Professional Integrity and Honor from Authors
Welcome to my first blog.
I didn’t expect my first blog to be about such a heavy subject. I really thought that I would be telling you all about something fun. Like how I came to be Francesca Donatella. That’s a pen name by the way, you will see why it’s important that you know this in a bit, because she has a really fucking awesome story to tell you about her bad ass self!
But no, here I am talking about ETHICS and PROFESSIONALISM in this business of writing MM romance.
There are sooooo many wonderfully fabulous authors in this community and I’ve made some life-long friendships here that I treasure. I hope to develop those same friendships with new readers too. How do I know that they will be “life-long” you ask? (good question). Because I honestly believe that most people are good and genuine at heart. That they aren’t out to take advantage of or deceive this genre or its readers. *I want you all to note this tho… You must all BEWARE however, because for as many honest people you meet, there will be other’s that want nothing more than to suck all the goodness right out of you.*
I know many authors. Some are male, some are female and some that prefer, for reasons that are completely valid, to remain a mystery.
It doesn’t matter if they use their real names or a pen name. There are great reasons to choose either and those reasons range from the need to protect their privacy (perhaps they have small children that they don’t want to be targeted for example), to having to find another name to write under because there is already an author out there with your name and it could get confusing (me), or any number of reasons in between. The difference between an author using a pen name for valid, honorable reasons to represent themselves is intent.
The reason I’m here today writing about this and hoping that you read it is because I and MANY others were recently taken advantage of by a CATFISHER! That word makes my skin crawl…
Someone deliberately set out to misrepresent themselves to both readers and writers of this community for profit and gain. This person was given the benefit of the doubt that they were who they said they were. Why? Because they insisted that they were exactly what they claimed to be and we took them at their word. Would it have mattered if they were a woman writing as a man to protect their privacy? Absolutely not. Not to any of us (I hope) because if you are a good author, then your work should stand on its own. This person hurt a bunch of us
AN ETHICS LESSON:
Just a small lesson on how to be a decent human being.
- Moral principles that govern a person’s or group’s behavior
- The branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles
- The quality of being and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness: “He is known to be a man of integrity”
- The state of being whole and undivided: “upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty”
As an author, promoter, editor, etc… of the MM genre, I believe we all have a moral obligation to stand up for the LGBTQA community and represent it in an honorable fashion. This community cannot survive when overridden by duplicity and lies. Authors, or anyone who is in a professional capacity MUST be held to a higher standard. Authors especially are given an automatic amount of trust by their readers. People connect with their books and reach out to many of them, become friends with them. When they are lied to deliberately, maliciously and purposefully, well… I’ve been struggling for the past two days to come up with words to describe just how awful a practice this “catfishing” is.
I was deeply hurt by this recently. Can you tell? I feel betrayed and I am especially angry that I fell for this while working for this person. I feel deeply sorry that I’ve encouraged people to purchase this person’s work and I’m so fucking angry that I was put in that position. I try every day to live honorably. I work very hard at supporting this community, most of the time for free and I’m sickened about this.
So many people have reached out to me to tell me that they understand I wasn’t at fault. I love them for trying to ease my mind and I love their unfailing support. I’m pissed as hell that they even feel the need to though.
My hope now is that we will all move forward. A little warier perhaps, but stronger in the end for having leaned on each other and learned our lessons. I hope that we don’t forget who the books that we love to read are really about and that we continue to be a positive voice of support for this community. Especially now during this difficult time in our history, we must stand loud, proud and together.
Peace out ~