Sensually Wicked Man Love

The thoughts and challenges I come across in being a heterosexual woman, wife and mother who loves to write m/m erotic romances. I'm not gay or male, but the thoughts of two gorgeous, confident men together is my idea of a hot time! I write for others, both men and women, who feel the same.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

RT/Hyatt Author Targeted


This last week I attended the yearly Romantic Times convention at the Houston Hyatt. I love the ability to meet face to face all the readers, authors, publishers, bookstore owners and all the other fascinating and intriguing people that come to this event each year. I even participated in the lovely and fun Faery Ball Ball this year with a whole host of fabulous authors. I go to RT to met people and to promote my work just like every other author there. It's a wonderful networking event. I sent 6 boxes of promo items for myself and my ad group of M/M erotic romance and fiction group MANLOVEROMANCE.COM there this year.

The RT promo items I sent didn't arrive until Thursday. I immediate put them up in the appropriate containers RT insisted we use while noting that hundreds of other promo was loose on the tables in violation of this rule. There was no table space left at this point and I refused to move other authors’ items to make room for my own so I utilized several very large boxes sitting at the end of one table. All my items were placed in six rough, manly, woven baskets. Items were disappearing before I got them all out. It was great. However…

By Thursday afternoon my promo was gone. I write gay erotic romance and fiction. I write in a RWA accepted genre. I’m at a romance conference. My writing wins awards. My books are on best selling lists on both Amazon and B&N. My work is good! I own a small press that print publishes only gay erotic romance and fiction, MLR Press. But I couldn’t find my promo and that of the other gay work I represent anywhere.

In its place were now EPIC promo items sitting on the same boxes. I hunted for mine and eventually Luisa Prieto found a small basket with some of the items I brought on another table. Nothing in it was mine but two DETAILS OF THE HUNT bookmarks with the cover on it and a few excerpt cds. Everything with Manloveromance on it was missing. My posters were missing. I couldn’t find the rest until Jade Buchanan saw it in a basket on the table in CLUB RT, shoved into a corner sitting by the people manning the doorway. Sandy Hicks, AMP, and I rescued it and asked why it was there. The very kind but very flustered woman immediately dragged me outside into the hall and stuttered she would call someone to explain things to me. Not a good sign.

Sharon Murphy, RT staff arrived and told me Hyatt personal had removed my things because businessmen (who should not have been in the conference areas to begin with) had complained about them. I found that hard to believe and said so.

Sandy went off to gather other promo that was far more risque than anything we had. While she was gone I began to object and Sharon asked me to come into a closed room. Sandy saw this occur and followed, not allowing anything to be said without a witness on my behalf to be present.

I wanted a better explanation. Sharon denied RT involvement but they certainly didn’t do anything to support an author attending their conference. Instead they willingly, immediately consented. I paid almost $500 registration to attend this conference and promo my work, $1325 to be part of a special promo event, and hundreds of dollars on flights and hotel expenses but my tame, tasteful promo was removed!

First Sharon tried to blame in on the promo being on boxes and not the table but I pointed out that EPIC promo replaced my promo and was currently still on the boxes, so the placement was NOT a legitimate issue.

Then she said it was thought that it was more risque that anyone else’s. Sandy produced other promo items that included a naked woman on her knees in front of a naked man, a woman with her naked buttocks pressed to a man’s naked groin and other items that had bared male chests, bared male thighs and such just like ours. None of our promo had male couples on it except a few bookmarks and since they are yaoi it hard to tell what the sex of the characters. The same bookmarks were not removed from further down the tables. So appearance wasn’t a legitimate issue.

Apparently at a loss for an explanation that would satisfy me she expressed an opinion it was gay related, but that didn’t explain all promo with my name on it being removed, even the postcards for my single mainstream thriller.

She then called Jo Carol, RT event coordinator and had her call the Hyatt customer service manager that made the decision to remove the items, Lance Barnes.
He arrived, briefly introduced himself while standing sideways to me, didn’t offer his hand in introduction, and never made eye contact with me. I made all the same arguments with him, showing examples of the other promo vs ours. He never mentioned the businessmen (that shouldn’t have been allowed in the conference area anyway) objection that Sharon had, but only stated it was 'his decision and that of his peers and boss' to remove it and if I replaced them they would be removed and taken.

His biggest objection was the poster of a single man sleeping in bed with a book and a sheet covering him. I've added it to this blog. Do you find it objectionable? I stated that single poster could have been removed, not all of the promo, so the M/M content must have been what he had issue with. He abruptly ended the brief chat with “I’m not discussing this with you.” Then left the room. This is Hyatt Customer Service.

I was vocal about the event. I told authors, I told publishers. If they will do this to me, they’ll do it to other authors. Word spread and by morning everyone knew about it. Support poured out of the woodwork. Authors of all genres took my promo and put it on their tables during the book signing on Saturday, especially the very supportive Kate Douglas, Lucynda Storey and Stephanie Burke.

At breakfast I ended up meeting two marketing experts who had witnessed the removal of my promo. They stopped the Hyatt employee and questioned it. The Hyatt employee stated he was just doing what his boss told him to do. The women described the event as a “targeted attack”. I have written letters of complaint, as have others.

I'm an unhappy author.

172 Comments:

Blogger Kirby said...

Thank you for sharing this, Laura. Perhaps more people should be informed that Hyatt does not welcome gays as customers or participants in their business. You made a classy showing in the face of some pretty despicable actions and people. Go you!

7:49 PM  
Blogger Ciar Cullen said...

Laura, I don't write M/M as you may or may not know. I wasn't at RT, so I'm taking everything you say at face value (I kinda know you, and believe I can trust what you say happened transpired as it did). I simply want to say I'm terribly sorry it happened to you, and I hope that authors of every genre, like the ones you mentioned, will support you. Don't mess with Texas? Sigh. And I'm a conservative! I'll be in Pittsburgh next year, and if you and your fellow M/M authors attend, I'll stand beside you.

7:50 PM  
Blogger Amelia June said...

THAT is really irritating and I hope you hear back from the Hyatt. I don't even see how the guy in bed is "gay" per se. I mean, he's just a nekkid dude. I saw many, many mostly nekkid dudes at RT. That's the draw, LOL.

Bah, sorry this happened to you.

7:57 PM  
Blogger Stella said...

I postively refuse to say "What do you expect in houston" because I'm nearly sure that one or two non-homophobic Hotel managers somewhere in Houston.

James Buchanan says that there were other, smaller incidents as well, is that right? Could it be Class action lawsuit time? (or, at least, the threat of one)

8:09 PM  
Blogger KyAnn said...

Laura,
If I attend RT in Pittsburg, (and it's a big if because I had problems of my own in Houston) I would gladly wear a t-shirt supporting you and MLR Press. Plaster nakked men on it doing all sorts of delicious things! Yumm. Keeping writing and fighting. Your sister lovers of gay romance are 100 % behind you. The only way to change the industry is to continue to produce excellence.

8:26 PM  
Blogger Tilly Greene said...

Wow, such intolerance being shown by a major corporation [Hyatt] is abhorent and really shouldn't be tolerated. But, I think it's worse what RT did, taking your money with one hand and then offering nothing with the other.

Well, it's a good thing not every living human being is so small minded. I look forward to meeting you and offering whatever support I can for you and manloveromance.

8:32 PM  
Blogger Cassandra Gold said...

This is absolutely infuriating! I can't believe that kind of attitude still exists. If I make it to the next RT I'll be bringing as much m/m promo stuff as I can get my hands on! Then again, maybe my money would be better spent on something other than RT, if this is the kind of welcome m/m authors can expect...

8:44 PM  
Blogger tcastleb said...

I write M/M and work for a hotel (not Hyatt, thankfully,) so the whole thing makes me doubly angry . . . just be sure to write a letter to both the Hyatt hotel (directly to the general manager) and their corporate office, and be specific about what you want in return for being treated that way. We give away free stuff to unhappy guests (if it's for a legitimate reason, but we don't always offer; it's best to ask for it,) and generally do our best to get them back even after they check out. And there's hotel review sites where you can write reviews, too, because it is totally lousy customer service; the guest is always right, even when they're not, and every incident demands an apology from the staff, not evasive answers.

8:54 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

I had heard about this on Jet Mykles yahoo group, and she said you handled the entire inicident with class. Kudos to you...glad I'm not a Hyatt customer.

I happen to like the picture you posted...can I get it blown up to hang on the wall?

9:00 PM  
Blogger Jenna Leigh said...

I don't read much M/M but by golly if I wanted to in a hotel in Houston or wherever the crap else, that's my choice. How dare they pick your promo out of a vast selection of very naughty pictures of others to take down? I'm so sorry this happened to you. I hope that guy's really happy with himself. He probably just lost his hotel chain a whooole lot of repeat customers. I didn't make it to RT this year, but I do know I won't ever go back to the Hyatt again.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Jodi said...

I'm sorry Laura, that's really terrible. I hope that RT takes responsibility and apologizes formally. I know you were not the only GLBT author/publisher to have issues.

10:04 PM  
Blogger Maura said...

Thanks for working to get the word out, Laura. I'm completely against this sort of discrimination and bigotry.

You have an incredible game face - I don't know that I could have held it together as well as you did in the same circumstances.

10:55 PM  
Blogger catt said...

oh that is outragous!!!!! you paid for the right to promo same as everyone else! I will never stay at a Hyatt. so sorry you went through this Laura!!!

11:01 PM  
Blogger Lauren Dane said...

Oh my god! Laura this is ridiculous! I saw the promo when you first put it out and I thought it was lovely and very sexy and certainly way classier than a lot of other promo out on those tables.

I'm disgusted by this and I hope you don't mind that I link your account from my blog tomorrow.

11:01 PM  
Blogger Amanda Young said...

That's just disgusting and I'm so sorry you (or anyone else for that matter) had to go through it. You have to wonder what the heck people are thinking. I mean, the pic you put up is way less graphic than 90 percent of the book covers out lately for erotic work. It's just a dud lying in bed for heavens sake. They clearly just didn't want gay material put out and were too chicken to admit to it.

I'm so proud of you for standing up to them. You should have asked for your money back.

1:40 AM  
Blogger ReaLee Mercier said...

Laura, it's horrible that this should happen to you or anyone. You handled it far better then I would have and I'm not even an author. I will keep in mind that this did in fact happen and I won't be staying at a Hyatt Establishment if this is how they treat people. RT definately needs to stand up and apologize. You handle this situation with grace and class. Your to be commended and I will definately be spreading the word to my friends about your writings as well and the horrible way you were treated. Hope you stay strong and continue to write your wonderful novels.

2:11 AM  
Blogger Kate Hill said...

I'm sorry that happened, but I can't say I'm surprised. Too many people try to force everybody else to their way of thinking. I don't know about anyone else, but I have enough to do running my own life without trying to run everybody else's. Just keep up the good work, Laura. You've done a lot to get the word out about m/m romance.

2:52 AM  
Blogger Erastes said...

I'm so angry on behalf of everyone in the group I could SPIT.

I shall certainly be writing the hotel and to Romantic Times, for all the good it will do me.

I'm sorry you had to have this happen to you, and the utter bigotry disgusts me. However, I guess I shouldn't be surprised for Houston, where I think it's still lawful to shag your horse, but not your same sex boyfriend.

2:56 AM  
Blogger Sharon M.Bidwell said...

Laura, being in the UK I never get to attend and I felt sorry I was missing out on all the fun but now I don't feel so left out at all, although wouldn't it be great next year if all the m/m authors could put in a united front. I don't know what to say. Without a better explanation, they've left you with only one answer, that 'someone' didn't approve. I came to writing m/m almost by accident and it's not the only thing I write or want to write, but I quickly realised it's also a way to speak up for equal rights -- for the way people want to live their lives, what they want to write or read etc. I am so sorry this happened to you. I'd stand beside you too if I could. And by the way, I love that picture. I'd love to plaster it everywhere.

4:39 AM  
Blogger b00kworm22 said...

Now I am totally shocked. I was at RT, but this incident bypassed me totally. I was lucky enough to get some of the promo stuff BEFORE it was taken away and it was certainly no more risque than anything else out there from the erotic romance writers. I am an avid reader of m/m so do my best to support them. RT definitely seems to be narrow minded when it comes to a growing section of the romance industry. As to business men complaining about one lot of promo - that is bullsh**.

5:03 AM  
Blogger Megan Rose said...

This is a terrible state of affairs and I'm so sorry that you were upset Laura. I'm in the UK and have the same problem as Sharon,in that I'm unable to attend such events. But please do know that you have my great support. I hope that you, or any m/m author, never has to go through this again.

5:32 AM  
Blogger Becky said...

That's outrageous. If you haven't already done it, it wouldn't hurt to contact GLAD, see if they might want to add their voice to yours in complaining further up the chain. The Hyatt manager had no business censoring any of the content of the convention - once the convention is booked, their job is to provide service and stay out of the way.

6:09 AM  
Blogger Sabrina Luna said...

Laura, bummer. I will definately pass word around --including your blog. Thx for letting us know about this injustice.

Supportive Hugs,
Sabrina )O(

9:47 AM  
Blogger Adriana said...

Kudos to you for handling the incident with class. I hope if there were other similar incidents people will come forth with information, sure can't rule out class action! I hope to be in Pittsburgh next year!

10:29 AM  
Blogger H.S. Kinn said...

Is the RWA recognizing m/m romance now?

10:35 AM  
Blogger Mary Castillo said...

Wow. When will the rest of our society get out of the dark ages and recognize that gay is not evil or perverse or whatever they think it means?

You have my support!

Mary

10:41 AM  
Blogger Dahlia Rose said...

Laura
I came to your blog because Sabrina Luna pointed it out and I came to read. How dare they do that! I pesonally object to their crass behavior and the low minded way the Hyatt representavie treated you. Maybe there was no busniessment hat saw them Maybe that was his own homophobia. This is one of those times this shoud be brought to light for the entire world to know. You should take this to the press and think about finding a lawyer becuase you were treated unfarly! I say Sue em!!
I'm heading to RT next year Pittburgh! You got my support!
More power to you Laura!!
Dahlia Rose

10:43 AM  
Blogger Stella Price said...

Laura,
I dont write it, but I was there when the stuff happened, and hear all about it. I think its pure rubbish what they did, but then again what do you expect from the hotel? they were rude, nasty and i know authors that got stuff stolen out of their rooms and the "customer service" didnt do anything about it.

There should have been NO reason why anything was taken down, and just so you know, when we (my sister and I) saw the MLR stuff, we picked up a bunch of it so she could take home with her.

After all the $ you paid, im so sorry this happened to you and I hope the Hilton isnt like this next year. What were Businessmen doing in the convention anyway? I mean wasnt the hotel booked for the convention? i would think that when a con of that size comes around, that the hotel is strictly for the con... but no... which is totally sad...

Sorry again! and you have our support!

10:50 AM  
Blogger M Barnette said...

You should contact Hyatt Corporate and make a formal claim of discrimination.

BTW, your freedom of speech was attacked and the ACLU doesn't like that. A complaint to them might also be in order.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Klaudia said...

I'm sorry to hear this happened to you..I honestly see nothing wrong with the poster....Compaired to other stuff yours is tame....I think you should have been treated a lot better than what you received.....

11:02 AM  
Blogger Alessia Brio said...

You, Laura, are a class act. Kudos to you for responding with reason and grace. While I don't write homoerotic romance exclusively, I do so on occasion, and I am proud to be associated with ManLoveRomance.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Jules Jones said...

I'm very unimpressed with both the con and the hotel. I hope you'll be taking it up with the chain management, as the chain claims to be anti-discrimination -- one of the replies to my own blog post about this mentioned that the chain as a group has a 100% rating from the HRC guide for gay-friendly policies.

Done my bit to make sure that some of the science fiction con-runners are aware of this, as homophobia from a hotel would be a factor in deciding where to hold a con.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Rhian / Crowwoman said...

i'm sorry - WHAT the hell!?!?
First off - did RT not discuss any restrictions with the venue on what could and could not be displayed? Considering the number of erotica authors that would be represented, i would think that would have been covered. Second the Hyatt agreed to allow the event and they HAD to have known what they were signing on for. If they didn't then idiots are at the helm.
Third - are you saying that RT staff did NOT back you up? Because if that's the case I'll not only cancel my plans for RT in Pittsburgh but let all the others that were planning to attend with me know this state of affairs.

This totally, completely pisses me off.

ps - i love your stories. (sorry - fangirl moment...okay, back to stewing.)

11:29 AM  
Blogger grrluknow said...

As a resident of Houston, I am not remotely surprised by what you went through. I see this kind of crap going on all the time. You're not dealing with a cultural haven down here, that's for sure.

I'm so sorry you had to go through all that. There are some folks in Houston not living in the Dark Ages. I hope you won't think ill of all of us in future. Suffice to say I won't be staying at the Hyatt again.

I have to applaud you for handling the whole thing with admirable patience.
Eventually even people here will grow up (I hope) but you can be sure we'll be trailing the pack. :sigh:

11:39 AM  
Blogger Richard Crawford said...

Disclaimer up front: gay sex makes me queasy. I don't like thinking about it. I don't like seeing pictures of it. The idea makes me squick in a way that not even high school biology with its many dissection labs did.

But so what? Lots of things do that to me, but I don't have the right to insist that they be taken away, nor is it rational for me to assume that my own ick factor will be the same for other people. If I see something that offends me or makes me queasy, I try a time-honored approach my mother taught me, which is to look in the opposite direction. After all, I like horror fiction, and I know the effect that has on some other people.

So yeah, gay sex bothers me, but I'm much more sickened by the fact that our society still condones discrimination against gay people. And what you've described here is a blatant example of that sort of discrimination. I'll happily avoid staying in the Hyatt until they apologize to you and make reparations.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Anya said...

Thank you for sharing this, Laura. I so sorry for what they did to you and very pissed off for for what RT did also well. You have my support and hope this doesn't prevent from attending next year cause I will definitely be there to stand in line with the rest of your supporters and fans to show our appreciation.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Wendi said...

Laura,

As you know when I met you I was impressed with what a lady you are and how well you carried yourself.

I have to say you carried yourself all times like a professional.

I still do not understand why they removed your works but allowed other M/M to stay in Promo Lane.

Some were so risque that it was not funny, while yours was not.

I can honestly say that Red Rose Publishing is behind you 100%.

Take care and hugs,

Wendi
www.redosepublishing.com

11:57 AM  
Blogger JaneDavitt said...

I've heard from other publishers of m/m that they, too, were marginalised and shunted off to the side. That's just unacceptable and unjustifiable.

I hope that if you take it higher you'll get some, not explanation, because there isn't one apart from blind prejudice and double standards, but apology.

Your poster is mildly suggestive and not at all explicit. Currently, all over the area I live in, are huge billboard ads (ones I grinned at: I'm not slamming them).

One's for a car, with the caption:

The paint's still wet. You?

The other for a phone with the caption

The second most exciting thing your hand's ever discovered.

Double standards. Makes me sick.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Ann(ie) said...

That's utter bollocks.

The poster in question is sexy, but it's certainly not over the top. There's not even another guy in bed with him to offend anyone's puritan senses. What a load of dooky.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Pinky's XXXX said...

I don't write M/M, but I respect those who do. It pains me to hear of this horribly childish display of intolerance at RT. I have never been to RT before but I am looking forward to going next year...at least I WAS looking forward to it.

It seems that you have everyright to at the very least demand a full refund from either RT (who should never have allowed someone NOT connected with their function to remove something they had to have taken the time to figure out was M/M promotion.) or the Hyatt, and at the very least threatening a lawsuit should get their attention. You have the right to do this, and ya know, you got the internet and the ear of your fellow authors at your disposal. Tell enough people that Hyatt is intollerant of M/M romance promo (which honestly is in better taste than some straight romance promo I've seen which amounts to porn on a bookcover) and get enough authors to complain to RT staff for allowing the incident and GOING ALONG WITH IT (I just don't get that) and someone will be smart enough to give in. They just have to be!

12:01 PM  
Blogger Terri said...

Laura,
I'm disgusted that this was allowed to happen. Under NO circumstances should there have been any non RT attendees in promo alley, which suggests, strongly that is was nothing more than this manager having issues.

Hyatt owes you an apoligy! I can, to a degree, see where RT might not have been able to fight it as we don't know what the rules were on them signing the agreement to host the event there. BUT they could have handled the situation better on their end.

Laura, you're a sweetheart and I know how hard you work. This is WRONG. Period.

Terri Pray
Under the Moon

12:05 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

Oh, Laura, I'm so sad to hear about this. Seriously, it makes me so mad when people are narrow minded. I'm sorry to hear about this and hope that if you are able to attend next year that things are better.

12:09 PM  
Blogger jo leigh said...

This is outrageous, and I, too, will express my outrage to RT and to Hyatt, in writing and with my dollars.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Nikki Magennis said...

I'm shocked to hear this. Good luck with whatever further action you decide to take.

12:10 PM  
Blogger Robin L. Rotham said...

I'm sorry you had to go through this, Laura, and it's definitely something for all of us to be worried about. Is the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, where RWA is being held this year, part of the same corporation? If so, I think RWA should be alerted to what happened immediately so that they can take steps to see that it doesn't happen at National.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Anne Douglas said...

Sigh.

Some people need to pull their head out of their arses and get with the new millennium.

What ever happened to live and let live?





So, have you got your indignant letter from Ms Faulks yet?

Man, Tues may 2nd - the day Romance imploded! Down with blogger reviews that aren't happy happy joy joy, down with gay romance, down with pictures of cover models in playgirl...WTF?

12:22 PM  
Blogger Sparky Duck said...

If RT was a private convention type thing, where no Tex or Hank or Josephine could wander into, then both the organizers of RT and the Hyatt should be ashamed of themselves. If it was more public, where little Timmy 6th grader could wander over, then the point of the poster maybe valid, though if the poster covered up his lower half fully with a sheet, then its tamer then the crap you see on Fitness magazines. Apparently chick love is cool, but dude love is still icky? Triple standard

12:33 PM  
Blogger Veronica Arch said...

Wow, Laura. I'm sorry that happened. Is that the exact poster you used? I wonder if it wasn't the "manloveromance" written on the poster that someone took offense to, not the guy's nakedness.

Sadly, the whole episode shows that there is still gay intolerance in our society and that when it strikes it's unreasonable but I guess all prejudice is. I wonder if there had been a different Hyatt manager on duty that day if things would have been different.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Lizzie said...

Laura, mad you have a right to be. Yet, through it all you maintained dignity and I'm proud of you. I may not write m/m, but support your right to do so and I'm proud to call you MY FRIEND!
Lizzie T. Leaf

1:14 PM  
Blogger Joni said...

I feel so bad this happened to you as well as others and you handled it in the best way you could, but as some have mentioned, I would definitely place a formal complaint to the upper-upper chain of command of both Hyatt and RT so future incidences such as this do not occur. Both hotel and RT can't police everything that goes on at events, this is true, but something of this magnitude should be addressed immediately so everyone can anticipate a relatively stress-free event in which to showcase their craft!

Joni, an avid reader of all romance genres

1:18 PM  
Blogger H.S. Kinn said...

I'd like to add to my previous comment that I was telling my mother about this - Mama's a lifetime romance reader, and a fairly conservative one at that. She owns no M/M. I prefaced it with the fact that the industry's support of M/M has been wishy-washy at best, even in light of the fact that M/M sells well. Her sage, sane opinion? "Why would the industry try to define romance? Shouldn't they let readers decide?"

1:22 PM  
Blogger Jude Mason said...

Laura,

I too write m/m romance/erotic, but not exclusively. I'm so sorry you went through this and find it shocking that it happened. Living outside of the US, I wasn't at RT this year and I most likely won't be at one anytime soon. I have to say though, it makes me sick to think that people can be so close minded and feel they have the right to inpose on the rights of others.

I do feel some letter writing, at least, is in order. I don't know what else is possible, but I do think you should also have any money you spent to attend the event reimburst. The Hyatt accepted your money and refused you the service you paid for. Fraud comes to mind.

Good luck

Jude

1:25 PM  
Blogger Jordan Summers said...

I know RT does not currently allow gay romance promo in their magazine. EC received a message, letting the authors who write in that genre know that their books would not be reviewed. Threesomes yes, M/M no. They should've let you know that ahead of time. :/

1:36 PM  
Blogger Madeleine Stadt said...

Thank you for posting. My small groups of friends and I who are being published by a small press considered attending RT to promote the book we're involved in - it's all M/M erotica and romance. Now we know to avoid Hyatt if at all possible - but what REALLY gets me is how RT took your money and then didn't stand up or you. Your detailed reaction was very appropriate.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Desirée Lee said...

Like the other people who commented, I find it despicable that the Hyatt singled out your promotional items and treated you so terribly. I've put a link to your blog in a MySpace bulletin. I hope that by getting the word out and about that the support for you can help bring about understanding and change.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Robin Snodgrass said...

What truly atrocious behaviour!! Way to go for standing up for yourself and this very popular genre!!!
Keep up the great writing!!

2:11 PM  
Blogger Zinnia said...

Wow, I'd've been howling all over Hyatt about this. You go get 'em hon!

2:19 PM  
Blogger Sapphire Phelan said...

it is sad something like this happened to you. I do know what can happen to someone or many others duye to bad actions of a hotel employee (let's just say the one happened to me caused the convention to leave the hotel after years of being there).
And I saw nothing'gay' about the guy in the bed. I have a m/m roamnce coming out in July. Though I write mainly male and female romance know that I am behind you in this.
Sapphire Phelan

2:22 PM  
Blogger Dargie said...

Thanks for this account. I've blogged it on my Live Journal where fans are most likely to see it. I'm a co-chair of a media convention which has a very large contingent that is into m/m stuff, and while we've always been cautious about some of the more explicit artwork we get (nothing faces the open doorways where kids might see it as they walk by) no one has ever hassled us about anything else. I think we should consider ourselves fortunate.

I'm hoping fans will spread the word that Hyatt hotels are not gay-friendly, and stay away in droves.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Adora said...

I am so sorry this happened to you. You have mountains of support in this and I hope it really makes a difference in how they treat individuals.

As someone who would like to see more M/M romance out there? I hope that you overcome all this and we see nothing but amazing things for you in the future!

2:24 PM  
Blogger Emily Veinglory said...

I sent a concerned email to the diversity-issue email for Hyatt. I await their response...

2:25 PM  
Blogger Finlands finest said...

Laura,
I am not an author, wasn't at the conference, saw this link on Rhian/crowwoman's site. I had to read about your incident and I was appalled! The poster I thought was fine. I have seen a lot more risque covers on books. I thought it was catchy and cute! I hope that you get your money back for the conference and then some.

You handled yourself with class and grace and I commend you for it.

I am never going to stay at a Hyatt again.

I think that RT should have backed you up. You are a part of their organization and paid to be at their event.

I hope that you got publicity despite the discrimination!

BEST OF LUCK TO YOU!!

2:30 PM  
Blogger Will Belegon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:30 PM  
Blogger M.E Ellis said...

Good grief.

Terrible.

:o(

2:36 PM  
Blogger Madelynne Ellis said...

I'm completely disgusted! I wish I could also say I'm surprised. Sadly, I'm not.

Go you, for sticking up for yourself and the rest of us who write m/m.

2:42 PM  
Blogger taylorSiluwé ..... said...

You were extremely classy about such blatantly crappy treatment. Kudo's to you.

It takes a lot to make me lose my cool; this mighta done it. I hope that Houston Hyatt realizes who they're screwing with ....

2:44 PM  
Blogger Marianne said...

Laura,

I just found out what happened to you at the RT Convention from Jet's group. As an avid fan of your work as well as M/M romance in general, hearing what happened to you makes my blood boil. How dare they treat you as though you were a second class citizen?!

I have just submitted my own comments of your horrible experience on the Hyatt website feedback form, letting them know that I will definitely think twice about staying at any Hyatt, especially the one in Houston, if this is the way they treat their guests.

It sounds like you kept your cool, which I give you many kudos for. Being a very expressive person, I know my reaction would not have been so calm and polite.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Will Belegon said...

Whoops *shuffles feet*... added a bit I shouldn't have to my first comment, let's try this again.

Laura, I first heard about this Friday night. I thought it was ridiculous. My stuff was right across from yours, so I saw your display and had absolutely zero issues with it. As I learned more, I just got more angry. I was a chair away from you at the Bookfair and I remember how we felt as we waited to see if they would pull your trailer and how it felt like a small victory when they didn't.

I'm going to link to you from my blog and from MySpace. I am so proud of you for continuing to speak out. Although the M/M aside of the issue does not touch me directly, discrimination and censorship touches all of us. "When they came for me, there was no one left to protest."

Anything that I can do to assist you in this fight, I will. You need only ask. Individually, they can trun up the radio or close the curtains and ignore us. But when thousands cry out we shall be heard!

2:49 PM  
Blogger Lillian said...

I don't really agree that this is a Texas thing--Houston has a very large and thriving gay community, and they are certainly to be reckoned with. Have you contacted the GBLT groups in Houston and told them of this? They would be glad to let the Hyatt know their displeasure...

And it seems to me that the RT folks fell down on the job. I have run many a literary convention (both SF and mystery), and if a hotel employee had done that to one of my writers, there would be hell to pay--I'd be leading the charge for a lawsuit! RT can hav their conventions anywhere they want, and they make a LOT of money for the hotels they are affiliated with. Why aren't the convention folks flexing their muscles over this?

2:50 PM  
Blogger Emily Wade-Reid said...

Kudos, Laura. I am passing this on.

3:23 PM  
Blogger Raine Delight said...

Holy Moly, Laura. I stayed at the Hyatt once and never again if they take issue and single out an author who paid their money to be there. Called discrimination and since I didn't go t his year, I am now leery of going next year if it is at the Hyatt. If it isn't, I want to sho wmy support to you and other M/M authors. Send me promo stuff, t shirts anything and i will proudly display it. :)
Raine Delight

3:46 PM  
Blogger rgraham666 said...

Christ! Plus ca change and all that.

I'm at a loss for words, which is a damned good trick.

Hyatt is not getting my business, not ever again.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Darlene Marshall said...

Thanks for sharing this, Laura. I'm disappointed RT didn't do more to help you, since they were the ones who'd chosen this hotel for their conference. I hope you pursue this up the Hyatt food chain and receive some satisfaction.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Gina, Book Dragon said...

I LOVE the poster. Can't believe the man(?) wouldn't even look at you. I hope something happens to him but we'll never know what HIS bosses say about it.

Maybe he's gay and isn't happy with it?

I hope RT choses more wisely for the next convention. I wish they had supported you. Could you tell the other authors? After all, if RT won't support you, maybe they'll be next...

3:54 PM  
Blogger Sascha Illyvich said...

Laura,

I'm a native Houstonian living in California now, but have been involved with things more risque than man on man stuff in the past (I've worked the HPEP S/M Ball two years in a row) and had no problems. I'm sorry that the Hyatt fucking sucked. However, motherfuck them. I'll talk to Burke and find out more details that'll probably piss me off, but thanks for sharing. I'm on your side. :)

3:55 PM  
Blogger Sascha Illyvich said...

btw, I think that cover is HOT!

S
Erotica Romance author

3:56 PM  
Blogger Marquesate said...

That is utterly, utterly shocking and I am sorry it happened to you. I wonder if the same would have happened in Britain, but it's moot musing.

I'm ata loss for words, in fact, I am disgusted.

Marquesate

4:02 PM  
Blogger Night Owl Romance - Tammie said...

Hello Laura,

Ah, so sorry had to experience such distasteful service from an establishment that openly accepted the RT event and its cash flow.

I hope RT makes sure future establishments do not have a problem with gay romance prior to booking - since they support it in their magazine and accepted money for you to attend.

If they do not take the time to make sure their events are contracted with facilities that are more open I'm sure they will pay in attendees and readership.

Thanks for sharing your story with us as that is the only way we know what type of treatment these places provide. If they were willing to take your money they should provide the service they were paid for.

Tammie King
Night Owl Romance
http://www.nightowlromance.com

4:03 PM  
Blogger Carol Stacy said...

For the Record...
I have tried to reach Laura several times today to discuss this and she has not returned my phone calls and probably won't.

For the Record (Promo Items at the RT Convention)...
Promotion Lane where Ms. Baumbach's promotional items were displayed was in fact in a "public space" and so RT had no say in what the hotel decided to do.

For the Record...
After the hotel took down the poster and removed the promotional items we (RT staff) returned the items to promotion lane in a different spot sans the poster. So we did support the author despite our responsibility to comply with the hotel.

For the Record (Regarding RT's Policy to not review m/m books in RT)...
Ms. Baumbach and I have been through this over and over and over again.

My decision to not review these books has nothing to do with being homophobic. Some of my best friends are gay and in fact several attend our convention and have been friends for years and I love them dearly.

My decision is based on my "print" readership and the fact that the majority of my "print readers" are not interested in m/m books at this time.

As I have explained to Ms. Baumbauch if that readership changes in the future so will my policy to review this type of fiction.

This is a space consideration AND a business decision. If you will forgive the analogy: one does not cover yoga in a NASCAR magazine if you get my drift.

It's that simple.

For the Record (Regarding Advertising)...
When the issue of Ms. Baumbach advertising and not getting a review of her book came up months before the convention we offered her a full refund for her convention fee and her participation at the faery Ball. She refused and said she was OK with our decision.

For the Record (Regarding the Book Fair)...
Ms. Baumbach was included in the Book Fair along with every other author. She was treated like every other author i.e. she was seated alphabetically with the "Bs" and we ordered her books for her to sign the same way we ordered every other small press and e-book author's books. I have no idea how many books she sold but "For the Record" she was included.

For the Record...
The Book Fair was in a "private space" (unlike Promotion Lane which was in a public space) so her poster and/promotional items were allowed.

For the Record...
No one sid the Hyatt does not welcome gays. The Hyatt was responding to their guests who objected to the poster who were passing by the poster because Promotion Lane was in a public space that was in the path of the way to the parking lot. Please don't skew the facts.

My Personal Comment...
What boggles my mind and I cannot understand is why Ms. Baumbach continues to spend her money with my magazine and our Booklovers Convention when we are stating in no uncertain terms that we do not believe that she is reaching her target audience. Why not avoid these conflicts and look to other magazines and or organizations to spend her money where she could sell more books and expand her readership. Why does she insist on advertising with RT and attending the convention?

Carol Stacy
Publisher of Romantic Times BOOKreviews magazine and organizer of the RT BOOKLOVERS CONVENTION.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Brynn Paulin said...

I am horrified that this happened to you. I don't write M/M but what happened to you could happen to anyone of us because someone objects to BDSM or Menage or blonde heroines... It's ridiculous! Good luck with the Hyatt and RT. You have my support. This is unexcusable.

4:37 PM  
Blogger Shara Cooper said...

Laura - I can't believe this happened. I spoke to you last week I wish you'd mentioned it - the Hyatt sucked in my mind then and it is even worse now.

I do write M/M and read a lot of it as well - I've even written an article on my blog stating that I'm 100% behind it. They have no right to sensor things in this fashion. Would they stop a gay couple of from booking a room and staying at the hotel? They might say yes at first but not if it was Elton John and his partner I bet.

I'm sorry you've had to go through this - this just reminds me of the big RT argument when they refused to host a panel. I wonder what they would do if we all got T-shirts made up and wore them next year - deny us our own clothing - perhaps it would be interesting to see.

I whole hearted support you and other manlove authors.

You Rock Laura!!!!!!!

4:44 PM  
Blogger Selena Illyria said...

I'm right there with. I'm unhappy too. I'm more than unhappy. I'm p*ssed off.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Gwen Masters said...

It seems like you handled this with the utmost class. I can't say I would have been so calm in the face of such blatant discrimination -- my hat's off to you.

I'm very troubled by the inaction of those supposedly "in charge" at RT. WHY didn't they step up and defend you? You paid your money. You followed all their guidelines. Where was the backing of RT in response to this?

I agree with the person who suggested you go to the ACLU. In fact, go to every organization that might be able to raise a very loud ruckus on your behalf.

(And of course, the wicked side of me is begging to suggest a graphic story, hot man-on-man action, written specifically for the Hyatt manager. *evil grin*)

5:01 PM  
Blogger Keziah Hill said...

Bummer Laura. But it must be comforting to know that some of Ms Stacy's best friends are gay.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Morgan Hawke said...

Laura,
- I heard about this debacle from one of my fellow M/M authors, Jet Mychels. She and I have the same opinion: This STINKS.

I didn't attend RT this year as I was swamped under contracts, but if I'm there next year I'd be happy to have your promo items on my table.

Suggestion: Make that gorgeous banner into wall-posters -- BIG ones, and pass those out as promo, 'cuz I WANT ONE!

5:12 PM  
Blogger Ariel said...

As a fellow M/M writer, one whose first book is due out in a matter of weeks, I find this kind of discrimination absolutely reprehensible. I lived in Houston for ten years and never saw this kind of behavior, but then, I spent a good deal of my time in the Montrose area. Even so, Houston or anywhere else, such behavior should not go unpunished. I've posted a link to this in my own blog to let others know as well. The Hyatt and RT need to know this cannot go on.

5:28 PM  
Blogger cheryl said...


This is a space consideration AND a business decision. If you will forgive the analogy: one does not cover yoga in a NASCAR magazine if you get my drift.


So M/M isn't romance or for lovers of fiction? Not understanding this comment.


y Personal Comment...
What boggles my mind and I cannot understand is why Ms. Baumbach continues to spend her money with my magazine and our Booklovers Convention when we are stating in no uncertain terms that we do not believe that she is reaching her target audience. Why not avoid these conflicts and look to other magazines and or organizations to spend her money where she could sell more books and expand her readership. Why does she insist on advertising with RT and attending the convention?


How exactly do you know this? Market research or your own belief?

I think you would be surprised by the number of "your print readership" that also like gay romance.

I guess I'm just a selfish person that wants all her favorite romance authors in one place...no matter what they write

5:29 PM  
Blogger Bronwyn Green said...

Laura,

I am so horrified that this happened to you. There is no excuse for discrimination of any kind. I'm just disgusted beyond the ability to speak - which believe me is rare. :(

5:39 PM  
Blogger Marty Rayne said...

As a writer of M/M myself, I find what happened very disturbing. The Hyatt seems to have made their position very clear about gay works. I don't find the poster at all objective- very hot to me ;) Unfortunately, I've found that het males have a double standard. If it had been a woman...no problem. But a man? They are uneasy with it.
*sigh* Sorry that happened. And it looks as if you have lots of support.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Jonquil said...

"What boggles my mind and I cannot understand is why Ms. Baumbach continues to spend her money with my magazine and our Booklovers Convention when we are stating in no uncertain terms that we do not believe that she is reaching her target audience."

Honey, we just think you aren't *comfortable* here. We'd hate you to be uncomfortable. We're big-hearted that way.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Skylar Sinclair said...

I am so sorry that you were abused in this manner. And, yes, that was abuse. I have seen your promotional items and they are tasteful and sensual. I am sure homophobic currents were the vein of this issue, and not the so-called ‘businessmen.’ It saddens me that RT, with their vast expenses and professional expertise could not curtail this unneeded drama.

Trying to stop the rising tide of m/m romance will be like trying to leash a wild tiger; it is just not going to happen.

6:10 PM  
Blogger HS said...

Some of my best friends are gay and in fact several attend our convention and have been friends for years and I love them dearly.

Ok that line was just stellar because it sounds like when a person is called prejudice they say they can't be cause they have the other race as friends. Riiigt that makes sense. If that was part of Carols way of helping herself then that wasn't the best comment to write.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Liddy Midnight said...

Crikey, how did I miss this last week? I would have put your materials at my table at the Book Fair, too. That promo material is classy. I think you need to set up a CafePress store and sell T-shirts, mugs, posters and totes.

I don't read or write M/M romance and politically I'm a little to the right of Attila the Hun, but hey, what the hell happened to that Constitutional Amendment that guarantees us ALL free speech? Even in Texas. Sheesh!

The only thing I can possibly think is that ManLove is a little too close to ManBoyLove (with all the NAMBLA baggage that entails) and someone wasn't thinking, just having an ignorant knee-jerk reaction. Once they'd said something, their pride wouldn't let them back down.

That's no excuse at all. Management at the Hyatt Regency Houston deserves all the unpleasant publicity it gets. I think you ought to ask Hyatt Corporate for a sizable credit toward your hotel bill. The worst they can say is no, right?

Hugs,
Liddy

6:25 PM  
Blogger Virginia said...

The poster, to be honest, makes me a little uncomfortable, even though it's very clever. But even if the Hyatt staff had some valid argument for removing it (and based on what you say about other material at the conference, I doubt they did), that's absolutely no excuse for their removing all your promo material and everything with your name on it, without even informing you. Thank you for letting us know about this. I'm disgusted enough to avoid the Hyatt chain until I hear you've received an apology and a refund.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Lee Rowan said...

Laura, you rock.

Ms Stacy--

"For the record"

RT is a big bookselling event. Ms Baumbach is a writer and publisher.
What is it about this that puzzles you?

Can it be that you've forgotten last September, when RT ran a poll to determine whether there was a readership for m/m romance? Did you forget the result of your own poll?

For the record: Over 60% of the respondents were in favor of treating m/m romance in the same way m/f romance is treated. Strangely, nothing ever came of that, even though only about 16% of the respondents objected to RT reviewing m/m. Also for the record? I didn't vote in your poll. I'm not a subscriber, and too many people were objecting to 'you writers' voting (as though writers weren't also readers.)

http://www.romantictimes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4005

The core of this whole issue, which you pretend not to understand, is Romantic Times' hypocrisy. If the Hyatt personnel had treated one of your conventional romance writers the way Laura Baumbach was treated--hustled off to a backroom as though she were not a paying member of the convention--I cannot believe that the disrespect would have gone unchallenged.

The hypocrisy, of course, is that when m/m authors have advertising money to spend, RT is right there with both hands out. When we ask to be treated as any other author with a book to sell--and m/m is selling quite well, thank you--you suddenly get all coy about what your readers want. If you were really interested, you'd be paying attention to the sales of m/m romance. Ms Baumbach's books have been on Amazon's gay romance bestseller list--sometimes more than one book at a time in the top 25. If you look at that list, at any given time you'll find a lot handful of the ManLove Romance writers on it. And those aren't just gay men--Brokeback Mountain didn't break records because 40 gay men each saw it 1000 times.

Love is powerful. Forbidden love is even more powerful. There's a market. And if you had taken a poll at RT, I think you'd have been surprised to find that many of the people there were looking for the materials that had been "relocated."

Madam, you asked your readers what they want. They told you. They want you to act with integrity and treat your paying customers with equal respect, and they want to be able to read reviews of m/m romances. Since you ran the poll and have had at least half a year to assess the rsults, it is disingenuous of you to pretend that your readers are not far more openminded and sophisticated than you give them credit for being.

I admire Laura's willingness to butt her head against this wall of prejudice (and please, do ask your gay friends what they think of this whole incident--and ask one of them to explain why "some of my best friends are___ BUT is not a sign of tolerance but an insult).

However, I'm less persistent. I'm not "comfortable" with paying good money to be snubbed by bigots. I was suckered into buying one RT ad because until Laura forced you to admit to your discrimination, even my own publishers didn't realize you would ignore Ransom (which went on to win an Eppie, without your assistance) because your discrimination was an unwritten rule.

My advertising money now goes to Affaire de Coeur, which may not be quite as wellknown as RT--yet-- but which has at least moved ahead into the 21st century, not back to the 19th.

I think you are misjudging your readership.

I think your readership understands very well that the love felt by a gay person is emotionally identical to the love felt by anyone else. And romance is about love, isn't it?

Thank you for creating a situation that allowed so many open-minded, big-hearted people to rally around the first amendment in support of love and romance between consenting adults.

6:34 PM  
Blogger BarbaraK said...

I checked and found out that the RT convention in Pittsburg in 2008 will be held at the Hilton.

Stick to your guns, Laura. There was nothing offensive about that poster's image. I'm thinking that whoever objected to it, objected to the "manlove" written at the bottom.

BTW: I read your alien/human SF story Details of the Hunt during the RT Convention in Houston and loved, loved, LOVED that story. The characterization, plotting and love scenes were excellent.

6:39 PM  
Blogger Kiernan_Kelly said...

Laura, I've already posted my feelings on this at the MLR group, but you know that I'm behind you 100%. I think you handled it with poise and dignity, which is more than I can say I might have, had I been there.

As far as RT's post to this blog, all I can suggest is that Carol find herself a ghost writer. None of her post rang true.

It seemed that the best she could do was dredge up old history about your ads in their magazine. It seems to me that if an organization accepts your money, then it MUST provide the services you purchased. Offering you a refund because they had second thoughts after the fact is unacceptable.

Oh, and btw, it seems that I recall Carol's readership making themselves known in the "poll" RT ran a while back - of course, they dismissed the overwhelming show of support and interest in m/m romance as being "staged."

Sheesh.

On the other hand, they place the blame for removing the materials solely at the feet of the Hyatt. If that's true, then Mr. Lance-I-Haven't-Got-The-Manners-Of-A-Turnip Customer Service Manager should be called to task by Hyatt corporate.

Personally, I called Hyatt Corporate to lodge my own complaint. I was treated very courteously by Customer Service, and asked to write a letter to Consumer Affairs, which I have done. I would suggest that anyone else who is as offended as I am by this do the same. The email is ConsumerAffairs@Hyatt.com

6:49 PM  
Blogger Lena Matthews said...

I was at RT this year and didn't have a clue this happen. Next year I will be proud to walk around in a T-shirt with your logo and book cover on it and place your promo stuff at my table. I'm sorry to say this, but there was far more racer promotional items at RT this year including a pen that looked like a vibrator (it was HUGE).

The Management team of the Hyatt needs it's ass kicked up and down the street for that bullshit. Plus one of their staffers stole my camera...and you ladies know I had some "STUFF" on there.

Fucking bastards.

Have you thought about contacting GLAD or Oprah. I need a free trip to Chicago and I will swear up and down on a stack of Playboys that I saw the whole thing.

P.S. I adore Carol Stacy. I think she’s a remarkable woman who works very hard, but “the some of my friends comment” had me dying. I'm a black woman and I can't tell you how much sentences like that make me chuckle. The only way it could have been funnier was if she said, I've had gay people in my house.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Unbelievable! I don't write m/m and as yet haven't read any, but I'm so P.O.d at how you were treated. The Hyatt should refund your entire stay, and RT should refund your conference fee.

It's discrimination, and that is illegal in this country. I'm appalled even more that the RT folks who took your good money and delivered so little in return.

7:11 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

I took your case to Corporate Hyatt today and received an email back stating "The case has been forwarded on to Consumer Affairs, from there it will be viewed by Senior Vice President of Hyatt, Managers at the Hyatt Regency Houston as well as the Corporate Legal Department.
All other e-mails sent to us will be viewed on individual basis, case by case."

7:37 PM  
Blogger Kelley said...

I'm sorry to hear this happened to you. I am not a fan of M/M romance but that is a *personal* preference. I would never force my preferences on another party and I would never refuse another's rights to their opinions. I am appalled to find that this happened to you. What happened to freedom of expression?

Kudos to you for being so handling it in the classy way you did. There is nothing wrong with the poster you had and if people didn't know you wrote M/M, there's nothing to show in the picture that says anything other than romance.

You have my support!

7:44 PM  
Blogger Nialla said...

What boggles my mind and I cannot understand is why Ms. Baumbach continues to spend her money with my magazine and our Booklovers Convention when we are stating in no uncertain terms that we do not believe that she is reaching her target audience. Why not avoid these conflicts and look to other magazines and or organizations to spend her money where she could sell more books and expand her readership. Why does she insist on advertising with RT and attending the convention?

I hate to break it to you, but I am a long-time reader of RT as well as m/m fiction. She did reach her target audience -- me. I bought her books based on ads in RT.

I'm a straight female, as are the majority of the readers of m/m fiction. There are academic studies of the genre (in the fanfiction form known as "slash"), and it's been around for at least 40 years now. It's nothing new, it's just finally able to break out of the "Publishing Closet" thanks to the Internet.

If you feel it's just not mainstream enough for the print edition, why not have a section of the website for the review of alternative lifestyle books? It would make readers of the genre happy, as well as protect the delicate eyes of those who don't like it, though personally I've found the straight erotica ads much more raunchy and offensive than anything I've seen for a m/m story.

Why does RT seem perfectly fine with taking money for ads with one hand, only to slap the author with the other by not allowing reviews and being generally condescending? Why not just have a policy of not accepting ads for m/m or f/f stories and be done with it? Or would that conflict with the scads of money Ellora's Cave is paying for advertising their books which have those elements? Or is that OK as long as they follow the "Oreo Principle" with sex scenes? There might be two men in bed together, but there'd better be a woman in between them?

I find it appalling that romance readers are derided for reading "those trashy romance novels" by those who know nothing of the genre, yet RT seems to find it perfectly fine to deride fans of another genre of romance. And yes, it's just as much a romance as any heterosexual romance. The only difference is the equipment used matches.

I guess my only decision left is whether to just let my subscription to RT lapse or to call and cancel it effective immediately and demand a refund for unsent issues. It appears I am no longer part of your target audience.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Kate R said...

Carol S,

I love the magazine and have always wanted to go to an RT event but for the record, you're very wrong on this one.

NASCAR? Yoga? No, sorry.

I didn't read m/m either--just not interested--but then a friend recommended a couple of titles. And the great stories are great. As in ROMANCE. and exactly what the doctor ordered.

Now I've picked up titles by authors I know I like. AM Riley, Cash Cole. (and after this I'll have to check out a Lauren B) And I think if you dig in your heels on this one, you're going to ultimately be sorry.

As gay love becomes more and more acceptable in the mainstream (and it is, obviously.) you'll offend more people and, even worse, miss out on some fantastic reads.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Shanna said...

That is beyond f'd up. RT and Hyatt owe you a *very* big apology not to mention a refund.

Good for you for sticking up for yourself.

9:22 PM  
Blogger Selah March said...

I rather doubt Ms. Stacy will return here to read these comments. She's posted the company line and retired from the fray. If you want her to know your opinion, your best bet is likely direct email.

However, I really need to comment on this:

My decision is based on my "print" readership and the fact that the majority of my "print readers" are not interested in m/m books at this time.

This makes no sense to me. If your "print" readership is the only one that's important, why include any epublishing reviews at all? At one time, not long ago, erotic romance could barely be found outside epublishing, and you were reviewing it then. It didn't have its own section, but I recall the reviews vividly. I could probably go look them up.

At least one of my publishers -- an epublisher and small print publisher that's been around since shortly after the turn of the century -- lists its bestsellers every month. And every month, without fail, the list is dominated by M/M romance and threesome romance in which the men engage in M/M sex at some point. Given that this publisher only recently began releasing M/M romance, I'd say this is a pretty good indicator that the audience is there, just as it is for "straight" erotica/erotic romance. Maybe not in print, but given how many ebooks RT reviews in a given month...

Am I crazy, or does this argument make the kind of sense that pretty much DOESN'T?

9:37 PM  
Blogger Eve Vaughn said...

I was there at the Con, and I must say I was oblivious to this. I'm truly sorry this has happened to you Laura, but if this is the Hyatt's doing then I'm not surprised, we had nothing but problems since we arrived, even after complaints nothing was done, needless to say I'm boycotting all Hyatts from here on out, but for them to blatantly discriminate against you was unacceptable, and I'm extremely disappointed that the RT staff didn't do more about this.

I saw far more offensive promo on the tables than your man on the bed, which is why I'm scratching my head. I will happily place your promo on my table and hand it out. I support you one hundred percent.

9:39 PM  
Blogger Izumi_koizumi said...

Sorry if I don't write fine. I'm argentinian, my name is Veronica and I'm learning inglish.
I read about that you pass in the Houston Hyatt and I'm agree with you.
I write too, and I thing how you feel. I only write yaoi and original, and I don't so good but I have a writer soul and I understand you a lot!
I have a blog too but I write in spanish and I don´t know if you can understand spanish however I like to recive an answer, and I would like to speak wich you about your experiences about to be a writer, something I'm doing like a passtime and I like to progress.
Good luck!
Regards! ^^

Zel'Naga Izumi Koizumi

9:46 PM  
Blogger BrennaLyons said...

You can bet I am going to pass this along. This one will not go unanswered.

Brenna

9:58 PM  
Blogger Ciarra said...

I did not attend RT so I'm visually trying to imagine the placement of 'Promo Alley'

According to Ms Stacy
"For the Record...
No one sid the Hyatt does not welcome gays. The Hyatt was responding to their guests who objected to the poster who were passing by the poster because Promotion Lane was in a public space that was in the path of the way to the parking lot. Please don't skew the facts."

Now let me see if I have this right... Promo Alley... where all the authors are free to leave their promotional materials is in a public venue and out of all the sensuous and explicit to veeery explicit materials that could offend any guest... this one poster with no particular graphic body parts showing offended a guest... maybe more than one guest?... Hmmm, does this seem more than improbable even highly unbelievable to anyone?
Perhaps, as it has been suggested the words 'ManLove' on the poster affronted or disturbed the guest(s).. I, for one am just thankful such an ignorant guest could read.. or perhaps they can't and thought it said 'Hand Jobs'.
That's the only explanation I can come up with except the obvious one...
BLATANT SENSORSHIP and BIAS!!!
Oh and a few of my relatives are gay so gee, can I claim crass oneupmanship on the 'some of my friends are gay' remark?
Shame on the Hiatt and shame on the event management for forgetting without an open mind and tolerance we'd still be burning witches at the stake as well as all non-holy books that were purported to be the work of the devil.
It's ludicrous that this has happened to Laura after her investment and hard work. An apology from RT and the Hiatt is warranted.

10:14 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

I'm posting this for Lena Austin, who is having some problems with Blogger.

If I could, I would answer Carol Stacy's response thusly:

Thank you for clarifying RT's position. While I can see the RT staff had limited options, I am disappointed in the meek response and lack of support provided to Laura Baumbach and the authors of manloveromance.com nonetheless.

I agree with others who have pointed out that RT held a poll and then denied the response when readers and potential readers came out of the woodwork to tell them how they felt about m/m romance being included in the magazine. You got your answer and didn't like it. Do you really think this genre will simply go away if you ignore it? I propose that once the genie is out of the bottle, it doesn't willingly return. Manlove or m/m romance is here to stay, and those who don't like it don't have to read it. I personally don't like inspirational romance. I'm not Christian, and the bulk of the inspirational category stems from that religion. (Somehow, my religion ends up in the paranormal category.)

We spend the money going to RT not necessarily because we support the magazine, but rather we want to spend time with friends and fans. I refuse to buy an ad in RT because they won't review most of my books. If there were another large con dedicated to the readers, I assure you I'd prefer to attend that one.

On a final note, I wish to compliment the Hyatt for excellent service, food, and rooms. I loved every aspect of the hotel before I learned of what happened to Laura. What a shame. The Hyatt was showing up every hotel I'd ever stayed in, including the Sheraton and Hilton.

Lena

10:18 PM  
Blogger Ally Blue said...

Another "for the record" for Ms. Stacey:
Laura works nights in the ER. She was probably sleeping when you called.

I have nothing else to add that hasn't been said already. I was at the con, I heard about this from Laura as soon as it had happened. My personal gut reaction was, I felt I was back in high school. Everyone I interacted with from RT was polite and smiling, but so were those girls in school who stabbed you in the back the second you turned around. 'Nuff said.

10:42 PM  
Blogger Tesla said...

Laura, I write YA m/m (and f/f, actually. I write a lot of romance about the gay community in general) and I was raised by two gay men in my teens (my mom's gay artists friends basically took me in and gave me a home, sense of style, fashion and good taste in men and fiction! :D) and I am horrifed that this happened to you.

I LOVE m/m fiction and plan on buying your books as soon as I've got the time and cash (starving college student here!). RT should refund your money and I am NEVER staying at a Hyatt.

Homophobia pisses me off, especially when people try to disguise it as something else.

And yes, ms. RT "For the Record" Carol Stacy, that comment was directed towards YOU.

Us m/m lovers aren't going away. And we're growing by the minute. Get used to it and ditch your homophobic sensibilities out the door, otherwise, we might stage an uprising with even MORE supposedly "obscene" posters and promotional material.

11:20 PM  
Blogger NattyAllore said...

I think this is just horrible. If you don't like it, don't read it. What gives them the right to tell anyone they can't read it?

This seems like a violation of your first ammendment rights of freedom of the press, speech and expression.

I would demand restitution for the way you were treated. If you don't want the money for yourself, make them donate it to gay rights programs.

Some of her best friends are gay?

I would argue that if they were truly her friends, they would be her best friends, not her best gay friends. Please, don't insult our intellegence by making bigoted remarks covered by the weak blanket of your narrowmindedness.

Romance is romance, get over your insecurities and step into the twenty-first century.

Natty.

11:47 PM  
Blogger Kayelle said...

Laura,
you know I'm behind you 100% as a member of manloveromance - and as an author and a friend.

Class class class. You are absolutely top of the line.

Kayelle Allen

11:49 PM  
Blogger Kate Douglas said...

I displayed Laura's promo, which was a lot more discreet than my own, and discussed the situation with everyone who would listen. What it all comes down to is, if someone can pull Laura's very tasteful bookmarks and posters, what is to keep them from pulling mine? Or yours? We ALL have a stake in this issue, and we really can't afford to allow it to drop.

11:56 PM  
Blogger L. Picaro said...

Here, Here, Lee!
I intend to spend my advertising dollars elsewhere. There were so many misdirections in the RT response that I wonder how they can hold their head up.

L. Picaro

12:23 AM  
Blogger Amelia Elias said...

You know, I had all this intelligent stuff to say and then I read Carol RT Stacy's comment and it all flew out of my head except three words.

What.
The.
Hell?!?!

Does this chick have no concept of public relations? Can she possibly not realize that she only dug her hole deeper? As I said on my blog, I was ready and waiting to hear RT's side of things before I boycotted. Now that I have, it makes me wish I had more money to withhold from them.

Then again, some of my best friends are stupid. I've even had bigots in my house!

Oy.

Blogged for you, dear. I've only written one m/m romance, but I'm planning more in the future because it got such an awesome reception from fans. Have you contacted the ACLU yet?

Also, in case Carol "I'm not a homophobic!" Stacy reads these comments--doubtful, but still possible--I've just deleted my name from the Samhain author ad lists for November of this year and January of 2008. I won't support your double-standard.

For others who feel the same way, there's another publication called Romance Sells. It goes out to around 7-8000 booksellers and librarians. It's for print books (alas) and RWA members only (double alas) but it's a helluva lot cheaper than Romantic "Some of my best friends are gays!" Times, and will be getting my advertising dollars in the future.

http://www.corncreative.com/romance.php

1:23 AM  
Blogger Amelia Elias said...

Oh, forgot to say, the blog link is http://ameliaeliasblog.blogspot.com and I hope you get tons of hits and a million sales from all this extra publicity!

1:24 AM  
Blogger Amelia Elias said...

By the way, comments left on a blog become the property of the blog owner, not the person leaving the comment, and may be reposted with permission from the blog owner. (Nifty little bit of law my First Ammendment lawyer friend passed on to me.)

So, Laura, may I post RT's offical statement, left in your comments, on my blog? *ggg*

1:33 AM  
Blogger Kellie said...

Laura,

Just letting you know this issue has spread to the Gay readers/writers Yahoo group mediated by Dorien Grey and including such members as Josh Lanyon, Wayne Gunn, Victor Banis and others that I also belong to and I wote a long email adressing this and Carol's reply and a letter of support for Carol by another person.

You know I am with you on this and so are plenty of others.

Kellie

2:12 AM  
Blogger rdhowell71 said...

From what I have read in yourpost, you handled yourself with aplomb. It's sad to see even in this day and time of gay rights being achieved that this would and does happen. I know per se, that there wasn't much evidence of "gay" related promo items, but something in the narrow mind of that manager set him off. I wish you luck in getting this reolved. There's no reason when a customer spends money just like every other guest, that he/she shouldn't be treated with equal respect. Hello did this guy even think that you and other guests are the one that gives hima paycheck every two weeks.

2:12 AM  
Blogger Shelli Stevens said...

Laura, I'm so sorry. I was appalled to hear what happened to you.

I'd also be one of those claiming never to do the Hyatt again, but isn't that where we're all staying for RWA? And yet again...in Texas. Sigh.

I'll be linking as well.

(((Hugs)))

2:31 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

Hi, I dont know you but what linked to this through LJ and think its ridiculous. In fact, I think you should let this become nationally known. Try contacting Logo regarding this. I am sure they would be intrested to know about the discrimination going on in such a larage chain of hotels. Logo btw, just in case, the the gay cable channel. try letting them know, they are supported by cbs with their news and did an awesome piece about my old high school having a gay homecoming kind and lesbian homecoming queen in 2006.
Good luck and I hope Hyatt realizes the mistake they made!!! Im def. not booking a room there.

2:34 AM  
Blogger None said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:35 AM  
Blogger Emma said...

Wow.

Some of my best friends are gay...

Wow. Ms. Carol, I am going to strongly encourage that RT invest in a media relations consultant. The last thing you ever want to do is exacerbate the situation with trite and patronizing comments or refer to the parties in question like they are some sort of alien sub species, i.e. gays.

I'm saddened by this entire situation and saddened by your response and the way you chose to represent "your" magazine. Therefore I will not be spending anymore of "my" money on "your" magazine.

Laura, I am sorry that you had to go through this. I hope you will continue to pursue this.

Best of luck, Emma

2:38 AM  
Blogger Joanna said...

Apparently, the RT spokesperson made a typo. Her comment should've read:

"If you will forgive the analogy: one does not cover car racing in a NASCAR magazine if you get my drift."

There. Now it reflects the reality of covering romance in a romance magazine. No need to thank me, RT.

2:58 AM  
Blogger Drew Payne said...

As a writer myself, I was deeply shocked to read your account. This is homophobia, plain and ugly. I am British and yesterday we had a piece of legislation come into law that would have made this illegal here.

You were very brave and very clever, make a fuss and tell everyone, I applaud you.

Drew Payne
http://drewpayne.blogspot.com/

4:41 AM  
Blogger marco said...

I must say that the poster with the nude dude in bed could be removed, but that's because it isn't a gaywriters meeting. Right? This could mean one thing. The boss Really liked it, or is anti-gay.
You got support from this end of the ocean (Holland).

Keep up the work.

Hugs,

Marco

5:07 AM  
Blogger December Quinn said...

Sheesh. I'm so sorry this happened to you. I agree, get in touch with some Gay Rights groups and see what they say.

5:18 AM  
Blogger April said...

It sounds as if it's time to switch support to a more reader and writer-friendly publication/convention organizer than RT...

5:55 AM  
Blogger Erastes said...

Ms Stacy's comments are unbelievable. Either she really has no concept of customer relations or she's actually under the delusion that an aggressive and rude public comments such as this will endear her people.

Perhaps she's never had to take public criticism before? I find it hard to believe.

Some of my best friends are gay?

Dear oh dear, if I were one of her gay best friends I would be backing away slowly at this point. I too have friends who happen to be gay, but were I to be so prejudicial they would call me to account, or dump me.

I suggest Ms Stacey takes a very swift and obviously needed course in customer relations - she's obviously forgotten that you are a customer of hers.

As for her comment:”I cannot understand is why Ms. Baumbach continues to spend her money with my magazine and our Booklovers Convention” is this any way to encourage people to try her magazine?”

And I can only repeat what others have said.

Ms Stacy says that her readership is not interested in m/m. But a poll was held to discover the extent of this, and it was a resounding YES - 56% yes, I believe, - but instead of taking notice of this amazing result and possible new sales - a result that any entrepreneur would have died to achieve - they said "Oh well, it's a skewed result - the m/m authors have muddied our poll by voting on it. So it DOESN'T COUNT – so, ner"

Instead of "Goodness me, what a lot of people there are writing it, look at all that lovely extra business we could have - perhaps we'll start an experimental page on the website and see what happens."

Ms Stacy says "my policy not to review m/m is nothing to do with being homophobic"

But it IS, no matter much she pretties it up with business jargon. If not actually homophobic then it's discriminatory. Which equates to the same thing. Either one embraces, or one excludes, and the more one does it, the more prejudiced one appears.

Over here, RT would likely be subject to a court case for such discrimination. My mind boggles as to how much her attitude would not be accepted in the UK.

As I said above, if Ms Stacy considers her "print readers" to be uninterested (even if the figures show otherwise) then she should consider a webpage of reviews. Hell, I'd do it. I'd do it, FREE.

”As I have explained to Ms. Baumbauch if that readership changes in the future so will my policy to review this type of fiction”.

So the poll WAS ignored, then.

I am sitting here with my jaw on the desk. Truly.

If I were a part of RT I'd be calling for a vote of no confidence, but it seems that RT are all of the same mind.

6:43 AM  
Blogger Phoenix Forrester said...

I am a private reviewer, attached to no publication or publisher, or reviewer site.

I would be happy and more then willing to review your work Laura no matter what anybody says.

What happened to you at RT was straight up crap, and due to in the closet unsexed homophobes who need to get laid!

you can email me at Ravistar28@yahoo.com, with any and all material, I will review it and get it back to you, and you can do what you want with the review.

8:56 AM  
Blogger TPod said...

I can guarantee that you won't be treated so unjustly at Yaoi-Con.

RT and the Hyatt owe you (and anyone else they discriminated against) a huge apology. I think a grassroots protest and possible boycott may be in order....

Tracy
Staff, Yaoi-Con 2007

8:58 AM  
Blogger Stacia said...

This blog sickened me. I really feel for you, Laura. How outrageous! Hyatt is on my boycott list now. BTW - I for one love that "questionable" picture :)

9:01 AM  
Blogger Sophia Danu said...

People are such idiots! I'm sorry you had to deal with that -- I'm sure it put a damper on your trip. I hope you were still able to have some fun. It's encouraging that you had so much support from your peers.

9:10 AM  
Blogger Sara Thacker said...

I don't find the picture objectionable. I've seen worse and that's a fairly tame cover. What a stupid thing for that manager to do.

9:13 AM  
Blogger MJ said...

Sorry to hear this happened to you, Laura. How frustrating! I hope RT gets their act together and starts treating all authors equally.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Isabella Snow said...

Welcome to Texas.

Sorry that happened to you, lots of homophobia in that part of the state. Had it been Austin, that probably wouldn't have happened. Either way, it sucks horribly.

Bastards!

10:36 AM  
Blogger Diana Castilleja said...

This is truly an outrageous attack, and obviously done in the context of being "pc", but that just stinks, because then ALL of the materials would have needed to be pulled. And it wasn't.

The RT convention matrons obviously did not have the authors at heart. They should have been the first to stick up for the right to showcase their work.

The space is rented. For the purpose of the Convention. RT was that convention. The hotel SHOULD not have disrupted that. They are in the fault, only ahead of the convention board by millimeters when the board didn't stick up for its right to use the space as it was contracted.

I'm not sure that the hotel was sticking up for the non-gay versus the gay, as Houston has a very live and valid gay community. Chances are it was a corporate person, the said businessman, if there was one, who saw the materials and questioned their inclusion into one of his chain hotels, not thinking of the convention's, much less the author's rights to show their wares.

I am so sorry this happened to you.

10:43 AM  
Blogger rebyj said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:52 AM  
Blogger rebyj said...

I'm shocked, it makes me want to ask what country the convention was held in? Is biased censorship of this sort to be expected here in America? If the covers, or promo items were more offensive than the straight covers I'd understand but from what I've seen, nothing was out of line compared to the straight promo's.

I hope Laura that this ugly publicity such as it is, increases your readership and you sell a lot more books! I've personally read some m/m fiction and have found some of it as entertaining as straight. A well crafted story is a great read regardless of the sexual orientation of the main characters!

I mean let's face it, mainstream romantic fiction is very sexually graphic currently, cover art of all genre's continue to grow more and more sexually graphic and are designed to tittilate and shock. If people are going to jump on the morality bandwagon they have much more they can complain about other than just m/m fiction and promo's!


You are owed apologies from several sources. Please realize however that a lot of us fiction consumers got your back!

11:00 AM  
Blogger Miranda Heart said...

When this was first posted to RD I thought for sure your cover was going to have two men fondling each other on it. THe one you have is quite tasteful. And I know you know this already.

*sigh* I'm from Houston. Yes, I admit it. And I'm sorry on behalf of Houston for this occurance. (Sorry spelling doesn't kick in until three a.m. LOL)

Unfortunatly where the Baptist Bible THumping community is concerned all gays belong to one street... Montrose. It's wrong it's terrible and as hard as most Houstonians try to pretend being liberal they really are very conservative. THey should however, have discussed this with you prior. Hyatt like every other part of the world caters to its customers and if a customer wants people removed they will find a way to have it happen. THis doesn't sound any different. I can't imagine that they took it down on their own without a customer complaint. Considering the books I'm reading that I bought from RT are very erotic and graphic your image of a man should have been the least of their concerns.

I'm starting to ramble, but I do feel for you. I write BDSM Erotica at the moment and some of my stuff is about to get pretty racy and deep. I know where I won't be promoing.

Good luck on this. Maybe the least they can do is return some of your money.

12:06 PM  
Blogger D.J. Manly said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:48 PM  
Blogger D.J. Manly said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:51 PM  
Blogger D.J. Manly said...

Push-Button Publishing

Delete Comment From: Sensually Wicked Man Love


D.J. Manly said...
Laura, I want to add my name to this list. I'm D.J. Manly, writer of male/male romantic fiction, and let me say I have devoted alot of effort both as an academic and as an individualto fighting all kinds of discrimination. I'm a sociologist who did extentive research on sexism and homophobia, and let me say this is a prime example of the "modern form" of homophobia...these statements of "even my best friend is gay," is the norm of homophobia in this age. Substitute anything you want, and you'll understand.
To blatantly degrade and put same sex literature into a second class category, is not only to ignore the popularity and professionalism of writers who write in this genre, it is to say that love between same sex individuals is somehow "marginal" and doesn't count when we speak of "real romance." HOmophobia is the last bastian of discrimination, and it's still with us. It may be politically incorrect to call someone a "fag" but apparently, when couched in the framework of "business decision' then it's perfectly acceptable.

I won't be frequenting a Hyatt hotel in the future, neither will my friends, whatever thier sexual orientation and as for RT...well, they needn't worry about me 'forcing' my work on them. It's just a little good!
:)

12:48 PM


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1:00 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

I'm sorry this happened to you. I wtite m/m romance as well, and I think that romantic love between two consenting adults shouldn't a case for shame. (I'm sure if your books were about people dismembering each other, and there was a loaded gun pointing at someone's head on your promotional stuff, not a word would have been said.)
Humans are seriously fucked up sometimes.
BTW - I LOVED that poster and wish I had a copy to hang up next to my French rugby man calendar.
:-)

1:39 PM  
Blogger Kayleigh J. said...

Laura,

What happened to you is awful, as I've already stated on a few loops. But the good thing to come out of your experience is that the entire romance/erotica community has rallied around you to support your fight.

I posted a link to your blog on my own blog yesterday morning. Within minutes, Sabrina Luna had picked up the story and posted it to several loops I belong to. By midday, her email was forwarded to OTHER groups, and by last night, the story was popping up on LiveJournal, MySpace, and a variety of other mediums. I know several other people posted your link, and it has spread from them as well.

It's good that you spoke out about this, and that people are aware of it. People are angry, authors and readers, activists, I even was speaking about it today on campus; I'm a law school student. My school's Lambda Society, the legal fraternity that supports the GLBT community, has asked what they can do to help, be it write letters, or...anything. Hell, even if a legal wrangle isn't to your tastes, a phone call to a newspaper would get your story out there even more.

RT and the Houston Hyatt now have a significant amount of egg on their faces. While they can never truly provide you just restitution for their actions, perhaps this will motivate them to do something, be it refund your convention and travel fees (absolutely they should), change their policies, issue an apology, etc. I doubt people will settle for less.

I don't write m/m. I do write some f/f, and BDSM erotica, so I understand. And even if I didn't, one does not have to be a m/m author to find this offensive and outrageous.

-KJ

2:12 PM  
Blogger Rattitude said...

re: a romance magazine with class: http://www.affairedecoeur.com/

They review all genres of romance. All. And they have news-stand distribution and could be some serious competition given a little help.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Rochelle said...

MS. Stacey,

Your arguments leave me puzzled. A more appropriate question is why does Romantic Time keep taking Laura's money if you are not willing to give her the same treatment and courtesy you give all of your other authors. This shows very bad business sense on your part. Taking someones money for services entitles them to expect a certain level of professionalism, which RT obviously isn't capable of delivering in this case.

And about you comment about having gay friends, most prejudice people do.

Roc

5:46 PM  
Blogger Rochelle said...

Ms. Stacy,

I do not totally blame the Hyatt for they way they handled this incident, I find that most of the blame lies with you and Romantic Times for this incident even occurring. Because you took Laura's money you had a professional obligation to fulfill your end of the bargain you took on by taking her fees.

The fact that you obviously have no professional integrity or even basic business sense is very telling in the comments you've posted on Laura's blog. Maybe its time for someone else to start thinking about filling RT's convention shoes.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Jolie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:47 PM  
Blogger Jolie said...

Hey Laura,

Ignore people like Carol Stacy who use the ever popular "some of my best friends are gay" line and just keep doing what you're doing. Eventually things will change, because they have to. I'm proud of you and of every GLBT writer who endures this type of nonsense. M/M is popular with het female readers and Carol Stacy knows it. So, just keep doing what you're doing.

Jolie du Pre
Author of lesbian erotica and erotic romance

6:51 PM  
Blogger Christie Keith said...

Ms. Baumbach, I'm a writer for AfterElton.com, a gay media website, and we'd like to speak to you for an article on this. Could you email me at christiekeith@gmail.com?

I've already blogged about it here.

6:59 PM  
Blogger Nutzo93538 said...

Hello,
I run a highly successful erotic book club online. The group has found this blog and your comments to be very disturbing. In the sence that we as readers of this genr' are shocked and outraged by the behavior of both the RT and the Hyatt.
WE read all books including M/M, M/M/F, M/F/M and find a great many of the the most popular erotic books have these relationships in them.
Sensorship of any kind should not be tolerated, but most especially at a convention set up for the purpose of featuring this genre'
I have seen your cover, it is NOT at all as risque, as so many other I have seen and bought. And which are displayed in Borders, B&N, and malls, where anyone can see them.
You should contact the Gay and Lesbian task force.
I also believe some compensation some be returned to you by RT.
As for the Hyatt, perhaps groups like mine who intend to write to them and spread the word of this, will prohibit this person from doing such a thing again.
Keep your chin up,, the erotic readers are WITH YOU
Renee Bailey

9:52 PM  
Blogger Leigh Ellwood said...

What happened to you was discriminatory and uncalled for. As an author of M/M romance to hear something like this happened boils my blood.

It was a joy meeting you at the book fair. You have our support at Phaze.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Carol Stacy's reply to you was obnoxious. I told her as much in a comment on her blog, but as it's moderated, it won't be posted, I'm sure. Good for you for not sinking to her/their level. I will also be emailing the Hyatt with my feelings.

10:40 PM  
Blogger Al Sensu said...

RT should not only have been supporting you on site, but should lodge complaint at the highest levels of Hyatt and promise not to book at that chain in future if the correct response and apology are not received. I think it would be appropriate for RT to reimburse you for at least the conference registration and demand that Hyatt reimburse you for your travel and lodging.

RT needs to grow a pair.

10:54 PM  
Blogger Tehya said...

I would be looking at legal action. All of it is crap. And so is the hypocritcal possition of taking your money for ads but not standing behind you when this happened. My OH is from Texas. Houston in fact an he is also homophobic. Personally I think what grown adults choose to do and with whom they choose to do it is their right. He had a fit soon after I started reviewing because I will not not read m/m books. It is hang up not mine. I have found fantastic authors who write in the genre. I choose not to endorse Discrimanation. And that is exactly what all of that is. Forgive those who are so small minded they can not see we are all just people. But Nail Them to the Wall when they Step on Your Rights.

12:50 AM  
Blogger Lori said...

I guarantee you that if that poster (which is beautiful, BTW) was of a woman in exactly the same position, it wouldn't have been removed.

I think RT and the Hyatt both owe you your money back, especially RT. You paid for promo space that you were not given.

That said, I've read two of your books and truly enjoyed them. And, yes, I'm a straight female who has read RT. Go figure!

So many things (read...blogposts...) bring out the cattiness in authors and readers these days, I think it's wonderful to see everyone banding together and supporting you on this. I'm just sorry that it took something so terrible to bring the romance community back together.

1:04 AM  
Blogger Tehya said...

It is hang up not mine.
was suppose to be It is his hang up not mine.

Hang in there Laura!

1:21 AM  
Blogger marcus said...

you really should contact HRC about this. and, if you want to go one step further, Lambda Legal Defense.

HRC, as Jules Jones writes above, publishes ratings on corporations like Hyatt. this comes out in their monthly newsletter - it's quite interesting, actually.

also, i agree with Lori - RT should refund your money - or at least a significant portion of it. you were there to promote, and yet your materials were taken away. they shouldve stepped up to the plate and argued for you, but since they didnt, they should take action monetarily for you, as a symbol of all this bullshit.

mustve been pretty frustrating for you. sorry you had to go thru this.

3:57 AM  
Blogger Tonni said...

Hi, I'm an avid book reader of most genres and I do support you.
And if you need someone to review for books, I will bappy to help you. Plus I review for other sites. I do have a blog
tonnibooks411.blogspot.com

11:10 AM  
Blogger Marianne LaCroix said...

Laura,

I can't believe this all happened. It is insanity. As for the guy with the sheet, I had used that image on my site for like 6 months (I only recently updated and changed the look) and never did anyone say he looked gay. (How different exactly does a gay guy in bed look as opposed to a straight guy when alone?)

You have my support. You were unjustly treated.

Mari

2:09 PM  
Blogger Alma said...

As a Houstonian I am appalled at the treatment you recieved from one of our city's supposedly five start hotels.

The actions you were subjected to were ignorant, shabby, and rude and I intend to urge all friends, acquaintences, and co-workers I know to write letters in protest and to never again patronize this business.

My deepest apologies. I hope you don't hold that experience as representative of all Houstonians. I assure you it is not.

9:24 PM  
Blogger tam said...

What boggles my mind and I cannot understand is why Ms. Baumbach continues to spend her money with my magazine and our Booklovers Convention when we are stating in no uncertain terms that we do not believe that she is reaching her target audience. Why not avoid these conflicts and look to other magazines and or organizations to spend her money where she could sell more books and expand her readership. Why does she insist on advertising with RT and attending the convention?

What boggles *my* mind is that paragraph. As someone with a background in marketing and advertising I'd just say you shot yourself in the foot with that paragraph. That is NOT the comment I would have expected of *any* business. You are basically telling Laura or any other author for that matter of any genre that you don't care about them. You'll take their money, but you don't care about them when *they* are the source of your business. It doesn't matter if she writes little green men wearing tutus dancing on pig's backs, if she paid to be there, if she paid to advertise in your magazine then she is YOUR customer and should be treated with respect as anyone else who's money was green and went ca-ching in your bank account. If this is the way you are going to support your authors then maybe your authors should take their support somewhere else?

2:56 AM  
Blogger Nancy Lindquist-Liedel said...

I don't know what to say, but this homophobic response is uncalled for. I am terribly sorry and horrified. My first thought would be that no one who writes it should attend RT next year. Then I stopped. Did I really think that? Did I, for a moment think that the best way to handle this obvious homophobia would be to hide in the closet again? Isn't that what some of my dearest friends have been working to get out of for centuries now? Have not people died to fight for the rights of others to be openly gay and support the gay community? Don't I suspect one of my children may be gay? Is that what I would want him to do? Hide it to make it easier on others? What the hell is wrong with me?

Nope, hiding is not the answer. Combativeness is also not the answer. Quietly going to Pittsburgh and putting out your stuff, along with others (I hope to have a m/m romance out there at that time to, is. Stand up, do it without fanfare, and face them. Let them make a show of it and be strong and insistent that you have the right to post your stuff too.

You paid to be there. I have a card with a naked woman choking a rubber chicken on it. HYSTERICAL! Apparently, not too much for RT.

Maybe I'm making myself a big ole target by stating that I think the way they treated you was beyond archaic. I hope not. I hope someone will read this who gets that love is precious and to be celebrated, no matter what.

Nancy

8:41 AM  
Blogger Dawn Montgomery said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Dawn Montgomery said...

Laura,

I've heard about this through the grapevine. I'm just glad Sandy was with you. Your professionalism is awe-inspiring. Keep doing your thing, lady, you know I think you rock!

I grew up near Houston. It's been ten years, and I'll likely never return. Now you know why.

The Hyatt will never have my business. Ever.

All the best,
Dawn

3:37 PM  
Blogger John said...

Well, speaking as a gay man who lives in Houston, let me stick up for my town: this is not typical Houston behavior.

The big villain here is the conference organizer. You are their customer. You paid good money to them. You followed their rules. If they don't offer a refund, I'd threaten legal action.

You entered a contract with them, and they didn't deliver. And given how much money they were spending at the hotel, the conference director should have torn the Hyatt folks a new one when this happened.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Lippy Hippy said...

Jesus Christ, that's appalling.

I've just written a very pissed off e-mail to Hyatt about it too. W*nkers.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Amanda Brice said...

Wow. Just, wow.

Like others have indicated, I would contact the ACLU, the HRC, and Lamba Legal Defense. While you may not actually have a cause of action (although I do believe you may have a valid breach of contract claim), at least you could get some mainstream press out of it. While the blogosphere is powerful, unless you break out of the romance blogosphere into the general blogsophere and beyond, the Hyatt and RT and the relvant parties won't hear about it or won't care about the stink that's being made.

This is awful, just awful. I guess I shouldn't be so sad now that I can't make RWA in Dallas, as it's being held in a Hyatt. So count me amongst the people who refuse to stay in a Hyatt from now on.

You are RT's customer. If they make it clear ahead of time that m/m authors need not apply and will not be allowed to fully participate in conference events (including promo alley), then fine. They have every right to do so (although it may not be the best business decision they could make). But they take your money just like every other paying customer, so you are entitled to performance.

5:54 PM  
Blogger Thalasshaya said...

I wrote the Hyatt to complain on your behalf. As a native Texan, I apologize. We do have a tendency to be rather Red-statish, which is something I fight daily on a case-by-case basis. Good luck in your future endeavors.

6:13 PM  

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