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Monday Midday Links: Post mortems full of fail

I wasn’t going to do a links round up today. I’m getting ready to leave for Romantic Times and have a list as long as my-well, it’s a long list. But I would be totally remiss if I didn’t point the readership to Publishers Weekly, a supposed journalism magazine about the industry of publishing. But apparently it’s just a publisher’s mouthpiece, and not a very good one. (this is incorrect as the piece is an op ed piece and thus not endorsed by PW)

In a section titled “Soapbox”, PW publishes a piece by Christopher Navratil, the publisher of Running Press. The piece is entitled “The Misinformation Age: What Happens When A Headline Goes Viral” and is designed, I believe, to respond to the mess caused when contract editor, Telep, requested Jessica Verday change her YA anthology contribution from m/m to f/m.

Timeline:

On March 21, 2011, Jessica Verday publicly confirmed she would no longer be in the anthology Wicked Pretty Things published by Running Press and edited by Trisha Telep. Telep wanted the story changed from m/m to f/m:

I’ve received a lot of questions and comments about why I’m no longer a part of the WICKED PRETTY THINGS anthology (US: Running Press, UK: Constable & Robinson) and I’ve debated the best way to explain why I pulled out of this anthology. The simple reason? I was told that the story I’d wrote, which features Wesley (a boy) and Cameron (a boy), who were both in love with each other, would have to be published as a male/female story because a male/male story would not be acceptable to the publishers.

On March 22, 2011, Telep confirmed this in the comments section to Verday’s blog post, writing:

Oh dear. Might as well give you my two cents. Not that it really matters but… Don’t take it out on the publishers, the decision was mine totally. These teen anthologies I do are light on the sex and light on the language. I assumed they’d be light on alternative sexuality, as well. Turns out I was wrong! Just after I had the kerfuffle with jessica, I was told that the publishers would have loved the story to appear in the book! Oh dear. My rashness will be the death of me. It’s a great story. Hope jessica publishes it online. (By the way: if you want to see a you tube video of me wrestling a gay man in Glasgow, and losing, please let me know).

This statement led further communications between Verday and Running Press which Verday blogged about on March 25, 2011:

Has the publisher commented on the matter?
- Yes, they have. On Wednesday, I spoke to Lisa Cheng, the editor at Running Press Kids, at her invitation after receiving an email from her. Although I can’t speak for Running Press, and can only tell my side of the story, I will say that Lisa was misinformed as to why I pulled out of the anthology and I corrected that, and although she apologized profusely over the “misunderstandings on all sides,” she told me that they have worked with Trisha many times before and stand behind her.

Trisha Telep has over 21 anthologies to her name on Amazon. Apparently each author is paid $250 flat fee to be included in the anthology and Telep gets all the royalties (man, I did not take enough for the Agony/Ecstasy anthology!).

April 3, 2011, Running Press Publisher, Christopher Navratril uses industry website, Publishers’ Weekly, to respond with a scold to Verday and the rest of us for not appreciating Running Press’s love for the GLBT community.

Ms. Verday, understandably, refused to change her story and pulled it from the anthology. Then she took to her blog and social media connections, and accused Running Press of intolerance and censorship. Other authors in the anthology asked to pull their stories, believing the account. Fans, librarians, and a handful of authors in the anthology became angry. Authors in other anthologies began to send us e-mails expressing concern. This all happened in just a few days. We at Running Press contacted Verday immediately to assure her that we had no such guidelines and would be excited to include her story as written. But she was unyielding.

First, Verday publicly communicated the reasons given to her by editor Telep, the representative or agent of the publisher. Second, in a second blog post, she acknowledged she was invited back into the anthology and republished, word for word, the statements of Running Press and Constable & Robinson, that were supportive of GLBT issues. Third, she never accused Running Press of intolerance and/or censorship. Never. Read the first blog post. She says she isn’t going to support the anthology. That’s it. When she does name Running Press, it is in the same blog post as the republished statements from RP as being pro GLBT issues.

Navratil uses the PW bully pulpit to spread the message that Verday is a difficult author who spread misinformation and false accusations. It does not come out and state that Telep’s statement was offensive or one that they do not support. Instead, it tries to redirect attention back on Verday, almost as in warning. The reason that authors are dropping out of the anthology and libraries and readers are upset isn’t necessary the rejection of Telep, but Running Press refusal to acknowledge the hurtful message of Telep’s statement, their continued support of Telep, and their chastisement of Verday.

This will inevitably cause more damage to Running Press because the issue that their actions are speaking louder than their words.

****

One of the panels I am sitting on at RT is a self publishing panel with Mark Coker, owner and CEO of Smashwords, and HP Mallory, self published success and newly contracted Random House author.   I am going to talk about how self published authors should pitch for reviews.   I’ll probably refer to a few cautionary tales, like the blow up over at Bookbinge, the fuck off author at Abe’s (video of my voice?), and finally, this one (fuck you for being too lazy to rate my book and no one appreciates my genius).

****

Several Nora Roberts’ books were made into Lifetime movies and apparently there is a tragic remake of Linda Howard’s Loving Evangeline. But did you also know that there were a number of Harlequin categories made into movies?   This site has a rundown of several. Any of the commenters watch these?

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

63 Comments

  1. Darlene Marshall
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 10:14:08

    Oh dear. I knew about most of the “authors behaving badly” issues except for the last one. When I started reading her screed I got as far as I could before the fractured syntax and errors drove me away.

    *Sigh* I’m glad you’re going to be on the self-publishing panel. I hope people take good notes. Have a safe trip!

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  2. Belinda Kroll
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 10:44:04

    Will there be a video released later of your panel discussion? I would be very interested in watching it, since I’m unable to attend!

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  3. Kerry Allen
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 10:49:36

    I’d have read the Whitten flounce for LOLs, but before I could get through the first paragraph, the words were doing the backstroke across the screen. The negative image is still burned into my retinae. How many times does it have to be said? Black background + tiny white sans serif font = unreadable. If you want your blog to be read, make it easy to read.

    Or perhaps that’s the idea. “Eff you all” in a snit on Tuesday and then on Thursday, “No, no, that was an optical illusion! What I actually wrote was not childish and unprofessional.”

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  4. allison
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 11:15:37

    Well, guess I shan’t be buying anything by Running Press at all after this. I’d still had it on my list because they claimed support of LGBT but this rant, in oh-so-polite terms and tone, isn’t cool in my book.

    Don’t want blowback? Try not to have editors that practice discrimination and bigotry.

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  5. Mireya
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 12:03:25

    It seems like there is someone having a meltdown every other day, and the meltdowns do seem to be related to self-publishing as of late. Thankfully, I know one class-act self-published author (Justus Roux), otherwise, I would have never looked at anything self-published… ever. It’s going to be interesting as more and more people choose to self-publish, as some of these people do seem to think that they are God’s gift to humankind and anyone that does not like their stuff or meets their VERY MISGUIDED expectations, is an idiot. To all of those types, as a reader I say, NO … FU and the horse you rode in on. Have a nice day.

    Again, if it weren’t for Justus, I’d never touch a self-published book judging solely on these meltdowns. Thankfully, I know not all self-published authors are like that.

    I am not going to comment on the publisher’s “article” though. I never heard of them until now, to be honest.

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  6. Marsha
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 12:08:41

    Wow. That Whitten business is breathtaking. Magnificent, really.

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  7. Rebecca (the other one)
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 12:32:14

    I remember “Another Woman.” I read the book first ( a Super Romance by Margot Dalton), and caught the movie by accident. I didn’t realize at first that it was based on that book. As usual I liked the book better, because there was more time to explain the actions of the characters. Now I need to find the book again.

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  8. Sirius
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 12:37:47

    I have read Jessica Verday initial blog entry simply because I have read the link on Dear author, I never thought she accused Running Press of anything myself. I never thought I will even feel a need to comment, but this shpill that Running Press published makes me annoyed. I do not even think that I want to buy Jessica’s books (not my cup of tea), I just like her behavior in the whole situation. But Running Press, really? I have all four books in M/M romance series that they published, so it would have never entered my mind to accuse them of not supporting LGBT literature. But I certainly think that I will now think twice of buying anything from them, this statement feels as bullying and twisting the words of the author and spreading misinformation about her position.

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  9. Sheryl Nantus
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 12:58:46

    I think it’ll be good to have someone able to inject a degree of reality into the panel. Smashwords is good, but Coker likes to dis the commercial publishers way too much for my liking and from what I’ve seen/heard these panels tend to dissolve more into bashing everyone who’s NOT self-pubbing than dealing with the harsh reality that it’s a tough job and not everyone should do it.

    As for the author meltdown… not surprising. What’s surprising is that we’re not seeing more of it as the self-pub gurus keep pushing more and more new authors to spend time and money self-pubbing instead of polishing their craft.

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  10. Ceilidh
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 13:09:05

    The entire Wicked Pretty Things fallout has been a mess from day one. I still don’t think we’re quite getting all the facts here but I doubt we ever will. Besides, it doesn’t look like Running Press are too keen on facts right now.

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  11. cayenne
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 13:13:30

    Re the TV movies: I have seen the one of Diamond Girl. It’s only loosely based on the book, changing names and all kinds of other plot elements… although the typical Diana Palmer obnoxious hero is preserved, unfortunately. But the hero is played by the very pretty Jonathan Cake, so it’s watchable at least once :)

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  12. Elyssa Papa
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 13:23:09

    Running Press just looks awful.

    And about the Haroequin movies…I absolutely love DIAMOND GIRL. It is so good in its own way. Sure, it might be a little cheesy in parts but the cheesiness is so worth it. I think I’ve watched it every single time it’s on TV. If you get a chance to watch it, do so.

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  13. Danielle D
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 13:28:59

    I brought some of the Harlequin movies on DVD from Amazon. I still haven’t watched them yet!?!?

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  14. Miranda Neville
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 13:34:16

    To the list of movies (I’m surprised there are so many) I’d add 1978′s Leopard in the Snow based on Anne Mather’s Mills & Boon romance. It starred Keir Dullea of 2001 fame and a pretty decent cast of English actors. I caught it on TV once. It was quite bad, I think.

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  15. Joanne
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 13:41:14

    Charlie Sheen has a female doppelganger who writes under the name Whitten? That’s probably not a good thing.

    I bought “Recipe for Revenge”. I hadn’t read the book and since it was just a boring B- movie I figured lesson learned and I wouldn’t be buying any more of the Harlequin discs. It’s much better when I haven’t read the book first since it’s not the huge disappointment I feel when a fav book is made into a movie. For me the book is the thing and I like to keep the images I have – not those that Hollywood films or even that other readers have.

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  16. MaryK
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 13:45:05

    there is a tragic remake of Linda Howard's Loving Evangeline

    Tragic is not the word. The only resemblance to the book is the title, a marina setting, and an espionage plot.

    Just as an example. You know the badass hero? (I rarely remember character names. I just remember the characters.) He goes out in a boat by himself and gets lost. Because he’s a clueless idiot. Then he drops his GPS/phone thingy (I’ve blocked out the details) overboard. Because he’s a complete klutz.

    When it came out, I subscribed to the cable channel specifically to see that movie. I’m still bitter. And disgusted.

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  17. Joy
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 13:50:24

    It’s probably a little meta to qualify, but Sarah Bird’s _The Boyfriend School_ looks at romance publishing (circa maybe 1985?) and integrates a Harlequin-worthy plotline. It was made into a romantic comedy movie called _Don’t Tell Her It’s Me_ (which I enjoyed but I don’t think it had much box office success; I only discovered it by chance at Blockbuster).

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  18. Allie
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 13:59:36

    I for one will never ever buy or read (even via the library) anything Telep edits again and I will certainly be avoiding Running Press books. I was appalled when I first heard this. I’m furious now. What is wrong with these people? Ugh.

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  19. library addict
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 14:19:02

    I enjoyed Treacherous Beauties and Broken Lullaby the best of the Harlequin adaptations on that list. I read the book Treacherous Beauties as well, but it was written for the Silhouette Shadows line. The movie leaves out the supernatural subplots altogether. Broken Lullaby was a Harlequin Intrique, but I never read the book.

    There were 4 that aired on CBS as part of their “Sunday Afternoon Showcase”: Treacherous Beauties, Broken Lullaby, The Awakening (which is cute), and At the Midnight Hour (okay, but the book was much better). I remember there was a lot of promo on CBS and an announcement page in the back of the Silhouette books published at the time.

    Even though Change of Place is a mediocre movie, I enjoyed Andrea Roth's performance.

    There have been more adaptations of Harlequin books. Didn't Oxygen air one a few years ago? And that list doesn't include This Matter of Marriage based on the Mira book by Debbie Macomber or At the Midnight Hour based on a Silhouette Intimate Moments by Alicia Scott.

    And, yes, calling the adaptation of Linda Howard’s Loving Evangeline “tragic” is a huge understatement. I felt sorry for the cast as they tried to make it work. I blame the script 100%.

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  20. Jess B.
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 14:51:45

    Well, that was an unfortunate ending to a crappy story. I’m still wondering what Navratil meant by “a handful of authors in the anthology became angry” and presumably pulled out. Over at her blog, Verday says that 10 authors have pulled out of the anthology so far, and with a book supposedly containing 13 stories that seems to be a) a bit more than a handful and b) the silver bullet in Wicked Pretty Things heart.

    Can anyone confirm who (if anyone) is left in the anthology? Or whether the publisher is going to call for more submission under Telep’s direction?

    And, can I just say, I’m totally curious about this scandalous story now. I hope Verday is able to publish it in a different anthology or as a digital short!

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  21. Rose Fox
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 15:19:32

    I think it’s a bit unfair to call PW a particular publisher’s mouthpiece. We run a Soapbox in every issue, and the whole point of it is that it’s an opinion piece. You might as well call the NYT a mouthpiece for everyone who has an op-ed published there.

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  22. Leslie
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 15:29:32

    Ah, Loving Evangeline – a magnificent WTF for those of us who liked the book. So many things wrong – from the actors (some talent, but totally wrong for the roles) to a fractured storyline with no resemblance to the book. Sometimes, when it is on, I watch it just for the wtf.
    I have always thought SEP’s books would be great movies – TV or big screen – b/c the well-drawn characters would translate well to the screen and the storylines work on multiple levels. Heaven, Texas or Lady Be Good would be better than any romcom that Hollywood has put out since Love, Actually.

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  23. Honeywell
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 15:45:01

    “But I would be totally remiss if I didn't point the readership to Publishers Weekly, a supposed journalism magazine about the industry of publishing. But apparently it's just a publisher's mouthpiece, and not a very good one.”

    “Navratil uses the PW bully pulpit to spread the message that Verday is a difficult author who spread misinformation and false accusations.”

    I think the only people who would come to those conclusions from reading Navratil’s article about what happened and what he learned from the incident are people who were following the twitter/blog frenzy as it occurred and as a result already have strong opinions about what took place.

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  24. Faygie
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 16:26:31

    With regard to the Harlequin film adaptations, I enjoyed both the book and film version of This Matter of Marriage, though the book was so much better. Also, the SIM book At the Midnight Hour was written by Alicia Scott, though the author is now much better known as suspense author Lisa Gardner. Both of these films pop up on cable now and then.

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  25. Christine M.
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 16:37:40

    @Miranda Neville:

    OMG This Harlequin was in my mom’s collection that I used to read on the slide when I was 9-10 y.o. I read it in French but it had the same title. I wonder if mom still has those books. I never managed to identify the others since they were in French. Thanks for the sweet memory!

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  26. Courtney Milan
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 16:48:09

    @Rose Fox:

    I don’t think the analogy to the NY Times is apt, because even opinion pieces need to stand on factual grounds. An opinion piece talking about what we should do about Libya absolutely becomes a shill piece if it is based on an incorrect recounting of the facts.

    As it is, Publishers Weekly printed an opinion piece that states as fact things that are verifiably false–that the author “accused Running Press of intolerance and censorship”–the author didn’t; she accused Trisha Telep of censorship, which is true. It states that Running Press has “no contact with that editor,” but Running Press has the most obvious contact with her: They pay her money and publish anthologies with her name on the cover, and they have stated that they will continue to do so.

    I don’t doubt that RP has been conflated, perhaps unfairly, with Trisha Telep in the internet dust up, but then, they haven’t exactly distanced themselves from any of the 21 anthologies they publish with her, nor have they indicated that they will cease to publish those anthologies with her.

    Some things are purely a matter of opinion–like “vanilla ice cream is better than chocolate.” Some things are purely a matter of fact–like “2+2=4.” But most interesting things entangle the two, and to excuse the checking of facts because someone also expresses an opinion shirks basic journalistic duties.

    I don’t know that I would have used the words “mouthpiece” or “bully pulpit” but just because something is an opinion piece does not excuse it from basic fact-checking. I would absolutely excoriate the New York Times, or any other source for publishing an opinion piece that was based on as skewed a factual basis as this one. (I wouldn’t do it as Courtney Milan, because damn it, she mostly keeps her politics to herself.)

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  27. AmyW
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 16:57:50

    Ahhhh, Diamond Girl! I totally watch that whenever it’s on TV….

    @library addict & @Faygie — Is This Matter of Marriage the ones where the h/h are neighbours in a semi-detached, and fight over shower problems (leading to shower sex, of course)? Heroine is an architect who helps his daughter with a project?

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  28. Allyson
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 17:52:00

    I just hate the idea of a press that says it supports LGBTQ writing standing behind someone who thinks the existence of a gay relationship makes a story too edgy for a teen anthology.

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  29. Sunita
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 18:10:17

    @Courtney Milan: Very well put (as usual). I would also add that if a newspaper/magazine/online journal receives more op ed pieces that it can publish, then the selection process means that publication sends a message about the importance of the piece, even if the venue doesn’t agree with the message. The NYT is criticized for its selection process regularly.

    I wouldn’t call PW a mouthpiece for the writer, but I think bully pulpit is not far off, since a selective publication with editorial standards doesn’t publish pieces it thinks are unworthy of attention, irrespective of whether it agrees with the general argument. I’m partial to “megaphone,” myself, since it took Navratril’s comments and gave them the weight and imprimatur of an op ed in a major trade publication for the industry.

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  30. library addict
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 18:16:39

    @AmyW: Yes. That is This Matter of Marriage.

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  31. Jane
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 18:58:37

    You guys are probably right that mouthpiece is the wrong word and I apologize for that. The reason I have such a problem with it is that this author spoke up about a deeply held belief that GLBT teens should be represented in fiction as having romances but the publisher, with the approval of PW (implicit in its publication), decides to chastise the author, call her names and accuse her of wrongdoings she didn’t commit. There is a real injustice there. The publisher already has more power than she and, through the use of PW, has greater reach and influence, particularly to other publishers who read PW religiously.

    It’s hard to tell that this is an op piece but for the faint breadcrumb across the top. There isn’t anything to really identify this as the op ed contribution other than the breadcrumb. It looks like just another page on the PW site.

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  32. Nonny
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 20:08:46

    I’m really very disappointed in Running Press’s response. I had been willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, because readers never know the full story about contracts and the like, so I thought it plausible that they really couldn’t do anything about Telep. However, this response makes Verday out to be the bad guy for sticking to her principles about GBLT acceptance, and that is absolutely not okay, particularly when they are also trying to say that they support GBLT rights. You can’t have it both ways, people.

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  33. Wahoo Suze
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 20:17:13

    Movies based on books are almost always disappointing if you’ve read the book first. I’ve seen most of the movies listed, and read most of the books they’re based on, and they were all disappointing. I watched the movie version of NR’s Angels Fall (with Heather Locklear), and it was okay, but still kinda flat. Movies just don’t have the nuance of novels, I think.

    I do think that the movies based on category romances just couldn’t pull it off at all, and I’m wondering if maybe the space-saving shorthand in categories is untranslatable to the screen. Like the reader puts more work into a good book than a movie watcher puts into a good movie.

    Running Press opinion piece: phooey on your opinion. You’re wrong. And you’re a dick for putting it out there that way.

    Author meltdowns: now that there’s no shock value (I used to not believe a person could be so clueless), they’re not even amusing anymore.

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  34. Sally
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 20:47:18

    Funny, I just bought a set of 4 Harlequin movies as the DVD was on sale last week on Amazon.

    I think there are just a little over 20 films based on Harlequin books (12 of which have been bundled into affordable DVD sets), but I’ve only ever seen 5 of them so far. Treacherous Beauties and At the Midnight Hour were decent, but the other 3 I saw were terrible. I have the Loving Evangeline DVD next to me, but I’m afraid to watch it now after reading the comments.

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  35. Gretchen Galway
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 21:26:54

    @Leslie regarding SEP’s books being made into movies:
    I remember her saying (I think it’s on her blog) that she likes control too much to ever let them make a movie of one of her books. I loved loved loved Match Me If You Can, and can imagine that being a great rom com, but I suppose it would be too painful to watch them screw it up.

    Kind of like the way my husband can’t stand P. Jackson’s Lord of the Rings. I try to understand, but I’m not such a stickler.

    Jenny Crusie’s Welcome to Temptation–that would be another movie I’d like to see. If they didn’t screw it up.

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  36. Eliza Evans
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 22:58:50

    @Joy: I *loved* Don’t Tell Her It’s Me. It was on HBO quite a bit in the late 80s, which is when I saw it. I rented it on DVD from Netflix a few years ago. Turns out it’s one of those lovely nostalgic memories that should have stayed in the past.

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  37. k reads
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 23:00:13

    While I understand why Jessica Verday would not want to work with Trisha Telep, there is a part of me that wishes she had accepted when Running Press re-offered to include her story in the anthology. If she had, a lot of readers who wouldn’t normally be exposed to male/male love stories would have read it. And a lot of those readers would have enjoyed it and seen that gay romance isn’t about an “alternate lifestyle”, it’s about two people in love. That simple.

    Also if she had accepted, it would have been a big fuck you to Telep, showing that petty bigotry couldn’t keep Verday’s story out. Sometimes doors are opened and sometimes they have to be kicked in.

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  38. Sylvia Sybil
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 23:59:04

    @k reads:

    As I understand it, her sticking point was that Telep would earn royalties from her work. I wouldn’t let my work be used to financially support a bigot, either.

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  39. sarah mayberry
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 02:23:19

    I can’t find internet verification of my memory, but I am pretty damn sure there was also a series of Mills and Boon videos (yes, that old) released at some point. I remember watching them as an impressionable youth. I’m almost certain Make Mine Chartreuse was one, and there was also one about a woman who inherited a castle in Scotland and all the good looking men who may or may not have wanted to love/murder her because of some Secret in the castle.
    Okay, am editing to add that I also saw Cloud Waltzer(, which IMDB was pleased to confirm was a Harlequin Romance Movie, circa 1987. So I’m not nuts. I just have bad taste in made-for-TV-movies.)

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  40. FiaQ
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 05:35:18

    @sarah mayberry: Yes, there are more M&B/Harlequin adaptations as well as other romance novels including Barbara Cartland’s historical romances (the sight in Hugh Grant in a very dodgy wig still makes me laugh).

    The first and only theatrical film M&B produced is Leopard in the Snow – based on Anne Mather’s M&B novel – with Keir Dullea (of 2001 Space Odyssey fame) and Susan Penhaligon (better known for her TV roles, such as those in A Kind of Loving, Emmerdale and Bouquet of Barbed Wire). It’s, er, not that memorable.

    There are quite a few adaptations of Pamela Wallace’s Silhouette romances. Her best known work to date would be Witness with Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis, which is apparently based on her unpublished category romance.

    Sandra Brown has two up – French Silk and Smoke Screen. Actually, I think the best adaptation so far is Penelope Williamson’s western historical The Outsider, starring Naomi Watts (as a Quaker widow) and Tim Daly.

    I wrote a blog post about romance novels and cinema a couple of months ago. It was there where Little Black Dress pub author Phillipa Ashley confirmed that her contemporary romance Decent Exposure was adapted into a Lifetime movie. Here’s her response:

    My first novel, Decent Exposure, was adapted into the Lifetime movie '12 Men of Christmas' in 2009. The novel is set in the English Lake District but the screenwriter set the US movie in the Rockies.

    My favourite adaptation is still Mary Stewart’s romantic suspense novel The Moon-Spinners, which generated a 1964 film starring Hayley Mills, Peter McEnery and the awesome Pola Negri.

    All right, I’d better put my Film Geek hat away.

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  41. sarah mayberry
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 07:11:32

    @FiaQ
    I didn’t realise Witness was based on a romance novel. Very cool. I will keep an eye out for the Naomi Watts one – she’s a good actress, plus she’s a fellow Aussie. Ta for sharing your awesome Encyclopedia Britannica-like knowledge.

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  42. DS
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 07:27:31

    @Jess B.: I ran into a statement that Lesley Livington, Karen Mahoney, Lisa Mantchev, Brenna Yovanoff and Seanan McGuire pulled out and Ann Aguirre is dropping out of a separate Telep/Running Press anthology (see her blog). Caitlin Kettridge is refusing to work with the editor again and Saundra Mitchell pulled out of another Tepel project. So they have a bit of fall out. Seanan McGuire is a autobuy for me although I don’t usually bother with anthologies. I’ve also read a couple of books by Ann Aguirre and I think I have some Caitlin Kettridge in my TBR pile.

    I picked this up from the updates on http://cleolinda.livejournal.com/ and I can honestly see why Running Press is feeling a bit battered on one hand, while on the other I think the op ed piece on PW was a bad idea.

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  43. Leslee
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 07:56:31

    There is one I remember that wasn’t listed here or there. Magic Moments was released in 89 based on the Nora Roberts This Magic Moment. John Shea was in it as a magician who does amazing escapes and has been talked into doing a TV special. The woman who is working with him on the special is his love interest. The book was a Silhouette Intimate Moments. I read it when I was about 12 and saw the movie a few years later. Not Oscar material but I have fond memories of the slightly melodramatic acting. :)

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  44. Jess B.
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 08:29:08

    @DS: Thanks for the rundown! And I agree, I do think that Running Press was caught in the middle of a bad publicity firestorm that they really had no control over. Though the authors’ were directly their complaints and frustrations towards the editor, and rightly so, it’s impossible to avoid spill-over protests and boycotts directed at the publishers in the comments. And all my sympathies were with them… until they released this particular statement.

    Running Press’s original responses on Verday’s blog were professional and, though some people think this was the wrong choice, stood by their employee (Telep, even if she is a contract employee) while expressing dismay at her choice. I do think that’s nice because this woman made a mistake, both in her initial reaction to the story and then her handling of subsequent fallout, and hopefully she learned from it, and will think carefully next time.

    The whole thing is an unfortunate mess. It sounded like such a fun YA anthology, but I don’t think I’d be able to buy a copy at the end of the day. Too much drama.

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  45. FiaQ
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 08:58:57

    @sarah mayberry: There are some great – and oft criminally underrated – Australian romantic films and film adaptations.

    I do have a soft spot for Paperback Hero, though, with Hugh Jackman (as a romance novelist!) and Claudia Karvan, based on the romantic novel by Antony J. Bowman (who also directed the film). It has HEA and all.

    Oh, I’m in the mood to watch an Aussie film now. :D

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  46. Brian
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 09:06:45

    For those who enjoy the Lifetime Roberts movies a new one, Carnal Innocence, is going to air in June starring Gabrielle Anwar and Colin Egglesfield.

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  47. Jackie Barbosa
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 11:10:34

    @Sylvia Sybil: As I understand it, her sticking point was that Telep would earn royalties from her work. I wouldn't let my work be used to financially support a bigot, either.

    This.

    I removed the links to a Telep anthology which included a short story of mine from my website for this very reason.

    A number of authors in that anthology, including Julianne MacLean, Kim Killion, and Terri Brisbin, have published the short stories from this anthology digitally on Amazon and other outlets. I’d strongly encourage readers who want to support these authors or read their stories to buy them in digital form, where you can be sure that the proceeds will benefit the authors rather than Ms Telep.

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  48. MaryK
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 12:37:42

    @FiaQ: Back in the day, I discovered Mary Stewart because of the Hayley Mills movie.

    Have you seen Getting Married in Buffalo Jump? I saw part of it on TV once and liked it but haven’t been able to find a recording of it to watch the whole thing. It’s based on a romance novel which I haven’t read.

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  49. Randi
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 14:17:01

    Wait…is it normal for authors to not make royalties on an anthology? For a charitable anthology, I could understand, but…if authors only get paid a flat fee for their story, where’s the incentive to DO an anthology?

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  50. FiaQ
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 14:19:23

    @MaryK: Ha, I found Mary Stewart the same way! :D

    No, I haven’t heard of that Canadian film. Great addition to my romnovel/cinema list, thank you! From what I see, it was available on DVD in 2004 from U.S. DVD distributor Hen’s Tooth Video, but judging by general DVD retail sites, it seems to be out of print. Hen’s Tooth Video might have some spare copies so it might be worth checking via their site.

    Failing that, try your local library if you’re in the US. Or contact CBC (Canada Broadcasting Co.) to see if they have future plans to release it on DVD. I plan to do this soon. Thanks for the heads up on GMIBJ.

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  51. Jackie Barbosa
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 14:26:29

    @Randi: The payment terms depend on the anthology. If you do an anthology with one or two other authors for most of the major houses, you typically get an advance plus royalties split three ways.

    All the Running Press ones seem to work this way, though–flat $250 to the authors with any royalties flowing to the editor. (Note that I believe the editor pays the authors’ directly from her own pocket upfront, then hopefully recoups her investment from the royalties, but of course, there’s no way of knowing in advance if she will cover her costs. With 15-20 authors in each anthology at $250 a crack, it’s not exactly a minimal risk on the editor’s part, especially since her royalty percentage is probably about what it would be for a regular print author–I’d guess 8% of cover.)

    The incentive for doing them is the opportunity to be exposed to readers who wouldn’t otherwise have found you. Readers often buy these anthologies because they include stories by several of their auto-buy authors. By being in the book with those authors, you hope some of those readers will try your story, too, and then decide to try others books you’ve written.

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  52. Sunita
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 14:49:50

    @FiaQ: @MaryK: I love this movie! I thought I was the only person who had ever seen it. I saw it years ago on TV, went looking for it and could never find it again. I finally found it on Netflix and ordered it. It held up. Paul Gross and Wendy Crewson, Canadian ranch setting, what’s not to like?

    Just checked and it’s still there.

    ETA: I had no idea it was a novel first. I just checked and I can get it from my regional library consortium, yay! The used copies cost a bomb.

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  53. DS
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 15:30:46

    I’ve heard that a couple of Georgette Heyer novels were made into movies but I have never seen them and I have heard that they are best avoided.

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  54. Brian
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 16:04:50

    @DS: Looks like there are at least two…

    The Inheritance
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043963/

    Bezaubernde Arabella
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052624/

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  55. sarah mayberry
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 16:32:35

    @DS. I have seen The Reluctant Widow, which was based on the Heyer book of the same name. I think its B&W and from memory was a little histrionic, whereas I always thought the heroine in that book had a bit of a wry/dry sense of humor. But it was okay. I’d love for someone really, really good at historical movies to have a go at Faro’s Daughter. I always thought that would make a fun/sexy movie

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  56. Wahoo Suze
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 23:46:09

    I remember reading somewhere that Heyer was extremely unimpressed with the movies of her work and insisted that no more ever be made. I think her estate was adhering to her wishes.

    Buffalo jump was awesome (but I’ve never read the book). And so very Canadian. I especially liked the views of the majestic prairie landscape through the bug-spattered windshields.

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  57. MaryK
    Apr 06, 2011 @ 00:53:11

    @Sunita: Hey, thanks, it’s in my queue now! I haven’t looked for it since Netflix came along so I’d never looked there.

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  58. DS
    Apr 06, 2011 @ 07:06:59

    @sarah mayberry: I agree with Faro’s Daughter. It’s one of my favorite Heyers.

    The Black Moth is in public domain– at least in the US. I’m surprised someone has thought of that as a opportunity. Lots of mid 18th century laces and wigs. Of course Hollywood has a way of screwing up historical drama. Maybe they could make it in 3D.

    I just checked Netflix and they have at least one Barbara Cartland movie– The Lady and the Highwayman and they also have Where the Heart Roams,

    Hop aboard the Love Train for an inside peek at the true heroes of romance fiction: the authors and editors who create the larger-than-life characters and love scenes embraced by more than 20 million devoted fans. Among those showcased are best-selling novelists Janet Daily, Rebecca Brandywine and Barbara Cartland, who share a few writing secrets during a cross-country train ride to the 1983 Romantic Book Lovers’ Conference in New York City.

    I’ve heard about this but never seen it. Shame both are DVD only.

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  59. Tasha
    Apr 06, 2011 @ 13:50:12

    At least one Running Press author is totally supportive of RP in all of this, both on the PW opinion piece and in her blog, which is somewhat surprising as she is a writer of m/m romance. I guess she’s more worried about sales than principle.

    Apparently this is not the first time Telep has demanded a rewrite based on character orientation (I’m getting this from cleolinda’s livejournal discussion).

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  60. No Royalties For Contribution
    Apr 08, 2011 @ 10:18:59

    “Wait…is it normal for authors to not make royalties on an anthology? For a charitable anthology, I could understand, but…if authors only get paid a flat fee for their story, where's the incentive to DO an anthology?”

    This has been common practice with traditional print publishers for many years. Contributing authors receive flat fees and no royalties. In most cases, 60 dollars or less in a flat fee. Authors have contributed to these anthologies for publishing credits, which has always been the incentive.

    The problem now is that most print publishers have released back listed anthologies as e-books and the authors of these past anthologies never knew they’d wind up as e-books. It’s all legal, according to the way the contracts were worded. But the contributing authors will never see a dime in e-book royalties.

    There are, however, many e-publishers offering flat fees and royalties to authors who contribute to anthologies, which is, in fact, an incentive.

    The one important thing any author should know when contributing to any traditional print publisher for an anthology is do not sign an exclusive. Always be sure it’s “non-exclusive.” This way the author can re-release his or her own short story as an e-book, either on their own or with an e-publisher, at a later date and they can receive their own royalties.

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  61. No Royalties For Contribution
    Apr 08, 2011 @ 10:36:36

    “I believe the editor pays the authors' directly from her own pocket upfront, then hopefully recoups her investment from the royalties, but of course, there's no way of knowing in advance if she will cover her costs.”

    I don’t know what Running Press does, but I’ve been in more anthologies than I can count and no traditional print publisher or editor has ever paid me up front. I’ve been paid ninety days after publication, and usually by the publishers, not the editors. And, in the cases where the editor has been responsible for writing the checks, I’ve yet to see money from some of them. It is what it is. No author wants to complain for fear he or she will not be accepted in another anthology down the line. (hence, why we need agents.)

    Again, these antholiges are simply for publishing credits, and they rarely make anyone money. It’s a system that has worked for the author with regard to exposure. But now with e-books and readers getting into buying individual short stories instead of full anthologies, I’m hearing a lot of publishers and editors are practically begging for authors to contribute. (Of course, they don’t want to pay, though.) Against my own instincts, I even contributed to something recently when an editor e-mailed me asking for something fast. But I only did it for the sake of my friendship with the editor, not because I felt good about doing it.

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  62. Links of interest: April 8th, 2011 « A Modern Hypatia
    Apr 08, 2011 @ 19:04:46

    [...] That part? Really not cool. Good thing there’s a ‘Net with more information, really.  Dear Author has a post about this, including a link to the essay and additional [...]

  63. Tasha
    Apr 11, 2011 @ 15:05:26

    Multiple people saying the Wicked Pretty Things anthology is officially canceled.

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