A case of foot-in-mouth, or legitimate remarks?


Well, it seems there’s a new bit of writer gossip floating on the breeze. (When isn’t there something?) Or is it roaring through the atmosphere? Either way, there’s a buzz. It seems popular author Anne Stuart said something in an interview at All About Romance about MIRA not supporting her work…here’s the matter in question excerpted from the interview:

You’ve had a long publishing history w/a lot of publishers. At one time I thought your best books were your Avon historicals, but I think your recent MIRA books have been really good. Talk as openly as you can about the various publishers and how you feel about your current contract.

Oh, crap. I’m always honest, you know. I’ve had trouble with publishers all along. I probably shouldn’t have left Avon — they were for sale at the time I left and they didn’t seem to have a business plan, so I foolishly thought I could do better. That was right before they started doing everything right. Zebra didn’t know what to do with me. At the time I was with them they seemed to have lost the ability to sell historical romance — all their successes were with suspense. They overpaid me and then let the books disappear. Which devastated me, but at least I learned that going for the money is not always a Good Thing.

I don’t know what the problem was with Signet. I wrote four really really good books for them, and they started out very enthusiastic, but that enthusiasm waned over the years. Those are the sort of things that break a writer’s heart.

So now I’m with Mira, who promised to love, honor and adore me. And maybe they do, but they could do more. I know every writer says that, and I hate to be greedy and ungrateful, but they’re not so much about the books. They’re about slots and numbers, not about passion for what they’re putting out there. Or so it seems to me. But then, right now I’m pretty disillusioned about the lack of support from them. I’ll get over it. Maybe they’re right and I’m wrong and I’m a middle of the road writer.

No, they’re wrong. I’m a goddess.

And maybe I’ve misjudged them. It seems to me that they look at my books like boxes of cereal on a shelf, and they’re in the business of selling cereal, not loving it.

Rats. You had to ask me that question! Some day I’ll learn to be discreet.

(Read the entire interview here.)

Anyway, Miss Snark took her to task (even awarding Ms. Stuart the vaulted Nitwit of the Day moniker) about it in a post on her blog, mentioning in so many words that it’s bad form to publicly trash your publisher.

Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Novels rallied in support of Anne.

GalleyCat even got in on the act. Twice.

Jennifer Crusie put a fine tune on it on her blog.

And Lynn Kerstan at Story Broads said it very well here.

According to M.J. Rose, Isabel Swift, a VP at Harlequin, MIRA’s parent company, had this to say: Isabel Swift’s response

Who knows how many others have expressed their opinion. What’s yours?

(Ironically, on Monday, Anne announced in her blog that she’d just made the NYT Bestseller List for the first time. Way to go, Anne! )

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3 Comments on “A case of foot-in-mouth, or legitimate remarks?”

  1. Haven Rich says:

    Hey April,

    I read this blog the other day and it’s very interesting to say the least. But that’s not why I’m posting. I’m curious if you have a link for your profile, as I changed your addy to your journal but not the profile. Let me know if there is another spot you want me to direct the link. Chat with you laters.

  2. Gabrielle says:

    You know, normally I’d say “Don’t bite the hand…” but if anyone’s built up respect then it’s Sister Krissie and I appreciate her telling me about her journey so I can learn during mine.

  3. Gabrielle says:

    Actually, I take it back. I say “DO bite the hand if they’re not feeding you well.” I’m glad Krissie had the courage to say what she thought.


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