Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Unwoven: How One Word Lead To The Cancellation Of Our Novel and These Are My Thoughts On The Matter


You may have heard of the cancellation of Woven, the anticipated YA fantasy novel that I co-wrote with Michael Jensen. To my long-time visitors and those jumping into the Cosmic Laire for the first time, welcome. Allow me a moment to share what led to this moment:

Five years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Michael for the first time as a co-worker. After a few days of getting to know each other, we discovered our common interests in fiction and storytelling. I had been writing for a number of years and Michael had excellent ideas and composed musicals. Sharing my work with him felt natural, so I invited him to read my first attempt at fantasy. He liked it enough, so he shared with me his idea of a princess and a ghost, lost in the woods, looking for a needle that could sew the ghost back to life.

Needless to say, I was sold. "We HAVE to make this a novel," I said. A creative partnership began and we went to work. We molded old ideas with new and developed this story over a few years. A year of shopping later, we were offered a few contracts with small publishers. Cedar Fort seemed to be the better option - and since Michael knew the president of the company (who seemed fine with everything), we felt it was the right choice at the time and we signed a deal.

Man, were we excited! All these years of hard work and sleepless nights were about to pay off, and early reviews were very good! And we had an October 8 release date, just days before my birthday!

Could this get any better? ... oh, it got better, all right ...

Skip to a few weeks ago. Everything was set, ready for the printer. Manuscript edited and polished. Cover finished. Map inserted. It looked amazing. But then, we noticed something was missing:

The last line of Michael's bio ...

Maybe there was a typo ... a cut-and-paste glitch?

We asked "what's up?" We were told that a certain word, one word, would be harmful to their relationship with LDS-based booksellers.

That seemed especially strange to us. We were printing the book under Sweetwater, their national market imprint. That doesn't mean we were selling Woven exclusively to the LDS market, right?

Another word was offered. We were told that that word was also unacceptable. Seriously, what word could that possibly be?

That word is "partner."

He lives in Salt Lake City with his partner and their four dogs.

That's the line that was missing. What followed was an unfortunate string of events that ultimately led to Cedar Fort's decision to cancel our publishing agreement (you can read the whole story here).

You can also check out KUTV 2's coverage on this here.

To make a long story short, Michael is gay. Most of you know this.

As you can imagine, having the rug pulled out from under our book was an unexpected blow, all because Michael wanted to be honest about who he is. There's nothing wrong with that. The sentence shouldn't have been an issue, so I gave Michael my complete support throughout the ordeal. I tried my best to encourage Cedar Fort to see the opportunity on their doorstep. What was this opportunity?

A bridge - those thingies that help you get over stuff, you know?

To make another long story short, I'm LDS (Mormon).

Michael and I knew this about each other. Never once did we think of each other by orientation or religious affiliation. We were people first - talented people who wanted to make a cool story together. We may disagree about a few things, maybe LOTS of things, but lasting, trusting friendship, is more important than disagreements.

When we started - and ended - Woven, our goal was to find a home for it. We think it's a beautiful story. Family friendly, as heterosexual as it gets. As the title implies, this story is about bringing people together, unity, and overcoming impossible obstacles by working together. Perhaps our once-publisher missed this message?

Hard to tell, but I will be honest. I was nervous at the thought of sharing this news with the public. I have friends on all sides of the political spectrum, and I wasn't sure how this was going to effect my standing on the Right side of things. I even had a conversation with someone I hold dear to my heart who advised against going public with this, that it could come back to harm me, all the work I've done into building this awesome platform, and ruin my reputation.

Then it hit me. A question jumped out of my mouth, faster than the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man ran into Ray's head: "With whom?"

In other words, my reputation would be ruined with whom? People who would cancel publishing our book for the reason already said above? Sounds good to me. That way I can sort through the crowd and find the people I'd like to have lunch with. Lunch is awesome!

I digress. Here comes the true test of friendship. Bring it on!

It hasn't been 24 hours since this news broke and I can't keep up with the comments on all my social media sites. I am floored, brought to tears, and completely relieved by the support - and help - of the writing community. Some have gone as far as to say that because I stood up for Michael's right to express himself, they are proud to know me. I thank you, everyone, and I am proud to know YOU!

And I'm proud of Michael for sticking to his principles.

I believe in a lot of things. Love one another is my first rule of thumb. Loves conquers all, dude. I also believe in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Michael has the right to pursue his happiness as I do. Like the publishing industry, happiness is subjective. Not one thing will make everyone happy. That is for us to discover, a journey, life- long and full. While it is unfortunate that Woven won't be published as planned, I know it will, and this time, in the hands of someone who sees our story for what it is and not turn us down for who we are.

I'd like to point out that, yes, I am Mormon. The folks who run Cedar Fort are also Mormon, but this was not a Church decision. I don't agree with Cedar Fort's decision. I know legions of Mormons who also do not agree with their decision. Some might, I don't know. I have never been a fan of blanket statements, so it is my hope that people see that there are LDS peeps in this world - and many other religious and non-religious peeps - with love - not fear - in their hearts.

Guys, your recent support has restored my faith in humanity.

That's all I have to say for now. It's late and I have a full day ahead of me. Now that you know, author's everywhere, publish with Cedar Fort at your own discretion. If you read here, you will find that we're not the only authors who has had a problem with them. At the same time, I wish them well, with a bright future ahead. Adieu.

This isn't going to slow the spaceship down. I will continue blogging as I always do, sharing everything sci-fi/fantasy/book-related-what-have-yous in awesome pay-it-forward fashion. Bring it!

We appreciate your support and prayers as we move forward.

I'm David, and give a shout-out to Michael, wouldja?

And a big shout-out to DL Hammons and the Blitz team!

154 comments:

  1. Great post, David, and way to support your co-writer in a moment of tested loyalties and principles. I'm sure WOVEN will find another home, and all this will turn out to be a stepping stone to something better for both the writers and the story. When you told me about it at the Storymakers' dinner, I thought it sounded like a compelling idea. It turns out that Michael and I were in a musical theater production together a few years ago at the Scera Theater. SMALL WORLD! All the best to both of you on the road to publication.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey David (and Michael),

    When I first heard the news (no pub.) I was deeply saddened for you both. I've had a few writing disappointments - but to be *this* close - boy I can't imagine.

    Move to Tuesday afternoon, when you posted the full explanation... I was sitting in the waiting room of a Jiffy Lube-type place and was so mad (and uncouth) that I *nearly* shouted out *the* bad word.

    Gosh, I was so mad.

    *That* one word (and more than one closed-mind?) could ruin your deal and immediate dreams was sickening.

    I would never have anything to do with your former "publisher" and will do my best to share this story with as many people as I can.

    In the meantime, Michael and you have my deepest respect in how you handled this unbelievable situation with decorum and honor (you are both better men than I - that's for sure...)

    Wishing you all the best and I am sure WOVEN will be picked up by the right publisher sooner than later.

    Good luck and God speed :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good on you for standing up for what you believe in. I think it's wonderful. I'm glad you're finding the support you need, and hope your book is even more successful than you hoped.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm sorry for the range of conflicted feelings this must bring out in you and all the dissapointment, but know that you guys did the right thing. The fact that any publishing house would refuse to publish a book based on one of the writer's sexual orientation makes me sick.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm speechless with indignation, but also very impressed that you and Michael have stuck to your guns. I'm sure the right publisher is waiting just around the corner for you. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  6. David, I'm so sorry you and Michael had to experience this. I'm saddened this is even an issue with anyone. I hope you both find a better home for Woven soon.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I too am LDS, and I am sorry that this has happened to you both. I am impressed by the way you are handling this situation, and wish you both the best of luck finding a new home for your story.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm one of those people who are proud to know you and you have my full support. It sucks that you guys had to go through this but I'm confident you'll find a worthy home for Woven. No one should have to hide who they are. It's Cedar Fort's loss.

    ReplyDelete
  9. After reading the press release, I was as floored as Mark. If it was such an issue, why did they sign you guys in the first place? But more than that was what the president said to Michael - that was appalling. So filled with hate. You want to drive someone away from church and God, that's how you do it!
    I don't know what God that guy serves, but MY God is the Lord of love and forgiveness.
    You guys are wise to part company with them, because there were other warning signs. You're not two months from the book's release and review copies still hadn't been sent out and no official cover. That's cutting it close. My book comes out next month and yet the cover art and review copies were ready last February. Obviously there are a lot of reasons not to publish with Cedar Fort.
    God wants us to show love - you did that so well by sticking by your friend. Amen!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm so mad about this, for so many reasons. I would go off about it, but it's not about me, so I'll just briefly offer my support to you both, and say that I look forward to reading Woven when it's published - which I'm sure will be soon.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This has disturbed me to my very core. The fact that Michael was verbally attacked and told things involving his anatomy only makes this sad story worse. I'm first off so glad he has a wonderful co-author in you David so he didn't have to face this alone. I am from Jamaica, a country that doesn't hide it's anti-gay feelings but even here this would be considered low. For starters no Jamaican Publisher would wait until the last second, they'd have the balls to put forward their issues from the get go. While this won't soothe any feelings it's just my way of saying how much this situation really bothers me.

    I am a Christian and while over the years my mind has opened up to the fact that being gay isn't just evil or a choice, there are things I'm still reserved about. Yes I admit I have doubts on gay marriage and the effects certain new laws might have but I'd never use my feelings or thoughts to attack someone. Everyone has the right to live the life they choose and Michael had the right to have his partner mentioned in the same way your wife was David. For God sakes they took on the book of a gay author. What did they think the bio would say? Mike lives in a house? I mean seriously?! Especially when both you and he have partners. Did they really think they were so powerful that your wife could be mentioned and Mike's partner wouldn't even be acknowledged. Clearly they're behind the times and don't know either of you.

    So that's my thoughts. I'm glad that you stood by him and that neither of you are giving up on Woven. From a little after 4 a.m. since reading about this on Amber Argyle's blog I have been posting her link at the end of my comments on other blogs encouraging them to read about this. I had planned to read a few blog posts then spend the rest of my computer time (on a borrowed laptop) catching up on Naruto Ship. episodes (currently have 214 up and waiting to be watched) but this is way more worthwhile. *Grins*

    Also happy that this has reached the news. I think you two should do a Youtube video also to cite your personal views/experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sheena-Kay: I didn't think I could find anything about this amusing, but "What did they think the bio would say? Mike lives in a house?" has proven that assumption very much wrong. Well played.

      To David and Micheal: Stand strong, and though I'm not much for YA fiction, if you decide to self-publish or go with another publisher, I'll be among the first in line!

      Delete
  12. I can't begin to tell you how shocked I am about this, and how angry I feel on behalf of both of you. But I know that Woven WILL find another home, and it will be all the better for it. It will be with a publisher that deserves to publish it. Cedar Fort certainly do not.

    You are a true friend and advocate for people everywhere, David, regardless of their sexual orientation or beliefs. I salute you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What an awful experience to go through. I'm sad to see that some people/organizations continue to be so narrow-minded. You clearly did the right thing. May your book go on to become a bestseller with a publisher that fully supports you both as writers and authors.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is disgusting to hear. I am so glad the two of you stood up for what you believed in and shined a light on a very ugly part of the publishing world.

    ReplyDelete
  15. *hugs* to both of you. You'll find the right publisher for your story.

    "That way I can sort through the crowd and find the people I'd like to have lunch with." Yeah.

    ReplyDelete
  16. As I told you in my email, I am disgusted by this. And I still think that this happened because another great publisher out there is meant for WOVEN - someone who will recognize a good book and good authors for what they are, and not zero in on something that is wholly none of their business and has no relevance to pretty much anything. Ever.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I absolutely can't believe this happened!

    Please let me know if there's anything. ANYTHING I can do to help.

    ReplyDelete
  18. There are moments I am embarrassed to be part of the human race. I am sorry this happened, but like so many others proud to know you.

    Happy Blitz Day from a new reader.

    Rhonda @Laugh Quotes

    ReplyDelete
  19. David I hope you and Michael feel a ton of support and love from us and many others. Digging deep and doing what you feel is right is rarely easy but I truly believe is ultimately what you have to do. Hugs and cheering you on. I just have this feeling that you have made a decision that is going to bless the socks off your book and your futures!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I agree with Rhonda, some days it's hard to say we are the 'human' race. But so awesome the stand you've taken! So sad that it's necessary, but now seems to be the right time to change things - and Thank God! they are changing - although I'm sure that's not how it feels now!

    Wishing you and Michael all the best!

    ReplyDelete
  21. The whole thing is the lowest of lows. After reading through the comments, I agree with Sheena-kay. As a Christian, I'm horrified someone would say such things to another human being. That was a really bad way to handle the situation. And as Alex pointed out, they still hadn't sent out review copies? There went your chances of reviews from the top reviewers right there anyway.

    You did the right thing.

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is wrong on so many levels!! Thank you for taking a stand and sharing your (and Michael's) story with us. Woven will undoubtedly find another...more deserving home, of that I'm sure! Hang in there!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I do applaud Michael's decision in standing his ground and your support. I do not believe religion or discrimination of any kind should be a reason to not publish a book. Most of all, if it is not a religious book. Anyway, I think this might be a blessing in disguise. You became aware of the kind of people you were doing deals with just on time to save you both a lot of headaches later, I would say.

    I also was shocked when I read the press release, last night. It's really awful the rude way Michael was treated. Nothing justifies that. I am sure you'll find a home for Woven soon. There are other publishers out there who will see the true value in your book. I am sure. And when that moment comes, the dragon will be there to help you spread the word! :D

    ReplyDelete
  24. Not that either of you need affirmation to know that what you did was right, but ... for what it's worth, I'm cheering for you both.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Good grief. What's wrong with people?

    I don't blame either one of you for wanting to sever that relationship. There are bigger and better things waiting out there--especially after the world gets wind of what happened. Woven will happen one way or another. :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wow. Really sorry to hear this. But I love that you thought to see the opportunity as a bridge for others to reach a level of understanding.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Well, this is effed up in so many ways. Someone should probably contact Preditors and Editors and make sure this publisher gets added to their list.
    BUT! I'm confident you and Michael will find a new home for Woven!

    ReplyDelete
  28. It is mind-boggling that in what we consider an enlightened society in the 21st century that this type of struggle remains on-going. I look forward to Woven's release of which I'm sure will happen sooner rather than later.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Some days I can't believe this is 2013, not 1850. I'm so angry for you guys, but I applaud the way you handled it, and I look forward to seeing the day when Woven is published!

    ReplyDelete
  30. "Here comes the true test of friendship. Bring it on!"

    Amen, brother.

    I'm appalled. I applaud you and Michael for standing your ground. One can only hope your story continues to go viral and CF is exposed for who they really are. Cedar Fort you should be ashamed of yourselves.

    Can't WAIT to buy my copy of Woven soon!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Sounds like fodder for another story.. ;) Good things come to those who lose an opportunity rather than lose themselves. Cedar Fort made a horrible business decision, and worse, a horrible human decision. Stay strong DPK.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Woven sounds wonderful. Such a shame it's release was ruined--or rather, delayed. Let's think positively--over something like that.

    Best of luck to both of you. Don't give up.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Woven will see the light of day soon! And when it does, I will proudly by my copy--regardless of what the bios say--because I buy books on the merits of the BOOK, not the lifestyles of the authors.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm so sickened by this and wonder when on earth people will stop this repulsive behavior against gay people. I admire you for sticking with your friend and admire Michael for having the courage to be who he is instead of bowing to their demands. I hope that soon both Woven and the two of you will find the home you deserve and I wish you both nothing but the very best.

    ReplyDelete
  35. What's the saying? When one door shuts, another one opens.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I am honestly floored. I can't believe they would cancel your contract over this. I am proud of both of you for standing up for yourselves. I know Woven will find a home. Hugs and support coming to both of you!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Oh,David- this broke my heart. I honestly cannot believe that such archaic and insane prejudice is still being practiced by a reputable publishing firm,I'm just shocked.
    It seems strange to say thank you for standing with Michael as it seems- just from this brief glimpse I have of you- that that's simply in your nature. But I'm glad to know that people like you are out there- you've restored MY faith in humanity!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Wow. That's certainly crazy. It sounds like you guys are getting a lot of attention for it though, so hopefully another publishing opportunity comes by soon!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I am LDS and do not agree with their decision one bit. So happy I've found a publisher who would never do something like this. It makes me sick that there are ones out there who would. I'm behind you guys all the way, and I think a LOT of other people are too. Good luck to you both!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Living in Georgia this is the first I've heard of it. I'm sorry. Sorry that it happened, sorry that they thought people wouldn't buy the book because of the lifestyle of an author, sorry they couldn't see what the book really taught, sorry about the whole amazing mess. Stay true to yourself. The cosmic universe will take care of you.

    ReplyDelete
  41. More power to you and your writing partner...I've always liked the word partner for it's ambiguity. I am not married to my partner, should I call him my 'not husband', or perhaps my 'not gay or not business' partner, because we are neither married, in business together or gay but together... Sounds like your book and this story needs to be read, seen and heard. I hope you both get the recognition and success you deserve without any further emotional turmoil.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I got your email yesterday and haven't been able to get this all out of my head since. It just makes me sad, angry, and really frustrated that you both had to go through this. I'm a BYU grad, the whole nine yards in that department, and this just is so wrong I can't believe it. I look forward to you finding a great home for your guy's story, and pray this at the very least opens some eyes.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I'm speechless, DPK... So sorry for all of this...

    Love to you and Michael!

    What an ordeal!!!! :(

    ReplyDelete
  44. I saw Michael on the news last night and thought he was very professional about it all. And you know I'd have lunch with you anytime! :) Chin up. Great things are on the horizon for you both!

    ReplyDelete
  45. No one should ever have to hide who they are to keep a contract with a company who, as far as I can see, are prejudice and small-minded. It annoys me enough when female writers are encouraged to write under names that don't betray their status as female. Why can't people just live and let live? Your book will find a home, and it will find a home with a publishers who love your book for what it is, not because of who the writers happen to live with. Stay strong, and good on you both for sticking to your principles.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hi, I'm here through the Blog Blitz -- and very happy to have dropped by for you story. I can imagine the disappointment when your publication was thisclose, yet...

    I'm happy that you and Michael have stayed strong and true to what is. A very unfortunate turn of events, but you will find another publisher.

    ReplyDelete
  47. The writing community is proud of you both! This situation is ridiculous. I can't believe a publisher would turn down such a wonderful novel over something so irrelevant.

    Your novel sounds awesome; I read the premise and immediately got excited to read it. You will find a new home for your novel! It's too good to pass up. You both have my full support.

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

    ReplyDelete
  48. Some people are too frightened to review and adjust their beliefs. Too bad for them. The world is moving on to a higher awareness. Thank you for sharing your and Michael's story. Blessings to both of you. Feather

    ReplyDelete
  49. I have no words. I'm so shocked. My heart and hugs go out to you both! May you find the perfect home for your writing. <3

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hi David and Michael, I support the two of you. I agree with Alex, your publishers were cutting it too close by not releasing the book's official covers and sending the review copies on time.
    Thank you for sharing your and Michael's story with us. Hugs to the two of you. I look forward to seeing Woven on book shelves soon and reading it.

    ReplyDelete
  51. It was great you guys didn't let some spiteful jerk bring you down. I'm sure with the press this is getting you'll be able to find a more tolerant publisher now. Best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Tolerance. Love. Isn't that what religion is supposed to teach? But it never does. It's all about the hypocrisy. And that's why I do not go to church. I'm a believer. But I can't put my faith in any organization that screams hypocrisy! I'm so sad to see this happen. But so happy to see both of you standing up for what you believe. Tolerance is a two way street. Yet few seem to get that. I wish you and Michael all the best and hopefully you will find a new and better home for Woven!
    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
    http://writebackwards.we3dements.com

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hi David, Arriving from the blog blitz. I am so sorry Michael and you have had to be subjected to such attitudes. I'm a Catholic and even our Pope has finally accepted it's not for him or the Church to judge. You are a true friend and I hope that you find another publisher who will look at the novel, not one line of the bio xx
    Suzanne @ Suzannes Tribe

    ReplyDelete
  54. I am appalled and saddened by this. As soon as you get another publisher, I will be the first in line to buy your book. And I am immensely proud of you both.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Ever since I found out yesterday, I just still cannot believe this is happening. I watched the news story, but it still doesn't seem real. Honestly Cedar Fort? They're giving up a great book for this??? I'm just... I can't even find the right words. Furious is one, upset that I don't get to buy your book like I've so wanted to. Ugh. It's all a little ridiculous! (k, more than a little) anyway, you guys will get picked up again. The whole.. just.. no words.

    ReplyDelete
  56. When I saw your email about how everything unfolded, I was surprised and saddened and frustrated on your behalf. What a ridiculous situation to find yourselves in! You are handling this with grace, and your comments about friendship in this post hit the mark.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Wow. Just... wow. I guess it proves that the people making the calls in publishing can be just as closed-minded as regular people. Although I expect better from them, since the function of books is to open the mind.

    I am sure you'll find a better home for your novel. And I wish you and Michael and your families all the best. I will definitely be purchasing the book now, whenever it becomes available.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I'm glad you did bring it out in the open because it isn't something to hide. I'm so sorry for Michael, and you should stick up for this. My prayers and thoughts are with you.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I don't even know what to say...

    I think you guys have handled this situation perfectly. You know what? You two are going to be way more successful in the long run because of those jerks. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and I cannot wait for you guys to be published by a company that's not just after their own interests.

    Until then I'll (im)patiently wait for my copy of Woven :)

    ReplyDelete
  60. Very impressed with the way you and Michael are handling this. Sending more support your way! Cedar Fort is getting a lot of negative press for this, it seems.

    ReplyDelete
  61. It's an eye-opener and makes us realize some people do still live in the dark ages. Read first about this on Misha's site and went to read the article. Does Writer Beware know about this one?

    ReplyDelete
  62. I'm sorry to hear about this. I would like to say I'm shocked, but I'm just not. This type of thing happens all over the place. And it's not just Cedar Fort and it's not just against people who are gay. I know this because I, too, lost a published contract this way. Because I'm LDS. The Christian publisher loved the story and everything about it, but when they learned I was LDS, they decided not to make an offer.

    Like with yours, I feel like the publisher missed an opportunity. I don't understand these types of decisions. Is it just the publishers view that people are so short-sighted and hateful that they wouldn't buy the book? Or is it a reflection of society at large? I like to think the former, but either way, it's sad.

    I feel for you, and know exactly how you feel. How could one word cause so much drama? Shouldn't we be judged for our work and who we are as a person instead of labels and stereotypes? Hoping you and Michael find a happier ending for your story.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Wow. Just wow.

    I saw this news article go by on my Facebook feed this morning. I didn't read the article then, just shook my head at the sadness and close-mindedness involved. I'm heading back to read the article now.

    As for those who cautioned you against sharing this -- they are wrong. And you stated it clearly: If this ruins your reputation for some people, then those are not people whose good opinion you really need.

    ReplyDelete
  64. THAT's why they dropped you? That makes me so f*cking mad. You absolutely did the right thing, and it is SO awesome that you supported Michael. This shit has gotta stop. What sneaky DBs trying to just drop the sentence off. Gahhh, I'm super steamed right now!! I'm not gay, but I wholeheartedly support gay(HUMAN) rights.

    And yes, you two are going to find an awesome publisher. And I will proudly help promote your book when you do.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I think you definitely made the right decision in supporting your co-author and friend through all this. Your book will find a new and better home shortly. I have no doubt of that. This has done nothing but solidify your already stellar reputation in my view. If anyone thinks less of you for this, it reflects badly on them and not you.

    ReplyDelete
  66. How disappointing! I am so sorry to hear of your frustrations, but yes please know that the writing (and blogging) communities are behind you and Michael in your decision to stand up for him being truly represented! I do hope you find another publisher that will work with you.
    Happy Blitz day!

    ReplyDelete
  67. First: WOW!!! Woven sounds like such a great story. Can't wait to read it. Second: So proud of you both for sticking to what you know is right. Great things will come your way. YAY!!! Third: Michael and his partner have 4 dogs? That's awesome. Our family has three.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Wow! How close-minded! Hope it makes you feel better that we writers and bloggers support you. Happy Blitz day!

    ReplyDelete
  69. Hang in there, guys! Woven is going to be published and it will be so awesome that publishing house will cry.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Just wanted to add my support. While it's terrible what they did to you, because you did the right thing, this'll get you so much positive press it can only help your career.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Like everyone else, I am shocked and saddened by this. But it does make me happy to see how you handled it, how you both stood your ground, and all the support you're getting. You know you have a great story and it'll find the right home.

    ReplyDelete
  72. I'm LDS too and I have never looked at a person for their life choices versus the beautiful soul they are!!! Amen to you! Something better is coming your way and I can't wait to see it unfold!

    ReplyDelete
  73. I saw the news and thought, "hey, I know that David Powers King guy from the blogosphere" and sure enough... I clicked through this morning but my computer was acting up, so I couldn't leave a comment until now. And in the mean time, this post and 72 comments went up. #AWESOME I hope you are getting all the support you should for standing up for your co-author and for your book, however it gets published in the future (I'll be looking for that announcement!). Best of Luck!

    ReplyDelete
  74. You did the right thing. In fact, your story is very touching. It is a story of true friendship and staying true to yourself. And Woven will find a home--a better home. I'm looking forward to buying and reading it.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Great thoughts - so glad you shared. I am so sorry about all of this but I KNOW it will lead so something much, much better. Having read an early version of Woven - the story is incredible and it will find a new and better home. I am so bummed and I have to cancel by pre-ordered copies on Amazon too. I was so excited to get the book in my hands but it is only delayed. I have supported you in your writing and will continue to do so and root for your success. You have a great gift and have many stories to tell and Woven is just the start. Stay strong, keep faith and the window will open soon...if it has not already! Love you!

    ReplyDelete
  76. Linked and retweeted. I am certain your book will find a good home.

    I'm horrified by Cedar Fort's behavior, and while I hope it's just a single person brandishing dearly-held bigotry, it reflects badly enough on an already reputarnished house that the staff should flee, and flee now.

    ReplyDelete
  77. This is really unfortunate. I try to look at works independent of authors or publishers, to take art on its own terms, but I have problems nevertheless with becoming immersed enough to enjoy stuff from people like Orson Scott Card. Cedar Fort is now added to that distastefully distracting mental list.

    Cedar Fort: Stuff like this does hurt your business, even for people who may agree with you. You're in entertainment. Stop with the agenda -- it doesn't lead to sales. Good art leads to sales.

    Best of luck to you, Michael and David.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Hey David, as always, I admire you. What you went through must've been hard, but keep going, I will always be a faithful reader :)

    ReplyDelete
  79. Wow, I didn't know about this until today. I'm so sorry. I can't even describe how absolutely amazed I am at something like this. Good on you and Michael. Know you have the support of so many.

    ReplyDelete
  80. I'm sorry about this. What a sad thing to experience. But I love the way you put your views and I'm glad you guys made a stand together. Good luck with the future of your book! Sounds like it's going to be a great hit no matter who publishes it.

    ReplyDelete
  81. I've read this story so many times today, and I still can't believe it. You and Michael are definitely better off without them. You'll get your book published eventually, and you'll probably be happy that you had to change publishers in the end. Like you said, this way you know who you would have lunch with!
    You've both handled it so well, though. There are other people out there who would have gone ahead and omitted it just to get their book published, and I'm so happy you're not one of them.
    Keep your chin up! You will get it published, and I can't wait to read it when you do :)

    ReplyDelete
  82. Shocked. Saddened. Enraged. All the support for you and Michael, though, for being fabulous and taking a stand for what is right. Stay just the way you are. Woven will find a better home, for SURE. <3

    ReplyDelete
  83. Wow. I don't even know what to say, other than that's horrible. I suppose there are some to whom such things matter, but I don't think it does to the majority of us. I have gay family members and friends. I think it's terrible he was treated so shabbily. Treating others as less than human is just wrong.

    You'll find another home.

    ReplyDelete
  84. I think this is utterly appalling. Partner is a gender neutral word. I've been with my partner (a man) for 16 years. We're not married, so I can't call him my husband, so 'partner' is the correct term.

    Perhaps this small minded publisher thinks anyone living outside the sanctity of marriage is living in sin.... You're better off without them!

    ReplyDelete
  85. Million props to you David! I'm really glad to see this story getting out there, and I'm really crossing my fingers that all this attention will land you guys an amazing contract and opportunities down the road. Your writing certainly merits amazing contracts and opportunities. :)

    Darren and I were initially worried that if you got a reputation for smearing your publisher, it might make other publishers hesitant to work with you. But honestly, Cedar Fort just smeared themselves, and their behavior speaks for itself. You guys are being nothing but classy about the whole thing. Way to take the high road! And best of luck to you!

    ReplyDelete
  86. It’s troubling that such bigotry has prevented your work from being published. I’m sure this is just a temporary setback. Although they haven’t intended to do so Cedar Fort’s refusal to publish your book has given it a lot of attention. I have a feeling they will look back on this mistake with regret when your book becomes a bestseller. Congrats to both of you for supporting each other and what you believe in. It will pay off in the end.

    ReplyDelete
  87. That's so sad, David. And good for you and Michael for not backing down. That puts Cedar Fort in a totally bad light in my mind. I don't really want to have anything to do with promoting their books. It's sick and appalling what they did.

    I bet you and Michael will find a new home for your book. And glad the writing community is being so supportive.

    ReplyDelete
  88. This is my first time on your site and, frankly, hearing about you at all. I'm really pleased to have heard about you though and am excited to explore what you have done. Woven sounds like an amazing story and when it is published I will be one of many to stand in line on the first day to get it.
    I hope you both find a good home for the novel soon. Be strong - most of us think you rock.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Great post, and still a shitty thing.

    ReplyDelete
  90. I can only imagine how frustrating this must be for you both. Looks like you've got an army of readers ready when you find the RIGHT publisher!

    ReplyDelete
  91. When I first heard the news, I was so disheartened. People shouldn't be discriminated against, and I applaud both you and Michael for standing up for what's right. Woven will find its place, and then you'll have tons of people ready and waiting to read it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  92. David, I have long been impressed with your demeanor and attitude. You're friendly. You're kind. You're a great pillar in the community. You're also just fun to be around. But after this? I am floored. I am SO PROUD to know you. You are incredible. Michael's incredible. God bless you both and bring you success beyond imagining!

    ReplyDelete
  93. I applaud your decision to stand up for what is right and to support your co-author. I hope you find a new home for Woven soon, because it sounds like a fascinating book! Best of luck to both of you!

    ReplyDelete
  94. "Love concurs all" -> "Love conquers all"

    Sorry to nitpick but I'd fix that.

    Also, Cedar Fort is a private business and can make decisions like this all day. And, now that I know they do that, I will make sure I don't buy from them.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Kudos to both of you for standing your ground! While it's sickening and disheartening, I feel in my bones that there will be a silver lining for y'all. Hoping to hear good news about Woven soon!

    ReplyDelete
  96. I am truly sorry to hear this and floored that this would happen to you. I applaud you both for standing up for your principles and truly believe this will lead to great things for Woven.

    ReplyDelete
  97. When I read the news about this, I was also saddened. I'm LDS too, but I'm shocked that they cancelled the contract based on (one of) the author's personal life. I really liked your post here because it shows that not all Mormons feel the same. Love one another is something I try to live by as well.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Just wanted to tell you how impressed I am with how well you and Michael are handling the public face of all this. You have every right to be angry, but by presenting the calm and reasonable side of what happened, you allow others to be angry for you. And I am. The publisher's decision is truly appalling.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Hi, David. We met at LTUE a few years ago (had a long conversation in the dealer room). Fantastic post. I'm sure you and Michael will find a new home for your book (if you haven't already). And hey, Michael, I don't believe we've met, but I'll look for you at my next SF/F conference.

    ReplyDelete
  100. David. I already knew you were awesome. This seals it. I hope some huge publisher swoops in and picks up your story b/c I LOVE the sound of it...

    ReplyDelete
  101. David,

    Stupid people! We live, love and write... there is a world of in-between those three... sadly some cannot move past the "PC" nation. Whatever the heck that means anymore.

    Jeremy H.

    New Look, New Name and Same Stuff...
    [Being-Retro]

    ReplyDelete
  102. I believe you in both -- now and when WOVEN gets published! I admire your integrity and can't wait to see where you land because of this.

    ReplyDelete
  103. I can't imagine being that close to your dream and having to watch it get derailed by someone else's close-mindedness. I hope that you're not derailed for long and that your book finds a better home, one that it deserves, one that allows you and your co-author to be yourselves. Best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  104. As a Mormon, active gay rights advocate and writer, I just want to say how much I admire you for telling your story and standing up for your friend. This makes me absolutely sick that someone would do this to you guys.

    When WOVEN finds a better publisher--and it will--I will be first in line to buy it.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Wow, you have a lot of fans. I haven't even read your book and I'm interested in it based on that alone. Send it over to me if you're still looking for a publisher. Erin Lale, Acquisitions Editor, Eternal Press.

    ReplyDelete
  106. I'll be looking for Woven, am certain it will find the right publisher and I applaud your stance and Michael's.

    ReplyDelete
  107. That is absolutely absurd. I am so sorry that your book was pulled (partially for selfish reasons --- I want to read it!), but very proud of you both for being a voice for equality and friendship. Good luck for the future and I know your integrity will be rewarded. :)

    ReplyDelete
  108. It still amazes me, that, in this day and age, people can be so stupid. I'm sorry, but if the people over at the publishing company had JUST left this alone, no one would have noticed or had an issue. I love reading the bios of authors, but when they write amazing stories, I could care less what their preferences are. I feel blessed that they were sharing such a wonderful tale. As an author myself, I think the fan mail would outweigh the hate mail by far. If anyone had an issue with sexual preferences in any aspect of my own books, well, tough. I'm not writing to make one certain group happy. I'm writing to share MY story, take it or leave it. The fact that Cedar Fort would see this as a slight against their company, a tarnish on their reputation, well, again, tough. I hope they're prepared for the backlash that's about to hit them and I also hope they're prepared to release authors from their contract, sans fees or grief. People are not going to be happy about this. But we also know a small handful of people will. But you are right, it's about loving one another unconditionally and supporting your fellow human being. People need to grow up and get over stuff like this. It's childish.
    I wish you both luck and can't wait for a GOOD publisher to see the potential of this story and make it available to the world! And Michael, don't leave that last line off your bio!

    ReplyDelete
  109. Came by because of the link Elana J posted on Twitter. I'm horrified by the pub & their decision - and more than a little flabbergasted. Feel like I should check the calendar and see what year it is. I wish you both all the best in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  110. I support you both 100%. And you have proven yourself to be, not just a great writer, but a great friend.

    I wish you both all the luck in the world, and your novel WILL find another home. The RIGHT home.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Again, I am truly sorry that this happened to both of him and I'm glad that you stuck with him, though I can't see you giving up on anyone. :)

    It's their loss. You'll find another publisher, one who will support both of you and that book will be out in the world to be enjoyed. I support both of you, 1000%. You did what was right when someone couldn't see past their own blinders. You've handled the situation very well and I really hope you find a better place for your novel. I can't wait to read it someday. :)

    ReplyDelete
  112. I feel like I shouldn't be surprised by this news, yet I am. It's sad that your publisher dropped you over something, that in my mind, is a non issue. It's great that you stood by your friend and cowriter in the matter. I hope you find a publisher that will actually appreciate you and soon. Obviously a lot of people are waiting to get their hands on your book, no matter the orientation of either of the people who wrote it.

    ReplyDelete
  113. I don't usually read sci-fi, but if y'all self-publish or find another publisher, I'll buy a dozen copies because I'm so embarrassed that some of my co-religionists behave this way. Best of luck to you!

    ReplyDelete
  114. And, obviously, I'm so ignorant of the genre that I said sci-fi instead of fantasy. Sorry!

    ReplyDelete
  115. It's crazy that they pulled the rug out at the last minute over one word, that they already knew about.
    Keep writing, keep working at it, and your story will get published!
    BTW - you've been blitzed!

    ReplyDelete
  116. I tried to comment earlier, but my iPad wasn't very compliant. So sorry to hear this news, but so proud of you and Michael for being true to yourselves. That shows the best kind of character - you're both people that I want to have lunch with! I know Woven will find a home and you guys will reap the benefits for sticking to your guns.

    ReplyDelete
  117. That absolutely sucks. I am going to follow you blog and pick up a copy of Woven (it would be something I would have liked anyway) when you get a better publisher.

    I cam here from the Blitz, but I also found this on one of the Atheism blogs I follow.

    ReplyDelete
  118. My heart broke when I found out why Woven wasn't published. Heart. Broke. I'm so sorry for the way idiots are treating you and Mr. Michael. I just wrote him a note on FB and told him that the day Woven is published there will be a line around the planet to buy it. Never give up. Never surrender. You are inspirational to stand behind your friends! Not everyone does. Thank you for telling us your story. I'll be passing it on.
    Heather M. Gardner

    ReplyDelete
  119. We'll need an update next week telling us how many offers you've gotten! :) Good job, both of you. I'm LDS, and all I can say is that this has Cedar Fort written all over it.

    You've been blitzed. Now I'll go blitz Michael.

    ReplyDelete
  120. My reply to Ceder Fort and any in the "LDS market" who wouldn't read something written by a gay author:

    Here's a list of gay writers, many quite famous:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_LGBT_writers

    It includes Francis Bacon, Emily Dickinson, T.S. Eliot, John Milton, Plato, Virgil, and Oscar Wilde. Better not read any of their stuff either. Would make it tough to study literature, though.

    ReplyDelete
  121. I don't think I can say anything that hasn't already been said. It's just not fair. I hope your book finds a new publisher that doesn't freak out by a choice of words. Or, better yet, everyone just stopped caring about things like that.

    ReplyDelete
  122. I want to add my name to the list of those that are disgusted with what happened. As an active LDS member who supports the LGBT community, I'm appalled that your book was dropped. I admire your integrity and will make sure to be first in line to purchase your book when it comes out. And yes, I have faith you'll get a better publisher.

    ReplyDelete
  123. David and Michael, this is wrong, so wrong. I wish you much success and hope this will only be a small stumble on the path to your book's publication, one that you will barely even remember once it reaches the hands of enthusiastic readers. I'll buy it.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Oh David. Oh Michael. My heart goes out to you both. When I read about this my heart shattered by the news. It shattered for both of your hopes being slashed to shreds and over something that most definitely shouldn't be a deal breaker. I am proud that Michael stood up for himself and that he has such an amazing friend in you!
    I know. I KNOW that a publisher that sees the genius and brilliance in your words, regardless of lifestyle, will sweep it up and give it the credit it deserves. That is the house you both and Woven deserve.
    DPK, I'm so sorry. So very sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  125. Wow. Just wow. I am sorry to hear that. Know that you and Michael have my support and I am sending you both prayers and good wishes that this passes and that Woven finds a better home--the home it was truly meant to find. I am sure that it will and now, just knowing all this is behind the scenes, I would buy it and read it. What I really admire is both Michael and you sticking to your guns. That says a lot about the kind of people you are and it's commendable. I think it is courageous for you to share all of this.

    ReplyDelete
  126. David, I'm so sorry for the disappointment you must feel, but you should be proud that you did the right thing. Discrimination in any form should not be tolerated. Trust that the universe will stay in balance and you will be rewarded.

    ReplyDelete
  127. Great post David! I'm with you guys 110%. Good fiction is good fiction, regardless of sexual orientation or religious affiliation. Period. For just the same reason, I get ticked off at the whole, 'Skip Ender's Game.' I may not agree with everything an author believes in, but I'm not reading their book because I'm pro-author. I'm reading it to be entertained. I'm quite capable of enjoying someone's work who I disagree with politically or otherwise.

    That said, I look forward to buying you and Michael's book when it's published by a more reputable, and bigger, publisher. Koodos for sticking to your guns.

    ReplyDelete
  128. David (and Michael),

    I, too, am LDS. I have some deep misgivings about the entire issue of homosexuality. Even so, to refuse to publish a book because you don't want it known that one of the authors is gay is just wrong. I can't imagine what kind of lunatic world this would be if all publishers refused to publish an author whose life, attitudes, or beliefs were not in line with those of the publisher. Actually, I think I can imagine it, and it might make a fun dystopian story, but I digress.

    Obviously, I have no authority to speak on behalf of the LDS Church, but I feel confident that its leaders would be saddened by this decision by Cedar Fort. The Church has opposed workplace discrimination of anyone, even those with lifestyles with which they might disagree.

    I don't know you, but I'm proud of you for sticking by your friend. I think you are right that the only people who will think less of you for this decision are those with whom you probably never wanted to associate anyway.

    Kudos, and I look forward to reading your book when it finds a better publisher. It sounds awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  129. Greetings from a cold and wet Adelaide,South Australia. Hope this finds you well. Your site looks wonderful and I wish you nothing but massive success

    Cricket

    ReplyDelete
  130. Have been offline for a couple days so only just hearing the full details of this story. Proud of you and Michael for making a stand, so sorry for you both it must be so disappointing and upsetting. Stay strong and keep going.

    ReplyDelete
  131. Just ... wow. This is unbelievable. I mean, the fact that THAT is why the publication got cancelled.

    I am not religious so this is a lot easier for me to say than it may be for some other types of people in the world. But here I go: well done, David! You definitely did the right thing, and Michael is lucky to have you as a creative colleague. I'm glad you stood up for what's right.

    ReplyDelete
  132. *sigh* You would like to think that the world had moved past such practices, but that is rarely the case as your story shows. But each time someone stands by their beliefs, like you and Michael have, the world learns and gets better.

    You guys did an amazing thing and you should be proud of yourselves. And as you said, this doesn't really hamper your reputation. If anything, I think it enhances it because it shows courage and firm standing.

    ~Gwen (blitzer)

    ReplyDelete
  133. I know I'm comment 136, and I'm not sure if you are still reading this. I'm glad you went public with this. Michael shouldn't have to hide who he is, and I'm glad he has a friend like you to support him. I'm sorry you lost the contract, but I believe you will get a better one. Best of luck to you both.

    ReplyDelete
  134. It's encouraging to see a great outpouring of support for you and for the book. I, too, would love to read Woven and hope that you find another venue to release your book.

    ReplyDelete
  135. David, I cannot believe that this has happened to you guys. I am so so sorry to hear it, but I KNOW Woven will find a home with a publisher who is willing to support its authors. You are awesome. I'm proud of you for standing by your co-writer.

    ReplyDelete
  136. A little late to the blitz but what da heck... Sorry to hear you lost the contract and the best of success to you in your future publishing endeavors, David and Michael!

    ReplyDelete
  137. Sorry to hear all of this. Still shaking my head as I wish you the best. Woven will find the right home.

    ReplyDelete
  138. Ugh. What a horrible publisher.

    Hope that Woven finds a new home soon!

    ReplyDelete
  139. I disagree with Cedar Fort's actions, but I also disagree with this statement: "happiness is subjective." I don't see that supported by Mormon doctrine or scripture. You are definitely correct that "Michael has the right to pursue his happiness as I do," but to imply that all paths potentially lead to true happiness seems to be giving way to moral relativism and the philosophies of men mingled with scripture.

    In any event, I hope your book finds a new home and I will look forward to reading it. I wish you and Michael the best.

    ReplyDelete
  140. I am so sorry this happened to you and Michael. I applaud the way you've handled this matter, and I keep my fingers crossed for good things in the future for you both.

    ReplyDelete
  141. I'm sorry that happened to you guys, and I'm glad you stood up for yourselves. Instead of going with their house, why not self-publish? The book is done, ready to go, so why now upload it yourselves? :)

    ReplyDelete
  142. Hi David .. well to me that is ridiculous - and I'm delighted you're both standing by your guns - and as you say I'm sure Woven will get published and be a huge success ... just an unpleasant blip at the moment ...

    Good luck to you both - Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  143. Wow. That sucks. I am so sorry. Glad you're standing with Michael.

    ReplyDelete
  144. Coming in late to the blitz, but wow, yes, I hope this story has a happy ending with another publisher!
    Love one another {{{hugs}}}

    ReplyDelete
  145. Although I've shared my sentiments on other social media outlets, I'm a little late coming here to share my thoughts directly with you.

    You, dear David, are the picture of awesomsauce :-)

    You wrote a book with a friend. Found a home for this book, but found that home was not what it seemed. You could have made different choices. Choice are always there, even when they don't seem to be there. But your choices have made me yet another bloggy buddy proud to know you and have you as someone I enjoy visiting with whenever I get the chance lol!

    Woven WILL find another home. I have faith in God and you and Micheal's combined writing ability to have Woven placed where it deserves to be.

    Many hugs!!!

    ReplyDelete
  146. Astounding that things like this still happen. They say when one door shuts another opens.

    May Woven be wildly successful!

    ReplyDelete