Authors Behaving Badly Episode #1: Dara Joy
How did first become a Dara Joy fan?
I have been a Dara Joy fan for years. I was probably in her first group of fans. I bought Knight of a Trillion Stars, the 1st of the Matrix of Destiny series, the week it hit the bookstands in July 1995. Since 1995, I have bought and kept all of her books. I know of only one that didn’t really become a keeper for me, and that was the sequel to High Energy, High Intensity which was published by Dorchester in 2000. However in 2001 William and Morrow Co. published Ritual of Proof (ROP) in hardback and I dearly loved it. In fact, I harassed the publisher so much about its (ROP) release date via email (grin), that they eventually sent me an ARC free just to stop the emails. You could say I was a bit fanatical about it… Lol.
How did you feel when you heard about her fight with Dorchester?
Like her other fans, I began to worry when there was a delay of two years from 1998 to 2000 for her next book, High Intensity, and then of course we saw the change in publishers from Dorchester to William & Morrow with ROP. Having been a romance reader for 30 some years, I was a little worried about this. The Matrix series with Dorchester was still incomplete, Traed’s book had not published, and here Ms. Joy was changing publishers and starting a new series with ROP. Having experience with another author on incomplete series due to changes in publishers, I knew this did not look good for fans of that series.
Many of her fans began asking questions online and eventually we heard the rumor that she was in dispute with her publisher. Not long after that, I think Dorchester made it known to fans that they were in litigation with Ms. Joy over her contract. We also saw a post on Dorchester’s fan forum about the situation.
Joy’s website went offline for a while and then came back online. Not long afterwards we saw a letter/article to fans about the lawsuit from Ms. Joy, in response to Dorchester’s claims. As far as I know, this is the last contact or official response from Dara Joy to her fans online.
My first reaction was of course, sympathy for Ms. Joy. I seem to always want to be on the side of the underdog. Eventually however, after reading the material on both sides, my reason returned and I am realized that Ms. Joy was in a very bad position. Despite all of the hyperbole she has in that letter to fans, the bottom line is that she did not fulfill her contract with Dorchester and she misled them on the book she sold to the other publisher. Don’t let her letter fool you, Ritual Of Proof was a romance. That put her ability to publish in jeopardy and also put that other publisher (William & Morrow) in harms way because Dorchester was also going after them.
Even if she felt that Dorchester was scamming her on royalties, unless she had hard proof, IMHO, she should have fulfilled her contract with them, THEN filed suit for the royalty situation. If you read thru all the documentation, it looks like Ms. Joy was after the quick money (advances) and not thinking about the consequences. It was just bad business all around.