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February 28th, 2008

9:05 AM

Dear Dan Reitz, Sr,

You said in the comment thread of the previous entry:

As owner of Mundania Press and Phaze Books, I can assure you that neither I, nor Phaze Books, has any connection with Literotica, now or in the past. At no time does this group enter into our picture. To be honest, prior to your labeling Phaze as connected to it, or part of it, or derived from it, I have never even heard of this group. It has never been discussed on Phaze forums and lists, and has no influence over us at all.

Firstly, I never said that there is anything negative about the idea that Literotica and Phaze have some kind of connection. But this ignorance is pretty astounding considering that your biggest names connected to Phaze, from Alessia Brio, Will Belegon, Victoria Blisse, Selena Kitt, Rob Graham... do I need to go on? Oh, the COMING TOGETHER ANTHOLOGIES? These are all Literotica-related, honey. And it's not even top secret information, their identities. If you have time, check out this thread at the Literotica forum:

http://forum.literotica.com/showthread.php?t=569279

It's not safe for work, given the nature of the link, so make sure the wife or the kids don't catch you at it.

Now, can we please stop with the mass delusion that Literotica has nothing to do with Phaze?

I can scream until my voice is hoarse but I never said that such a connection is a bad thing. I'm also not saying that Phaze is an offshoot of Literotica. There is just a high number of Literotica folks there. Why is this so hard to understand? Are you people all so obtuse? GOD.

The only people trying to downplay the connection are the Phaze and Literotica people themselves. I don't know why. If Phaze is embarrassed that I point out the most reasonable and definitely true - and OBVIOUS - fact that they have many Literotica folks among their ranks, then that's their problem and their prejudices, not mine. If the Literotica authors feel embarrassed because I have singled out their past or current association, again, that's their problem. Get a new pseudonym then and stop promoting your books under your Literotica pseudonym on a POPULAR SMUT SITE. If YOU are embarrassed, that's YOU, not ME. So stop projecting your emotions, insecurities, whatever, on me.

I am beginning to question your motives for againing singuling out Phaze to show us in a bad light, while blatantly ignoring the dozens and dozens of other erotic romance publishers that publish similar books. Please do us, your readers, and yourself a favor and cease painting Phaze Books as some supposed spin-off of some other erotic group out there in the world. It does everyone involved an injustice and is simply not true. Thank you.

Which part of my blog entry about how I mention Phaze just because Phaze has a high number of Literotica authors don't you understand? If it's Ellora's Cave or Samhain Publishing that publish a high number of Literotica authors, then I would've mentioned Ellora's Cave or Samhain Publishing instead of Phaze.

God, some of you Phaze people are sometimes so bloody stupid.

26 comment(s).

Posted by L.E. Bryce:

I think maybe in the future the best way to avoid conflict is to simply not mention any publisher's name.
February 28th, 2008 @ 12:30 PM

Posted by Mrs G:

And then they will say I am making things up. Sometimes I just cannot win.

Should've changed this blog into one about naked guys.
February 28th, 2008 @ 2:41 PM

Posted by Selena Kitt:

You, personally, may know many more authors who publish at Phaze who formerly (or currently) also post at Literotica. However, that doesn't mean that there aren't many more who publish elsewhere. I know "lots" of authors (four... that's your definition of "a high number" here, correct?) that publish at the illustrious Ellora's Cave. Also at Samhain. Also at Liquid Silver. Lots of the "bigger" names in epublishing have former or current Literoticans on their author list, actually. I think you singled out Phaze because it's the publisher you're familiar with, that's all. Which is fine. But that doesn't mean there aren't others. You could have done a little digging and research and found that out. (That thread you posted alone gives you a great starting point! Clearly, you know where to look!) Or you could have avoided pointing fingers and gone with a more generalized post. You chose not to do either.

As for dissociating myself... I, for one, don't. Isn't that clear? I don't use a pseudonym. My name on Lit is the name I publish under. I still have stories there that push way beyond the envelope of what epublishers will touch. It's one of the reasons I love Lit. Free speech is a wonderful thing. If I wanted to hide, I could have. If ANY of us wanted to hide, we could have. Some have chosen to do just that. Some of us have chosen not to. None of us out here are*denying* a connection between who we are at Lit or that we publish elsewhere. I haven't seen that happen once. It's not like you're outting anyone.

I think it's much more your own split between "smut" and "erotic romance" and your personal struggle with those two issues - that may be why you bring it up so often? Because *we* don't. Nor do we really struggle with what you see as some sort of “split.” I think it's pretty clear from our openness and willingness to discuss this issue in a public forum. Don't you?

I've seen you write reviews of the Coming Together Anthologies (should I ALL capitalize that
February 28th, 2008 @ 9:53 PM

Posted by selena_kitt:

I've seen you write reviews of the Coming Together Anthologies (should I ALL capitalize that? :) where you've expected more SMUT from a SMUT writing crowd like Literotica, for pete's sake! You like your smut - that much is clear. Not so keen on the poetry, but you love the down and dirty.

Damn, girl… there is SO NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT! :)

From your review of Coming Together Volume II: "Where is the smut? I don't know about anyone else, but when I purchase an anthology marketed as a collection of works by the cream of the crop in the adult written erotica website Literotica, I expect sweaty, hot, and primitive sex with a few taboos broken in the process."

Ah, so that's YOUR expectation. And funny, we SMUT-writers... we didn't deliver on the SMUT! Perhaps it's your definition of smut that needs some revision? Or perhaps we at Lit aren't as raunchy as you seem to think we SHOULD be, given we write SMUT and others write "erotic romance"?

Funny.

Ironic.

Personally, I think you like to toss out the "everyone ELSE has a problem with the difference between Smut and Erotic Romance" line so you can sort of feel your way through the issue yourself. I think YOU actually have some sort of problem or issue with it, and are struggling to balance your liking of the smuttiness on Lit as well as the erotic romance market (who are now publishing, as you said, formerly taboo things like BDSM, anal, m/m and even incest! *gasp*) Why else would you bring it up so often?

But that is, of course, just my opinion.

And I don’t know whether you’re struggling because you find the smut offensive, or you find the epub’s unwillingness to push the envelope offensive? I’d definitely be interested to know. I get this feeling that you like being able to put them both in separate boxes – SMUT over there at Literotica and “erotic romance” over here in the epublishing realm. That way, if you wanna get off, you can go to Lit stuff, if you wanna just get that f
February 28th, 2008 @ 9:54 PM

Posted by selena_kitt:

That way, if you wanna get off, you can go to Lit stuff, if you wanna just get that fluttery feeling in your belly, well, there’s erotic romance. I think you like knowing where to go to get what you want. Nothing wrong with that, either, really… it would be nice if everything and everyone lived up to our personal expectations of them!

But the world isn’t so black and white. There are some amazing Lit writers, who write real stories without any taboo in them at all who just leave you with that butterfly tummy. And there are some “erotic romance” writers who can lay down SMUT with the best of them. I’ve written both. Most authors have quite a range of what they can and want to write.

So aside from our preconceived ideas about a certain sort of writing/author… why do we have to put limits on them, label them at all, or have any expectations of what an author SHOULD write, based on where such a thing is offered to be read, I wonder? Because as a writer, I don’t decide, before I sit down, if it’s gonna be a SMUT-fest or if I’m gonna write something sweet. I write what the story itself dictates. The story leads. Not me.

Perhaps that’s the difference between a reader’s view and an author’s?

Anyway, thanks for the post. Interesting reading. Probably not for the reasons you intended… but interesting nonetheless!
February 28th, 2008 @ 9:58 PM

Posted by Daniel J. Reitz, Sr.:

You stated "Phaze has a high number of Literotica authors"

You are wrong. As I mentioned, we have hundreds of authors. The fact that we have some authors that also posted to Literotica has no bearing on anything, and, as I also stated, for you to attempt to associate Phaze is misleading.

I don't know what your hated for Literotica or the people over there is all about, but frankly, I don't care. It has absolutely nothing to do with my company. None of the people you mentioned by name run my company. I run my company with the help of my publisher, Kathryn Lively.

If those people are authors we publish, or do extra work for us as artists or editors, so what? They are all still following my direction, and they are not running the company.

This truly smacks of McCathyism where you are attempting to weed out the communists. Your original post's theme was that Phaze is controlled by and directed by Literotica. You are dead wrong.

I have respectfully requested that you to cease and desist your constant attack and dissemination of misleading information on my company. You are entitled to your opinion, regardless of how misguided it is, however in a public forum, you do have the responsibility to not attempt to spread misinformation causing harm to my company.

Regards,
Daniel J. Reitz, Sr.
February 28th, 2008 @ 11:55 PM

Posted by veinglory:

McCarthyism? Can someone just mention Hitler and get it over with? Shock, horror, a blogger has an opinion. How dare she! I see Mrs G as saying exactly what she said and, agree with it or not, it seemed like a reasonable opinion that could, in some far off sparkly kitten-infested land, have lead to an interesting discussion.
February 29th, 2008 @ 4:03 AM

Posted by kirsten saell:

Actually, I believe Mr. Reitz said "McCathyism". Completely different from McCarthyism, I'm certain.

In truth, I cringed when Mrs. G brought up Phaze again, because I knew some at Phaze would feel--rightly or otherwise--that they were being singled out. I think Mrs. G's point is largely lost amid her protestations of impartiality, and that's a shame. I don't believe, as some have implied, that this difficulty reconciling romance/erotic romance/erotica/smut/porno is unique to Mrs. G. It has been a huge issue in the genre for some time and is not likely to go away.

It's too bad the discussion had to devolve into a you-said-this, no-I-didn't-go-back-and-read-it-again kind of slappy fight. You're right, Emily. It could have been good.

Oh, and "Hitler". There. I said it.
February 29th, 2008 @ 5:45 AM

Posted by Mrs G:

Okay, I'm back online.

Selena, if you will put aside your prejudices about me, you will see that we are actually on the same side. I'd have and I have defended your stance on smut/erotica in the past because I share your beliefs on that one. It's too bad that half the time you're so wrapped up in the belief that I am your enemy because I couldn't appreciate the brilliance of your books that you have this weird passive-aggressive thing going on as a result. Just don't send me a bill for your long-winded psychoanalysis of me and we'll just agree to disagree, shall we?

Dan, you are being silly and deliberately twisting my words to suit your silly agenda. But I now see that deliberate persecution complex runs not just among the authors but also the higher-ups of Phaze. I don't even know how to respond to your ridiculous statement apart from suggesting that perhaps you leave public relation matters to someone who won't come off this much of a fool.
February 29th, 2008 @ 8:32 AM

Posted by Anonymous:

I find it amusing when bloggers post stuff slamming people, then get all confused when people get upset with them.
February 29th, 2008 @ 10:10 AM

Posted by Mrs G:

To the Anonymous above, given that you have exactly the same IP number as Danny Boy (24.29.27.134), maybe you should just quit while you are ahead. You're really doing Phaze no favors.
February 29th, 2008 @ 10:16 AM

Posted by Anonymous:

pwned
February 29th, 2008 @ 2:13 PM

Posted by L.E. Bryce:

Mrs. G, what exactly do you have against Phaze? Did they rape your teddy bear when you were little?

Before you start crying nutcase conspiracy, and that the Phaze community is out to get you, they're not. There hasn't been a peep over at the Yahoo! Group. I'm only here because I have your blog bookmarked. Most of the time it's informative and entertaining, but surely you knew when you made the original post that the large segment of non-Literotica Phaze folks might be unhappy about being typecast that way? You should have just avoided being specific, no matter who the publisher was.
February 29th, 2008 @ 2:51 PM

Posted by Karen Scott:

To the Anonymous above, given that you have exactly the same IP number as Danny Boy (24.29.27.134), maybe you should just quit while you are ahead. You're really doing Phaze no favors.

Now that's amusing. So, we've now had the cries of Hitler, and the obligatory sock puppets. Any other Blog Flame specials?
February 29th, 2008 @ 4:21 PM

Posted by Mrs G:

I know, Ms Bryce. It's all my fault. I deliberately singled out Phaze and led you guys out into the firing range, even if you said in your comment to my previous blog entry that you get what I'm trying to say.

I can get dizzy just trying to follow you go back and forth. Are you backpedaling because you fear that the big guys at Phaze will come after you for even saying something a little positive about the enemy's opinion? No, wait, don't answer, I don't care to know.

Can we just say that you don't get it, I don't get you, and agree to disagree? Since nobody at Phaze cares, or so you say, then this isn't something that we should all make so much fuss over, right?
February 29th, 2008 @ 4:40 PM

Posted by LE Bryce:

Remember that I made that comment very early, before the unpleasantness.

I got the smut typecasting thing, yes, and the fact that some people don't like Literotica because of the stuff one finds there. What I didn't get was that when Kathryn and Daniel showed up to try to clarify that it was just about 10-20 major names among 200 (I'm really small potatoes), then you seemed to get upset. That part I didn't get. Why all the hostility? Is it the customer service, the quality of the books, did you get mugged by a posse of Coming Together authors, did Alessia or someone do vile things to your inner child, what?
February 29th, 2008 @ 4:49 PM

Posted by Mrs G:

I don't know. Did I say anything negatively about Alessia? Or Coming Together in my recent blog entry? Please tell me where I accused them of whatever it is you think I accused them of. Or how Daniel's ridiculous cease and desist nonsense is in any way a clarification.

Tell me, Ms Bryce.
February 29th, 2008 @ 4:52 PM

Posted by L.E. Bryce:

That was me. I forgot to sign.

I don't see any backpedaling. I never wavered on my position. I never changed my statements about smut, or in my curiosity about the perceived hostility toward one particular publisher. Once again, for the record, I don't get around to other publishers because of the contractual difficulties in writing in a shared universe. I don't know what other houses do or say.

And why would I backpedal. Phaze doesn't come after its authors for blogging in public, whether they agree or not. I know some publishers do, but not this one. I've never gotten an email from Kathryn or Daniel telling me not to post somewhere. I can only speak for myself. It's never been my experience that they're interested in policing their authors.
February 29th, 2008 @ 4:55 PM

Posted by Mrs G:

I'm still waiting.
February 29th, 2008 @ 5:00 PM

Posted by L.E. Bryce:

Did I say anything negatively about Alessia? Or Coming Together in my recent blog entry? Please tell me where I accused them of whatever it is you think I accused them of.

Um, that was a lame attempt at humor. The smilies don't seem to work for me.

You did, however, review one of the Coming Together anthologies and say it didn't have enough smut. But Selena pointed that out better than I could.

I can't speak for Daniel and what his intentions were. All I can say is I feel that you knew you would probably open a can of worms when you mentioned Phaze again in a post. Whether you intended this or not to get more hits, whether it was subconscious because a dozen or so Phaze authors immediately came to mind, I don't know. I believe it would have been possible to write the original post without mentioning any publisher by name.
February 29th, 2008 @ 5:01 PM

Posted by Mrs G:

You did, however, review one of the Coming Together anthologies and say it didn't have enough smut. But Selena pointed that out better than I could.

Oh, I see. That clearly proves that I have an agenda against Alessia and gang. One review. Of a non-Phaze book. Which shouldn't have anything to do with Phaze because Danny Boy insisted that Literotica has nothing to do at all with Phaze. And yet this should prove that I have a thing against the Literotica crowd in Phaze. Which according to Dan doesn't exist.

Let me give the URL so that interested people following this circus can take a look and judge for themselves:

http://www.mrsgiggles.com/ebooks/anthology_coming2.html

And bear in mind that I hate Alessia and gang so much for not giving me enough butt sex that I absolutely butchered the next volume in the series:

http://www.mrsgiggles.com/ebooks/anthology_coming3.html

Do you think the part where I said in the above review that Alessia Brio should be drowned in a vat of holy water is too much? But can you blame me for getting all worked up and vengeful because I don't get enough butt sex in my fiction?

I'm done replying to you.
February 29th, 2008 @ 5:09 PM

Posted by Selena Kitt:

I have nothing against ya, Ms. G... in the least. I know you support free speech, and I appreciate that. I've said so. What I wonder about is your motivation... why do you keep bringing this up again and again and again and… well you get the idea…

You even say, in that last: “Erotic fiction works best when morality is not allowed to intrude.” And yet you seem to be working from your own basis in morality when it comes to making this strange, perceived split between 'smut' and 'erotic romance.'

If there really is one at all, I don't think you're as immune as you pretend to be, as I pointed out. You seem to have some preconceived ideas of what "smut" should be, and who should be writing it. At least, that's how it seems according to your reviews. If I'm wrong, I'd be happy to hear what you have to say about it...

As for my being part of “the rabid Phaze crowd …” do you see Alessia here? I don't. And believe me, I'm not here to defend Phaze or any other publisher (for pete's sake, I have a couple stories with the folks in a few free anthologies... does it look like I'm overly invested in this publisher? It's not like my livelihood is at stake, here...)

As for what you said about my obscure, short-lived, and now-defunct Stardust books... *snerk* If you think that matters to me, or even influences my opinion of you, you're very mistaken. Cracks me up sometimes how important or influential you seem to think your opinion must be...



Your opinion always says much, much more about you than it does those things about which you opine.
February 29th, 2008 @ 9:54 PM

Posted by Selena Kitt:

Oh, and… as for what you said about the CT anthologies... I just want to make it clear, I didn't bring them up to illustrate anything about a specific publisher. I couldn’t care less who they were published by. I used them as examples because your reviews seem to say something about you (as all of your opinions do) and the way you view the difference between "smut" and "erotic romance."

And if we're linking, let's not forget you reviewed the first volume in the series, too, with a very similar view to the subsequent second volume:

“This divergence between literary aspirations (pretensions, perhaps) and me wanting a dirty old time reading a jolly filthy story widens throughout the anthology for pretty much most of the time.”

and

“I find myself wanting some rough and dirty playful moments. I want a couple who can slather themselves with chocolate to really talk dirty and do dirty things...”

and

“The only story I really, really enjoy is… a pretty nasty story where a man uses a prostitute of faded years roughly because his own wife-to-be is too dainty for his games. This is more like the kind of stories I enjoy because the sex acts are rough, guttural, and straight-up as they are without being deliberately obfuscated by some misguided plot by an author aspiring to be the next Pulitzer-prize winner.”

Even in the third volume, you liked it only because:

“There are more enjoyable tales of smut here that actually have sex, a concept that seems bewilderingly alien in the second volume…”

And yet, it’s funny, I see very few of these sorts of statements by you in other reviews referring to this sort of "I want dirty sex!" opinion in the “erotic romance” you review…

I just find it rather telling.

February 29th, 2008 @ 9:57 PM

Posted by Mrs G:

I hope you feel so much assured about your own brilliance after all that psychoanalyzing, Selena. You certainly win at the Internet, I can tell you that.

Drats, this means I should forget about getting your upcoming Samhain story because I have a hunch that anything less than a score of 100 in the review will have you ranting on your blog about how much I am out to get you.
February 29th, 2008 @ 10:07 PM

Posted by Kayleigh Jamison:

McCarthyism? Can someone just mention Hitler and get it over with? Shock, horror, a blogger has an opinion. How dare she! I see Mrs G as saying exactly what she said and, agree with it or not, it seemed like a reasonable opinion that could, in some far off sparkly kitten-infested land, have lead to an interesting discussion.

Yes, I think Baby Jesus is crying somewhere.

For christ's sake, people. To say Phaze has no association with Literotica smacks of the ridiculous to me, when their so-called "big name authors" trumpet so loudly that they are proud "Litzens." (http://alessiabrio.blogspot.com/2008/01/say-it-loud.html and that little clusterbucket on Karen's blog a bit ago come to mind)

I've heard tell that Dan is extremely disconnected from the goings on within his company. Perhaps that's true?

And as for the original debate - one can label my writing whatever they like, be it smut, romance, porn, erotica, snarfflafugin, so long as you're buying. Honestly, labels can help and hinder, and in this business as with most, they're inevitable.
March 1st, 2008 @ 1:56 AM

Posted by Selena Kitt:

<<<>>

Do or don't. So not important to me, one way or the other. I don't waste blog space on reviewers' opinions. That's what their own blogs are for.

Enjoy your time off...

Ciao!
March 1st, 2008 @ 4:53 AM