Friday, August 31, 2007

Something to Whine About

The wonderful Tess Gerritsen blogged recently about the insecurities of successful writers and their right to whine about them. The post ended with:
"Writers love their jobs. But sometimes, they deserve to whine."
Tess also blogs about a "fan" who's intent on ruining TG's career because one of her old romance novels was re-issued.

Oh, to have the problems of a Gerritsen, Clark, Steele, Roberts, Brown, etc.

Now granted, I'm sure even JK Rowling has her share of writer woes, but I just had to shake my head at Tess' line up there when I finished reading her post. I mean, when I think about how much Millenia Black, Monica Jackson, and many others who are being denigrated in publishing--not allowed an equal shot at their job--deserve to whine, my heart moves. How about when folks who are in a position to make some difference insult writers, calling them liars when they whine about it? And others totally ignore you as if you aren't worth the time?

How about when the disparity is glaringly obvious-- but there's dead silence from anyone who can help raise awareness and/or make some difference? If similar affronts were being thrust upon certain others, it's all we'd ever hear about from the more popular literary venues and notable peoples.

Now there's something writers deserve to whine about. Something real, of painful gravity. Something substantive.

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Book of Many Faces

Millenia Black's been MIA from blogland for a while now, and I'd begun to wonder about her lawsuit and how things were progressing. While she's understandably silent on any of those details, she's posted for the first time in months to share the Turkish cover of THE GREAT PRETENDER, her debut novel, named in the lawsuit as being 'blackified' by Penguin/NAL when they acquired it and found out she was an African-American writer. This is despite the fact that the book contains no black characters whatsoever! This still outrages me to no end.

Anyway, before I get carried away.....just wanted to comment on Millenia's recent post. Her post says she's been out of energy, no doubt from the stress she's under. Who wouldn't be when you self-publish a book that attracts foreign editors, only to have those doors closed by racist treatment from a NY publisher? From the look of the covers, her foreign publishers clearly had a different, more commercially viable interpretation of THE GREAT PRETENDER. It's a book of many faces......too bad Penguin had to choose one that unfortunately made a non-black book marketable only among blacks.