Need to catch up?
Month: January 2020
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First of all, I was so certain that I had written like eight of these recaps. Then, I went back and read through them to refresh my memory and I realized there were only four. But they’re long, like books on their own, because these chapters are fucking endless. Expect to see shorter chunks going forward every now and then, so I can actually deliver recaps to you.
Since we last met, something interesting happened on Ms. McGuire’s Facebook page back in the day before my mental breakdown. About seventy of you sent me screenshots but unfortunately, I couldn’t get them posted here or make snarky comments about them until after January 1, 2020, in what was already supposed to be The Year of Minding My Own Business.
I guess if someone is mentioned in something, though, it is their business. And I’m a total bitch and am more than willing to keep this boring-ass “literary feud” going because I genuinely dislike this MAGA garbage woman.
I was like, “Awww, thanks for constantly thinking of me, Jamie!” because our only direct altercation online ever was about her celebrating the fact that one of my publishers wasn’t paying authors and was suing blogger-turned-catfisher Jen Frederick for reporting it on her blog. That entire mess was a thousand years ago (and we mutually blocked each other on all social media that night) and since McGuire is an anti-vax hardcore conservative who’s firmly pro-Kavanaugh, I haven’t really felt the need to keep tabs on her. But somehow, she needed to name-check me in a conflict with another author that arose when McGuire chose to fat shame a child.
No, seriously. This whole thing stemmed from an incident where she questioned whether or not a fat teenaged dancer was really practicing as much as she claimed in an inspirational video because McGuire was certain that no once who danced as much as the girl in the video could possibly be fat. I was not involved in any of it, in any way. I hadn’t even heard of the associated drama. If I’m Quebec, she’s Rio de Janeiro, that’s how far apart we are where social media is concerned. But wow, she sure jumped to my name. Maybe “fat” is just a concept she associates with me in her mind.
My only thought here was that McGuire hoped she could bait me into joining her fat-shaming drama, but the author who went full Wolverine on her ass did a fine enough job. So, all McGuire achieved was yet another self-delivered blow to her public image.
But in her defense, I’ve heard that clown college is actually quite stressful.
On to the recap!
This is going to be quick and dirty, everyone. It started out as a Twitter thread that got too long. But I think it’s important.
I need to address something that is going to sound like an attack on specific individuals. I promise, it’s not. Because it’s not those specific individuals I see doing this. Keep that in mind as you read this post.
With the RWA stuff going on, we keep seeing a lot of tweets that say, “Don’t people know how many LAWYERS we have in the romance genre?!” They’re right. There are a lot of lawyers in romance.
But there are more people with working-class jobs.
While it’s awesome that we have people well-versed in the law who are willing to throw their knowledge into the ring as a tool to help the genre, it’s starting to feel a little bit like, “See, we’re valid because we have smart lawyer-type people!” Yes, the genre has been dismissed as, “Oh, those are written by bored housewives.” But just because that’s used as a dismissal by other people doesn’t mean we should throw those bored housewives under the bus in order to convince people that the genre is valid. Because here’s the thing: those people you’re screaming “LAWYERS! LAWYERS! LAWYERS!” at? They’re not listening anyway. They’re never going to change their opinions.
And the people I don’t see tossing around, “LAWYERS! LAWYERS! LAWYERS!” seem to be…the lawyers. It’s almost like they view their profession as a normal human job and not a paid superhero position and don’t see their involvement in the genre as the sole reason it’s a force to be reckoned with.
It’s starting to really sound like, “Romance isn’t THOSE people. It’s SMART people.” As if bored housewives, people who don’t go to college, disabled people who turn to writing when they’ve been denied access to or accommodation for secondary education, etc. can’t be as creative and intelligent as everyone else. As if the only way our work deserves respect and acknowledgment is if we can disavow the reality that there are far, far more people who come home from working at a supermarket or a daycare to squeeze a few hours of writing in between dinner and bedtime. If we removed their contributions to the genre, the shelves would be bare. There is room to celebrate and be proud of the genre without ignoring the diverse backgrounds and circumstances that led each of us to become romance authors.
And it’s a hell of a lot more intimidating if we frame ourselves as sleeper agents that have infiltrated the courts, factories, farms, schools, and families.
State of the Trout: New Year, Not-New Book! And other business-type things you know I don’t like to talk about.
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Hey everybody! It’s the very first day of 2020, and most of us are looking into the next decade with a “clean slate” mindset with regards to our resolutions for the roaring twenties. Today was the day I had planned to get back to running but it turns out I’ve just left my running clothes hanging up in the bathroom since the last time I used them way back in September. They needed a wash back then, too, let me tell you. Since Facebook tells me it’s bad luck to do laundry on New Year’s Day and OCD tells me that’s probably true and I’m putting my whole family at risk if I dare to clean the only sports bra I have that fits me, I guess I’ll be putting the miles off until tomorrow. I’m pretty nervous, truth be told; I haven’t run since breaking my foot. I’m a little afraid that I’ll start out and like four steps in the whole thing will break again.
But that’s not why I’m here today. My running goals and broken foot don’t really affect you. You’re probably wondering why I even told you about them. Because my family is tired of hearing about it. That’s why.
Anywho, I told myself I would also come back to work on January 1st, and here we are. With actual, real work to present to you. If it had required a load of laundry, I wouldn’t be here. Just keep that in mind.
Back in the early days of the ’10s, I wrote a series of baseball romances for an indie publisher. Later, I got the rights back and intended to republish them but I’m very much like Walt Disney in that I like my head to be cold and also I keep moving forward. Going back to work on something I already wrote feels like rolling backward. But one of my resolutions for the year and the rest of my career, basically, is to treat my business more like a business and make those tough business decisions that won’t keep everybody happy. As a result, any backlist that I release is going to be Amazon-only. Not because I don’t appreciate my readers on other platforms but because the amount of time and frustration I invest in putting work on other platforms (I am easily overwhelmed, friends) has actually held me back from re-releasing the old work that I could be making money from. So, please don’t hate me as I re-release my old stuff on a single platform. I still plan on selling new work wide.
So, back to that baseball romance I was telling you about:
Billionaire entrepreneur Maggie Harper has lived and breathed baseball since birth. But being the coach’s daughter never prepared her for team ownership, and all the business savvy in the world can’t help her navigate the complications from a sizzling one-night stand with a player who definitely wants something more.
After pitching a disastrous game that cost the Bengals the championship pennant, veteran reliever Chris Thomas knows his days as a player are numbered. There are more important things to be worried about than the sexy new team owner, but Maggie’s hot-and-cold act is driving him to distraction. A woman has never come between him and the game before, but now he has to make a choice between his love of playing ball and his rapid fall for Maggie.
Caught between doing what’s right for the team and what’s right for them, Maggie and Chris have to decide what’s more important: a championship season, or a chance at love?
Long Relief will be out January 7th, so I hope those of you who don’t already own it haven’t spent up all your Amazon gift cards yet.
So, with that, this State of the Trout is concluded. Happy New Year, and gosh, I really hope 2020 is gonna be great for everybody in Trout Nation.