last july i was looking for an editor for one of my novels in english, and michael mcirvin from pro writing and editing suggested ernesto mestre. this is the letter i received from ernesto:
My name is Ernesto Mestre. I am a freelance editor and novelist and have been referred to you by Michael McIrvin of Pro Writing and Editing. I have received the excerpt from your book and am currently working on a brief sample edit to give you a sense of what I can do to strengthen your work and get it in the best shape for submission for agents and publishers. I will have it for you by tonight. Looking over it briefly, it looks like very engaging material, and I have received your follow up letter to Michael about the language issues...
Here are some of my credentials:
B.A. English Literature, Tulane University
Ph.D. Renaissance Literature, New York University
Professor of Fiction and Latin American Literature, Sarah Lawrence College & Brooklyn College
The Lazarus Rumba
The Second Death of Única Aveyano
Translations from Spanish
The Last Masquerade, a novel by Antonio Orlando Rodriguez
Malinche, a novel by Laura Esquivel
Our Lady of the Night, a novel by Mayra Santos-Febres
Call Me Brooklyn, a novel by Eduardo Lago (forthcoming)
No Time for Heroes, a novel by Laura Restrepo (forthcoming)
New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction
John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Fiction
You will hear from me soon, and I hope that we can work together, and that I can be of help in taking the next step in bringing your work to readers.
this sounded fine, and the sample edit he did was very good, so i wired him half of the sum we agreed upon, and ernesto mestre got to work. after a negligible delay, he handed in the first half of the manuscript, again having done a good job. so i wired him the remaining half of the payment, and began waiting for the finished manuscript. which should have come after a month. which never came. it's been a year to the day - in the interim, he wrote me a couple of emails to the effect that he was working on the manuscript, that he was having a series of personal problems, that he was almost finished with the work, etc. he used to answer my queries, but then that was gone as well. i finally asked him to wire back the second payment, and since then ernesto mestre is nowhere to be found.
this is not just about money: i had felt a certain comradery develop between us, and had trusted ernesto mestre professionally with my work. now i feel betrayed on both accounts. being in the same line of business myself, i have decided to make this public - in order to help prevent ernesto mestre's possible betrayal of others.