Monday News: RIP Tony Karayianni, Izzy, taxing coloring books, and women in film
A TRIBUTE TO TONY KARAYIANNI: 1952 – 2016 – If you are familiar with longtime Harlequin author Tori Carrington, you probably know that the name actually refers to husband and wife writing team Lori and Tony Karayianni. Tony’s death at only 64 does not seem to be widely reported yet, but I found lovely this short tribute from RT’s Pat Rouse. A comprehensive list of the Tori Carrington books can be found here – they are especially well known for their Blaze titles.
Tony immigrated from Greece to the United States in 1976 and began writing with Lori, who hailed from Toledo, Ohio, in 1984. I first met them in the mid-1990s, before they were published, at a writer’s conference in Ohio. After visiting with this dynamic writing duo, based on their dedication to their craft and charming personalities, I knew they’d be published in the near future. Within a couple of years, I was thrilled to hear they had gotten “the call” from Harlequin/Silhouette. Their first category romance, Constant Craving, was published in 1998. Thus began their prolific writing career. Together they wrote more than 50 books, working mainly with their long-time editor, Brenda Chin, writing Blazes, Temptations and Special Editions. – RT Book Reviews
Imzy is a community where people pay each other for being nice – Imzy is a new community platform that seems like a cross between Facebook and Patreon, created by a number of former Reddit employees who are attempting to curate the communities they host by inviting a diversity of participants (including Black Girls Talking and Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter), encouraging “tipping,” and promoting positive community ethics and behavior. It’s an interesting idea, but I’m curious to see how much it takes to keep the mood positive and constructive.
But as McComas admits, creating good policies around community and diversity don’t really rake in the dough. That’s why the backbone of Imzy is going to be their tipping and payment system. Currently the beta allows users to tip moderators and other community members, but in the long term the idea would be for each community to figure out how it wants to use its payment system. Comedian Dan Harmon, creator of the cult hit Community, has an Imzy group called Harmontown where members can pay $5 to listen in while Harmon tapes his weekly podcast. In the future, McComas says, Imzy will get a cut of those kinds of payments. Over the longer term, with Imzy providing a variety of tools for buying and selling, groups might form around selling clothing, games, or art. Imagine joining a group devoted to homebrew telescopes, and meeting people there who would sell you their latest kits, to your exact specifications. For Imzy, that’s the goal. – Ars Technica
HMRC plans VAT raid on coloring books – The popularity of adult coloring books has apparently spurred UK Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to claim that publishers and retailers now owe millions of pounds in unpaid/back taxes (VAT, or value-added tax) on these items. There is a provision that coloring books do not constitute “book” for the purposes of the VAT, but HMRC appear to be leaning toward excepting adult coloring books from that exclusion. As you can imaging, this is not making publishers and retailers happy:
Another publisher, who did not want to be named, said: “Publishers are deeply concerned about the lack of clarity coming from HMRC on this. This feels like a grab for cash after that sector of the book market has done so well recently and at the very least, its thinking is based on an ambiguous law.”
Meanwhile, Laurence King, m.d and founder of Laurence King Publishing (LKP), said: “I strongly support the position of the PA that all colouring books should be classified as books, not stationery, and therefore not subject to VAT. Many people just buy them for their beauty without thinking of colouring them in, much as they buy coffee table books. Further, it seems illogical that, for example, crossword puzzle books and Sudoku should be VAT exempt but adult colouring books are not.” – The Bookseller
‘Money Monster’ Proves Male-Led ‘Movies Can Do Right By Female Characters, Too – A DA reader submitted this piece on the way women are featured in Jodie Foster’s new “Money Monster,” which features two male lead characters but also has a broad range of complex female characters. Rachel Simon argues that movies like this are important because they confirm that men are not the center of the movie universe, while acknowledging that the trend of female-directed, male-led film are not precisely ideal:
By doing this, Money Monster makes it clear that no movie, even one with male leads, can excuse its lack of women by saying that including many of them wouldn’t be realistic, or that it would detract from the story. The film’s inclusion of women doesn’t take away from its two lead characters; if anything, it adds to the movie’s effectiveness by not making you distracted by thoughts of “wait, where are the women in this movie version of world?” Foster’s film proves that it’s actually quite easy to make female characters a big part of a male-driven story; directors just have to take the initiative to do it. – Bustle