure out what to do next. She never realized how hard it would be to write about personal and painful experiences, but truly to have her work stolen the way it was by Tate Publishing has made things feel even heavier for Langella. To that I only have encouragement to share. If you endure such hardships, and strive to reach beyond yourself still and try to shine a light in the darkness to help others, surely you are stronger than you know. FIGHT ON Cathy. It’s worth it.
And for all other would-be authors out there I recommend adding Cathy’s tale to the list of lessons that can be learned. When it comes to your work, sometimes you must FIGHT for your voice to be heard and fight harder still for your work to be truly YOUR OWN. Be intentional, be prayerful, proceed with eyes-open. If you are passionate about writing, then hone your craft and write-on. I cover more on things to watch for in my article HOW NOT TO GET PUBLISHED…. but for now I encourage you all to JUST KEEP WRITING!
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