In Brief…

I know. I’ve been away. Busy, busy. Working on copy edits for ONCE EVERY NEVER. Working on the first draft of STARLING #1. Working on a short story…

And that story is what this blog post is about, though it pains me to have to write this.

I was asked to contribute a short story to a faerie anthology, Wicked Pretty Things, and I was very excited to do so. The line-up of authors assembled includes some of the brightest lights in the YA world and I was thrilled to be asked to participate. I penned a tale set in the WONDROUS STRANGE universe, featuring two of my favourite supporting characters from the series, Maddox and Chloe, set in the days after TEMPESTUOUS but still a stand-alone story. I thought it was a really fun way to revisit that world, post-series — something for both readers who are already fans of my books, as well those unfamiliar with them.

Except that story isn’t going to see the light of day now. At least, not in that publication.

I’m sorry to say that I have pulled my submission based on the treatment a fellow author received regarding that same anthology. She wrote a love story that happened to take place between two male characters. The editor asked her to change it to a male/female story. She refused. I respect and support that decision. I also respect and support the decisions made by all of my fellow authors regarding this issue. My decision to pull my submission is a personal one. I’m doing what I feel is right, based on what I believe. And that is this: gay or straight or somewhere inbetween, love is love. Full stop.

And now I’m going to crawl back into my writer-cave and work on another story.

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34 Responses to “In Brief…”

  1. JM Frey says:

    I applaud your ethics, Lesley, and I hope that in the future this issue will vanish for readers/editors/publishers.

    Every person who refuses to submit is one more voice saying “I refuse to be a bigot.” Thank you for standing up and saying “No.”

  2. Ceilidh says:

    Just wanted to offer my support. I’ve got huge respect for you and Ms Verday in this issue and I hope that one day you can all band together and write a faery anthology with LGBTQ content that isn’t described as ‘alternative sexuality.’

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m glad you backed that author and ethical behaviour. I hope to see these stories appearing in another anthology soon!

  4. KristywithaK says:

    My first thought was that it must have been a difficult decision for you to make. But then I thought again, and realized it probably wasn’t.

    You’re quite right…love is love. It’s too bad not everyone realizes that.

    Your action speaks volumes, Lesley. πŸ™‚

  5. Phoebe says:


    I hope you’re able to find a place for your story–in fact, I’m sure that if you look into short fiction markets, you’ll find many prestigious, inclusive genre mags who would love to have you.

  6. WordLuster says:

    My skin is covered in goosebumps now after having read this post. I was so incredibly moved by Jessica Verday and her brave stance in this situation. But now to have read this post, I’m actually getting a little choked up. It’s just so moving. As a gay woman, it really does move me. Thank you so much for taking this risky and brave stance. I was already a fan of your books and have all of the Wondrous Strange series. Now I’m an ever bigger fan, if that was even possible. πŸ˜› I wish you all the best of luck and hope that nothing but wonderful things happen to your career from this.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Was unfamiliar with your work (being a few decades removed from YA), but now I’m going to hit the bookstores and look for your books! Wish more authors had your gumption!

  8. Denise Vega says:

    I applaud you I feel the same way Love is love it dosen’t matter who they are I was not raised to be a bigot I cannot understand how people can be like that I was taught as a child everyone is EQUAL my kids were raised the same way & grandkids too

  9. Zoe says:

    It was brave of Jessica to stand up for her story, but it was even braver of you to pull out in support of her story. You didn’t have to, and no one would blame you for staying. So kudos to you for doing the right thing.

  10. Ridley says:

    I was extra upset to hear that the m/m shunning was in a YA anthology. With all of the recent suicides among GLBT youth, here was an opportunity to include a gay love story right alongside hetero ones. What a wonderful chance to show gay teens, whose awkward youths are bonus awkward for being different, that love is love and that m/m stories don’t have to be sequestered in m/m only anthologies.

    Hearing the editor’s non-apology and the ghastly term “alternative sexualities” just turned my stomach. Thank you for taking a stand. I hope you find another opportunity to publish your work.

  11. Jason Leaver says:

    I’m powerfully moved, and disappointed. I’m still shocked every time I hear a story like this. Honestly, the thought still goes through my head “aren’t we past this?”
    Maybe one day we will, and it’ll be thanks folks like you.

  12. Tom Argall says:

    I am proud to know you, Lesley.

    Choosing ethics over a paycheck is a sadly rare occurence and it is inspiring to see you make that choice.

  13. Lesley Livingston says:

    Thank you everyone for your words of support. It wasn’t an easy decision to make and it wasn’t fun. But I do honestly think it was the only decision I could make and still be able to climb into bed at night with myself. Or go out with my friends and be able to look them in the eye.

    Hopefully my story will find another home but in the meantime, I think Chloe and Maddox are in agreement with me and are content to bide their time.

  14. A Backwards Story says:

    I was appalled when I saw Jessica’s entry. She was awesome for standing up for herself like that. Thank you for supporting her and standing up for your own ethics system. You’re of a stronger mettle than most people. There will always be other places to publish your short story. We’ll wait for you. Pulling out was the right choice, in my opinion. Stay strong πŸ™‚

  15. Michele says:

    I’m with everyone Lesley. Tolerance and acceptance HAS to be in our society now, and taking a stand, one-by-one, is the only way for this to happen.

    I hope your Chloe & Maddox story does get published at some point though… maybe you authors who took a stand against intolerance should try to publish your short stories together?!

  16. Michele says:

    And I’m looking so forward to Once Every Never and your other projects too!! πŸ™‚

  17. LionessAmaya says:

    I’ve never read any of your work. I don’t follow your blog. I don’t know who you are. I stumbled on this by accident, but people like you give me some faith in humanity.

    Thank you.

    (P.S. I’m going to go look up your books now.)

  18. timebalancer says:

    “Love is Love” may be my next tattoo because i like the meaning so much !!! I have never read your books but am already a huge fan of the way you think so after I read this post I got up from what I was doing ,went to BAM and purchased your Wondrous Strange & Darklight. That is how much your stance moved me . Now tea is brewed and I am ready to sink into what I already know will be a great read. Blessed Be

  19. Lesley Livingston says:

    Thank you again, guys.

    And welcome! Crappy circumstances to make new friends, but I so appreciate the kind words and am so pleased to make your acquaintances nonetheless.