This post was written by me and Sherwood.

The unnamed agency in our previous post has chosen to present their perception of the exchange. We confirm that it was the agency we referred to. We stand by every word we wrote in our original article.

We did not wish to name them, because we preferred to focus on the larger issues. We did not spread rumors about them, and we don't know who did.

This is why we went public: After the initial exchange a month ago, we spoke in private to a number of other writers, without mentioning the name of the agent or agency. There was an overwhelming response of "Me too!" Many other writers had been asked by agents and editors to alter or remove the minority identity of their characters, sometimes as a condition of representation or sale. Sometimes those identities had been altered by editors without the writers' knowledge or permission.

That response, and posts like Malinda Lo's recent statistics make it clear that the problem is much larger than a couple of writers and one specific agency.

We urge you all to continue focusing on the bigger picture.

Discussion is welcome but abuse and name-calling is not. Please do your best to be civil.

ETA: Since several people asked: I do have an agent for my nonfiction, Brian DeFiore. He's great. The work Sherwood and I do together is very different from what we both do solo, and we wanted an agent to represent us as a team.

From: [identity profile]

They claim that they read the article without realizing it was about them, and were not only horrified but had an in-house discussion. That being the case, the misreading is definitely on them.

Leaving aside the Rashomon nature of the conversation -- and I do believe you -- this genuinely looks like a visceral reaction of "I'm not a bad person! You're a bad person for calling me a bad person!" and in the process ignoring the repeated message, both in your post and in the comments, that this is happening all over the industry.

From: [identity profile]

I do understand the Rashomon thing. But it was a LONG conversation specifically about a character being gay. For instance, the part about "He could come out in later books."

From: [identity profile]

That's the thing that convinces me most strongly that you're in the right (even if I didn't know you and Sherwood and find you to be quite clear and accurate in your thinking and in your reporting in other venues than this one). Their article is an obvious CYA, and the tone is defensive. The minute you get personal like that, you've lost the argument. Better for them if they had just kept quiet and let it blow over.

From: [identity profile]


Jim Hines is hilarious in the thread there. "So you're saying they suck, huh?"
ext_7025: (Default)

From: [identity profile]

I wondered while reading their post if possibly it wasn't about them at all -- maybe they'd had a separate conversation with you guys, but not the conversation in question -- and that's why they didn't recognize the details! Which idea kind of appealed to me in a screwball-comedy sort of way. Sorry to hear that's not the case, and...yeah. One is certainly entitled to remember events differently than the other guy(s) -- that's kind of how memory works -- and one is likewise entitled to present one's side, but last I checked, one ain't obligated to take potshots in the process. Good grief.

From: [identity profile]

No, you're right, they do claim that, so I'm wrong to accuse the grapevine.

I wonder if part of it is that when they thought it was someone else, it was very comfortable to vilify the "bad agency" rather than looking at the "this is systemic" part of the message. And they'd gone so far down that path in their own heads that when they realized that the post could actually apply to them, they freaked out about all the things they'd said to themselves about...themselves (none of which were things Rachel and Sherwood said in their original post).

From: [identity profile]

That seems like a viable explanation: the shift between SOME PEOPLE ARE BAD and THEY SAID I WAS BAD would hurt.

I keep trying to come up with an explanation of "So are they all, all reasonable men", but I need to stop trying. I can understand the emotional reaction without condoning it or believing their version of the facts.

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