Open Letter To Texas Voters

October 11th, 2006 · 3 Comments
by Booksquare

While we hope beyond hope that the woefully misnamed “Fred Head”, an apparent candidate for Comptroller of Public Accounts in the State of Texas, is someone’s idea of a hoax, we can take no chances. We do believe that the fine people of Texas understand how books, specifically and generally, work, but since at least one candidate appears confused, we offer some explanation as a public service.

  • Book Covers – While there have been a few documented instances where the author’s name does not appear on the cover of a book, it is common practice to have both the title of the novel and the author’s name (or pseudonym) prominently displayed.
  • Titles on Individual Pages – Depending on the style of the publishing house, a book’s title and/or the author’s name may be repeated at the top of every page between the covers. Mr. Head asserts this is “…a clear testament to Susan Combs’ insatiable ego and desire to see her name in print…” More than likely, it is how the publisher typeset the book.
  • Shelf Life of Books – In light of recent scandals, Mr. Head’s desire to protect “the young People of Texas” is admirable. However, since Ms. Combs published her book with Meteor’s Kismet line in 1990, we can safely say that there are few chances of said young people will stumble upon this book and be traumatized for life. Not having read the work, we cannot say if the same will be true for Ms. Combs’ children. It’s always uncomfortable to discover that your parents have imaginations.
  • Extracts – Though Mr. Head uses the word “extraxts”, when violating a person’s copyright by reprinting work in a manner that goes beyond fair use, it is more appropriate to spell the word correctly. That would be “extracts”. Also, it is always a good idea to follow the letter and spirit of the law when attempting to gain higher moral ground.
  • Pornography – Mr. Head asserts that Ms. Combs’ romance novel is “pornographic”. We assert that Mr. Head is clueless. Human beings have sex. Quite frequently if anecdotal data is to believed. Sex is not pornography. Reading about sex is not enjoying pornography, as a matter of course. Writing about sex is not writing pornography. In novels, any aspect of the human condition is fair game.

    As for this so-called pornographic novel’s impact on the fine residents of Texas? If Mr. Head had done a modicum of research, he’d know that the fact the Romance Writers of America was founded in Texas — and the state is home to more romance authors than any other state (okay, we’re pretty sure that’s true) — undermines his assertion “…that the People of Texas will not knowingly tolerate a pornographic book writer holding a State Office of Public Trust.”

  • Arrogance – To be a published author, you must have some degree of arrogance. You must believe in your talent to the degree that you can complete the book and submit it to a publisher. Then, of course, you must sit back and let the public sling arrows. That being said, this comment does not meet our personal standards of arrogance:

    “I wrote the book nineteen years ago. I received lots of congratulatory letters. I’ve served with distinction. I’m sad that the book company is out of business because I won’t get any more royalties.” [Statement from Susan Combs]

In this politically charged election season, we are proud to do our little part to aid voters in making tough decisions. We assume the Comptroller of Public Accounts in Texas will be dealing with such matters as money and math, but also believe that it’s important for a public official to understand how books work (ha! get it?) and that “mainstream” is traditionally treated as a compound word.

Please, please, please let this be a joke. Our faith in humanity is tenuous at best.

(Special thanks to our favorite purveyor of corrupting novels.)

[tags]romance novels, politics, publishing, books[/tags]

File Under: Square Pegs

3 responses so far ↓

  • David Thayer // Oct 11, 2006 at 9:12 am

    Fred may have lost his head like a glass of Pearl poured in haste.

  • Booksquare // Oct 11, 2006 at 11:55 pm

    Or possibly Fred is embarrassed by his head — it would explain his reaction, no?

  • KathyF // Oct 12, 2006 at 9:53 am

    I also see that Fred worked for the “Legislative Budged Board” which at one time was my employer, at least I think they were. We always called it the Budget Board, but then I was only their proofreader. I could have been wrong.