I dreamed of reaching an audience so large that I, too, would one day sell over 400-500 million novels. Or over 300 million, like Sidney Sheldon. Or over 200 million, like Nora Roberts. Or (even) over 70 million, like Sandra Brown. My dream was sooo bright; as bright as the sun itself. I always believed it was attainable. Sink or swim...
I thought there was an equal opportunity.
But despite the current atmosphere, I still have a great deal of faith in the American publishing industry. I am an American. And I believe we can repair the hurtful, Jim Crowesque climate that plagues American publishing. We must. For as Eckhart Tolle carefully explains in A NEW EARTH: What we do to others, we do to ourselves.
I maintain confidence that my stories will find their way into the American mainstream, where they belong. Like any other, they deserve to have a fair chance in the marketplace, don't they? Unfettered by any "color-of-the-author" impositions?
If Reginald Brooks and family can be Polish, and Turkish...surely they can be American. Very few self-published novels prove themselves to be captivating stories with tremendous universal appeal. So that proven appeal validates the dream I've always had for my stories, and keeps it alive. Who knows? I may even be inclined to launch my own (equal opportunity) publishing empire to help foster fair chance in the industry; set an example for what it means to provide equal opportunity...
The last three years of my life have been dreadful...but now, thank God, healing begins; because what I know for sure is this: I am, as they say, a flame keeper. And the flame glows brightly. I can see it going before me now, leading the way to a much better experience.
The seeds of a third book (THE GREAT MASTERMIND) have been patiently awaiting my return to the keyboard. Those seeds deserve life and nourishment; it's high time I saw to them. And ditto for my blog! There's so much going on these days, and I've not had an ounce of energy to participate. But I'm getting back to creating now. After being down in the dumps, unable to write for such a long, long time - I pledge to start living again. That means birthing my next page-turner! I know my fans have been patiently waiting...and I love them for it.
The Discrimination Lawsuit.
I've received several inquiries about the status. I'm very pleased to share that the matter has now been resolved to my satisfaction through an agreement, the terms of which can never be discussed.
In the interest of my blog's archival integrity, I fully disclose that all previous discussions about the case have been removed. There will be no further information about the lawsuit on my blog. I'm extremely happy to have this heartbreak behind me - I give beaucoup thanks to my wonderful attorney. And I likewise send a deep, heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who offered their unwavering support. I'll remember it always.
Beyond all of that, here's a very important question:
Was having such a dream foolhardy?
Would Jackie Collins, or Danielle Steel, or Nora Roberts all have been foolish to dream of achieving what they have, in fact, achieved?
Should the horse have known not to enter the race? Is having a white body a prerequisite for access to the stratosphere of the commercial fiction business? Access to the upper crust, where Jackie, Danielle, Nora (et al.) reside?
"The Negro was to accept the biracial system and his subordinate status. He was to seek advancement within the confines of his segregated black world. He was to develop the friendship of influential whites and use their assistance.
By cultivating habits of hard work, thrift, and honesty, he was to demonstrate his claim to wider acceptance and better treatment. Above all, he was never to present any organized challenge to the existing order of things or engage in movements which might be regarded by whites as detrimental to their economic and political interest." - Booker T. Washington
Boy. Why can't we simply stop making color distinctions and just allow love to unite all Americans?
Is Booker T's observation of 100 years ago -still- true for commercial fiction publishing in the United States? If so, who bears the responsibility?
At this time in our history -2008- does our publishing establishment have any non-white, commercial fiction authors with sales/audience comparable to Danielle Steel's? Jackie Collins'? Or (even) Sandra Brown's? If so, who?
(Well, I guess there are a few very important questions.)