Letters and Comments for 03/08/2017

Letters and Comments for 03/08/2017


“Angela, what’s your opinion about publishers and authors hiring ‘sensitivity readers?’”


Your column about sensitivity readers hit the nail on the head. I couldn’t agree more. In today’s over-sensitized climate: if you eliminated every book that “offended” anyone, there would be no books.

There were even vocal objections recently to our first lady reciting “The Lord’s Prayer” at a public meeting. How innocuous can you get?

None of my books would stand the test. Cookbooks with meat and–heaven forbid–bacon. A religious character here, and a bigot there. One reader called me “racist” for having one of my bad guys be black.

Thanks for expressing this message so well.

– Woody

As far as sensitivity readers go, I agree that’s a bit much. While I do believe in a certain degree of political correctness, I’ve seen it go too far many a time. For instance, a friend of mine was describing a BBC show she liked that was set in England and said, “And the partner was an African-American.” I said, “Oh, they hired an American actor to play that role?” She looked confused and then said, “No, he was British.” Similarly, a friend who traveled to South Africa came back confused that blacks there didn’t like being called African-Americans. She never did understand her mistake. I have no problem using terms that a particular group prefers I use (I would never call a “little person” a midget, for example, since they find it offensive and it doesn’t hurt me in any way to use the term they want me to use), but particularly in a work of fiction, if my character uses a “wrong” term, it’s very often intentional, as I’m trying to convey something about the character, not about me.

– Johnny Townsend

A Day at the Temple
Interview with a Mission President
Mormon Bullies

I think there is a role for this, not in the form of censorship, but to give authors food for thought about their writing. If I had been a sensitivity reader for Asimov I might have pointed out to him that his original Foundation books contained not one single female character (until I think the third book where there is a wife nagging her husband for jewelry and some housewives buying nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners) and asked if he thought that was what the world was really going to look like 20,000 years in the future. Or for another example: it’s common to read depictions of traumatic events where the victims’ experiences and coping afterward are nothing like what victims go through in real life, and in those instances I might suggest to the author that they do more research on the different ways in which trauma really affects people. Then it’s up to the author whether they want to create a piece that really examines that in a realistic and sensitive way, or if they’re just trying to move the plot forward and don’t mind if the characters’ reactions are unrealistic.

– Karen

We are talking about a book, for goodness sake! If you don’t like what you are reading, close the cover.

– Wendy Jones
Highlander Imagine – Beyond Infinity
Duncan MacLeod must fight a South American Immortal at Teotihuacan.


Do You Think Your Publisher is Ripping You Off? I Might Be Able to Help!

I normally work through lunch. Whether I’m painting or writing, I grab a bite here and there while I continue with brush, pen, or keyboard. However, on Thursdays, I take a “real” lunch break and make time to read the new edition of WritersWeekly. It’s always interesting, informative, and entertaining. Thanks!

– Pamela Allegretto
Bridge of Sighs and Dreams
Nazi-occupied Rome sets the stage for Bridge of Sighs and Dreams, where the lives of two women collide in an arena of deception, greed, and sacrifice.

Comment For:

How My Writing Has Healed Me…and Garnered More Sales! By Jeanine DeHoney

Lovely, motivating story. Thank you!

– Pamela Allegretto
Bridge of Sighs and Dreams
Nazi-occupied Rome sets the stage for Bridge of Sighs and Dreams, where the lives of two women collide in an arena of deception, greed, and sacrifice.

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