Category: orson scott card

Author Career Crisis; Trans Peeps on Jared Leto; Ellen Breaks Twitter; Ender’s Game & Orson Scott Card

Author Career Crisis

This is interesting because we hear so much babble (I can’t think of a better word) about there never being a better time for writers than now. The article gets into the many mid-list authors and even bestselling authors who are trying to figure out ways to survive and maintain viable incomes with so many changes happening in publishing.

The piece goes into more detail and names a few writers as examples. This paragraph sums things up well:

Thomson is a veteran from a now-deserted battlefield. Rates of attrition among so-called “mid-list” writers, steady professionals who can no longer find publishers to support them, have begun to rise alarmingly. But drop a generation or two, and you find parallel stories: young writers grappling with a wholly new – and in some respects, hostile – literary landscape. In a business that relies on keeping up appearances, no one wants to admit this. Privately, there’s a lot of fear.

I know several I won’t name here in this post who would say these authors should all be self-publishing. And maybe they should. I’ve had to make several career changes I never thought I’d have to make in my lifetime and self-publishing has been one of the biggest. But the problem with self-publishing is that we’re also dealing with a new, lawless brand of authors who may or may not have talent, who are willing to sell their proverbial souls to sell a book, and who will stop at nothing shy of murder to get onto a best seller list.

So yes, it’s a great time in many ways for authors. But it’s also a frustrating time for authors who play by the rules. But more important, more and more authors are questioning how they should be playing their own games now.

You can read more here.

Trans Peeps Mad at Jared Leto

I haven’t seen Dallas Buyers Club yet so I can’t offer any solid criticism about this. It seems that trans people are speaking out about Jared Leto’s performance as a trans woman. They claim it was exaggerated, stereotypical, and cliché.

If you thought Jared Leto’s performance was anything other than an exaggerated, stereotyped, cliché damaging to trans people, f off,’ one said on Twitter.

 ‘One small step for Jared Leto One giant blow for the trans movement,’ another added. Another Twitter user said: ‘The fact that every trans person on my [timeline] found Jared Leto’s portrayal of a trans person offensive makes me not really want to see that film.’

British trans activist Paris Lees, writing in The Independent, said it was not an Oscar-worthy performance as she did not recognize in Rayon any trans woman she knows.

‘For truly accurate portrayals of trans people, cast trans actors, I say,’ she said.

This reminds me a lot of the discussion in gay forums back when Brokeback Mountain was getting so much attention. Hollywood has a long history of doing things like this, and it’s all about money and getting attention. Right now, anything LGBT is hot and they are going to capitalize on it as much as they can. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but they never seem to get it right.

I will watch Dallas Buyer’s Club and review it.

You can read more here.

Ellen Breaks Twitter

The only reason I’m posting about this is because of the photo itself (and I love Ellen). I couldn’t care less about Twitter or the Oscar Awards in a general sense. Ellen took a selfie and Twitter went BERserk.

For the selfie, DeGeneres was quickly surrounded by two of the night’s winners Lupita Nyong’o and Jared Leto as well as nominees Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep along with Brad Pitt.

I also can’t help thinking this might be the last of the privileged generation of old time film stars. I could be wrong. But the fact is that even with all the Oscar hype most people in the US didn’t even see the films that were nominated. Publishing isn’t the only thing changing. The film industry is going through its own restructuring right now.

You can read more here, and view the photo.

I wish James Franco had been in it.

Ender’s Game & Orson Scott Card

Speaking of films, I wanted to do a follow up on Orson Scott Card and Ender’s Game. Here’s a link to several of my posts on the topic. In short, Orson Scott Card is the author of the book, Ender’s Game, and he’s always been highly outspoken with homophobic, discriminatory comments about gays. LGBT people called for a boycott of the film version of Ender’s Game last year and Card’s gay hate comments seemed to shadow everything associated with the film, in spite of all efforts to contain it. I’ll be honest, even though I posted a few times about all this, I actually care so little about Orson Scott Card or anything he’s associated with I mentally blocked him out, forgot all about the Ender’s Game movie, and didn’t even think about it again until just this weekend when I saw that Ender’s Game had already gone to video on Demand. In other words, my own personal boycott wasn’t even conscious.

So I did a simple search about how Ender’s Game did at the box office and came up with a few interesting things.

The film’s backers have been in panic mode ever since a boycott call was launched by an organisation called Geeks Out, protesting at Card’s views on gay marriage, as well as his comparison of President Obama to Hitler.

All those connected to the film have been forced on the defensive, with actor Harrison Ford defending Ender’s Game by claiming “There is nothing in the film or the book addressing [Card’s] current dispositions, or prejudices”, and director Gavin Hood saying: “It has been a real dilemma for me: I love the book … and it’s very difficult for me to reconcile that with his clearly contrary views to the ones I hold on the issue of gay rights.”

More here.

This next article says because of a lackluster box office appeal Ender’s Game will not have a sequel.

 The Hollywood Reporter compiled the views of a number of analysts whose job it is to review the franchise potential of blockbuster wannabes. Most felt Gavin Hood’s film, which has been targeted by gay rights activists, would struggle to make back its $110m budget after debuting with a solid but unspectacular $28m in North America.

More about that here.

I won’t be watching Ender’s Game on Demand, or anywhere else, thanks to Orson Scott Card’s vituperative comments on gays.

Orson Scott Card Anti-Gay; Gay Friendly Alabama

Orson Scott Card Anti-Gay

I’ve posted about anti-gay author, Orson Scott Card, a few times. And now he’s claiming that he’s been attacked, savagely, in an unfair way. I’m not going to get into Card’s past anti-gay record because it would be too long and involved for a short post. But if you do a simple search with his name you’ll be amazed at what you find.

His novels, which I’ve never read and can’t comment on, are being turned into a film and many have been calling for a boycott of the film. Here’s how Card views it:

‘I’ve had no criticism. I’ve had savage, lying, deceptive personal attacks, but no actual criticism because they’ve never addressed any of my actual ideas,’ Card told Deseret News.

I’m honestly not certain what that statement means. It’s a pragmatic issue for me. As a gay man I have no interest in debating my life with Card or anyone else, or offering him criticism. It’s not up for debate, and not with Mr. Card, a fiction writer. I have no interest in debating equal rights with him either. And how I live my life is not up for debate with Card or anyone else who is anti-gay. I don’t care what his ideas are. I don’t care what he believes. But more important, I don’t have to care what his ideas are or how he thinks. I’m not the one trying to discriminate against Card or how he lives his life. And at this point in my life, after being with the same man for over twenty-one years and still not able to get legally married in Pennsylvania, I don’t feel the need or have the inclination to offer Card anything more than total complete dismissal.

So if he expects critical responses he’d better stop waiting. Because some things just aren’t up for debate anymore. I. Want. Equal. Rights. I’m tired of talking about them.

The natural response to anything anti-gay, or to any author or public figure who is stupid enough to discuss controversial topics in public, is to not support their work if you don’t agree with them.

Check out the full article with the link above. It gets better, and the comment thread is interesting.

Gay Friendly Alabama

One huge misconception I’ve always found about the US is that everyone (including Americans) tends to classify certain parts of the US in set ways. It’s like everything between NY and LA is backward, and only those who live in certain places are gay friendly. Of course I’ve exaggerated that to a certain extent. But the geographic stereotypes do exist, and the south usually gets slammed the worst. And when people think of places like Alabama and Mississippi they tend to think homophobia…or at least not as accepting. This article proves that theory dead wrong:

The actors held hands walking down city streets, kissed in a photo booth at a carnival and acted out a marriage proposal in the middle of a crowded waffle house in both states.

 Instead of being met with jeers or abuse, the proposals received scattered applause and not a single derogatory remark.

The sad fact is that you can find homophobia and hate anywhere in the world, from New York City to Southern California. But it looks like things are, indeed, getting better. I’m old enough to remember when it was shocking to see two men holding hands and walking down the streets of Manhattan.

Ender’s Game Boycott Continues; Orson Scott Card

According to this piece, the Ender’s Game boycott continues, thanks to what can be attributed to highly anti-gay author, Orson Scott Card, whom I’ve posted about before.

From mediabistro, where the studio stated this, as if it’s going to make it better:

As proud longtime supporters of the LGBT community, champions of films ranging from Gods and Monsters to The Perks of Being a Wallflower and a company that is proud to have recognized same-sex unions and domestic partnerships within its employee benefits policies for many years, we obviously do not agree with the personal views of Orson Scott Card and those of the National Organization for Marriage. However, they are completely irrelevant to a discussion of Ender’s Game. The simple fact is that neither the underlying book nor the film itself reflect these views in any way, shape or form.

Geek’s Out, highly involved in leading the boycott, said this:

The simple fact is that Skip Ender’s Game has never been about the content of the novel or the film Ender’s Game. It’s about money. It’s about the money the company has already paid to Card and the potential millions he and the National Organization for Marriage stand to make off of the success of the film—our money.

I say this:

I fully understand that the novel and the book do not contain anti-gay content. But if you think I’m going to financially support something even remotely associated with an anti-gay author or NOM, when right now I’m trying to figure out what the best scenario is after the recent SCOTUS ruling because my partner of 20 years and I live in a state where gay marriage is still NOT legal, you’re about to have a very rude awakening.

And it’s not as if Orson Scott Card’s views…which I respect but don’t agree with…have been hidden from public view. You can read back as far as May, 2009. And I’ve seen other things, too. He’s never hidden his feelings. And as I said I respect them. But I don’t have to support anything in which he’s involved, and the movie studio should have thought about that a long time ago.

What really amazes me is that Paula Deen makes racial comments in private that date back years and she loses her empire, literally. Then she goes on national TV and begs for forgiveness and tries to explain and they still won’t forgive her. And the people in this film studio try to bait the LGBT community and their supporters with past films they’ve made as if anything Card has said or done means nothing. I don’t see Orson Scott Card coming out with any apologies or begging for forgiveness.

We Don’t Need Sex; Orson Scott Card Pleads

We Don’t Need Sex

This time I’m not the one trying to define erotic romance, as I’ve posted here. In fact, I have mentioned this many times in various posts I’ve written, partly to explain to readers and partly to make note of it here for my own records.

I found the post to which I’m linking by accident last night, and I thought it was interesting because it’s another take on the definition of erotic romance, which is a genre that most people seem to define on their own. Everyone seems to have a definition, and I understand that. The worst critics think it’s porn. But since there has never been a clear cut definition of porn to my knowledge, that’s highly subjective. I once posted about how Sarah Palin thought Levi Johnston’s playgirl photos were porn and he didn’t even show full frontal nudity.

The blogger to whom I linked above says this in the quest to define erotic romance:

I have nothing against erotica, people can read and write what they want to, but I am tiring a little of having to defend my books, and their genre to people who say they don’t like/review/blog about erotica. I have blog guests who write erotica, it’s fine, it’s just that I don’t write erotica.

The confusion in large numbers of peoples’ minds between Erotica and Erotic Romance is leading some publishers to add definitions to their submission pages. (Sadly there are still some publishers who don’t know the difference).

It seems even some large book sellers don’t know the difference.
I write both erotica and erotic romance, plus a little new adult sometimes, and I’ve even written the occasional pg rated hetero romance novel with a pen name. I’ve also been around for over twenty years and I started writing gay erotica and getting published when I was in college. The main reason I started writing erotica is that back then there wasn’t a market for anything else that was gay, unless it involved something dark and highly sensationalized like AIDS or suicide.  
I agree with the author of the blog post for the most part. And I do think most booksellers and small start up e-presses now don’t know the difference. However, there is one part of the blogger’s definition of erotic romance that I look at differently. 
This is what I’m talking about:
 It’s a story, plot heavy, but the sex scenes are so integral they need to be there.
I don’t think that’s wrong for some authors. And I’m not trying to give a set definition of erotic romance to anyone. I wouldn’t do that; I’m not that presumptuous. But I’ve never personally written an erotic romance where the sex *needs* to be there. On that point I totally disagree with the blogger. I’ve written the sex scenes in my books because I think they add another layer to the story, and because I think readers want that extra layer. I also think sex scenes help define the characters in a more detailed (complicated) way, and they often move the story and characters forward by showing instead of telling. I also believe we are all highly sexual beings…even those who won’t admit it.
In other words, erotic romance for me is a romance with erotic scenes. But if the erotic scenes are removed there’s still a strong story that can stand on its own. I’ve posted about this in the past. And I even went the extra mile when I released “Chase of a Dream” in two different versions. One version has strong sex scenes, the other doesn’t have any strong sex scenes. And the version without the sex scenes still has a story as strong as the one with the sex scenes. By removing the erotic scenes from this book, I only removed 7,000 words that clearly did NOT NEED to be there. I think they added to the story, but they were NOT integral to the story. And none of the sex scenes in any of the erotic romances I’ve ever written were integral to the story. In a way, I self-censored with “Chase of a Dream” in order to not only prove this, but to give my readers a choice. Frankly, I prefer the version with the sex scenes. I think it adds that extra layer to the book and it makes the characters more human. But that’s only my opinion and I left the choice to my readers.
There is a reason why this blog is now titled “Naughty Guys with Strong Stories.” I didn’t do that by accident.
As a side note, there is a difference between erotica and erotic romance. But erotica (not erotic romance) is also a strong story with erotic scenes. Erotica is not just hop into be and start going at it. And if you take the erotic scenes out of the story the story should still stand on its own. So there is not a distinct difference between erotica and erotic romance with regard to the sex. I write them both. I’ve been writing them both for many years. In every single call for submissions I’ve ever answered the editor has always asked that the erotica (not just erotic romance) have a strong storyline. 
It’s all about the story.  
Orson Scott Card Pleads

Author Orson Scott Card recently made headlines again when he issued a plea to those who plan to boycott the film version of his book, Ender’s Game…I guess in reply to all the anti-gay comments he’s made in the past.

What many of my readers might not know is that Orson Scott Card is a member of the National Organization of Marriage, NOM, that has been fighting same sex marriage for many years. I’ve posted about this a few times.

I was going to share this FB post about how NOM (National Organization for Marriage) works against marriage equality in a Huff Po piece written by former Presidential candidate, Fred Karger, but then decided to post it here on the blog because I’d like it to get more exposure.

Since I wrote that post, and others like it, Karger has continued to work hard to help in the fight for equality. He also made history in the last Presidential election as the first openly gay candidate ever to run for President.

In any event, NOM is not the only part of Orson Scott Card’s anti-gay history. You can read more about his anti-gay history here. And if you do the simplest search with his name you’ll be directed to many others. He’s never hidden how he feels about his beliefs.

In this article he makes a statement that almost sounds like a combination of bitterness, arrogance and begging at the same time. I think I even heard an “I dare you,” somewhere between the lines. But I could be wrong about that.

With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot. The Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution will, sooner or later, give legal force in every state to any marriage contract recognized by any other state.

Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute.

As a resident of Pennsylvania where gay marriage is NOT legal, and as someone who has been with his partner for over twenty years, I know for a fact that I’m not at the same level of equality as those who live in states where gay marriage IS legal even with the recent supreme court ruling. I’ve posted about this, too.

But I honestly don’t know how to get that point across any clearer, as things stand right now as I write this post. Yes, the ruling was historic and it brought us all one step closer to full equality. Yes, I’m thrilled it happened and I’m thrilled for same sex couples who live in states where they are fortunate enough to be recognized. However, Tony and I, and millions of other gay couples in this country, are basically still screwed and we are still outlaws.

The bottom line is that Orson Scott Card wants us to forgive and forget, to go see the movie about his book, and he clearly thinks the gay dollar must have some significance. You can choose for yourselves. I won’t be running to the local theater any time soon for Ender’s Game. This isn’t about tolerance. I have no problem tolerating Orson Scott Card, and I have no problem respecting his beliefs and opinions, or his right to free speech. But I do NOT have to support him, or anyone associated with him, financially.