Cut Ties and Honor
Recently, I've severed ties with one of my publishers, who from now on shall be called, "The Publisher that shall not be named". This publisher misled and abused many of its authors by shoddy business practices, but more importantly withholding important information. As information came to light, I realized how important it is to have a sense of honor.
In the past two years I've learned a lot about honor. I've seen it in the sacrifices made by soldiers, by firemen, by police officers. One such man is what prompted me to write in my blog today.
There is a police officer in my city who kindly answered several questions I had regarding the authenticity of a work I am considering for publication. I told him in an email that I really don't like it when information is wrong. He quickly, efficiently responded answering my questions and closing with a willingness to answer any more questions I may have. He did so expecting nothing in return.
He knows I write, and I believe he knows I currently write erotica. If he doesn' t he will as soon as he visits my web site. And I'm pretty sure he'll be surprised that my most popular works aren't the science fiction, or even the romantic suspense that "The Publisher that shall not be named" recently let go. Instead, he'll find the heroes I truly like to write about, the men that I put on the pedestal of my fiction pages are men who risk their lives, most particularly police officers.
Yesterday, the news was filled with video of a police officer beating a female bartender in Chicago. There are always abberations to every chosen field, those who abuse and take advantage of those in their sphere of influence. That man acted without honor. Honor, to me is defending the weak, being truthful, keeping promises, doing what is right especially when others would do what is easy.
Which led me to think about what my acquaintance would think about what I write. Would he consider it porn? One friend I have calls my writing hot...what would you expect from a fireman though...but he doesn't consider it porn. I think the biggest difference, and I know there are a lot, is that with my writing I do have a hero who has honor. His or her life isn't solely focused on sex but my hero doesn't deny his sexuality either. My characters are full-bodied individuals with lives that are multi-faceted. They have real problems. They create real solutions-some that work and some that don't.
But my heroes, in real life and in my fiction all have honor. They tell it the way they see it. They don't say, gee if you complain you'll get replaced. They don't lie. They don't mislead. They don't say, gee you've never been rejected, its time you learned. "The Publisher that shall not be named" has done all this and more under the guise of saying this is how the real world of publishing does it. Pfft.
It's time the real world of publishing learned some manners and how to treat people as intelligent human beings. It's time "The Publisher that shall not be named" learned that in corporate America, treating employees the way they treated the authors recently let go would result in a huge lawsuit and send any sound human resources department running. Maybe "The Publisher that shall not be named" needs to go work in the real world for a while before they determine that's how all businesses are run.