Just to qualify everything I’m about to say, here’s something you need to know: I’m a woman; I have sisters and daughters so I really like women. I have approximately 450 books on my Kindle Paperwhite and at least 90% of them are M/M fiction and most of those are written BY WOMEN! So I like women and I respect and like to read books written by women! Now, with that said…
I actually hesitated to write this…. which isn’t like me; I’m a tell-it-like-it-is gal, so after I went for a long walk, drank numerous cups of coffee and pulled up my big girl pants, I decided to get my frustration out there.
***Be warned… this is a rant. Plain and simple. I’m pissed as hell and I want to get it out of my head. There will be bad words, snarky-ass comments and I’ll probably be all over the map, so if you have tender feelings or get your panties in a wad over grown-up language and bad grammar you might want to mosey on over to the Josh Lanyon FB fan page where there’s just all kinds of huggy-kissy shit going on with the choir members! I’m breaking this up into 3 parts, so please stay tuned because it gets positive after Part 1 :D***
PART 1: Rant ON
I woke up Friday morning to the news that my all-time fave author, Josh Lanyon, is dead.
Actually to be precise, he never existed to begin with. Apparently, he… is a she. SHE is author Diana Killian. SHE also writes cozy mysteries with themes like poetry… and yoga o.O Just fucking great.
Here I thought we had at least one male M/M-gay romance author in the genre who brought something real to the table (and btw, there are several others to be applauded as well)… a gay MAN who not only wrote great books but who also connected with his readers… someone who obviously cared about his personal life enough not to exploit it online, privacy was paramount; who even wrote a non-fiction book about writing about gay romance! But no. It’s all been a ruse, propagated and dragged out by Ms. Killian to… what exactly?
Huh… I got nothing.
Yes, I’ve read HER carefully worded, yet lacking, response on the Josh Lanyon blog where SHE states that it was just “time” to lower the veil and that SHE was comfortable with it… well, how very nice for you Ms. Killian! But, just a quick question… um, why the hell didn’t you get your ‘comfy on’ about, oh I don’t know… 10 years ago!? Didn’t you think that just maybe after winning an award or two with the Adrien English series that just maybe you might need to drop the pen name and use your real name? That maybe when you started selling enough books as Josh Lanyon to quit the day job, maybe you should be honest and forthcoming about your identity? No? Instead, you made a conscious choice to keep the Josh Lanyon persona alive, one of a gay MAN who writes M/M-gay romance and I’m guessing – because at this point that’s all anyone can do – you knew you could bank on the notoriety of being one of the very few gay men who write in the M/M genre and quite obviously do it very well.
This is how I see it: you had this ‘comfy’ moment and decided you were tired of the double life so you talked with your girlie posse who told you this would be the perfect time to come clean because, hey, you’re going out of the country! I can hear the conversation now while all of you sipped Mimosas (or whatever the hell) and constructed this scenario: So you come clean, throw a non-apologetic and weak-ass explanation on the Josh Lanyon blog and your posse will monitor the response with shit such as, “Hey, if anyone says anything bad about you, we’ll throw the word ‘misogynist’ around!” Oooh, good one, and if they say negative shit we can tell them they are being “intolerant”! How about this one… if they dare to question you we’ll make them out to be idiots by saying, “Are we really still having this conversation? I thought we were past all of this!”
Here’s some obviously much needed information about your readers, Ms. Killian (if that’s even your real name… but at this point I don’t give a crap!): I am not an idiot who hates women and is intolerant. And how very fucking dare you, and your girlie posse, make me out to be an intolerant oaf just because we think you did something that was deceitful, shady and crass! What the fuck? You seriously think you are above anyone’s disdain just because you’re a woman who writes M/M fiction who was posing as a gay man who is now really a woman… Jesus, my head hurts!
Oh, and thank you so much for the apology, er, I mean the blog post where you basically blame us, the readers, who are at fault for not knowing you were a man:
The years of gossip and rumors and speculation were fueled by my steadfast refusal to state whether I was male or not. Which…for God’s sake. THAT WAS THE ANSWER RIGHT THERE. Right? Certainly for most people that was the answer right there. – Diana Killian (responding on the Josh Lanyon blog)
First of all Ms. Killian, I have been reading the Josh Lanyon interviews and the subsequent comment section discussions on your true identity since about 2009 – I can clearly remember people coming to your defense in droves when someone even remotely questioned your identity or gender. Now you can say, “Well that wasn’t me! I have no control over what people commented!” And here I will use one of your own familiar responses… “Uh huh”
Let’s face it, for years now you have had your posse (aka, author/editor/reviewer friends) “having your back” to seclude your identity and not once did you come forward and just freakin’ put it to bed and say “Hell yes I’m a woman! And damn proud of it!”. <— THIS IS THE CRUX OF THE PROBLEM! Here’s one that I was able to still find (I have a life so, like you, I’m not taking the time to go back and find shit…):
From an Amazon.com discussion dated 2012:
Is Josh Lanyon a bona fide male ?
See latest post
Initial post: Apr 2, 2012 5:41:31 PM PDT
Robert Brace says:
Can anyone prove this absolutely ?
4 of 12 people think this post adds to the discussion. Do you? Yes No
Posted on Apr 9, 2012 3:01:07 AM PDT
J. Kay Jones says:
Yes. Interviews with him online by real interviewers who met him.
And Josh is a gay man! There are plenty of people who can attest to that!
Also, can someone please explain this picture on the Josh Lanyon (who is really Diana Killian) Scribd account? Here’s the pic with a link to the page:
Does this look like Ms. Killian? Or, does this imply anything? Just sayin’… if I’m totally wrong and this IS Ms. Killian… uh huh.
***Rant Off (because I have a headache!)***
PART 2 – I actually love most of Ms. Killian’s Josh Lanyon books!
I have read nearly all of the books under the Josh Lanyon pseudonym and I love them! I have reviewed and written on various blogs about the perfection of the Adrien English and Holmes and Moriarity series. Also, the fact that Unto These Yellow Sands and The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks are some of the best stand-alone novels in the genre (if not THE best). And, Jefferson Blythe, Esquire has been Pre-Ordered (I’m NOT a New Adult fan, but I’m willing to give it a chance). So, I will still purchase the books and review them, but seriously I don’t much like this new author, and that makes me sad. I loved the “fictional” author (probably one of Ms. Killian’s best characterizations to date), but Ms. Killian is like so many others… but I’ll give her a chance to redeem herself.
PART 3: Dear M/M author: Don’t do this!
A word of caution and some unsolicited advice from a reader – an auto-buy reader at that – please do not do this. A pseudonym is one thing, but taking on a persona of someone so much unlike your true self is disingenuous and will turn off readers somewhere down the road (hopefully after you have become hugely rich and famous 😉 Your platform/brand is incredibly important in this new age of publishing – just be yourself. And I get it, you might need to use a different name to protect yourself from the church ladies finding out you write about smexy shirtless cowboys who roll around in the hay together… but for God’s sake please JUST CHANGE THE NAME. And when you do start to make it big (*snort*) then maybe, as soon as is possible, drop the veil a little… don’t wait a decade or more of pretending to be someone utterly different than yourself and expect there not to be just a little backlash!
Whew! I’m done… I’m heading to my Kindle to read something familiar and cozy so I can get all this behind me. Oh, and I’m looking for some new authors to read… just sayin’.
*** Update #1***
The Josh Lanyon (who is actually Diana Killian) Scribd. page (the “old” one, not the new one that has like 2 billion followers *snort*) has been changed (imagine that!) – the picture of the mysterious guy has been replaced with a pic stating “You’ve Been Punked!!!”
Wow, the posse is working overtime and being oh, so sweet about things. Really, you do realize readers see this stuff, right?
*** Update #2***
So I found out who the mystery guy is in the old Scribd. screenshot up there. Interesting… he wrote a gay novel around 2005… hmmm. Seriously, this is like a DIY mystery book only it’s the online version. If anyone has any insight, please let me know… <smooches>