Category Archives: Rare Event

It Ain’t Happening: Here’s Why


This has been a very difficult post to write, because the news isn’t happy. For all of you who were wondering what of P.D. Singer would show up on TV and YouTube and whatever other venues the Mamie Dowd Eisenhower Library uses for their Off the Page programming, the answer is stark.


The charming librarian who had gone to such lengths to set up the taping on a schedule that worked for us, who had been utterly fascinated by a genre new to her, and who had spent her post-production time shaping the questions and answers into a coherent program, had to notify me that the Powers That Be in the county system had vetoed airing my interview.

Because of the “vivid and erotic descriptions” in my work, and “the potential for giving offence” to the viewership, the folks whose approval she had to gain for that last step declined to air the segment.

Yes, I include sex scenes. Yes, they drive the plot, or they wouldn’t be there. Yes, they are sex scenes between gay men, who apparently are just as persona non grata in this particular county as ever they were before Stonewall.

To say that I’m crushed is to encompass anger, disappointment, and disbelief. Mostly anger. It’s taken me two weeks to write this, just to keep the acid off the screen. And 80% of it isn’t even anger for myself. I am livid that TPTB are unwilling to allow discussion of books that might be of interest to some sizeable plurality of their audience.

Because apparently 100% discussion of the majority isn’t enough, and the delicate flowers who are used to complete domination of the discussion because “that’s the way it should be” ought not be exposed to anything outside their current world view. They’re taxpayers.

So am I. So is every LGBT person in the metro area.

It isn’t that I discussed sex, or said anything inappropriate. Except it seems that the word “gay” is enough to be a problem in some quarters, and the existence of gay sex is potentially so upsetting as to warrant striking the programming.

I actually do know the meaning of the word “Censorship.” I do recognize the difference between private enterprise choosing to accept some things and reject others versus the government’s refusal to allow discussion of a subject. In this case, a local government has chosen to squelch material which clearly fell under the brief of the programming. I am a local author, and even a heavy user of their particular system. I have achieved a bit of success in a genre that portrays love, very much like a quarter or so of their entire collection, and not nearly as explicitly as many books already on their shelves.

My titles are on library shelves around the world: Seattle, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Australia. But not on my home turf.

In no way should blame attach to the librarian, who was also crushed by this decision. She bent over backwards to make this interview happen, and making her be the agent of bad news seemed gratuitously harsh. Her recourse in this was small: she has to work with and for the decision makers, however she feels. I couldn’t have asked for a more invested champion. Alas, her voice was not the voice of authority here.

I am furious on behalf of every person who experiences this kind of silencing because of who they are. I am furious that it was the way of the past, and I am furious that the present hasn’t improved enough to make this sort of event a relic of less enlightened times.

Love comes in more than one color of the rainbow.  Which, apparently, in Broomfield, Colorado, is reason enough for silence.


Best book? Best Contemporary?

The Rare Event PD Singer novel Dreamspinner GR-cat-21-NGR-cat-26-N (2)
Busy, busy end of the year! The Goodreads M/M Romance Group is currently voting on various favorites, and much to my delight, The Rare Event is up for two awards! So are some other fabulous books, like Eden Winter’s excellent Diversion, which appears in several categories, and yes, the book is just that good. Eden also has entries in Best Free Story and Best Short Story (In Dreams), and All Time Best M/M (The Wish). Newcomer Amelia C Gormley is in here too, for Best Contemporary. It was so hard to choose Best Anthology, because both EM Lynley’s Going for Gold and Josephine Myles’ Lashings of Sauce are under consideration.

I’ve already voted–it’s your turn to make the tough decisions. Go take a look! Voting runs through Dec. 31.

A new round of voting for covers at Elisa Rolle’s

Rare Event 5 star reviewElisa Rolle’s Rainbow Awards have moved on to a new round for the covers. I am delighted to say that Anne Cain’s work on The Rare Event is still in contention. So are  Carole Cummings’ Wolf’s Own covers, equally gorgeous and a totally different style. Thanks to all that voted, and would you and your buddies please do it again?

It works best to open two windows, so you can see what you’re voting on. The covers are here. and the poll is here.

The weeding down is going to get brutal from here on out: 50% of the contenders will be eliminated every two weeks until 10 remain. Since Anne captured the venue and the mood of the novel so perfectly, please support her artistry by voting to keep The Rare Event in contention.

Anne is seriously talented: she switched styles and mediums completely to do the Wolf’s Own covers. Amazing!

Please vote!

Rainbow cover contest’s latest round

Rare Event 5 star reviewElisa Rolle’s cover contest has a new round going, and I’m delighted to see that The Rare Event has made it through to the next level. I love this cover so much–Anne Cain has several entries but this one is my favorite!

If you’d like to show this or the other beautiful covers a little love, go over and vote.

It’s easiest if you open two windows. This one gives you the poll, and this one gives you the covers to drool over look at. The collected eye-candy is going to create a dent in my book budget, because even if you ought not judge a book by the cover, don’t you want to know the story that goes with the picture? And there’s a bunch of pretty ones.


But what if they really liked it?

The New York Times just published a very disheartening expose of reviews. Where there is a demand, there will be a supply, and this man, Todd Rutherford, found a way to meet demand and line his pockets rather handsomely.

Need reviews? Have money in the advertising budget? Have more desire to be noticed than scruples about how it happens? For the measly sum of $499, he would provide 20 reviews, all proclaiming excellence, and for another $500, he’d gather up 50 paeans to the product. Whoa, Nelly, that’s a hell of a lot quicker and easier than writing the best possible story and launching it into a world of strangers with no external motivation to sing its praises.

Of course this sort of thing gets noticed, and as one hornet’s nest hanging directly over the front door will get the wasp spray while another in a far tree  will be allowed to thrive, Rutherford’s service attracted Google and Amazon’s attention. He’d racked up a fortune before they shut him down, though, and he’s still out there, trying to drum up business. And some desperate authors will probably provide.

For those of us either old-fashioned or honest enough to not even imagine this was a possibility, this article was an eye-opener. I, and all the authors I know, which admittedly are all m/m romance types, spend our moments hoping that someone with a respected opinion, like Jessewave and her crew, or Mrs. Condit and Friends, or any of a dozen other sites that we know and trust, will find a moment to read and review, and preferably to love, our work. To those who know the opinion-makers, these reviews have some validity, even if it’s just knowing which reviewers’ tastes run counter to your own. “If X loved it, I’ll probably love it too, and if Y liked it, I’d best stay away, although if Z hated it, I bet I’ll enjoy.”

But for the general browser on one of the big sites like Amazon, these names mean nothing and the words themselves are the only thing to go by. And if the words are suspect just for existing, because people like this Rutherford, um, person, are churning them out via subcontractors who get a few bucks to string together 50-100 words of high praise, then what is the review going to accomplish besides arousing cynicism?

Rare Event 5 star reviewMy Wall Street novel, The Rare Event, is one that I’m pretty proud of, although it isn’t selling terribly briskly. I’ve always thought it was because of the emphasis on the money and the hedge funds, because it has a fair amount of numbers attached to that part of the plot, or because of the size. It’s a hefty 350 pages.  Perhaps I should retitle it Fifty Shades of Money? But maybe the trouble is the reviews it’s received.

A number of articulate readers have said their piece on it at Goodreads, and the ratings are all over the board, depending on how well they like the hedge fund plot and the relationship. At Amazon, though, it’s got a handful of reviews, all 5 plus one 4. Does that make the quality of the book suspect? If the names on the reviews aren’t known to you, does that mean, “These reviews are too positive and therefore it can’t really be that good?”

Some of the reviewers are folks I know, who run review sites, and a couple are  readers moved enough to comment. I appreciate that they’ve taken the time to say something, especially something positive, but maybe no one believes them.