A sensitive subject

Cover for Books six in the Lords of Time illustrated series The Sadist and The Stolen Princess

Cover for Books six in the Lords of Time illustrated series The Sadist and The Stolen PrincessThere is a lot going on this summer and it all started with the cover reveal for The Sadist and The Stolen Princess : MADOC, which was on June 6th. It’s so exciting!

So the next piece is to shoot the rest of the book and finish the illustrations and the layout. It’s AH MAZE ING. I can’t wait to share these images with you guys!

 

Two more details going into this summer. You’ll be getting a very small update to The Duke and The Domina, because at one point in Domina I referred to Warrick as straight, but the way in which it was done was bad and it inferred that bisexualty doesn’t exist, where we all know perfectly well that it does. I also used the definition version of a word that used to refer to a man who dresses as a woman… but has since lost that definition really, and has become more of a slur. Because there are so many ways to describe people and their wants and needs, desires and beliefs there is no reason to use a word that can be triggering regardless the definition of the word. So that (those things happen in the same paragraph basically) will be edited and uploaded soon.

That leads me to a much bigger sensitivity project with The Trouble With Grace. It was brought to my attention recently (in the last few months) that there are pieces of Celeste’s story that are problematic. I’ll probably go into better detail as I’m working on her edits, but the gist is that I alluded to things that are harmful to the ace-spectrum community and that’s quite honestly the last thing I want to do. I read everything I could find that had been posted, then hired a sensitivity reader who is able to read for those details.

They read Celeste’s book and had some feedback for me. Changing her story to be what I want it to, to be representative of someone who is such a beautiful soul, is one of my projects this summer as soon as Mads is off to copy. The reader also read Calder’s book as they’re so closely intertwined and there will be very little change to the second half of her story.

If you’re wondering how much her story will change, never fear… it isn’t going to change anything about the structure or the journey. What will change is some of the phrasing I use, some of the exclusionary things I wrote that I simply didn’t recognize or understand as problematic at the time. While my intent was understood, the words I wrote did not follow. And while the book was written in 2015/16 and I had many relevant beta readers, sensitive reads wasn’t something I was aware of until the summer of 2016 so it wasn’t something that I would have done at the time. I don’t know if 2016 me would have hired a sensitivity reader after the feedback I received from beta readers in the relevant communities had I been aware of them.

REGARDLESS all this, what I wrote was 100% on me and when I discovered it, I looked for steps to fix the harmful representation in the book and I will work towards fixing it and republishing Celeste this summer. She will be stronger, more beautiful and a better representation for it.

I’d love to thank my sensitivity reader, but I need to make sure it’s okay with them before I talk about them in public, as everything I write is my own responsibility and nobody elses. I’m responsible for my failings and don’t want to create the perception of me hiding behind someone else’s name somehow. So I’ll deal with that piece later on.

This is a bit of a catchall post, a lot of information. I hope everyone is excited about Mads coming out in September. He will be going up on Netgalley for reviewers as soon as possible and of course I’ll send out a newsletter when there are more relevant links or information about the release.

Jenn

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