a blog/forum from the desk of author, P. J. Dean, primarily for promoting her latest releases, for discussing romance writing and that curious niche christened "multicultural." Tea will be sipped and occasionally spilled about the irrational, racial and religious WTFery that goes on in the industry. Related "multicultural" stateside doings will be highlighted too.
OK, here’s my annual Martin Luther King post. Are y’all
still eating rubber chicken croquettes at a myriad of luncheons? Those
“commemorative” luncheons where people, who do not have a clue about Dr. King
beyond what they skimmed over on Google just before said feast? The ones who
stand at a podium to recite his I Have a
Dream speech for the umpteenth time? Watering it down to fit their agenda.
As I’ve said personally my favorite speech from Dr. King is his The Mountaintop speech. Why because it
is the reflection of a man who has lived more, who has seen some things test
his beliefs and who is still persevering despite knowing his life is in danger.
A man fighting for increased wages for trash workers in
Memphis, TN as opposed to pouring more money into escalating the Vietnam War.
And we all know that once a public figure opens his/her mouth for MORE money and
dignity for workers, AND proposes that the powers-that-be NOT put money into war, said public figure isn't long for this Earth. Or, at the very least, one will get silenced
Why am I rehashing this? Because at present, it is
imperative to listen to the message in King’s little quoted speech. It reveals
everything that must be fought for now! And at the time of The Mountaintop speech, King was no longer advocating peaceful
protest. Was he advocating violence? No. He was advocating acting other than
turning the other cheek. I’ll get spiritual here. Even Jesus did not advocate
being stepped on to keep the peace. The God-man, who so many follow, and whose
doctrine "Christians" corrupt to justify their bigotry, advocated that no one stand
still for abuse. That no one allow another to harm them. For he believed if one
let it continue, people will ignore your idle complaints and say you like it.
Let that sink in.
So, that’s my take away for King Day. No more luncheons. No
more cleaning vacant lots in celebration of his birth. No more dreaming. No
more defanging Dr. King’s message. What is needed?
Well, I know lots of writers crow about the wonders of
NetGalley. So far, I am not in their numbers. I signed up with a co-op for a discounted,
2-month-long slot on NetGalley to introduce my latest historical romance, Dissent. I was not impressed. I should
have known that it was going to be a wash when from Hour One things went south.
For some reason, the site has a rating system for book covers. Thumbs up or
thumbs down. Simple and telling. As I noted from Hour One of Dissent being available for review to
bloggers and professional readers, the book cover got “thumbs down.” Apparently, the folk with access to voting
were feeling grumpy and a tad… biased that day. And for days to come. Can’t
believe that the 30 votes the cover got, 22 were “thumbs down.” How? For such a
beautiful cover. How? All I can think is that people disliked the thought of an
interracial/ intercultural couple sooooo much that they voted down a portrait of one? Insecure much, ladies? And
they say there is no bias in the romance biz? Yeah and I’m Elvis’ lost love
child. Plus, it was days after the
presidential election. The Trump Effect maybe?
I have no intention of telling my cover illustrator the
news. The young lady had poured her soul into drawing and painting that
picture. Kirsten McKenzie is a talented artist and was so thrilled to be part
of the project. See her website: http://www.kekreations.com. She’d never been asked to do that pairing in
a portrait before and was pumped to do it. It’s sad that the female “industry
professionals” (and I know they were female. A male will be many things, but in
something as innocuous as this…only females stuck at the petty level would
indulge) who voted, could be reactionary about a simple cover. I point them out
because NetGalley prides itself on only catering to the pros, be they reviewer
or blogger or “professional reader.” Whatever the hell that is. Regular readers
aren’t allowed. Thing is one must have a following
to get access to the books on there. Gotta have street cred to… review a book?
Veddy, veddy interesting. I thought a working brain, a way to access the book
and an open mind were enough. Umm? I’m so behind the times.
Anyhoo, my time with NetGalley ends Dec. 31st.
And it was wasted time. WASTED. There were NO requests by any of those
“industry professionals” to read the book. Not a one. I never received a single
report showing the number of times the book synopsis was viewed, or the book
requested. ZILCH. Now if I get one next
week, that’ll be a surprise.
My take? If you have written a romance with a broken
NavySEAL, or a firefighter, or still yet another billionaire, or a New Adult MMA
fighter/ex-con, or a Cowboy, or a Viking demon/vampire/angel/shifter – who are
all into BDSM and pie—well, baby, you got it made in the shade! It can’t be
snatched up fast enough for review.
So, no, NetGalley was a wash for me. Funny, because the
“industry professionals” constantly lament that there is a dearth of historical
romances with characters who aren’t the “default.” My book is, was, such a
book. So where were the requests? I think they need to alter that lament to
convey their true feeling. That they want PoC in historical romance but only if
these romances are written by the “default.” Sorry. Gotta call ‘em like I see
Lip service. Lip service. Lip service.
The bright side to this experience is that a reader must
have rushed and bought the book and read it to have left a 5-star rating at
Christmas on Goodreads for my book. Goodreads of all places. Usually folk are
brutal on there. It made me smile. Plus, several bloggers have Dissent slated for review in the coming
Thumbs down? Yep, NetGalley “professionals,” you got that
and another choice finger from me.
mind me. This was my experience with NG. Yours might be different. Especially
if you have a romance with an angst-y, lost, ancient Viking firefighter who
wants to do naughty things to people with his hose while eating pie.
Physicist, mathemetician, space scientist, aerospace engineer - These women were all that and a bushel of Idahoes! Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan. Why so long to honor these ladies? Why have they been Hidden Figures? Treated like that chick a guy doesn't want his family and friends to know about. Same goes for the Navajo Codetalkers. The men and whose language saved the USA's bacon when the Nazi couldn't figure out what that language those secret messages were being sent in.
Man. Always invited to the dance on the condition one cleans up afterward. Damn.
Anyhoo, back to the ladies.
Taraji P. Henson is playing Katherine Johnson in the film scheduled for Christmas release 2016, Hidden Figures. Olivia Spencer and Janelle Monae play the other scientists.
Miss Katherine is still kicking. She is 98 years old. And still quite sharp. Miss Dorothy passed in 2008 at the age of 98. Miss Mary passed in 2005 at age 83. Misses Katherine and Mary married and had kids. Miss Dorothy did not.
I salute you ladies. You kicked in some barred doors and I am certain, made LOTS of asshats angry. Too effin bad.
Dissent (Love Vanquishes All, bk. 2) is now available in Kindle and as a Createspace paperback! This second book in my stand-alone historical series is just as wonderful as bk 1 (KINDRED) was. As I said, they are not connected. Their only link being that they both are historicals and they both have a BLACK heroine. They do have different covers. Something I found out a lot of self-pubbed works have when they are available in ebook and print.
The Createspace paperback is oversized (7 x 10) and is priced at $15. I know. Not cheap but think of the lovely artwork in that size and plus, it's ideal for holiday giving.
The ebook is $4.
Anyhoo, choose the version you want. Or both if you got the coins. Just don't pirate it. Please. Below are the covers for both versions and the links.
This was my first hands-on self-pubbing experience and it's been...interesting.
Okay. The shameless self-plugging.is over.
But do check out Awa's and Blaise's love story. It's not like anything out there. I swear.