Hello, dear readers. You may have noticed that my second Grenton PD novel, Whisper, has been languishing on Wattpad in an unedited state since last November. I had originally said it wouldn’t be up for long because I’d be taking it down to give to my editor so it could be released as an ebook.
For once, I haven’t forgotten. I’ve been trying to decide what to do with Whisper and the Grenton PD series as a whole. The problem is this: I fully, whole-heartedly support Black Lives Matter, but I, a White woman, have written not one but two cop romances.
When I came up with the series arc and started writing both Breathe and Whisper back in 2014-2015, I wanted the books to be, in part, my idealized vision of policing -- what I wished policing was, who I wished cops were. Back then, I did mostly criminal law (I’m a lawyer) but secretly, I wished I was a cop. I wanted to be “one of the good ones.” (My rare genetic disease prevents me from doing a physical job, so this never happened.)
I’m also married to a first responder—a paramedic, to be specific, who is the best person I’ve ever met. Some of Leona’s experiences with Simon are based on my experiences with my husband, especially the awful waiting, wondering if he’s going to come home whole and well.
Anyway, that’s what gave rise to the Grenton PD series. But I also wrote both Breathe and Whisper in part because of my White privilege. I was able to ignore the real, terrible harm and violence that cops perpetuate on Black people day in and day out and make cops into heroes. I am truly sorry. Art should uplift marginalized people. Art should challenge, question, and subvert societal norms. It should not uphold or bolster White supremacy.
So, the books. What to do with the books?
This is a harder question than it may seem. Of course my books are special to me. I cried over these characters. I spent years with them. I made the books subversive in their own ways -- they do subvert heteronormativity and the patriarchy in ways that I’m proud of, though that is, of course, not enough.
The books are also not solely mine. Once a book goes out into the world, whether as an ebook or on Wattpad or in any other format, it belongs to its readers. Now, granted, the Grenton PD series has ALWAYS been super controversial. Like, WOW, people have some intense hatred for femdom. People who hate these books really hate them. However! People who like these books really like them, and I do not feel comfortable taking that away from readers. Especially in these difficult times, people need their comfort reads, even if they’re problematic. I know I do.
So, here’s where I’m at:
1. I will release the professionally edited version of Whisper in ebook and paperback, probably in January. I won’t take Breathe down from Amazon or other sites.
2. Each year on New Year’s Eve, I’ll donate a portion of my proceeds from the Grenton PD series to organizations that support the BLM movement.
3. I will not write any more Grenton PD books with cop protagonists. I do intend to write Nareh’s book (she is a paramedic) as my NaNoWriMo novel this November and will release it as an ebook/paperback sometime this winter. The cop side characters will necessarily be present in Nareh’s book. I have also been thinking about a short story or novella about Liam, Leona’s ex, who is not a first responder of any kind. That story will not have any first responder characters.
I am committed to anti-racism in my life and in my art. If you have any comments, concerns, or suggestions, please feel free to get in touch with me however you like -- email or social media, publicly or privately.
To my Black readers: I am sorry. I stand with you.
Black Lives Matter.
Nerdy feminist queer writer. Obsessed with romance & art. I love anything weird, Gothic, or subversive.