hugh howey

A Hugh Howey Post; Blogger Confronts Fox News on Nudity



A Hugh Howey Post

When it comes to things like this I’m often caught in a rough spot being a published author and a self-published author who also blogs regularly. In other words, this blog isn’t just here for me to concentrate on my published books and to try to persuade you to buy them. I do post information about my books here often, and I hope people buy them, but I also blog about a variety of topics, from pop culture to LGBT issues, to publishing. 

So in cases like this, with regard to the paid book review issue that’s been going on with Hugh Howey and a few other well known self-published authors, the best I can do is remain completely objective and link to information out there without forming an opinion. You can read more about this in a previous post I wrote last week, here.

Since then, there’s been another post by ZonAlert naming Howey and another self-pubbed author I never heard of. And I’ve also read several blog posts by people who are supporting Hugh Howey in particular. This one I’m linking to now is interesting because there’s a huge photo of Hugh Howey sitting with a group of what appear to be happy, friendly Amish people (the author of the post writes Amish Sci-Fi Books). I’ll have to ask my good Amish buddy I posted about once here, if they are Amish. As a side note, since my Amish friend wrote that guest post, I have kept up my correspondence with him almost daily and we’ve become very good cyberfriends. He’s a fascinating man, and he’s helped break my stereotypical images of the Amish. Unfortunately, you won’t see me posing in photos with him any time soon…or anyone Amish. I have too much respect for him to exploit him that way.

In any event, this is the post about Hugh Howey, with the photo of Howey socializing with the Amish.

He (Howey) is paying me off because he is changing the publishing industry, challenging the status quo, creating a wake for other authors to follow, and completely revolutionizing the relationship between author and reader.
 
Now I know that there are people who are on a witch hunt for so-called “fake” reviews. I hate to even use the term “witch hunt”, because as bad as the Salem Witch Trials were, at least you knew the names of the accusers, you knew what they believed,and what criteria they used to declare someone a “witch.” No one was hiding in the shadows in Salem… at least the principle accusers and judges were not. The accusers were up on the stand too, and they’ve been judged by posterity and found wanting.
 
Blogger Confronts Fox News on Nudity
 
Speaking of blogging, this is the kind of story all bloggers love to hear. There is a week long series of events at Brown University called “Nudity in the Upspace.” The entire event focuses on body image. It’s not smutty or dirty. It’s designed to help people feel better about their bodies, and to show that nudity is natural. I’ve posted about that, too, and how I’ve been to many nude beaches over the years and after the first five minutes of being nude you don’t even realize it anymore because it feels so normal. But when a blogger at Brown University found out Fox News was coming to report on “Nudity in the Upspace,” she decided to turn the tables on the reporter and film him instead to make sure he wouldn’t turn his report into anything sensational or tasteless…because that’s been done before. 
 
The Brown U blogger, Cara Newlon, made this statement on BlogDailyHerald:
 
Full disclosure: I’m not an expert on Nudity in the Upspace or nude events. I’ve never been to SexPowerGod, and I’m probably going to pass on Nudity in the Upspace this year. But that doesn’t mean I don’t agree with its mission statement, and it certainly doesn’t mean that I won’t defend my home, my school, when it comes under attack for the third time by Bill O’Reilly and his team of “Fair and Balanced” reporters.
 
The Fox News reporter, Jesse Watters, said this:
 
“If there’s a naked event on a college campus,” Watters said, “I want to investigate it.”
 
You can read more in BlogDailyHerald. There’s a video where Jesse Watters talks about nudity. But he doesn’t take off his pants.
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Matt Damon Emmy; Unethical Authors Zone Alert; Gay Russian Sex



Matt Damon Emmy

No, Matt Damon didn’t win an Emmy Award for Behind the Candelabra this year, but Michael Douglas, his co-star, did win one for his portrayal of Liberace.

“This is a two hander,” Douglas said, in reference to his co-star Matt Damon. “And Matt, you’re only as good as your other hand. You’re magnificent, and the only reason I’m standing here is because of you. You really deserve half of this. So … you want the bottom or the top?”

I thought that was both generous and honest. Damon was equally as good, and he had to play the part of someone twenty years younger, which was amazing to watch. I’m still not thrilled that straight white men who rule the world get all the important parts in Hollywood, including the parts where they portray gay men. Especially since Matt Bomer was overlooked for the part of Christian Grey in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. But the fact is both Douglas and Damon were good in the film. It just would have been even nicer if they’d managed to leave out the funny-ha-ha gay jokes and innuendos during promotion and after the film.

They kissed.

They aren’t gay.

We get it.

And we don’t care.

Unethical Authors Zone Alert

Update: In an unrelated article to book publishing, the NY Attorney General is fed up with fake reviews.

New York’s attorney general revealed the results of a yearlong investigation into the business of fake reviews. Eric T. Schneiderman announced Monday that 19 companies that engaged in the practice will stop and pay fines between $2,500 and $100,000, for a total of more than $350,000 in penalties.

Yesterday when I posted about Kirkus and authors paying for book reviews, I had no idea this web site even existed until later in the day. The blog is called Amazon Alert, and the web address is Zonealert. From what I gather in a general sense, they are investigating book reviews on Amazon.

Anything written in this blog is the opinion of the blog creators. Our posts are not meant to defame, harass or personally attack any individual or company. However, as journalists, we intend to report what we’ve encountered while investigating fake reviews since 2010. Our promise to readers is that we won’t post anything without careful research and double-checking the facts.

I have little to say on this topic, because I know very little about it. I don’t pay for reviews, never did pay for reviews, and never will pay for reviews. I get them the old fashioned way: I wait for people to buy my books, read my books, and leave reviews. However, according to a recent post on this zone alert, several authors with fairly high profiles have allegedly engaged in the practice of paying for reviews, and on quite a grand scale. I’m not talking about one Kirkus review now.

According to zone alert:

In a rather odd turn, Hugh Howey, who was merely listed here as a review buyer in the official September 12 Fiverr Report on Melissa Foster but made no other mention of, has gone on a weeks’ long tirade professing his innocence. Bizarre behavior for someone who is supposedly innocent, especially as he’s using his ongoing tirade as a promotional vehicle to get family, friends, and other supporters to flood Amazon with favorable reviews.

I once posted about Howey here, and a rant post he wrote about his experiences with a young woman at one of those book events we hear about all the time. Howey is a self-published author who is represented by the Nelson Literary Agency, a literary agency based out west somewhere that runs an e-publishing service for its self-published clients.

Zone alert, according to the same post I’ve linked to above, is working on a book deal right now that will get more deeply involved in the investigations they’ve made about paid solicited book reviews and “the dark side of publishing.”

The acquisition editor writes in the acceptance letter: “I’m as appalled by this behavior as you are and I congratulate you on your dedication to revealing truth. Your photocopies of emails between authors and [the company you worked at], particularly the brazen nature of M. Foster’s emails, leaves no doubt they knew what they were doing was wrong.”

As journalist Linda Ellerbee used to say, “And so it goes”

And as I’ve predicted before, I think this is the beginning of the end of the lawless old wild west of the Internet.

Gay Russian Sex

In this article, the practices of gay sex in Russia are examined.

“In the toilet a young lad came up to me, shook my hand and said, ‘Let’s get acquainted,'” Klimov later recalled. The man’s name was Volodya. He invited Klimov to the Lenin Museum.

“He bought the tickets with his money, and we went straight to the men’s toilet.”

I know that sounds highly irregular and superficial on the surface. However the article goes into far more detail about cruising in Europe and even offers explanations as to why this happens. And, as in most cases with articles of this nature, the comment thread is just as interesting.

Frankly, I don’t see how much of it differs from the US. Cruising is, and always has been, part of gay culture everywhere. I think that will change, though. 

Self-pubbed Star Hugh Howey’s Epic Rant

I hadn’t planned on posting about this incident with author Hugh Howey and his public rant, but since all authors are under scrutiny now more than ever, I decided to put it up just for my own sake, and record it on this blog. I often think of this blog as my own personal journal, and I reference it all the time. And this is news; this is interesting; this is current. I might want to go back and reference it once again.

For those who don’t know, Hugh Howey is a self-published author who has done well…very well. He has a deal with a big publisher, and from what I’ve read a nice movie deal. I haven’t read him; I know nothing else about him. He is what all self-pubbed authors dream of becoming. Well, most anyway. Not everyone wants that kind of fame and some writers just want to be career writers and continue working until they die. But I digress. Our culture promotes this kind of thing, and most people want it…but not all of us.

In any event, Howey met up with an aggressive young woman at WorldCon last year who wasn’t fond of self-publishing, made her views known openly, and went on her own little public rant. According to everything I’ve read she was quite obnoxious about it. Howey didn’t like this, and he went after her on his blog and on goodreads at a later date. (Interesting how goodreads always pops up during shitstorms.) I don’t know who this young woman is, but if anyone does know, I’d be interested in learning a little more about her background in publishing. Just curious.

It all started while Howey was standing in line with a group of people from Canada, listening to this aggressive young woman talk about how she was going to get one of these people from Canada an agent and help him/her with his/her writing career. That alone sounds suspicious to me. Again, who is this young woman? How is she going to do this? When Howey politely interjected, the young woman allegedly became belligerent and started to bash self-publishing without even knowing about Howey’s success in self-publishing. She actually asked him what awards he’d won. From what I gather, Howey remained calm and polite during this confrontation with the aggressive young woman and he did not respond to her attacks. But don’t quote me on that: getting *objective* information these days isn’t easy.

What happened after that is where it gets interesting. Again, from what I can gather, Howey didn’t actually do anything or say anything offensive to this pushy young woman that day. He went about his business and then wrote about this incident later. He talked about what he wanted to say to her as if daydreaming aloud, and what he imagined doing…in a blog post, after the fact. Not what he actually did do. And because he wrote about what he thought about doing on his blog and on goodreads, the Interwebs went berserk.

Interestingly enough, Howey received no attention for this for almost a week or more, and then someone saw it, and it has since erupted into what some are calling an Epic Rant about “vast and deep offensiveness.”

Get my smelling salts.

You can read more here, where they’ve reposted Howey’s original post that he’s since deleted. How they get to do that without his permission I’m not certain, but they did it anyway and I’m really not sure how those things work.

Romance author Courtney Milan made this statement in the article two which I’ve linked, and that’s exactly how I would have handled a situation like that, too. I’ve always believed that words have power, and a writer more than anyone should understand the magnitude of that power and never, ever, abuse it. It’s why I refuse to embrace the word “queer,” and find it just as insulting as the word “bitch” used toward women. You can quote me on that one!

“‘Crazy bitch who needs to be slapped’ are words that carry very different connotations than ‘rude, ignorant person who is wrong,’” noted romance author Courtney Milan.

Maybe I shouldn’t admit this aloud (and I don’t support what Howey did). But I also have hundreds of unpublished blog posts for a reason. I’ve been insulted, attacked, and denigrated many times, and I often write blog posts/rants for my own personal therapeutic reasons (Dear Abbey once said it was okay to do this with letters). After I write them, and I calm down a little, I realize that these are posts I wrote off the top of my head, during a bad mood, and they are not things I would normally write when I’m in a normal frame of mind. As I said, I don’t like words like “bitch” and “queer,” and I do think they are offensive. However, we all make mistakes and Howey has issued an apology here.

I apologized for the post and decided to leave it up. I didn’t want to run or hide from the mistake I made. Then I called my wife, who is currently on the other side of the globe from me, had a good cry, and listened to her advice.

I also strongly believe in forgiveness. It’s right up there with gratitude. And to ignore High Howey’s sincere apology would not make me a better person. One of the things I like most about our culture is that it is built around this type of forgiveness.