January 7, 2011: What I'm up to: Sorry about the lack of updates! I'm going to try to do better, but every time I come here I'm struck again by how much this site needs an update, and haven't had (made) the time for that yet. Right now I'm trying to finish American Ajax, in which an English gentleman gets hired to polish the manners of an American trapper. More on that soon...honest!
April 23, 2010: HELPLESS is shipping! January, April...fairly close, right? Got my author's copies today--after all the plotting, researching, drafting, rewriting, editing, proofreading, and everything else that goes into producing a book, holding the finished product in your hand is pretty cool. Amazon doesn't seem to have it in stock yet, but I'm guessing they should within a few days. This is what a big box o' HELPLESS looks like:
November 3, 2009: Talked to Ken at Seventh Window last night--Helpless should be out in January. Also got a really nice review for the e-book version of Price on a blog called Rain on the Roof--thanks, Sarah!
This site really needs a new look...
May 13, 2009: Book news! I just sent the edits for my new book to Ken at Seventh Window. It's called Helpless, and is a bit different from my first two romances. It's darker, more suspenseful, and is set in late Victorian times instead of the Regency. More about it later...
On a more personal note...Wow, it's been a while, hasn't it? I apologize to everyone for essentially dropping out. It happens sometimes: the writing doesn't come, concentration frays, confidence fails, and in the end I just needed to hibernate for a time to get back on track. I know I was spotty about replying to emails, so if anyone wants to try again, contact me at this account instead: marlysjp [at] hotmail.com. I'll try harder in the future, I promise.
March 11, 2008: New book news coming soon! Just waiting on the contract for it to be official...
Also: the answer to the age-old question How can I take that book on the bus? Click here!
Now available: Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology. Edited by Colin Galbraith, this collection is dedicated to the memory of Roy Abrahams, who founded the online writing group Ars Concordia. Roy's death last year saddened us, and inspired Colin to organize this tribute. Click the banner to download Full Circle for free, or order it in print for about $12 (that's cost--no profits are being made from the volume).
My contribution is a short story called "Learning to Cheat," in which a young girl wrestles with the notion that sometimes, in order to do the right thing, you have to do the wrong thing.
October 5, 2007: GLBT Author Showcase On Tuesday, October 9th I'll be appearing at IUPUI's GLBT Author Showcase, along with Becky Thacker, Nick Poff, Chi Sherman, and Ellen Tevault. We'll each be reading excerpts from our work and discussing our writing. The event is Tuesday evening from 6:00 to 7:30, in Room 115 in the University College building at IUPUI. Free and open to all. I'm psyched to meet other local authors--this should be a blast, so please come if you can!
August 6, 2007: On the cover The Bottom Line in Palm Springs is featuring Discreet Young Gentleman the cover of its Books Gone Wild! summer reading issue. There's a nice write up inside--check it out here.
July 3, 2007: Back in school again! Ken at Seventh Window informs me that Discreet Young Gentleman has been chosen for use in a course at Saginaw Valley State University--ENG 202: Thematic Approaches to Literature. Now there's a class I'd like to sit in on...
Coincidentally, this means both of my books have been used as texts in college courses--The Price of Temptation was included in a Spring 2006 course on Romance Fiction at California State University-Sacramento.
March 18, 2007: New short story up, 2nd printings, and apologies for the lack of updates Lyrica: A Webzine of Romantic Fiction has published my short story "The Beacon" in their March issue. This is a story I wrote last November at my RWA chapter's retreat.
I hear from Ken at Seventh Window that both The Price of Temptation and Discreet Young Gentleman are going into second printings. I knew PoT was about due for a reprint, but it's been out for 18 months. DYG was a complete (and welcome) shock, since it came out less than 5 months ago.
Yes, I have been remiss in updates...and yes, it's because I'm hard at work on the next book. I know I owe a bunch of you emails and/or MySpace messages, and promise to try to catch up soon!
January 11, 2007: Vote! The Preditors & Editors Readers' Poll, for works published in 2006, is up and functional--because of a glitch that kept the system from working for a week or so, they'll accept votes through the end of January. At the moment, I'm up in two categories: Discreet Young Gentleman for Romance Novel, and "Of Cabbages and King" for Horror Short Story. I'd appreciate your support! There are plenty of other cool categories in which to vote, so browse around and honor the work you enjoyed last year.
January 4, 2007: Autographed copies of The Price of Temptation Seventh Window has a handful of non-personalized autographed copies of my first book available on their website. $12.95, free shipping, U.S. sales only. If they sell out (or you already have a copy of Price), you can always request a free signed bookplate here.
January 2, 2007: More charts Discreet Young Gentleman is having a good day today on Amazon's international gay romance charts: #1 in the U.S., #3 in the U.K., #4 in France (with Price at #5), #5 in Japan, and #11 in Canada. As the rankings change hourly, I'm used to seeing my books bounce up and down, but I don't remember catching a moment when one of them has been top 5 in 4 markets at once. Over at A Different Light, Price is still #1, and DYG #6.
If you want to check the current lists, here they are:
December 31, 2006: Happy New Year! Just a few odds and ends of news here: Discreet Young Gentleman had a terrific sales month at Amazon.com, and is currently in the top 20 gay & lesbian books sold at that site. It's also pulled sales of The Price of Temptation up, as new readers who've enjoyed DYG are discovering it--at this moment, Price is the #1 seller at A Different Light, with DYG at #3. We've had some nice 5-star reader reviews sprinkled around the net as well.
What a wonderful way to end the year!
December 11, 2006: Interview up at Blogcritics Read it here.
Chart action: According to their current newsletter, Discreet Young Gentleman is now the #2 best seller at Giovanni's Room in Philadelphia.
December 6, 2006: Signing in Indianapolis this Saturday If you're in the area, I'll be signing at Out Word Bound on Saturday, December 9 at 2 pm. The store is located at 625 N. East St., or just about where East St., North St., and Massachusetts Ave. come together (map here). I'd love to see you there!
For a full report on the L.A. signing last Sunday--with pictures--see my blog (although I'll probably repost a few here shortly).
Chart action: Today, DYG was #1 in English-language gay romance on Amazon's Japan site. And it's still #1 at A Different Light.
November 24, 2006: Signed copies of Discreet Young Gentleman available for preorder at A Different Light And at the moment it's their #2 best seller! I'll be at ADL on Sunday, December 3 at 7 p.m., so the copies will ship after that--just in time for Christmas. Of course, if you live in the L.A. area, just stop by the store and get me to personalize it for you. The store is located at 8853 Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood. Hope to see you there!
November 13, 2006: Backstory What was my inspiration for Discreet Young Gentleman? Check out the story behind the story at M.J. Rose and Jessica Keener's site Backstory. Warning: there is a bit of a spoiler revealed! While I don't think it will interfere with your enjoyment of the story, those of you who prefer to read a book cold should probably refrain from clicking through.
Also: today DYG was #2 on Amazon's gay romance chart!
October 28, 2006: DYG hitting distributors Ken at Seventh Window tells me that ASP Wholesale received their copies of Discreet Young Gentleman yesterday. So the book should be trickling into their stores soon.
October 26, 2006: We're #3! Discreet Young Gentleman isn't even out yet, but we've already hit #3 on Amazon.com's gay romance list! And #12 in overall gay/lesbian fiction. Thanks to everyone who is preordering! I hope you love this book as much as I do.
October 25, 2006: Hey, Cool! So, I have a book coming out, like, any day now, and what do I get mention for in a national magazine? That's right, an article on Barbie I co-wrote for The International Journal of Historical Archaeology back in 1999.
Still, it was pretty nifty to be sitting in a coffee shop, waiting while my guys got their hair cut at the Aveda next door, and come across this in the October issue of Allure:
Oh, come on, look a little closer:
Chuck Orser at IJHA says "Domesticating Barbie" is their 2nd most downloaded article.
September 24, 2006: Thank you, RWA! About two months ago, I wrote about a Letter to the Editor in the August Romance Writers Report, in which the author called for the Romance Writers of America to restrict the definition of romance to relationships between one man and one woman--or (and I'm not kidding), the RWA was headed down a "slippery slope" that would end up with the organization overrun by pedophiles. She also seemed to think that her views reflected the majority of the RWA.
The October issue of the RWR is now out, and the responses to her letter are unanimously against her view. Not only does it include a special notice from the Board of Directors reminding us that they'd already decided, over a year ago, that "any definition of romance should be broad and inclusive," there are eleven letters to the editor (including mine) in favor of keeping the definition just where it is, thank you. I've excerpted some of them in my blog over on MySpace, but want to take the opportunity to thank the authors here.
So, big thanks to:
Ruth Ryan Langan, Nora Roberts, Patricia Gaffney, Carolyn Louaillier, Yvonne Yirka, Jennifer Colgan, Jenny Crusie, Mary Kay McComas, Elaine Fox, and Mary Blayney.
August 21, 2006: L.A. readers, clear your calendars... I'm coming to town. I'll be at A Different Light Bookstore in West Hollywood on Sunday, December 3, 2006 at 7 p.m. to meet people and sign books. Please drop by! The bookstore is located at 8853 Santa Monica Boulevard.
August 20, 2006: Fundraiser update: EJ's car is coming home! Thanks to everyone who donated stories and auctioned off services, EJ Knapp has raised enough money to get his car back from the Powers That Be. Big hugs to everyone who participated!
August 7, 2006: Discreet Young Gentleman available for preorder to U.S. readers* Seventh Window Publications is offering preorders of Discreet Young Gentleman for 25% off the cover price--that's just $10.46--with free shipping within the United States. It's a great deal, and will only be available until the book comes out (currently scheduled release date is October 31). Order now and save!
*International readers, check back--with luck, the site will be set up to handle foreign orders soon. Shipping costs to other countries will vary by destination.
August 3, 2006: Help a writer in need! Disabled writer EJ Knapp has had a bad year, culminating in the recent loss of his car. EJ needs that car--for groceries, doctor appointments, therapy visits, etc. A bunch of writers are pitching in stories and poems for EJ's 1500 Story Sales - 20 Days effort. Each story or poem (25 now available, with more on their way) is available for your reading pleasure, for a requested PayPal donation of $2 each. If EJ makes 1500 sales, he has the money to get his car back. It's as simple as that.
Can you help?
July 28, 2006: Here we go again. The "Definition of Romance" brouhaha refuses to die. The latest issue of the RWA's Romance Writers Report contains a letter to the editor protesting that people who believe in other than "one-man, one-woman" romance belong to "fringe groups trying to impose their standards on the rest of us." The author apparently doesn't recognize herself in that phrase. Full text of the letter, and some investigations into its author here (note: for some reason, I can't link directly to the blog, so go to the main page and click on the blog link).
July 12, 2006: DYG has a Great Beginning Or so say the lovely people at the Utah chapter of the Romance Writers of America, who have awarded an excerpt from Discreet Young Gentleman first place in the Published Authors category of their Great Beginnings Contest! I'm truly thrilled, and want to thank the judges for their nice comments.
July 5, 2006: Wanna be my friend? Yes, I now have a MySpace page, complete with a blog that I expect to update weekly. It's an easy way to keep up--add me as your friend, and get bulletin updates at MySpace automatically when I have news to share.
June 19, 2006: Want an autographed bookplate? If you're in the U.S., for the price of a stamped, self-addressed envelope, it's yours! International readers will have to strike a different deal. Full details here.
In other news, we're well into revisions on Discreet Young Gentleman, so don't be surprised if updates are scanty for the next few weeks.
June 8, 2006: Discreet Young Gentleman on the way Seventh Window Publications, publisher of The Price of Temptation, has picked up my new book for a Fall 2006 release. We've already begun revisions, and it looks like we're on track to get it out in October or November. In the meantime, here's a brief description:
And yes, folks, it looks like artist Sean Platter will be back to do the cover!
May 29, 2006: Thanks, Stef! Here's a picture from my book signing at Lambda Rising last week, courtesy of my niece (see yellow-gowned vixen below). The staff at LR were terrific, nice people, even if Marcus was rather surprised that I turned out to be female. For some reason, I get that a lot...
May 22, 2006 RWA Great Beginnings Finalist! I just learned that the first chapter of Discreet Young Gentleman has reached the finals of the Great Beginnings contest, sponsored by the Utah chapter of the Romance Writers of America. Winners will be announced on July 8th--wish me luck! Correction: the contest is for the first three pages of a manuscript, not the whole first chapter. But the whole chapter is at the link.
May 21, 2006: Lammies Report And the 2005 Lambda Award for Romance goes to...Radclyffe.
Oh, well. I had a great time anyway. We got dressed up (that's my niece Stef in yellow on the right--ain't she gorgeous?) and took the Metro to Farragut North, then hoofed our way to the Human Rights Campaign building, where the awards ceremony was held. [Note to self: high heels are not a great idea in the Metro, especially when escalators are not working.]
Before the ceremony, there was a reception with buffet and open bar, so I had a glass of wine to calm my nerves and nibbled on some cheese and grilled chicken.
Finally got to meet my publisher, Ken Harrison of Seventh Window, who is a real sweetie. I'm sure it can be overwhelming to meet five Pearsons at once, but he held his own, and we swapped cat stories and snapped pictures until the ceremony began.
Katherine V. Forrest, three-time Lammy winner (twice for mysteries, one Pioneer Award) and President of the Lambda Foundation Board of Trustees, opened the ceremony, followed by some remarks from Executive Director Charles Flowers. About this point I looked up and saw that Alison Bechdel was standing thisclose to me. I've been a fan of her Dykes to Watch Out For since college, and even used one of her cartoons to make a point about assumptions when I was a teaching assistant at UMass.
The awards ceremony went quickly, finishing well ahead of schedule. Some of the presenters included my fellow Romance category nominees Karin Kallmaker and Radclyffe, plus John Scognamiglio (editor at Kensington, who gave me one of the nicest rejections I received). "Most entertaining" has to go to the team of Greg Herren & Kathleen DeBold, who presented the Romance, Sci Fi/Fantasy/Horror and Erotica awards. Herren in particular had fun with the latter category, but some of the material was too good to pass up (including nominee Rode Hard, Put Away Wet: Lesbian Cowboy Erotica, not to mention an editor named Seaman). Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank received a special Bridge Builder Award, but due to congressional commitments couldn't accept it in person.
Afterwards, there were brownies and luscious chocolate-dipped strawberries, then we went back to the Sheraton to drink and play cards. Big thanks to my mom, brother Erich, sister Tracey, niece Stefanie, and publisher Ken for showing up to support me--y'all are great, and it was fun. Here's hoping we get to do it again someday!
Special thanks to Ken Harrison for the pictures--more will be posted as they arrive.
May 17, 2006: The Lambda Awards are tomorrow night! It's an incredible honor just to make the finals, of course, but that doesn't mean I'd be indifferent to a win... Several family members are coming, along with my wonderful publisher, so win or lose it will be one heck of a night. I promise--I'll post a full report this weekend.
And, if you're in or near D.C., drop by Lambda Rising this Saturday (May 20), where I'll be signing from 11 a.m. to noon. The store is right across the street from the Dupont Circle Metro Station.
Also, check out my short story "Of Cabbages and King," now up at The Harrow.
April 26, 2006: Check this out! I just got a pdf copy of Futures--this is their illustration for "The Civilian":
How cool! I've never had a short story illustrated before. See the below entry if you're interested in getting a copy.
April 21, 2006: Short story update The May-June issue of Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine, which includes my suspense short story "The Civilian," is available for preorder in both print and downloadable pdf versions here.
Also, online literary horror journal The Harrow has decided to move "Of Cabbages and King" into their May issue (it had been tentatively scheduled for June). I'll post the link when it's up.
April 10, 2006: Signing in D.C. next month While in town for the Lambda Awards, I'll be signing books at Lambda Rising in Dupont Circle (right across from the Dupont Circle Metro stop). The signing will be from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 20.
March 31, 2006: New print review Bay Windows, New England's largest GLBT newspaper, calls Price "a lighthearted and fun guilty-pleasure type read following Stephen, the earl with an overly active libido, who has eyes and lips for both Jamie (his employee) and Julian (his current lover). Donít worry. Like all great romances, the boy gets the boy in the end." Read the whole review here.
March 3, 2006: Lambda Finalist! March 3, 2006, New York, NY- The Lambda Literary Foundation announced the finalists for the 18th Annual Lambda Literary Awards, celebrating achievements in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) literature for books published in 2005...
It's an incredible honor to have my first book named as a finalist for this award! I'll link the Lambda Literary site once they have the whole list posted. In the meantime, you can find the full list of finalists here. The award ceremony will be in Washington, D.C. on May 18th--wish me luck!
Update: The Lambda Literary Foundation has posted the announcement on their site here. Just in case anyone thought I was making it up...
February 23, 2006: Bounce! I spoke too soon...one day after dropping off ADL's Top Sellers list, Price hopped back onto it, and is once again at the #2 spot. Still skating along on DYG, but Thursdays are always a slow writing day, since Project Runway keeps me up so late on Wednesday nights.
February 21, 2006: Almost done... I'm happy to report that I'm just a few chapters shy of finishing the first draft of Discreet Young Gentleman. Today, I wrote the most romantic scene I've ever produced...yes, ever. I am so looking forward to completing this book and polishing it up, because I absolutely adore it. Which is key, because if I don't, how will you?
Other news: Price once again made it to #2 on ADL's Top Sellers before dropping off. And there's a new 4-star review on Amazon!
February 16, 2006: A Different Light best seller...again! Back around Halloween, Price made it as high as #2 on ADL's Top Sellers list. Now that they've featured the book in their email newsletter, it's back up!
Also: another short story acceptance arrived this morning. My elderly-lesbian-vs.-zombie story, "Of Cabbages and King," will appear in the June, 2006 issue of The Harrow, an online literary journal of fantasy and horror.
February 5, 2006: Another 5-Star Review That makes 2 this month! Just about the perfect slash historical romance. Definitely recommended, says Sandy on Amazon. Read what she has to say, and other reader reviews here.
Many thanks to everyone who's recommended Price!
February 3, 2006: The Brokeback Effect? Okay, what's going on? The book has been out since the end of September, and we expected sales to peak around Christmas. January was pretty good, but that's the month people use up their gift cards. So, here it is February. And sales of Price have been better than ever. Higher at Barnes & Noble than they've been for weeks. Disappearing steadily from the Ingram warehouse. Amazon rankings in the teen-thousands almost every day for the past two weeks (even breaking the 10,000 mark at least three times lately). In fact, it's been consistently one of the top 3 sellers at Amazon in Gay Erotic and Gay Romance, and at the moment I'm writing this, is their #17 Gay & Lesbian Top Seller (even more impressive when you consider that three of the spots above are filled by different versions of Brokeback Mountain).
Which brings me to my theory. People are getting their hearts broken by Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist, the thwarted lovers in Brokeback Mountain. They walk out of the theater, wiping their faces, thinking, if only...
Then they go to Amazon.com and look for a gay love story with a happy ending.
If you have a better theory, drop me an email. I'd love to hear it!
February 1, 2006: Another Five-Star Review A reader in Paris calls Price "Close to perfection" on Amazon.com! Read the review here.
I have to say, that there is nothing better, as an author, than discovering that people really like my work. A huge thank you to everyone who has posted a review, mentioned my book in a blog, or taken the time to drop me an email. It always, always makes my day.
January 16, 2006: More short story news FUTURES Mystery Anthology Magazine has accepted my story "The Civilian" for an upcoming issue, calling it "a well-written piece that smacks of the bizarre and the sensational." I'll post publication date when I know it. In the meantime, check out FMAM here.
January 15, 2006: "Age Difference" makes Wild Child's Best of 2005 Wild Child Publishing has devoted their January issue to their best stories and articles of last year--and "Age Difference," which originally appeared in March, made the cut. It's an honor to be chosen--thanks, editors! Check out the whole issue here (lots of good stuff).
Also: Today is the last day to vote at the Preditors & Editors Readers' Poll, so if you've been meaning to go over and honor the best books you've read that were published in 2005, now's the time to do it.
January 9, 2006: Time to vote! The Preditors & Editors Readers' Poll is up, honoring both print and electronic books published in 2005. Price is nominated in the Romance category--if you liked it, why not hop on over and show your support?
In other news, I'm now writing full-time, and hope to have a draft of the new book finished sometime in March...more as it progresses...
December 27, 2005: Yes, Berry, I am Stef's aunt
December 20, 2005: Latest Reader Review Moni on Amazon has given me an early present--a new 5-star review, saying Price is fresh, fun and lively! Read the whole thing here.
And now, as promised, I bring you:
Marlys Pearson's All-Purpose Holiday Carol*
We wish you a Merry Christmas,
We wish you a Happy Hannukah,
We wish you a Joyful Kwanzaa,
And a Solstice of cheer!
Whatever the reason
This holiday season,
We hope that you have a good one
And a Happy New Year!
*Sung to the tune of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"
November 28, 2005: Highest Amazon ranking yet! This weekend, Price broke into the top 10,000 books at Amazon.com, hitting a high of 6,790 on Saturday morning.
And a big thank you to everyone who dropped by my signing at the Doubleday in Circle Center on the 19th, and attended the reading/signing at Out Word Bound on Tuesday.
November 21, 2005: Signing tomorrow night! Those of you in the Indianapolis area, please feel free to drop by Out Word Bound Bookstore on Tuesday, November 22 at 7 pm. I'll be reading from Price and signing copies, and I've been told there will be refreshments. The address is 625 N. East Street in downtown Indy (just north of the intersection where East, North and Massachusetts come together). Map of 625 N East St Indianapolis, IN 46202-3420, US
And in other news, Price is #2 on Hares & Hyenas Top 6 for October. Thank you, Australia!
November 7, 2005: #1! At this moment, Price is Amazon's #1 seller in Gay Romance! And on Amazon.fr (France's Amazon site), we're #9 in English-language gay romance. Does that make me an international best-seller?
November 4, 2005: Amazon category bestseller As of today, Price is #7 on Amazon.com's list of top-selling Gay Romance, and #19 in Gay Erotica (all the more amazing since, well, it isn't really erotica). And although a handful of clearance porn has knocked it off the overall top sellers, Price is still the #2 New Release title at A Different Light.
November 2, 2005: How many debut novelists does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: none--you can check your Amazon rankings in the dark.* Okay, this is the ultimate Amazon update, so after this, you're on your own (faithful readers breathe a collective sigh of relief).
Ranking mania: This morning, Amazon.com finally had Price back in stock--5 copies. Two were sold by lunchtime, giving me a ranking of 19,000 and some change. By the time I'd sold 4 copies, the rank was down in the 40,000s. Now, they're sold out again, and my ranking is back up to 22,635. If they can sell 5 copies in 12 hours, wouldn't you think they'd increase their order? Betcha anything the next time they restock, it will be the same 5 or 6 copies...and will take another week to get back in.
In the meantime, what about the foreign Amazon sites? Newly updated, with countries where Price has hit #1 in pink:
Amazon.ca (Canada) offers Price for 24% off--$11.52 Canadian, or about $9.69 US. Ships within 7 to 9 days. Note: there is no evidence I have ever sold a copy on Amazon.ca.
Amazon.co.uk (Britain) has a listing,
and is now offering it for sale themselves, at the discounted price of
£6.51 ($11.33 US). Highest ranking:
(Germany) now has a listing, and is selling for
12.50 Euros, or about $14.67. Highest ranking:
Joyo.com (China) doesn't. Still.
Amazon.co.jp (Japan) is offering Price for sale at 10% off (they
discounted it before my own country's Amazon did)--just 1,416 yen (about
$12.12). Highest ranking:
(France), has it for 11.36 Euros ($13.34). It's hit #9 in English-language gay romance,
so presumably someone over there has bought it. Highest ranking:
So, now you know everything Amazon international can tell us about my book. Don't you feel better?
*Thanks to Elizabeth L. at Backspace for the joke!
October 31, 2005: Favorable review, and update on bestseller list Richard Labonte of Books to Watch Out For says that Price is a "charming, easygoing novel...a breezy and solidly satisfying read." Read the full review at the link. And we've made it to #2 on A Different Light Bookstore's charts, beaten only by Brokeback Mountain.
Happy Halloween, everybody!
October 28, 2005: ADL Bestseller! Price has been climbing up the charts at A Different Light Bookstore, and as of tonight, has made it to #3 on their list! Thanks to everyone who's buying the book, and especially those who've let me know they enjoyed it--I love hearing from readers. If you've read Price, feel free to email me and tell me what you thought.
Or try your local bookstore!
October 23, 2005: What readers are saying about Price Thanks to the readers who posted these reviews:
This is romance!
This is the first actual gay romance Iíve read . . . ever! The further into it you went, the more you tore at the pages eager to know what happened. Itís not high literature, but it is pure fun.--A reader, a book lover, Barnes and Noble.com
This book was a good read even for a
non-gay reader who doesn't usually read romances. It was well written, you
felt sympathetic with the "good" characters, hated the evil ones, and were
drawn into the plot - by the end the book is a real page-turner. Lots of
nice historical details make this a step above many romances. The romance
was sexy but tasteful...An entertaining, fine guilty pleasure.--Amy
October 19, 2005: Lots of news today! First, I have another signing scheduled, at Doubleday Bookstore in Circle Center, Indianapolis, on Saturday, November 19 from 4-6 p.m.
I also have my first review up at Amazon.com--five stars! Check it out here.
Also, my short story "Full House" has been accepted by Amarillo Bay, an online literary magazine. It will appear in the February issue--I'll post the link when it's up.
And finally, the library I work for has ordered eleven copies of Price--thank you, IMCPL!
October 13, 2005: My In Newsweekly interview is online. In Newsweekly is New England's largest GBLT newspaper, so it's a real honor to make their pages. Check it out here. I also got a copy of the Caledonian-Record piece (thanks, Merl!), and am working on getting it scanned so I can post it.
October 11, 2005: Upcoming signing! I'll be signing at Out Word Bound Bookstore in Indianapolis on Tuesday, November 22 at 7 p.m. If you can make it, I'd love to see you there! (And yes, there will be refreshments.) The address is 625 N. East Street in downtown Indy (just north of the intersection where East, North and Massachusetts come together). Map of 625 N East St Indianapolis, IN 46202-3420, US
October 10, 2005: You know you've made it when your cover has been snarked by Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Novels! Here's hoping their review is as much fun.
October 8, 2005: Copies of Price preordered from Amazon started arriving yesterday. And they're sold out again--perhaps they should order a few more copies next time... Rankings, of course, mean nothing--but we're up a bit, to 16,124. And I promise, I won't mention Amazon again. Today.
October 7, 2005: Whew! Back in stock at Amazon. I was worried that the "Usually ships in 1 to 2 weeks" would drive people away, but we're back to a "ships in 24 hours" notice. And our ranking today hit 16,635.
I also learned today that there was an article about me in the Caledonian-Record, my hometown newspaper in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. I'll post the clipping once I get it.
October 6, 2005: My crack team of test buyers (uh, thanks, Mom!) reports that books preordered from BarnesandNoble.com arrived today, while the ones ordered from Amazon have yet to show up.
Want to purchase elsewhere? How about Hares and Hyenas, a gay bookstore in Australia?
Price is also the subject of this week's Backspace blog over at Publisher's Marketplace. Many thanks to Karen Dionne over at Backspace (which, as you know, is the world's finest online writer's community).
Seen buzz on the book elsewhere? Let me know!
October 5, 2005: Amazon.com, which had 4 copies in stock this morning, is now sold out of Price. Mixed news, however, because whereas before they said that copies usually shipped within 24 hours, now they say "Usually ships in 1 to 2 weeks." Gack! I hope they get restocked quicker than that! In the meantime, there's always BarnesandNoble.com (where it's cheaper anyway).
And no, I'm not obsessing (much), but our Amazon ranking hit a high of 24,996. While they still had copies in stock, that is.
October 4, 2005: I just got my author's copies, so it's finally real. Believe me, there's nothing like holding a copy of your first book in your hands...
I've also heard that if you preordered from Amazon or BarnesandNoble.com your copies shipped yesterday or today. In fact, Amazon's webpage now states that they're down to 1 copy in stock (of course, for all I know, the initial order was 2, but hey! somebody's buying it!).
Finally, congratulations to my friend Dee S. Knight, who won a Maggie Award for her novel Cyber-Kill! Check out Dee's website here.
September 26, 2005: Ordering information kinda got buried below, so I'm repeating it and fixing the link on the front page so it always points here. Price is available to order online from BarnesandNoble.com and Amazon.com. Right now, I recommend B&N, because they're offering the book at a 10% discount and Amazon isn't.
Should you prefer to get it from your local bookstore, they should have no trouble ordering it for you if they don't have it in stock. Price is distributed through Bookazine, Ingram, and ASP Wholesale--your local should deal with at least one of them.
September 25, 2005: I just got news that Price shipped towards the middle of last week--Bookazine received their copies on Friday, and Ingram and ASP Wholesale (formerly Alamo Square) should get theirs any day now. So I guess that means I'm officially published!
So, how does it feel to be a published author? This may be a strangely paranoid way of looking at the world, but I have a little file in my head labeled Things They Can Never Take Away From Me. It includes memories of cool places I've been, interesting things I've done. I could lose my eyesight tomorrow, but I will always have seen the sun set on the Mediterranean, watched double rainbows form after an afternoon storm in Santa Fe, shivered at the clouds louring over Loch Ness.
Accomplishments reside in the folder as well: I started college in 1981 and finally received my BA ten years later, so that damned degree has a resonance that it might lack for folks who skipped through in 4 years. And now: I have a book published. Whatever else happens in my life, my obituary can read Author Marlys Pearson.
So yeah, it's pretty cool.
It will, of course, be even cooler if people like the book. Go on, read it and let me know what you think. I'll listen. Email me here.
September 19, 2005: There'll be a slight delay of about a week or so in the printing of the book--should still hit stores by the end of September or beginning of October. In better news, the distributor Bookazine has increased their initial order by 50%! Here's hoping they sell the lot and come back for more...
August 28, 2005: Bookmarks now available! My publisher has printed up bookmarks featuring Price's cover, and I'll have some in hand within the next few days. Want one? Want a stack for your local bookstore? Email me and let me know.
August 13, 2005: The book went to the printer on Thursday! Yes, we've finished with the proofs, they've been shipped off to the printer, and the finished product is on track to hit bookstores by the middle to end of September. I've been working exclusively on this project since last November, so it's both a little sad and a big relief to be finished at last. Time to kiss Jamie goodbye, push him out the door, and turn to something else...
August 3, 2005: Now we're on Amazon! Click here to check out our listing. Note: the cover image has been sent in to both Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and should show up within the next week.
There has been great interest and concern about recent Board discussions regarding the definition of romance. The Board feels that the organization doesn't define the genre; the genre defines the organization. With that in mind, the Board agrees that any definition of romance should be broad and inclusive. We are grateful for the member feedback that we have received and welcome additional comments on this issue as the Board continues to examine the allocation of RWA's resources.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to let the Board know how you feel--we made a difference, folks!
And honestly, I feel much better about belonging to the organization now. I was utterly taken aback that the RWA even surveyed the membership on excluding same-sex relationships from the definition of romance, and I still wish they hadn't done so. But it's obvious that the Board does listen to members' concerns, and I'm very pleased with their response.
Here's to inclusion! And here's to everyone who wrote to the Board!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.--Margaret Mead
July 27, 2005: Book Now Available for Preorder!
is listed on BarnesandNoble.com. It will hit Amazon closer to pub date, but in the meantime, you can preorder it via a search here:
or through a direct link at the book's website.
Why the heck don't I direct-link it here, you ask? We're not trying to make it a deep, dark secret that my gay romance was written by a woman, but it might put off the casual browser who Googles the title or author's name. Thus, people who already know who I am get links to the book's website, but all the info I put up about it on this page is in non-searchable graphics files.
July 12, 2005: Revisions and replies
On Sunday, two weeks after emailing the RWA Board about the "Basic Definition of Romance" survey, I received what may be my last response. I found it very positive. This board member made it clear that on a personal level, she is
...opposed to any definition (or anything else for that matter) that would narrow RWA's purpose or become exclusionary.
She also stated:
Please be assured that this issue is only being discussed at this time. And the board does read every email and letter from the members and takes into consideration all the feedback it receives. Trust me, we are listening.
So please, anyone who still wants to let the board know how you feel, you have about two weeks before they meet at the convention in Reno.
Naming Names (sort of): Because some of the emails I received contained personal opinions, I haven't felt comfortable putting names to the individual responses I've posted here. On the other hand, I would like to acknowledge those who took the time and effort to respond. They are, in alphabetical order:
Linda Winstead Jones
Lisa B. Kamps
Tara Taylor Quinn
My thanks to all of the above.
In other news:
I finally finished the major revisions my publisher asked for! What a relief. Still some tweaking to do, I'm sure, but we should make our goal of getting the book out this Fall.
June 29, 2005: Another Board Member Responds
Latest response, received this (Wednesday) morning:
I am sorry that you felt slighted in any way by the wording choices presented in the RWR.
Thank you very much for writing though. You've raised some excellent points and letters like yours will be very helpful when we meet in July. Please encourage anyone who feels strongly about this to write.
I couldn't have made that last point better myself. RWA members, please let the Board of Directors know how you feel. Non-members can still email the RWA at their contact address firstname.lastname@example.org of you who have been thinking of joining can let the organization know how this might affect your decision.
Still waiting to hear from 12 other board members...check back.
June 28, 2005: RWA Board Members Respond
On Saturday and Sunday, I sent the following email to each of the twenty members of the RWA Board of Directors:
Dear [Board Member],
I am a romance author who recently joined the
RWA. It was with great pleasure that I opened my very first issue of Romance
Writers Report, only to find your Basic Definition of Romance Survey inside.
So far, I have received responses from seven board members. Four of them were generic "Thank you for your input" messages, with no discussion of the issue, although one of them added:
I'm sorry that the survey made you feel unwelcome. I hope that you'll respond the the questions by telling us what you believe the definition of romance--for organizational purposes--should be.
And I'm very glad you've joined RWA. I hope your membership proves beneficial both to you and to the organization.
The other three did address my concerns more specifically. One told me I was mistaken in my assumptions:
The idea here was to be inclusive, not exclusive. It was felt that the general community standard within RWA was that a romance was between a man and a woman. I've had many requests for us to broaden that and to openly include and cultivate relationships with the gay publishers as well. The board has been considering this issue--among many others as we define ourselves in a changing world--and no matter how they felt personally, they did not feel comfortable making the decision without member input as the members are the community.
A very positive response, to my thinking, and if I did get offended without cause, I apologize.
However, the definition of Romance on the RWA webpage was already inclusive of books about same-sex couples. The only thing that could change by putting the issue to a member vote was that same-sex stories could officially be excluded from the genre of Romance.
Another board member had a very different take:
The board has very mixed views on this subject and someone even mentioned that we might be taken as folding to the "conservative religious right."
So, is the survey an effort to be inclusive, or a nod to the conservatives? Even the board isn't sure, and a third response demonstrated frustration with the whole issue:
I've worked on this for well more than a year, and I personally think defining romance, even for our purposes, is impossible. I'm not sure how we can maintain our focus on romance and remain Romance Writers of America, but it's apparent this is not the way.
I'll post more responses as they arrive.
I write romance, I wanted to network with other authors in my genre. So last month, I proudly sent in my application for membership in the Romance Writers of America. Yesterday afternoon, I received my first issue of Romance Writers Report, the RWA's monthly magazine. Inside, sandwiched in among articles on creating sexual tension and understanding wholesale marketing, was a survey on The Basic Definition of Romance.
The RWA, it was explained, needs a definition "that can be applied when questions arise as to what, for our group's purpose, constitutes a romance."
We were given two choices:
A. "Romantic Fiction" or "Romance" means a story in which a predominant part of the story line focuses on the romantic relationship that develops between one man and one woman on more than a physical level. Although other elements and subplots may also be components of the story line, by the book's conclusion the romantic relationship has been resolved in an emotionally satisfying manner.
B. "Romantic Fiction" or "Romance" means a story in which a predominant part of the story line focuses on the romantic relationship that develops between two people on more than a physical level. Although other elements and subplots may also be components of the story line, by the book's conclusion the romantic relationship has been resolved in an emotionally satisfying manner.
Okay, just for a moment let's set aside the others who might be excluded from the definition (Sylvia Day does a great job of enumerating some of them on her blog here), because I don't think this is aimed at keeping women from their vampire mates. No, like the "Definition of Marriage" acts that keep cropping up like weeds all over America, this is an attempt to exclude same-sex love, in this case from the very definition of "romance."
And it hurts.
It hurts that within a month of joining the reigning professional organization for my genre, someone is trying to force me out of it. More than that, it hurts that I live in a place and time where these battles have to be fought on a daily basis. It is absurd that books featuring same-sex couples could be banned from the genre. It's not Romance if two women or two men fall in love?
What I write isn't Romance?
Could have fooled me.
The thing is, the RWA already had a definition of "Romance:"
Two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.
Okay, not perfect. By tacking on the requirement for an "emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending," they're excluding such classic romances as Gone With the Wind and Forever Amber. But by emphasizing as the main requirement the centrality of a love story, nobody is excluded as long as they're in love: not vampires, extraterrestrials, threesomes, and not gays and lesbians.
And love is what it's all about. Right?
Comments? Send them to me here. I'll be happy to post and respond to whatever I receive.
Want to do something? RWA members, please email the Board of Directors (there's a list on the first page of the RWR--since the addresses are not publicly posted on the website I'm not comfortable linking them here).
Other discussions of the topic appear at the following blogs, if you want check them out:
Let me know if you see other links I should include, and I'll post them as well.
June 2, 2005: Check out the new look! Hey, I'm soon to be a real published author--it was time to make this place look a little more professional. Hope you like it. And yes, I do know the "Age Difference" link doesn't work anymore, but Wild Child is supposed to have their archives up soon, so it will return.
One major difference is the deletion of the Guest Book. It could return again, but I had some major spam problems and just don't have the time to police it every day. Oh, well. You are all still more than welcome to contact me directly with your comments, at email@example.com.
June 1, 2005: Wow, June already... We're nearing the end of an intensive round of revisions, and the book is shaping up nicely. Also, the publisher has found a terrific artist to do the cover--check out his website here. Can't wait to see what he comes up with.
May 5, 2005: And we have a title! Click here.
May 4, 2005: I just learned I won 2nd place (and a $100 prize) in Whim's Place Flash Fiction Contest, for my entry "Son of Beast." Since the winning entries won't be published online, I'm posting the story here.
April 27, 2005: It's official! The contract is on its way: Boy Meets Earl will be published by
this autumn. I'm currently deep in revisions, so won't be posting many updates until we whip the manuscript into shape--but I will announce the final title as soon as we've decided on it.
April 9, 2005: Contract details are under negotiation...check back soon!
April 1, 2005: The editor for whom I did the rewrite of Boy Meets Earl now wants to publish it! We still need to work out the details of the contract, but so far I know that he wants more revisions. When (if) the deal is set, I'll post pub date and press.
March 18, 2005: My agent sent the revised ms. to the editor on Tuesday, so it should hit his desk by today. But this is publishing, folks. It could be months before we hear anything. In the meantime, back to the pirates.
March 10, 2005:...and it's gone. Wish me luck, folks.
March 9, 2005: Heard from my agent! The editor is interested in seeing the rewritten version, so I just have to clean up a few POV shifts, and off it goes.
March 2, 2005: Still working on Captain Jay--hope to have a draft completed by the end of June. The early response from my agent on the Boy Meets Earl rewrite was good, but I haven't heard back from her in awhile. And now she's off to Vegas for a conference, so I suppose it will be another week, at least, before I hear anything else.
March, 2005: "Age Difference" is up at Wild Child! Read it here.
February, 2005: Just sent rewritten version of Courting Jamie, now tentatively titled Boy Meets Earl, to my agent. Stay tuned for her reaction...
Now, it's back to working on 4th ms., a (straight) pirate romance called Captain Jay. Yo ho!
February, 2005: USA Today Can You Haiku? Contest. Winning entry, February 15, "Basketball" (scroll to February 15)
February, 2005: "Age Difference," accepted by Wild Child for inclusion in their March issue. Will post the link when the story is up.
November, 2004: 2nd Place, Saugus.net Halloween Ghost Story Contest: "The Contest"
September, 2004: BBC Magazine 1974 Challenge. Scroll down--my entry is among the top three singled out for special distinction.
This site was last updated 08/06/12