Well, I suppose I should say Dear Author but that’s really your thing. First, let me apologize for all the construction. We’re not opening for a few weeks. As you can see, my designer has chosen Tweak Me to be the shell for our eventual look. Most people put the visual up first then work on the content but I’ve always been more about the message than the package. Anyway, back to you.
I’d like to thank you for your column today. Sincerely. I really understand our break up now. It was confusing. Knowing there was a third party in the relationship clarifies a lot of your actions. What I saw as hypocrisy I now see as conflicted loyalties and good business. Listen, you’re a smart and savvy woman. Marketing yourself as a new author was the way to go. It gave you the room to explore creatively without visual damage to your other brand. It also freed you of the blogger to author backlash that your anthology had to contend with. From a business standpoint, it was really your best call.
Jane (Jen), you’ve also handled the delicate merging of identities well. Both the timing and the stance taken will help push both brands forward. You understand this market. I want to recognize that. The suggestion that this revelation is driven by the court proceedings is regrettable. Did it force your hand? Probably. If it was completely driven by the litigation I think you might have made your move a bit earlier, perhaps during the cards-on-the-table moments DA had for the fundraiser? Look, I don’t mean to make light of the EC situation. I’m on your side there. EC is completely out of line. As someone who blogs under an internet handle for personal safety, I would never say you had any obligation whatsoever to reveal identifying information. (Wait, are you Author On Vacation? You know what, never mind. Sorry, that’s not the issue here.)
I wish you’d taken a bigger view. Over the last few years I was not the only member of the community who sensed major changes in tone and focus. The suggestion that this was imaginary is now disproven by the revelation that your goals had indeed shifted. The fundamental basis of your relationship to the community was no longer one solely of fandom but of profit and profession. There’s no shame in that game unless you use the game to shame. (Finally I understand why New Adult became your Fetch.) If this statement had taken a step outside of yourself to encompass the whole of DA’s former audience I would be throwing a parade. Instead we’re here, blogger to author, acknowledging closure. (I hope everyone who wrote for DA was aware of your dual identity.)
There are a number of excellent writer driven blogs I read. I prefer to comment on reader driven ones. Knowing what we do now helps me understand why I stopped feeling welcome to comment at DA. I’m unlikely to come back. You’re unlikely to miss me. It is what it is. Please believe that I wish you the best, because I do. We grew apart! My only regret is not knowing the full situation earlier. That’s the nature of a break-up – one side is always in the dark. It’s a very rare community where everyone is brave enough to be honest through the entire process. (I’m thinking back to Alexis Hall now and what a wonderful opportunity for the same that would have been.)
The people who will be disturbed by this revelation have already (largely) left your community. The people who embrace it will be happy to support your not-exactly-new path. This is as it should be. I’ve missed the substantive conversations with Robin, the back and forth of genre history, the intellectualization of emotional responses we once had. With your revelations I can let all of that go. It was never me, it was always you. The doubt is what eats at a person, not the change. Change is good. It frees people to new vistas and new experiences. I’m not worried about either of us. We both know what we want. We’ll be fine. Thank you again for the time we spent together. May your path always lead to the destinations you’ve mapped out and may you be victorious in court.