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Thursday, March 24, 2011

In Brief...

I know. I’ve been away. Busy, busy. Working on copy edits for ONCE EVERY NEVER. Working on the first draft of STARLING #1. Working on a short story…

And that story is what this blog post is about, though it pains me to have to write this.

I was asked to contribute a short story to a faerie anthology, Wicked Pretty Things, and I was very excited to do so. The line-up of authors assembled includes some of the brightest lights in the YA world and I was thrilled to be asked to participate. I penned a tale set in the WONDROUS STRANGE universe, featuring two of my favourite supporting characters from the series, Maddox and Chloe, set in the days after TEMPESTUOUS but still a stand-alone story. I thought it was a really fun way to revisit that world, post-series -- something for both readers who are already fans of my books, as well those unfamiliar with them.

Except that story isn’t going to see the light of day now. At least, not in that publication.

I'm sorry to say that I have pulled my submission based on the treatment a fellow author received regarding that same anthology. She wrote a love story that happened to take place between two male characters. The editor asked her to change it to a male/female story. She refused. I respect and support that decision. I also respect and support the decisions made by all of my fellow authors regarding this issue. My decision to pull my submission is a personal one. I'm doing what I feel is right, based on what I believe. And that is this: gay or straight or somewhere inbetween, love is love. Full stop.

And now I'm going to crawl back into my writer-cave and work on another story.

34 comments:

JM Frey said...

I applaud your ethics, Lesley, and I hope that in the future this issue will vanish for readers/editors/publishers.

Every person who refuses to submit is one more voice saying "I refuse to be a bigot." Thank you for standing up and saying "No."

Kate (and Mike) said...

You go. I'm applauding at my keyboard!

- Kate

Avery said...

*Snaps* to you!

What you are doing is very honorable!

Elie said...

Big Props from me to. I know it was probably a hard decision, but it was the right thing to do.

Ceilidh said...

Just wanted to offer my support. I've got huge respect for you and Ms Verday in this issue and I hope that one day you can all band together and write a faery anthology with LGBTQ content that isn't described as 'alternative sexuality.'

Georgia said...

Good for you. I agree with you, love is love. The end.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you backed that author and ethical behaviour. I hope to see these stories appearing in another anthology soon!

KristywithaK said...

My first thought was that it must have been a difficult decision for you to make. But then I thought again, and realized it probably wasn't.

You're quite right...love is love. It's too bad not everyone realizes that.

Your action speaks volumes, Lesley. :)

Phoebe said...

Bravo!

I hope you're able to find a place for your story--in fact, I'm sure that if you look into short fiction markets, you'll find many prestigious, inclusive genre mags who would love to have you.

WordLuster said...

My skin is covered in goosebumps now after having read this post. I was so incredibly moved by Jessica Verday and her brave stance in this situation. But now to have read this post, I'm actually getting a little choked up. It's just so moving. As a gay woman, it really does move me. Thank you so much for taking this risky and brave stance. I was already a fan of your books and have all of the Wondrous Strange series. Now I'm an ever bigger fan, if that was even possible. :-P I wish you all the best of luck and hope that nothing but wonderful things happen to your career from this.

Dina said...

Good for you!!!

Kathryn Lively said...

That was a very nice thing to do to show your support.

Maybe you could consider going the Kindle Singles route with your story.

Anonymous said...

Was unfamiliar with your work (being a few decades removed from YA), but now I'm going to hit the bookstores and look for your books! Wish more authors had your gumption!

Corinne said...

I'm queer, I write queer characters, and seeing authors stand up against homophobia like this is heartening. Thank you.

Denise Vega said...

I applaud you I feel the same way Love is love it dosen't matter who they are I was not raised to be a bigot I cannot understand how people can be like that I was taught as a child everyone is EQUAL my kids were raised the same way & grandkids too

Zoe said...

It was brave of Jessica to stand up for her story, but it was even braver of you to pull out in support of her story. You didn't have to, and no one would blame you for staying. So kudos to you for doing the right thing.

RobertJSawyer said...

Well done, Lesley!

Tracy Rowan said...

That was well done. I will not be purchasing that anthology.

Ridley said...

I was extra upset to hear that the m/m shunning was in a YA anthology. With all of the recent suicides among GLBT youth, here was an opportunity to include a gay love story right alongside hetero ones. What a wonderful chance to show gay teens, whose awkward youths are bonus awkward for being different, that love is love and that m/m stories don't have to be sequestered in m/m only anthologies.

Hearing the editor's non-apology and the ghastly term "alternative sexualities" just turned my stomach. Thank you for taking a stand. I hope you find another opportunity to publish your work.

Jason Leaver said...

I'm powerfully moved, and disappointed. I'm still shocked every time I hear a story like this. Honestly, the thought still goes through my head "aren't we past this?"
Maybe one day we will, and it'll be thanks folks like you.

Tom Argall said...

I am proud to know you, Lesley.

Choosing ethics over a paycheck is a sadly rare occurence and it is inspiring to see you make that choice.

Lesley Livingston said...

Thank you everyone for your words of support. It wasn't an easy decision to make and it wasn't fun. But I do honestly think it was the only decision I could make and still be able to climb into bed at night with myself. Or go out with my friends and be able to look them in the eye.

Hopefully my story will find another home but in the meantime, I think Chloe and Maddox are in agreement with me and are content to bide their time.

Maureen McGowan said...

Good for you, Lesley!

A Backwards Story said...

I was appalled when I saw Jessica's entry. She was awesome for standing up for herself like that. Thank you for supporting her and standing up for your own ethics system. You're of a stronger mettle than most people. There will always be other places to publish your short story. We'll wait for you. Pulling out was the right choice, in my opinion. Stay strong :)

Michele said...

I'm with everyone Lesley. Tolerance and acceptance HAS to be in our society now, and taking a stand, one-by-one, is the only way for this to happen.

I hope your Chloe & Maddox story does get published at some point though... maybe you authors who took a stand against intolerance should try to publish your short stories together?!

Michele said...

And I'm looking so forward to Once Every Never and your other projects too!! :)

Walker said...

Brava, Lesley! Your story will find another home; better to stand up for your ethics than compromise them.

Rina said...

Well said!!!!!!

Nancy said...

Thank you so much, Lesley. You are awesome, and the LGBTQI world won't forget it. :)

LionessAmaya said...

I've never read any of your work. I don't follow your blog. I don't know who you are. I stumbled on this by accident, but people like you give me some faith in humanity.

Thank you.

(P.S. I'm going to go look up your books now.)

timebalancer said...

"Love is Love" may be my next tattoo because i like the meaning so much !!! I have never read your books but am already a huge fan of the way you think so after I read this post I got up from what I was doing ,went to BAM and purchased your Wondrous Strange & Darklight. That is how much your stance moved me . Now tea is brewed and I am ready to sink into what I already know will be a great read. Blessed Be

Lesley Livingston said...

Thank you again, guys.

And welcome! Crappy circumstances to make new friends, but I so appreciate the kind words and am so pleased to make your acquaintances nonetheless.

dungeonofdreams said...

Props to you for being an awesome person and supporting Jessica Verday the way you did. It ws a very admirable thing to do.
Kudos.

Jeremy Bates said...

I agree with you "KristywithaK" love is love!!!;)