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Month: May 2021

No Crave Post This Week

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Hey yous all, my dog died and i finally got an appointment for my second dose of the vaccine (they ran out of Moderna, so I had to wait until they got some), so I gotta postpone this week’s Crave post because I know after they stick me with that Dolly Juice, I’m gonna be down for the count and because tomorrow will be a total wash because we live way out in the middle of nowhere and it’s like an hour to get to the crematorium for the dog. I guess in the meantime, rock out with your cocks out? IDK this has been a wild week and it’s only Tuesday.

State of The Trout: The Retirement of Abigail Barnette

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This is my fourth attempt to write this post. The first one blew up bridges. The second was nuclear assault. The third was a little more measured and reasonable. I flirted with the idea of posting all of them, choose-your-own-adventure style: if you want to choose the high road, click here. To plunge into the fiery abyss of Jenny’s contempt, click here. But then I stopped and thought to myself:

I have so much awesome stuff going on in my life right now. I’m so blessed to be doing the things that I love. Why talk about people who aren’t included in that? This week, I’m launching some merch (I love how douchey that sounds. Merch.), I’ve got a video to post, a new recap to deliver, I’m finally crawling out of my grief pit a little bit, I’m half vaccinated…why burn a bridge I’m sure as hell not going to accidentally wander back down? But changes must be made.

As you can see from the title of this post, I am retiring Abigail Barnette. For a few reasons. I don’t need to comment on my views regarding the power of cis white woman tears in the ‘landia. I’ve referenced Mean Girls to describe the hierarchy of the industry but after Dudley only got twenty-six presents last week, it’s beginning to look a lot like MAGA. There are so many people trying to genuinely do good, even some of the people I find insufferable. And I wish those people well. But the hypocrisy of others, the entitlement and gatekeeping and diet social justice branding, the openly unethical actions and outright lies, it’s just…so tiring. And it’s really soured my experience as a romance author. I’m just not enjoying myself anymore. I don’t begrudge anyone their success; I actually have a lot of respect for con artists, if they’re good con artists. And I’ve seen so many incredible feats of manipulation and gaslighting in my time writing romance, made by incredibly successful people.

I’ve also seen some of the best, nicest, and most honest people have magical things happen for them. And I’ve made some great friendships, with authors and readers alike. Romance has always been a great love of mine. But I never meant to be a romance writer. My traditionally published books aren’t romances, they were just published by Harlequin and because romance readers are such big cross-genre readers, I did a lot of romance conventions and collaborations with romance authors. My writer friends were all romance writers. All of the fanfiction I wrote was romance. When I switched to writing and editing romance, it ended up being the worst move of my career. It killed my hobby writing and reading and made all of it a homework assignment. The pace, the environment, the intra-genre politics, all of it has burned me out. So, Abigail Barnette must retire.

I know this will come as a disappointment to readers waiting for a fourth Ian and Penny book. I had explored other avenues of continuing that series with new writers and I was in talks for about a year on that but ultimately a deal wasn’t reached. But when I look back on the end of Baby Makes Three, it feels like their happily ever after already happened. Everyone’s loose ends are tied up, except for one. That’s Danny’s book. I’ve had a perspective change on priest romances. I don’t think anyone is terrible for writing them or reading them, believe me. Priests are just not a subject I want to think about for reasons involving recent charges against a favorite one from high school. I won’t get into it because it’s a sensitive subject for a lot of people, I just wanted you all to be aware that his book wouldn’t have been happening regardless.

This isn’t me quitting fiction; as much as I would love to blog full time, I wouldn’t love to blog full time. I really like writing. I’m going to go back to the fantasy/urban fantasy I started with, and I’m still going forward with dark paranormal erotica/erotic horror as Jennifer Morningstar. So, upcoming releases like In The Blood and Queen of Hell aren’t affected by this shift. I’ll also be pursuing traditional publishing with future fantasy projects. Self-publishing requires more executive function than I’ve had for a while. But that’s quite a way out.

Do I believe that other genres are any better when it comes to petty squabbles and unethical behavior? Absolutely not. Where there be people, there…there shall ye find assholes. But at least they’ll be different assholes. And maybe that’ll make me less of an asshole?