Gonna have to be patient with me for this one.

Lord knows, I’m trying to approach this with more grace than was shown me and the rest of the indie romance community, both authors and readers alike.

For context, I’m talking about the opinion piece written in the New York Times this morning by Megan Greenwell.

If you’re looking for it, you can find it here: NYT Opinion Guest Essay The Romance Novelist Who Faked Her Own Death.

Dear Miss Greenwell,

Hi, you don’t know me and by your own admission you’ve never even read one of my, as you put it “lowbrow one of self-published romances.” Also by your own admission in your piece, you said you didn’t even know the difference between a HEA (Happily Ever After) or an HFN (Happily For Now.) But you sure do have a lot of negative opinions to share about the genre and industry that I gather you wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.

That’s all I really want to say on that. What I’m really here to tell you is that you forgot something when you wrote your little piece this morning, or last night, or whatever… You forgot that this little sliced of inconsequential book world is full of people.

Yes, that’s right, people. Mostly women, specifically. Cis, Trans, it doesn’t matter, women are women. What you forgot is there are a lot of people in our little microcosm who were deeply hurt by this author’s actions. Who really were ripped in half by thinking for two years that the woman who they thought was their friend had died. While you were busy looking down your nose at us, you missed the fact that we have feelings, and those feelings were deeply wounded two years or so ago when we thought one of our own had died. You missed the outpouring of support. You missed the donations freely given to help, you missed the services rendered, the anthology written and produced to donate to a suicide awareness charity in order to feel like we could do something, anything, to maybe save another life.

While you were “giggling” you forgot to stop and pay attention to how much we love in addition to how much we’re in love with love and how much we celebrate and love in every form. How much we lift each other up and how much we cheer each other on no matter the hurdle in front of one of our own.

I don’t know who hurt you, but I’m sorry that they did it in such a way that you remained blind and so full of a lack of empathy that you would knowingly and willingly write a bunch of horrible things about good people who did absolutely nothing to you based on one singular incident that doesn’t define us.

In closing, sorry if my capitalization and punctuation aren’t up to your high standards, I don’t have an editor at the New York Times to run my blog posts through. I only pay a mint to edit my books.

Please do better and I hope this was eloquent and high-brow enough for you to understand.


A.J. Downey



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