Shannon Stacey

Aggravations abound

First one—minor, kind of—I bought a book that normally wouldn’t have blipped on my reading radar but for the hot buzz (especially because of the historical setting): Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase. THEN I get it home, and it’s part of a freaking series, and is it the first one? No. So now I have a brand new book—I bought it at the grocery store, so I didn’t even get the Walmart discount—I won’t read. :censor:

And Sylvia’s gotta pretty good rant on about a letter to the RWR editor, and about publishers starting to pull back writers to appease the conservatives. Here’s my take on part of the letter:

“Also we may want to stop prattling on about how ‘we just don’t get no respect’ when we allow dopey-looking hunks in ridiculous costumes advertising an erotic publisher
on our back cover. There’s a big difference between sensual romance and erotica, and I think we made a big mistake in lowering our standards to accept such a publisher.”

Ah, because even though your site advertises “Famous for her old west historical accuracy, fast pace, torrid love scenes and sizzling sex,”, you wouldn’t have a cover like this or this or this.

Oh wait! Those ARE your covers! Bet you wouldn’t have any qualms about those dopey-looking hunks in ridiculous costumes appearing on the back of a magazine, would ya?

Oh, and this part:

“Maybe we need to rethink the RWR cover policy to make our magazine look more like the professional writers it represents. Surely that’s not asking too much.”

Well, gee. It’s a trade magazine for professional romance writers. The ad represented a professional book written by professional romance writers, edited by a professional romance editor, and published by a professional, RWA recognized romance publisher. So I think it’s doing just fine.

Other than their Letters to the Editor being 2/3 erotic romance bashing, of course.

I really have to learn to start ignoring this CRAP. Although, after reading Sylvia’s entry, it’s even harder to dismiss this as junior high bullshit.

18 comments to “Aggravations abound”

  1. Alyssa
      · April 27th, 2005 at 1:28 am · Link

    OK, the man on the To Tame a Savage cover truly frightens me. The facial expression, the hair, the chest . . . well, all of it frightens me.


  2. Sasha
      · April 27th, 2005 at 2:37 am · Link

    I agree. I’m getting pretty tired of the put downs, and the petty bickering. Why is it so hard to elt peopel have :censor: choices??

  3. Suzanne
      · April 27th, 2005 at 7:28 am · Link

    Well now I have to go open my RWR!!!

  4. Helenkay
      · April 27th, 2005 at 9:37 am · Link

    The junior high reference is the right one. Kind of feels like hair pulling on the playground and whispering in the lunchroom. If someone doesn’t like the spicier stuff, can’t they just read something else?

  5. AngieW
      · April 27th, 2005 at 10:09 am · Link

    I have some thoughts about this but I’m going to keep my mouth shut for once. I will say that erotic romance authors need to find some kind of unity among themselves and respect their own work before they can expect others to show them respect. (I’m trying hard here not to re-start the debate LOL)

    Sylvia is right though, it is frightening given how the current climate seems to be leaning away from open sexuality (for instance the courts upholding the ban of sex toys in Alabama, the push for Constitutional Amendments regarding same sex marriage, an ultra-conservative new Pope). I think you’re seeing more than just high school muttering here, Shan. I think if the detractors find just the right audience to hear their complaints, they could further affect what we’re reading (or writing in your case). And Ghede is an excellent example of this.

    Scary, isn’t it?

  6. Candy
      · April 27th, 2005 at 12:28 pm · Link

    Shannon: You don’t need to read Miss Wonderful before you read Mr. Impossible. Really. The hero of Mr. Impossible is the younger brother to the hero in Miss Wonderful, but you don’t meet Rupert in Miss Wonderful (not that I recall, anyway) and you don’t meet Alistair in Mr. Impossible. Both books stand alone marvellously well.

    And the RWR flap: UGH.

  7. Shannon
      · April 27th, 2005 at 1:34 pm · Link

    Good to know about Mr. Impossible. As soon as I can make myself forget it’s part of a series—even if it does stand alone–I’ll give it a read.

    Even in junior high, when one group sat at one table and one at another, it was bad. But this is becoming one group tripping, pushing, and beating on another group, with the guidance counselors bowing to the bullies.

    But I’m going to have to wrap a tight, thin rubber band around my wrist and start snapping away when this crap comes up. All the bitching in the world on my part won’t fix it, and it’s taking my energy away from what matters—namely, trying to convince my heroine that LOTS of women have sex with undead guys, and it all works out in the end.

    So, trying to turn a deaf ear, or the other cheek, or whatever body part is involved, other than the middle finger, and get some writing done.

    As soon as I’m done LOVING Monica’s take on this. :lmao:

  8. Cece
      · April 27th, 2005 at 4:35 pm · Link

    My take is if we (as a collective whole) don’t show each other respect, we can’t expect everyone else (IE journalists who are psychoticly attached to wods like BODICE and RIPPER) to either.

  9. Alison
      · April 27th, 2005 at 6:55 pm · Link

    Cece makes what is to me the most important point of all. If the organization of RWA or even the genre of romance is going to EVER get respect from outside, everyone involved has to realize that no one thing floats every boat. I couldn’t believe it when I heard a long time RITA winning author for SIM say she wanted to toss a book in her contest batch after the first page. How amazingly, incredibly rude and disrespectful to say a love story shouldn’t be considered a romance because it uses graphic language.

  10. kate
      · April 27th, 2005 at 6:58 pm · Link

    semantics, semantics . . .I’m thinking Sam is right. It’s all what you call it. romance writers are scared to be mixed up with erotica writers who are scared that they’ll be mistaken for porn writers. Labels, schmabels.

  11. kate PS
      · April 27th, 2005 at 7:05 pm · Link

    Is it just me or does anyone else think “maybe it’s time to wean that woman, Mr. Apache. Twenty-year-olds should NOT still be breastfeeding.” about that Apache Tears cover?

  12. kate PS
      · April 27th, 2005 at 7:06 pm · Link

    “You’d be crying a lot less, Mr. A. . .She looks like a biter . .”

  13. Shannon
      · April 27th, 2005 at 8:19 pm · Link

    This isn’t really about labels for me. (This entry, anyway.)

    What this is about is people who have to rain on other people’s parades. I don’t care for inspirational romance. Do I condemn the writers and publishers–and therefore readers–of inspirational romance? Do I send letters to the RWR editor bespeaking my outrage that they featured an ad for a book espousing spiritual beliefs different from my own? Do I start flame wars because I won’t tolerate an inspirational writer in my midst?

    (I’ll remind y’all that the RTB buckus was about RITA judging, not erotic v. inspy :oops:)

    The only difference between her book and mine is her hero has a throbbing manhood, and mine has a :censor:. (Well, and the setting, and the fact that mine doesn’t feature an Indian breastfeeding a blonde on the cover—or hopefully won’t, anyway—but you know what I mean. And yet she publicly condemns my publisher, and therefore me, and more importantly, my readers. (My future readers, I should say. And boy, all four of them are pretty vocal when they’re unhappy. :neener:)

  14. AngieW
      · April 27th, 2005 at 10:59 pm · Link

    Yes we are! :neener: And my other personalities appreciate you including them as well :crazy:

  15. Shannon
      · April 27th, 2005 at 11:17 pm · Link


  16. kate
      · April 28th, 2005 at 2:22 pm · Link

    Here’s what I personally resent: her six year old book (breast feeding babe) is doing better than my six month old book. Harumph. :roll:

    it’s okay Shannon. :cheer::cheer: at least you’ll have five readers — angie and her onboard crew and me.

  17. Jordan
      · May 15th, 2005 at 11:08 pm · Link

    Grr…:cursin: It truly makes me want to take up pen in hand and fire off a letter.:write: The sad thing is I used to enjoy your books. (Note: I did not say her covers.) But because of this letter I won’t be buying anything else from her. I decided to let my pocketbook talk for me.

  18. Shannon
      · May 18th, 2005 at 12:35 am · Link

    Ultimately, that’s the only thing that really sends a message. :nod:


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