Friday, August 23, 2013

Where I Totally Stick my Foot in It

If you haven't heard about Woven, you will. It's the book in the middle of the whole kerfuffle (yes, I seriously just used "kerfuffle) in the publishing world this week.

Here is the LINK to Woven's Facebook page, which has all the links to the articles and stories about what's going on--just in case you haven't heard. I encourage you to read about it so you are informed before continuing through my post.

All caught up? Great. Outraged, probably.

I found out about this yesterday and though I don't know Michael Jensen and David Powers King directly (I'm friends with David on Facebook) I feel involved. First, I'm a writer. Second, the publisher in question published my first novel in 2010. And third, if you haven't figured this out already, I'm a Mormon.

I was furious, sick, frustrated, and angry when I found out what happened. Jeff Savage, another writer friend who publishes kids' books under the name J Scott Savage, said this on Facebook: There are so many thing I find upsetting about this. But possibly the biggest issue I have is that Cedar Fort is trying to lay the blame on anyone but themselves. DB won't carry a book by a gay author? Considering the fact that DB already carries books by gay authors, that is patently false. People will be offended and not read it, because one of the authors is gay? When was the last time you decided whether or not to read a book based on an author's sexual orientation? And if a small number of people are offended, that's their problem. People are offended by almost anything these days.

Bottom line is that the publisher was dishonest, cowardly, and just plain wrong. This is the time when they need to rethink their decision and issue an apology.

He pretty much said it best. And while I'm outraged that this whole thing happened in the first place, I'm confident David and Michael will find a much better publisher for Woven because of this mess and go on to sell many, many copies. Heck, I may even buy 10 and give them to anyone and everyone I can think of. I wish them all the best and can't wait to see them succeed.

What truly bothers me about the whole kerfuffle (I said it again) is this: One person who happens to own a business and is Mormon made a mistake and suddenly it's open season on Mormons and Utah in general. I've read many of the articles and blog posts about CF's decision and also the comments, and they verge from mildly irritating to downright ugly. 

So I'm asking. Please. Don't make this about Mormons. Because that's not what the issue really is here. And I know that because I'm Mormon, and I don't hate Michael because he's gay--I don't hate him at all. And I admire David for wanting fair treatment in the author bio for his co-author, and for sticking by Michael through the whole thing. Incidentally, David is Mormon. So are several dozen authors who are mutual friends on Facebook and abhor how David and Michael were treated. They are supporting these authors, as we all should, because what was done to them was wrong. And, most of all, it is not indicative of how all Mormons feel. Or even most Mormons. Or, honestly, ANY Mormons that I know.

Christ taught us to love all men. We don't have to do business with them, but we should love them.

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