Friday, May 24, 2013
Sex Slaves Want Resignation; Benjamin Leroy on Queries; Women who Love Gay Fiction
Sex Slaves Want Resignation
This is something I never knew. Thousands of women were forced into prostitution during WWII in Japan. And now it seems two former Korean sex slaves in their 80's want the resignation of Mayor Toru Hashimoto because he actually tried to justify this act of sex slavery and prostitution.
The women, who did not appear in public, said in a statement they were heartbroken by Hashimoto's "outrageous comments" and didn't want to be seen contributing to a less-than-sincere apology.
Instead, they demanded that Hashimoto, 43, apologize and resign as mayor of Japan's second-biggest city.
It's a fascinating, heartbreaking piece from the sex slave angle in itself, but when you read about how someone actually insulted these women and tried to justify these actions of the past it will blow your mind. I have always been a proponent of legalized prostitution. I actually do believe we all have the right to do what we want with our own bodies, men and women. However, there is a huge difference between forced prostitution and legal prostitution. One is a choice. The other is taking away a fundamental choice that leaves the kind of emotional scars that never go away.
I hope he does resign.
Benjamin Leroy on Queries
If you haven't experienced the fresh hells of querying a literary agent, I suggest you read this post. I don't want to turn this into a negative thing. I truly don't. There are excellent agents out there who handle the query process with professionalism, and they never insult you or treat you like an inferior. I've had both good experiences and bad with queries (mostly good). And I am very pro-agent.
For a long time the query letter was the only lifeline between authors and publishers. If you didn't have an agent the odds were your books would never be pubbed. Although it's still like this to a certain extent with large publishers, there are many new authors out there, both pubbed and un-pubbed, who have been paving the way in indie publishing for other authors. I even include the recent announcement from Amazon with Kindle Worlds here. Fanfic authors deserve credit, too, because they are constantly building readership in spite of the obstacles.
In any event, learning how to actually work the query process is a good thing for authors. You learn how to write tight book descriptions and you learn how to handle rejection as well. But while I think it's a good idea to query widely and to research agents, I also think it's a good idea to query and explore all your options as an author nowadays. And you do have other options besides querying.
Benjamin Leroy has a list of the top things you shouldn't do when querying an agent. Some are good, others annoy me. This is one that I find a little tired now. But it's not the worst thing I've ever seen.
Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Don’t tell me your book is a “guaranteed bestseller” because nobody knows that kind of thing and if you’re delusional about that, you’re going to be delusional about a bunch of things and I’m too old to deal with that.
A lot of new authors tend to do this...make promises like the one above. They don't mean any harm. They are nice people hoping for the best. I've had more than one calls for submission for anthologies of my own and I've worked with a lot of new authors. I tend to enjoy their innocence. I like meeting them and I don't think they are delusional. But this is also where new authors have to be careful. There are vipers out there who don't have the time or patience for newbies. Try not to be too innocent. You don't get points for that from everyone. So this is good advice from Leroy...it's excellent advice. But it's good in the sense that it proves how insulting the query experience can be sometimes and how careful you have to be while querying.
There's a simple reason why a scorpion will always sting: it's in their nature.
Women Who Love Gay Fiction
I've had excellent responses to the calls for submission that I released in January for my upcoming anthology, The Women Who Love to Love Gay Fiction. Yesterday I replied to everyone who submitted and I told some of them their stories will be included in the anthology.
This is going to be different than most anthologies in many ways. And not just because of the theme. The authors who will be included have given me a wide range of stories that cover all kinds of territory I found fascinating. And one author submitted three short stories in an almost short story trilogy fashion. At first I thought I would only take on one of the stories. But once I started reading them I wanted to find out what happened to the characters, and I decided to publish them all back to back.
I'll post more about this with excerpts in the coming weeks. I haven't set an exact release date yet, but I will do that very soon. I originally thought it would be August, but things are moving along so well it might even be sooner.
On another note, here's a great link to the Alumni Association of Princeton University that will lead you to a video about Gay Marriage.
During the Every Voice conference for Princeton's LGBT and ally alumni, Hayley Gorenberg '87, Deputy Legal Director for Lambda Legal, discusses the strides made in the marriage equality movement and what needs to be done in other realms such as the trans-rights movement and HIV-AIDS rights.