Do Women Authors Benefit From Using Initials?

REBLOGGED from Allison Maruska’s website. 🙂

Allison Maruska


Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the release of the first Harry Potter book. Twitter and other social media platforms teemed with memories and thoughts about the series and its author, J. K. Rowling. There’s an inspirational “keep on keeping on” story about how many times Rowling was rejected by agents and publishers before someone finally saw how special her work was.


That tweet was in response to this one:


I didn’t dig enough to see what Oswalt was ringing the bell for, but the quoted tweet is a bit in conflict, it seems. Yes, Rowling was rejected several times and the takeaway is to never give up.


How is suggesting she use her initials part of the inspirational story? And maybe more importantly – should female authors take a cue from Rowling and also use initials to hide their gender from potential readers? Will their chances of publication…

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Racism? You Don’t Say?

A discussion came up on Facebook regarding the apparent lack of diversity in publishing when Martha Boss, book blogger, educator, and model shared her opinion regarding the lack of diversity at book events. She explained that she had no desire to attend any literary events that didn't have authors from all walks of life. And … Continue reading Racism? You Don’t Say?

Quotes to Write By – Day 29 What’s In a Name? More Than You Think!

Disclaimer: The following analysis of characters and their names are solely my opinion and conclusions I've drawn from being a wordsmith, character creator, and a lover of names. Juliet, from the play, Romeo and Juliet, speaks this famous line. She argues that it doesn't matter that the young man Romeo whom she loves is a … Continue reading Quotes to Write By – Day 29 What’s In a Name? More Than You Think!

Quotes to Write By – Day 28

Months ago, I wrote a poem for my husband (it was his birthday) that invoked such deep emotion in him that he cried. I considered getting the published (come on, our kids have gotta eat) at one point and instead shared it at a Wordier Than Thou open mic event. The response was powerful from … Continue reading Quotes to Write By – Day 28

(A lack of) diverse representation

REBLOGGED from another author! Thank you, Marketing Otter. “The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.” Viola Davis (Emmy acceptance speech)

Marketing Otter

(Feature image generated by Twitter user @ChienJenn)

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Yesterday’s release of Ghost In the Shell, a Hollywood adaptation of the popular Japanese anime and manga, was faced with outrage and criticism over the film’s casting of Scarlett Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi. By not casting a Japanese or Asian American actress, the minority ethnic identity of the main character is erased and replaced by something untrue to its origins. Motoko’s identity is erased so much, in fact, that in the film’s advertising campaigns, the character is only referred to as “Major”, which is her rank as a name, instead of her full Japanese name. [Minor spoiler: in the film they named her Mira Killian. Because of course they did.]

The film’s marketing team made an image generator website and promoted it to the public in an attempt to incite hype for the movie, encouraging users to fill out “I am…” and it went viral.

But for all…

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Quotes to Write By – Day 27

Writing high fantasy is not for the hobbyist. It takes perseverance, cleverness, and lots of dedicated time. I'm currently completing the second phase of world building for a high fantasy series that's been haunting my waking and dreaming hours for quite some time. About three years actually. Adara Trosclair, for whom this blog is named … Continue reading Quotes to Write By – Day 27

Quotes to Write By – Day 26 . . . with a Freebie!

 In a previous post, I discussed Octavia Butler's thoughts on inspiration vs habit. Habit is worth cultivating. Inspiration when it comes to writing will do little for the writer. Writing every day or as much as one can is a best practice. Initially, I planned on continuing the Quotes to Write By series for 60 … Continue reading Quotes to Write By – Day 26 . . . with a Freebie!

An Interview with Daniel JosĂ© Older

Reblogged from The author, Michael, did a great job at interviewing Older on his thoughts on the necessity for diversity in publishing.

Read to Write Stories

Daniel José Older is the author of the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, the Young Adult novel Shadowshaper. His essay, "Diversity Is Not Enough: Race, Power, and Publishing," addresses the institutional bias present in the publishing industry. Daniel José Older is the author of the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, the Young Adult novel Shadowshaper. His essay, “Diversity Is Not Enough: Race, Power, and Publishing,” addresses the institutional bias of the publishing industry.

Daniel José Older is the author of the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series and the Young Adult novel Shadowshaper, which was nominated for the Kirkus Prize in Young Readers’ Literature. His first collection of short stories, Salsa Nocturna, and the Locus and World Fantasy-nominated anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, which he co-edited, are available from Crossed Genres Publications.

To read an exercise about becoming a better reader, click here.

In this interview, Older discusses the self-fulfilling prophecy of marketing, why categories in publishing matter, and what meaningful change in terms of diversity would look like.

Michael Noll

You write, “The publishing industry, people…

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