N.B. I will update this blog post as more of my stories go live on Google Play!
I have been waiting for an opportunity to sell my books on Google Play for a couple of years now, but Google Play is currently unavailable to “new publishers”. A few years back there was a scandal involving book pirates and app scammers plaguing the site, so Google felt the best method of dealing with this was to simply shut down access to all new publishers, including legitimate self-publishers like myself.
What’s the JABBIC? It’s Judge A Book By Its Cover (JABBIC), a well-known contest run every year by the Houston Bay Area Chapter of Romance Writers of America. It’s a super fun way to see lots of book covers by genre: Contemporary Romance, Historical, Inspirational, Mainstream, Romantic Suspense, Science Fiction/Fantasy/Paranormal, Sexiest Cover, and Young Adult.
In July, I went to San Diego for the annual conference of the Romance Writers of America. I attended sessions on the craft of writing, the business of promotion, and opportunities in publishing. I hung out with friends at the pool bar, watched a 19th-century fashion show, and attended the Hamilton sing-a-long.
I also watched a faux romance cover shoot. With the guy who’s been on three of my covers:
The publisher Ellora’s Cave has been having problems for the last couple of years. They’ve had massive layoffs, late and missed payments to authors and contractors, then, when they sued a blogger for defamation, all hell broke loose. There was mudslinging and accusations and a boycott of Ellora’s Cave books led by some pretty powerful people in the field of romance. EC authors themselves begged their fans not to buy their EC books so they could request reversion of rights based on low sales.
I want to go beyond the negativity, the “don’t”-ness of a boycott, and instead explore positive actions to support authors still trapped in the EC quagmire. Let’s get some love for your favorite EC author!
— Buy non-EC books by your favorite EC author!
— Write a review for a non-EC book by your favorite EC author!
— Blog or post on social media about non-EC books by your favorite EC author!
— Recommend non-EC books by your favorite EC author to all your reader friends! Continue reading →
In Part One of this blog miniseries, we learned how Victorian doctors defined “hysteria” and how they treated it. Spoiler alert: doctors used various methods of stimulation to bring women to achieve the “hysterical paroxysm”, i.e., an orgasm.
Around 1879, the electric or electro-mechanical vibrator was introduced into doctors’ tools of the trade for treating hysteria. Vibrators were first used in France, then this method spread to the rest of the European continent, England, and America.
But what did the Victorian vibrator look like? One perhaps imagines corseted women cowering as a mustachioed doctor approaches with some bizarre Steampunkish contraption… Continue reading →
I recently saw a revival of the play In The Next Room, Or The Vibrator Play by Sarah Ruhl. In case you haven’t heard about this play it takes place in upstate New York in the 1880s. A doctor provides treatments for hysteria – to both women and men – using the latest technology, the electric vibrator. In the course of the play there is emotional and sexual discovery amongst all the characters, along with several orgasms.
I originally saw the play in February 2009 at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in Berkeley, California. The play had been written for the Berkeley Rep and made its debut there before being launched on Broadway. I’m not a theater regular – I do see shows from time to time – but when I heard about this play, I absolutely had to see it.
The digital-first, romance publisher Samhain has announced it is closing. Despite never having been published by Samhain, this news makes me very sad. Samhain was my target publisher, the one I aspired to be published by. The publisher from whom I got the absolute best rejection letter ever. Continue reading →