*Pulls Ranty Pants Up* In Which Lauren Dane Discusses Art, Publishing, Trash and Writing What you Want

Normally I have a rule. Well I have a few, but the one I mean in this case is that I don’t talk shit about other authors. I don’t normally name and shame because it’s just silly and I may talk about a book I didn’t like or something an author did that I didn’t like, but I don’t use names or titles.

I’m going to break this rule today. I’m breaking this rule because yesterday, an author named Kendall Grey wrote a blog post that not only really made me mad, but it attempted to sling all sorts of her own guilt issues on other authors and on our readers too. So, Kendall Grey, though you deleted your post because people reacted with anger to the shit you were slinging, I have an important lesson for you: The internet is forever.

Turns out, Ms. Grey wrote some UF and put a lot of money and effort into it and it didn’t do well. Now, here’s the thing – I have some books that I LOVED. Books I worked my ass off on. Books I think are my very best work and they just didn’t hit it off with a lot of readers. It happens. To all of us. Grey is not a special snowflake for failing. If there’s a constant when it comes to art and publishing, it’s failure. There are books I read all the time in series that go on to die out and I LOVE them. I think the writing is amazing and it bums me out that more people just didn’t click with the books. But that’s the way of the world sometimes and if you mean to make your career in publishing, it’s a hard truth you have to accept. You do.

I’m going to say this one more time and hopefully Kendall Grey hears it – It’s a hard truth you have to accept that sometimes a book you pour your heart and soul and a great deal of work into just goes nowhere.

So okay, I get her feeling upset by that.

But then her post just jumped the tracks and barreled into crazytown. She says that when her UF didn’t do as well as she’d hoped:

I sold out.
I wrote an erotica book.
It kicked my UF series’ ASS in sales and rankings.

Now, I feel pity for her that she’d view writing any story as “selling out” but whatever, that’s her business.

My problems with this post begin with this:

Some hard truths came to light through this process. The biggest revelation was that as authors, we have to decide whether we’re in this business to make art or to make money. We can’t have both. Very few authors make art that sells. Commercial viability does not lend itself to artistic endeavors, and vice-versa. If New York doesn’t want your book, then you’re probably too creative. If they do want it, then you’re marketable. New York publishers run a business. They don’t give a shit about art.

Um, quit it with the “we” stuff okay, Kendall? Because I disagree that “as authors, we have to decide whether we’re in this business to make art or to make money. We can’t have both” In fact, that’s something YOU have hung around your neck and that’s what’s holding you back from being happy with what you’re doing. Me? I’m over here writing what makes me happy. Creating my art and, as it turns out, making money from it. Seems to me, Kendall Grey is the one here who doesn’t “give a shit about art”

Here’s another hard fact – you can cry all you want about how NY didn’t want you so clearly they don’t want art. Or that you’re too edgy or too awesome or that they just don’t care about quality. But really? they just didn’t want your story. Shrug. Now, sometimes you get rejected because your book sucks. Or because whatever editor you subbed to has just bought something very similar to your book just a week before. Or, in the case with UF, the market has tightened. Which isn’t about art or not art, it’s about which of their products people are going to want to read in what quantity. Because art galleries and publishing houses want to put out products people wish to consume. That’s sort of how it works.

The problem with the leap of (il)logic Grey makes is that because her books didn’t sell like she thought they should, that NY hates art. When really, art is in the eye of the beholder and unless you’re just creating it for yourself (and you publish so that’s not the case) you do have to understand that consumption is part of the process.

And then, she compounds all this shame spiral with this:

Apparently, they have something there. Readers generally (don’t throw stones—I’m referring to the masses here, not individuals) don’t want art either. They want easily digestible, bite-sized nuggets of warm fuzzies. They want simplicity. Art is neither easily digestible (you sometimes have to chew on it for days to filter meaning from it) nor simple.

Hear that readers? You don’t care about art! You aren’t smart enough to understand her art. Her failure is because you don’t want to put in the time to understand her books.

Now see, there IS a rule I don’t ever break and that is: Thou Shalt Respect Your Readers

There are several things about that statement Ms. Grey needs to understand. One: Not EVERY reader is the right reader for your book. So you write for the readers who enjoy you and your voice. Two: Telling readers, the people who in fact give up a great deal of their time and energy to read our books and if we’re lucky enjoy them and speak about them, that they are too stupid to understand our art is, in fact, YOUR inability to understand art, not theirs.

Reading, like other types of art appreciation, is intensely personal. So what appeals to people is going to depend on who they are. It depends on what is happening in their life at any given moment. On what has happened to them over the course of their personal history and what makes them feel any number of things. The value of art, when it comes to being appreciated by the beholder makes the person consuming it part of that process. Failing to appreciate that integral part of the process is done at your own peril.

But it gets worse. Because Grey goes on to say:

I know it’s depressing to hear that in order to find success, you may have to compromise your principles. I’ve come to grips with the fact that in the current market, trashy smut sells, and urban fantasy does not. Tough shit for me. If you want to sell books, you have to feed the market what it craves.

So in one paragraph, you’re told “trashy smut” sells and that she’s feeding you something she hates to write because you’re all Oscar the Grouch living in the garbage craving that disgusting filth she’s sold her soul to write instead of her “beautifully artistic UF”

But never fear because:

For us artists who want or need to make a living at writing, there is a silver lining. Once you’ve done your part to feed the reader machine, and you get paid ridiculous amounts of money for publicly shaming yourself and lowering your standards, you’ll be armed with the power to write what you want. Once you’ve built your readership, there’s a good chance many of your readers will follow you into your preferred, artsy-fartsy genre because they like you. Yes, you may have to compromise and write more sell-out books along the way to feed YOUR machine, but the beauty is that you can do BOTH and make it work.

Now, Ms. Grey has to own her shit here. So if she feels what she’s been writing is trash? I have to take her at her word. And as she apparently thinks readers of her books are not intelligent enough to understand her other books, I’ll take her at face value on that too. Which is to say, I have no need to read or buy anything she writes because I am fine with understanding when an author says her books suck and I’m a dick for wanting to read them.

Now I’m going to talk about what I think.

I contracted my first book back in 2004. An erotic romance. With a digital publisher. Back then, all those things were considered trashy. Digital books weren’t considered “real” books and erotic romance wasn’t even considered romance by a whole lot of authors and author organizations.

But the readers? Well, they thought so. I just had my 8 year anniversary of the publication of my first book earlier this month. In the time since then I’ve written over 50 novels and novellas. Some I published with traditional publishers like Berkley and Harlequin, some I published with smaller publishers like Samhain and Carina. I’ve hit lists with books that came out from NY publishers and from Samhain. I’ve won awards. I’ve hit best of lists. And I make a really nice living with my art.

Two things I believe are responsible for this – I write the books I am proud of and I have the best readers in the whole world.

Writing books I love doesn’t mean I live unaware of the market. Publishing is, after all a business and readers are the consumers. So when readers are sick to death of a sub genre, it’s harder to sell a book in that genre. That doesn’t mean I am too awesome for readers to comprehend and it doesn’t mean NY publishers hate art. It means people buy what they like. Which means that when I have an UF out on a pitch, I understand the market is very tight right now and my chances of selling a book are lowered because of that fact. The causation here, however, isn’t “readers and publishers hate art and only love trash” it’s “I exist in a market where selling my product is part of the ecosystem and so I need to offer the very best product I can to increase my chances of selling it.”

Does it make me bitter sometimes when I have a book I adore and it doesn’t do well as another book that didn’t take me as long to write, or as much energy? Yeah, sometimes. But that’s how it goes. That is simply how it works. And in the end, it has nothing to do with not understanding my art, it has everything to do with what people are moved by at any given time. And sometimes you can know it up front and other times their reaction to one thing over another thing is a surprise. But it’s never because the consumer of that art is stupid or that they hate art.

So I love what I do. I don’t write trash. I write books. Some of them have a lot of sex in them. Some of them have less. Some of them sell better than others. Some of them that I worked the hardest on and am proudest of do not sell as well as those that were a snap to write. Sometimes something out on a pitch is a project I love so much and I know, at the same time, that its chances are very low (I have a project like that out on an option right now). It’s important to understand that creating art is complicated and if you want to sell it, it’s also a business. And business means you need to be aware of what the consumer is most in the mood to see.

Understanding your business and your place in the publishing eco system, whether you self publish, publish with a small publisher or with NY (or do all three as I do), does not make you a sell out. It does not make you a failure or a purveyor of trash. It makes you a savvy business person.

I will never, ever apologize for wanting to make a living from my art. Nor do I think any of us should. ANd if you do, that’s your own business, but don’t sling your guilt my way and expect me to wear it like a hairshirt.

I’m not a sell out. I’m not writing things I’m ashamed of so I can one day write what I want. Building a base means you best be writing what your readers like if you want to keep them as you expand. It’s a silly waste of that energy to fake who you are until one day when you can finally say, ‘hahah! Now I’m going to write this other thing” Because that’s not going to work.

Be who you are. Love who you are and what you do. If you hate yourself for writing X, don’t write X. Though please do understand that different things sell better or worse given time and trends.

And in the end, I’m gonna quote Madonna who I’m sure has no discomfort at all doing whatever the fuck she wants whenever she wants and who has made a pretty lasting career at it: I’m not your bitch, don’t hang your shit on me.

113 comments to “*Pulls Ranty Pants Up* In Which Lauren Dane Discusses Art, Publishing, Trash and Writing What you Want”

  1. MNBonnie
    May 16th, 2013 at 10:34 am · Link


    Very well-said! First, I’ve never heard of this author. But I’m always on the lookout to find new ones to try. And although I love erotic romance, her books don’t seem like ones I’d care to try from what I’ve seen so far. But I also love UF. However, with her attitude, don’t think I care to try those by her either. So here I am, a reader who doesn’t want her erotic books, would prefer to try her UF books, but now doesn’t want either because of her insulting me for choosing to read erotic romance.

  2. Karen
    May 16th, 2013 at 10:35 am · Link

    Very well said! Thank you for taking up for readers (and authors). I read a wide variety of genres and honestly, I’ll read the back of a toothpaste box if I run out of books, and I feel I’m intelligent enough to understand and enjoy the books I read.

    On a side note, I love your books! 🙂

    Take care and keep writing!

  3. Stephanie Feagan
    May 16th, 2013 at 10:39 am · Link

    I love when you slip into your rantypants. This is so well said. It bums me out that we’re STILL having this conversation, and this time, from one of our own – although she apparently doesn’t consider herself one of us, the trash producers who don’t understand ‘art’.

    I could whine about the abysmal failure of a series. Sucking pond water is universal in this business, but in my opinion, it’s never about the readers. Insulting them is to buy a ticket on the express train to I’m So Over You And Your Books. Insulting fellow authors is, as someone once said, a turd in the punchbowl. Go home and do that in your own f’ing punchbowl.

    Of late, I’ve had a gut full of the shamers in the world. Get the fuck off your high horse and sit down. Jesus.

  4. KT Grant
    May 16th, 2013 at 10:43 am · Link

    The book I wrote that I consider to be of my heart didn’t sell well at all, but I’m so proud I wrote and published it. Do I wish it could have sold gangbusters? Sure! But knowing it’s out there forever and having at least one person buy it is very fulfilling. If I never wrote it in the first place because I was worried it wouldn’t make me any money would be very sad.

    Just because someone’s art doesn’t sell like they want it to doesn’t meant they’re a failure.

  5. flchen1
    May 16th, 2013 at 10:43 am · Link

    Lauren, you were those ranty pants so well!

    Great post, and very articulately said. Keep on writing, and thank you!

  6. flchen1
    May 16th, 2013 at 10:44 am · Link

    Good grief–I need an editor–I meant:

    “Lauren, you wear those ranty pants so well!”


  7. Carolyn Jewel
    May 16th, 2013 at 10:51 am · Link

    One of my thoughts on reading her post was that she may have missed something important about her writing AND about the market.

    Q: Not all erotica sells well. So why did hers?

    Answer: MAYBE once she was writing quickly and without all the baggage she seems have to have brought to her UF, just maybe, that story was better.

    Because, you know what? I have myself written the life out of a book. It wasn’t until I wrote fast and disconnected my “literary” self from my writing that I ended up with a book that had spark. I took that dead-on-the-page book and rewrote it fast, without (as I now know) the opportunity to think about “art” and that particular book remains my most consistently selling title. (FYI: The book sold 6 weeks after those revisions.)

    It was a huge lesson for me. Huge. And it transformed the way I write.

    4 years to polish the life out of her UF. A couple months to write a book that obviously connected with readers in a genre that is currently hot. Maybe her takeaway should have been — “holy crap, I need to write LIKE THAT” instead of — readers are stupid.

  8. Lauren Dane
    May 16th, 2013 at 10:54 am · Link

    Carolyn, I think this is so true! Sometimes overthinking can kill a story.

  9. Heidi Cullinan
    May 16th, 2013 at 10:55 am · Link

    This, what you said, all of it. Favorite bit: “Understanding your business and your place in the publishing eco system, whether you self publish, publish with a small publisher or with NY (or do all three as I do), does not make you a sell out. It does not make you a failure or a purveyor of trash. It makes you a savvy business person.”

  10. Delphine Dryden
    May 16th, 2013 at 10:55 am · Link

    Those are some fine rantypants, ma’am! I saw the author’s post when folks started tweeting about it, and to me it seemed almost like a humblebrag. In contradiction to her whining, some of those “unsuccessful” UF books are doing nearly as well on Amazon as her piece of trashy smut…and a huge percentage of her books are doing much better than those of a lot of traditionally pubbed authors I know. So she’s complaining because she’s making LESS from the UF series, not because they’re not selling at all. Ugh.

    What a slap in the face the whole thing is to her readers. Thank you for ranting, because this situation clearly called for it!

  11. Kame
    May 16th, 2013 at 11:06 am · Link

    Standing up and clapping!

    Very true – as a reader I am very careful on what I pick. My reading time is a precious escape for me – I only read the genre’s I like (Which I am sorry Ms Grey UF is not one of them) but when I find something I really like I am faithful till the end!

    Thank you fro being true to your readers – and writing books I enjoy

  12. Mary
    May 16th, 2013 at 11:16 am · Link

    Well she just ensure that no readers will buy another piece of her art. I get having a bad day, but can we say she is a bit full of herself?

  13. Vanessa
    May 16th, 2013 at 11:20 am · Link

    Lauren, I adore your books. I also adore how you champion the erotic romance genre. You’re a hell of a writer, artist, and savvy business woman.

  14. Mary King
    May 16th, 2013 at 11:25 am · Link

    I love your ranty pants.

  15. Jenny Trout
    May 16th, 2013 at 11:38 am · Link

    FREAKING THANK YOU. I was so insulted by her post that I actually cried. Not because it got me down, but because I was so angry at the unfairness of it. Some of us put as much work into our “trashy smut” as she put into her beloved, artistic, and unappreciated UF and don’t make 10k per book, let alone 10k in a week. To have her wave her paycheck in our face and go, “na na na, I don’t really want this,” is just the tackiest, shittiest thing I’ve seen in a long time.

  16. Dakota Cassidy
    May 16th, 2013 at 11:43 am · Link

    The “NY hates art” minutia has grown old. It bothers me as much as the “readers just don’t get it” gig.

    I’m damn tired of the assumption that because an author makes a living from their writing, they surely must have sold all viable organs just to nab a publisher, and they don’t love what they write.

    It’s fekkin’ sour grapes and a damn sorry excuse to deflect your own failure to capture the audience you assumed you’d garner from your genius.

    Don’t damn well call me a sell out.

  17. Emma Petersen
    May 16th, 2013 at 11:44 am · Link

    *slow claps* Thank you for stepping outside of your “norm” and telling the truths a lot of writers, published & aspiring, need to hear.

  18. ana
    May 16th, 2013 at 12:00 pm · Link

    Thank you for writing this.
    As an avid reader and writer I appreciate having someone stand up for me. So I like to read erotica, I also LOVE to read UF. I also like contemporary romance, fantasy, and some science fiction. I like Harry Potter, Willy Wonka, and the Octonauts. To read is one of the main pleasures of my life, if it be for myself or to my kids, a book is never far away. For someone to mock and dismiss something that brings joy and pleasure to another is not someone I want to know. The world is a hard enough place to be, why must people try to make others feel bad for doing what they enjoy, whatever it may be?
    I shall not waste some of my precious time reading her article. I am grateful that I got the opportunity to read yours however, someone who is doing what they want, and is PROUD of it.

  19. Steph C
    May 16th, 2013 at 12:00 pm · Link

    Brava!!! Very well put! I am now in no hurry to read Ms. Grey as the book I have in queue is the one she considers a sell out. I’ve got plenty of other titles from authors who may have feelings they could’ve done a but better but put out the best work they could and appreciate readers by not insulting our opinions.

  20. PortiaDaCosta
    May 16th, 2013 at 12:35 pm · Link

    Thanks for a wonderful post, Lauren. Expresses my own feelings about this issue perfectly.

    And ditto what Jenny said too.

  21. Shiloh Walker
    May 16th, 2013 at 12:42 pm · Link

    Rock on, Lauren.

    And because I’m such a brat, I’m going to throw this out.. I’m not sure if by her definition I’d be an artiist or a sell out, because the UF I put out has actually outsold quite a few of my erotic romance books. Go figure.

  22. Tiffany Reisz
    May 16th, 2013 at 1:03 pm · Link

    I DID write the book of my heart, a book several people said couldn’t and shouldn’t get published. It had underage sex, hardcore BDSM, a kinky Catholic priest, a heroine who has sex with about four people over the course of one story and doesn’t regret it or suffer any ill effects and…it made a ton of money and won awards. I compromised nothing and my writing dreams come true. Sometimes the book of your heart is just for your heart. Sometimes the book of your heart touches thousands of hearts. You never know. We don’t write for money. We write because it’s the best job in the world and we don’t want to do anything else.

    Tiffany Reisz!

  23. Jeffe Kennedy
    May 16th, 2013 at 1:43 pm · Link

    Brava Lauren! Such a smart post. One thing you mention that I’d like to expand on is the fallacy that great effort = great worth. It simply isn’t true. I agree with Carolyn Jewel that sometimes we can work something to death. Sometimes just spinning a story touches something truer than flailing about to make ART. There’s something to be said for overcoming difficulty and persevering in the face of an overwhelming task, but that’s about personal growth, not the product. As you point out so well, some books write easy and some write hard and no one can predict which will appeal most to readers.

    Proud to be an erotica writer, too!

  24. Unprofessional Critic
    May 16th, 2013 at 2:10 pm · Link

    You rock, Lauren – I love your books, and now I know you rant like a champ!

    Thank you for this post.

  25. Melanie
    May 16th, 2013 at 2:10 pm · Link

    You Go Girl !

  26. Melanie
    May 16th, 2013 at 2:17 pm · Link

    You Know what makes me sad….. Is that I bought her book Strings a couple of weeks ago … and I liked it, the Erotic book she’s so ashamed of … Nothing else on her bookshelf interested me…But being a unpublished author who thinks of my stuff as my soul leaving my body … That makes me incredibly sad

  27. Jane Smolen
    May 16th, 2013 at 2:18 pm · Link

    ” High 5″ to you and your ranty pants. I am not an author…”just a reader”. If you can’t own up to what you write then get the hell out. I love all books. .some more than others. But that is life…..you take the good with the bad and go on.

    AND…..I just love Lauren Dane. Wish I could meet her one day…sigh 😉

  28. N.J. Walters
    May 16th, 2013 at 2:19 pm · Link

    Very well said!

    For me, it boils down to writing what I love and being grateful to my amazing readers. Like all authors, I’ve written books I loved that didn’t do that well. That’s life. When it comes down to it, this is a business like any other. Publishers are in the business of making money. There is success and failure. But I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.

  29. Kim Ogg
    May 16th, 2013 at 2:21 pm · Link

    Nice rant! Loved it! I am seriously over people calling your genre of books filth or mommy porn. You right GREAT STORIES period. I don’t know much about the business side of your industry but I can’t imagine insulting your publisher or your readers is a good thing. Thanks for defending us “pervs” that enjoy your stuff 😉

  30. Michelle
    May 16th, 2013 at 2:28 pm · Link

    BRAVO! Eloquently said.

    I don’t care what business you are in, but belittling your customers and others who do the same type of work, is considered UNPROFESSIONAL. Crazed rants hurled at others, potential customers or “the industry,” may garner some publicity, but ultimately QUALITY PRODUCT is what sells. Period.

    As a reader, I want to escape my own reality for a while so I look for stories that will transport me to a place of entertainment. For me this place, is typically, contemporary adult romance/erotica. These books used to be concentrated in a few booksellers, but my HAPPY day was when some of my favorite authors started to explore the world of independent publishing. It opened the doors for so many wonderful people who might not have had the opportunity to have their words read.

    But, as I said before, QUALITY SELLS. Sure, you might “get lucky” and hit the market “just right,” for the next trend. But, most authors I’ve had the pleasure to meet (and know) toil at their craft ALL DAY/WEEK/YEAR LONG. They do it, because characters speak to them and demand to be written. Creativity oozes out of them onto the page. But, sometimes it’s a J.O.B.

    Readers are everywhere. And, here’s the SHOCKER: we read more than one genre of book/story!! We also share books/stories with other readers. If we like a story we can make the “big” publishers take notice (all grassroots-like).

    Something to think about.

  31. Maly C
    May 16th, 2013 at 2:33 pm · Link

    I love your books Lauren! It’s so addicting and I can’t get enough of it. You’re obviously doing right, because when that happens, there’s always someone that will try to ruin that. Keep up the great work. I love your views of art, everybody has their own interpretation of it! Please don’t ever stop writing and keep them coming! 🙂

  32. Kate Pearce
    May 16th, 2013 at 2:33 pm · Link

    You wear your ranty pants well 🙂
    Like you I started writing erotic romance back in the day for an e-publisher and readers loved those books.
    I wrote what I wanted to write, what I loved, and what I couldn’t find anywhere else.
    We were all pioneers at that time 🙂

    So I don’t appreciate being told I write trash for money. I write with all my creativity, keep my eye on the market, know my readers and treat it like a job because that’s what it is. I don’t think I’m selling out because I love what I do.
    I’ve written books that haven’t sold too but that’s life, I certainly don’t blame my readers for not getting it.

  33. Mandy M Roth
    May 16th, 2013 at 2:34 pm · Link

    Well said! Thank you for standing up for our genre and for our readers!

  34. Sue Peace
    May 16th, 2013 at 2:35 pm · Link

    First of all I need to say I love your books, Lauren!! 🙂

    This is very well written and dead on! I read what I want to read, not because it’s the ‘in’ thing if you know what I mean. It’s bad enough to get made fun of for reading romances from people I know, lol, but to have an author who wants people to buy her book slag readers? Totally disrespectful and unprofessional!

  35. Breia B
    May 16th, 2013 at 2:39 pm · Link

    For someone who loves UF as well as erotica, I have heard from so many people that it’s not good writing. Well you know what, who the hell cares if someone else thinks it’s good writing. I enjoy it and I buy a hell of a lot of both kinds of those books. For a writer to blame her failure to sell a lot of her “special” book, means to me that she doesn’t appreciate the readers that she has. Even if I was a writer who never sold a million books, I would appreciate the ones who did buy it. I actually added a book of hers to my kindle, because it seemed like something I might like. Hearing this makes me really not want to read it, because who wants to take time out of their life to give it to someone who won’t appreciate it?

  36. Aurora
    May 16th, 2013 at 2:43 pm · Link

    Your RantyPants are my FAVORITE pair of pants you have!!!

  37. Annmarie Taylor
    May 16th, 2013 at 2:51 pm · Link

    As a reader I read all genres of books. I am strongly drawn to romance, paranormal and some UF. My criteria is I want to enjoy the book, and escape into the story and root for the characters. If I have to think too hard after a long day at work, and have to worry about world building and too many details to keep the storyline going I will stop reading. Hence why i don’t read Sci Fi and Mysteries.

    How sad that she does not give readers credit for their choices. My choices as to what I read are well thought out and have been for the last 39 plus years. 😆

  38. Brandy
    May 16th, 2013 at 3:02 pm · Link

    You are so right to rant. Then again, I don’t think you’re books are trashy, even the ones that fall into erotic romance. People need to stop labeling stuff like that. Sounds like maybe the UF wasn’t as good as she thought, or just didn’t hook people like she hoped. Blaming the readers will only hurt her.

    I’m still happy I found your book by accident a few years ago. It was Giving Chase and I was downloading lots of freebies on my kindle. The name made it sound like a shifter book. At the time I didn’t read a lot of contempt romance and was looking for paranormal romance or urban fantasy. I was hooked within a couple pages. Not because of it’s genre, but because of your characters and their interactions.
    Then I went and read most of the rest of your books. I own most of them now, and you are on my autobuy at release list.

    I love how you can write in different genres and keep it all straight. So far, it doesn’t seem to matter what you write, I enjoy it. Not every author can bounce genres the same way, and keep the quality in their story like you do

    Personally, I just put out a book and I didn’t bother to write it to please anyone but me. I do hope other people love it, but the important thing is that I wrote what I wanted, and told the story I wanted to tell. If no one likes it and it doesn’t do well, I’ll deal and not blame everyone else. That’s on me, not them. I’ll even still keep putting out the stuff I want to write.

    You are an inspiration. Keep writing what you want because I will buy it.

  39. Barbara Hoover
    May 16th, 2013 at 3:03 pm · Link

    Well said.

  40. Nicole
    May 16th, 2013 at 3:04 pm · Link

    Well said!

  41. Marianne
    May 16th, 2013 at 3:16 pm · Link

    Wow! Your passion behind this blog post is EXACTLY what makes you an author that I want to read! You pour the same thought, experience and enthusiasm into each of your books and genres. I have been a huge fan since finding the Chase Brothers series. Since then, I can truthfully say I have bought anything that had your name as an author.

    Your writing provides me with an escape – whether to a little town in Georgia or to the heart of a fight among witches. I am never disappointed in your delivery of a story. And though some book genres sell better than others, there are those of us who truly do like to experience it all. We can enjoy soft, sweet romances and get just as involved with more sci-fi/futuristic stories.

    So, on behalf of readers like me, thank you for your different stories and genres. I am sorry that some do not sell as well as others. But rest assured, there are some of us out there who will purchase every word you write. Not necessarily because it was you who wrote it, but because you know how to tell a story.

  42. Kim Rideout
    May 16th, 2013 at 3:21 pm · Link

    Very well said Lauren!

    I hadn’t heard of this author, and will make a point to NOT read her, even though I enjoy UF.

  43. Barbara
    May 16th, 2013 at 3:22 pm · Link

    Brava, Lauren…applause, applause!!

  44. cherise e
    May 16th, 2013 at 3:34 pm · Link

    Bravo! You’ve made your ranty pants, readers and fellow authors proud!

  45. Tina
    May 16th, 2013 at 3:40 pm · Link

    Amen! I LOVE your books and have read every one. And I’m not ashamed to say it! And if an author is ashamed of something they wrote, that is sad for them. But to cop out by putting down the whole genre is shameful.

  46. Jesi Lea Ryan
    May 16th, 2013 at 3:49 pm · Link

    Wow. Seriously, it makes me a little sick inside that this “artist” spent time and energy writing something she hated and then acted so condescending to her readers for buying it. I don’t care if this woman writes the next Pulitzer Prize work of fiction, I will never pay money to read anything she ever writes. If she doesn’t think readers have a long memory for these things, she doesn’t have half the business sense it takes to survive as an author. Some of the best books I have ever read have been erotic in nature. I don’t think anyone has better character development than Tiffany Reisz. I am a huge reader (250+ books a year) of all genres, which means I spend a significant amount of money on books in various formats. If voting with my dollars means anything, I have Reisz, Jaci Burton, Megan Hart and you (Lauren) on my “auto buy” pre-order list. Does that make me a vapid air-head? No, that makes me an f’ing VIP preferred customer that Ms. Gray will never have.

  47. Nada Carida
    May 16th, 2013 at 3:51 pm · Link

    I just wanted to say well said, and that’s why I love your books. I think you are a wonderful author. You are fair and balanced.

  48. Kel
    May 16th, 2013 at 4:07 pm · Link

    Ok…her strings book seems like plain prom, not romance. She obviously knows nothing about readers. I think authors I enjoy do create Art and i gladly play to enjoy it! At 20 years as a bookseller I can tell you that romance authors are the most humble, nicest people you could ever meet. Authors in general are. Very few egos, even with some of the biggies. I pay authors to move me and entertain me. And as a newcomer to your work, I am happy to say that you are very talented and I cannot wait to read more!

  49. Kimberly Mayberry
    May 16th, 2013 at 4:08 pm · Link

    I love you. Why? Because you are REAL! You and authors like you are the reason I still love to read! I don’t want to read a book where the author is not proud of their work. I want to read a book where the author loves writing what they are writing! Why? Because it shows through in the story! I feel it with every word, sentence, paragraph, and chapter! YOU make your stories “real” to your readers by putting yourself into your work. I think that this other author should kindly slip back into the shadows of her imaginary Artsy-Fartsy land, where I have never heard of her before, and leave the real writing to genuine authors like you.

    May 16th, 2013 at 4:29 pm · Link