Color me surprised…or not

It turns out that a m/m author who has long used a masculine name turns out to be a white, cis, heterosexual woman.

On one hand, it’s been made abundantly clear — in mainstream publishing — that using a masculine name will get an author vastly more attention from publishers and editors.  So a pseudonym, eh, whatever.

On the other hand, this author assumed the persona of a gay man in her social media, which is more than just using a pen name.  I’d have to hunt for it, but I’m pretty sure there are posts or comments at various venues online (perhaps gone now but for The Way Back Machine?) in which the author writes about her partner and the impact of legalizing gay marriage, etc.  This author has long been pointed to by other m/m authors and readers as a successful gay man in the m/m industry, which is largely written by and for straight women.  The author never corrected those assertions and profited from them even as LGBT readers/writers voiced frustration with appropriation by non-LGBT authors.

Basically, this boils down to disclosure for me.

If I had hard copies of any of her books, I’d be tossing them right now.  As it is, I’ll be deleting files from my laptop and Kindle, which doesn’t really give the same feeling of satisfaction.

Disclosure:  I liked the Adrien English series, but other work by this writer has been hit or miss for me, and I stopped buying her work because I thought her pricing was ridiculous.  I refuse to pay $3.99 for a 20 page story.  Beyond that, I read very little m/m any longer for a variety of reasons that I’m not sure I could articulate coherently.  So this isn’t a reader flouncing off in a huff; it’s an observer who is just grossly offended by the lack of respect an author showed for her readers and others, first in her behavior FOR YEARS and second in the way she blows people off in her “coming out” post.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Color me surprised…or not

  1. Everything in your post x1000.

    I think half a dozen of the books are very good (AE 4, Fair Game, Snowball In Hell, Yellow Sands, certainly). But the recent ones have had major problems, in my opinion, even when they show the trademark strengths.

    There were so many ways to handle this reveal gracefully. None of those ways was employed. Instead, the blog post was mocking to those who didn’t pick up the hints, or weren’t in the charmed circles to already know, and it shifted the burden to people who hadn’t somehow figured the Big Secret out already. I really expected JL to take at least *some* responsibility for the last few years, but clearly I was mistaken.

    I have read Lanyon’s GR group pretty regularly, and the animosity toward readers, reviewers, and others (basically anyone who isn’t a SuperFan) has grown over the last year or two. This was the icing on the cake for me.

    • The more I think about Lanyon, the crankier it makes me. I mean, doesn’t she have a book on how to write m/m with the subtext being “hey, gay man here telling you ladywriters how to make sure your gay sex scenes work”?

      I don’t visit GR, so I’ve missed out on the animosity there, but there have been a few posts by Lanyon that popped up in my news feed over the last couple of years that struck me as pretty hostile and dismissive to basically everyone who wasn’t part of some inner circle.

  2. I haven’t bothered reading JL books for a few years now, since stumbling into this knowledge myself. The ever-increasing vitriol that Sunita mentioned further cemented my resolve.

    Interesting post from Marshall Thornton on the situation:
    https://marshallthornton.wordpress.com/2015/09/20/branding-or-catfishing/
    (I’ve met Marshall Thornton, which gives his words a bit more weight. For me.)

    • Oh, that is a fantastic post. I RT’d it on Twitter. My account is private, so it will only go to my tiny follower list, but I really hope it gets more exposure, because he addresses so many of the important issues and *nails* them.

    • In retrospect, the knowledge sours my remembered enjoyment of some of her books.

      Thanks for the link, that’s a really thoughtful take on the situation.

      • You’re very welcome – I appreciated getting what someone I knew to be an actual gay male author thought about the situation, y’know?!

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