Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Just Romance

I understand the context, but I still find it interesting that Harlequin would use the phrase "just romance".  In any context. Ever.  I mean that is the heart and core of their brand, not "just" anything.
No comment on the "betterforever".

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Book burnings are bad, okay?

I don't think you have to be a big E L James fan to realize that any call to burn books is regressive, puritanical, and frankly patronizing to the reading public. And it doesn't matter who is doing it or why.

You don't fight abuse by suggesting females are too weak minded to separate fantasy from reality, and will run out and beg to be abused just because they read a smexy book.

Or is the suggestion that reading a novel about a dubious relationship is some kind of "thought crime"? Thus rendering this charity less progressive that Queen Elizabeth the first who famously said: "I have no desire to make windows into mens souls."

Defining "Abuse"

I was pretty much stopped cold by a line in an interview with authors SL Armstrong and K Piet. I will start by saying I have read and greatly enjoyed these authors' book and I have no issue whatsoever with fiction about consensual incest or the points they are making in this post as read in its entirety. In fact I fully agree.

That said, I was temporarily shocked to scan down and see a bolded bullet point saying: "Love and Consent Should Trump Abuse"

I absolutely agree that "The addition of consent shouldn’t somehow make the content more objectionable" when speaking of relationships depicted in fiction.  And, actually, that fiction is fiction and you should be able to write about any damn thing you want up to and including stuff that would be wildly horrible if it happened in real life.

However in the real world abuse can and does occur with victims that love their abuser and consent to the abuse, including but not limited to children, animals, the developmental delayed, and those who are under the abuser's total control despite possibly being (objectively speaking) free to leave at any time. 

What happens in fiction is fiction and I have the somewhat unpopular view that absolutely everything should be allowed.  But abuse is the kind of subject where it is important to be very clear when you are talking about fiction and when you are talking about the real world. Even if that means prefacing every single statement with an awkward caveat.

Just my 2c.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Can you unjump a shark?

The story so far:
  • Victoria Foyt published a dystopian novel where white people are an oppressed minority
  • Many of the things in the book and promotional materials are widely deemed to be extremely racist
  • Just as the reaction started to settle down Weird Tales' Marvin Kaye declared Foyt's book was totally not racist and they would be publishing an excerpt in the next issue (cached version here).
  • Many authors pulled their stories from Weird Tales and much was said about how badly it the mag has sucked since changing hands about a year ago (and firing all the good editors).
  • Weird Tales' new publisher John Harlacher says: Oops, I take it all back. And deletes Kaye's post. (A little more about the whole thing here).

In which RWA makes things "clearer"

RWA has recently been clarifying its position that general members must be "seriously pursuing a romance fiction writing career". 

My first thought is that this puts the 'romance is between one man and one women' debate of yore in a new light.  As, had the initiative succeeded, M/M writers would presumably have been expelled from the general (voting) membership. 

However in this case the people having their asses handed to them are the writers off books 'with romantic elements'.  Including people who have been up until now been general members, not to mention RITA nominees, PAN members etc. (Oh, and RWA has a 'with romantic elements' special interest chapter.)

This "clarification" looks a hell of  lot like a change of position because the implication seems to be that, contrary to what was said at the last convention, 'WRE' members will be ousted from the general member category into the non-voting, unwashed category.

Well, it was about time for the semi-annual RWA cock-up, wasn't it?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Ravenous for numbers

Do you remember when Ravenous Romance hit the internetz with a hiss and a roar back in 2008? I sure do.  My comment was: "Time, and sales volume, will tell."

It would be nice to have some sales numbers for them :).  Novella length anthologies count in these numbers too, in case you were wondering.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Market: Captive Unicorn

Captive Unicorn is a new erotic and erotic romance e-publisher. Royalty-only, typically paying 37% of cover price. Light on details re: owners and staff.


Can penning a novel narrow your job prospects?  Well, there does seem to be one job you wil have more trouble getting: ambassador to the Vatican. Proposed Bulgarian ambassador, Kiril Marichkov, got knocked back-- reportedly due to the content of his out-of-print novel Clandestination.

The book has been characterized as  'racy' and 'gay' because an impoverished character turns to prostitution. Apparently it is deeply offensive for a married, straight author to write about a gay act carried out by a straight man as an act of desperation even though the character regrets his behavior and prays for forgiveness afterwards.

The next time I want to read a racy gay book, I suspect I will be looking elsewhere.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Noble Defections

Jill Noble (late of Noble Romance) will apparently now be an epublishing-only agent with the Lori Perkins Agency.

A hat-trick of hinky?

Or more, depending on how you count it.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Yet another "Sin List"

Sinlist [ (snˌlɪst]
a list that includes, indiscriminately, abusive actions that cause measurable harm to others and actions that  transgression a specific religious or moral code, as if to imply objective equivalence between these categories.
"What won't you publish? 
 Stories with illegal activities without negative consequences
Bestiality of any kind
Rape (male or female)
Pedophilia (any physical relationship between minors and adults)
Same-sex romances

Bad Author, No Cookie

Quote via TM Publishing:

"Many readers today struggle to find something worth reading. Unfortunately, many books—even best sellers—are littered with graphic descriptions of sex and violence. In a busy world, a reader might spend a good portion of their reading time just looking for a good book to read!


More importantly, in every genre, TM Publishing books and magazines never include graphic descriptions of sex or violence. Great literature can be clean literature, too"

Monday, August 06, 2012

Not That Cerridwyn Press

Late in 2010, Ellora's Cave morphed Cerridwen Press into their Blush imprint.  So I was rather confused to see recent references to a Cerridwen Publishing. Well, actually Cerridwyn.  But it still seems odd to brand a new romance press with a name that has been used by a previous romance press. I don't think one letter is enough to avoid confusion.

Edited to add banners:

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The Rise and Fall of a Ruby Lioness

[~November, 2011] Ruby Lioness Press (owned by Angelique Mroczka) opens
[24-28 November, 2011] RLP starts to use social networks
[22 December, 2011] RLP joins Smashwords
[~26 December, 2011] First book released
[14 February, 2012] First book on Amazon
[June, 2012] RLP owner and staff post a series of blog entries on how stupid authors are doing bad things
[31 July, 2012] RLP is still accepting manuscripts for publication
[1 August, 2012] RLP Closes

Lifespan: ~8 months
Authors: 24
Books: ?