Alison has this and another post rolling over at her weblog, based on Shannon Stacey's interesting column about erotica versus inspiration romance award issues. Pointless censorship and second-classing writers in a minority were the reasons I quit RWA, so I'm not surprised to see that it's still happening.
Because I write both inspirational fiction and moderately erotic romance novels, some people have e-mailed and asked me to comment. I am not a member of RWA, nor do I support its awards system, so it's not my fight. I'm a Christian who likes any sort of romance, and the day God tells me which books I can or cannot read is the day I become a Buddhist.
It's funny what offends people, though -- or maybe I'm wired backward. Example: I've been reading more erotica novels lately, because they're the next big thing on the market, and I do regular market research to keep up with what's hot. Collectively the erotica being published is intelligent, fun and more imaginative than I had expected. I haven't found any of the books offensive and I'll definitely be reading more of it.
Keeping that in mind, I recently tried out a Christian chick-lit novel, one that was supposed to be funny and wonderful. It tried to be, but the author's hatred for persons of different beliefs was constantly in my face, killing the fun. Her attitude was basically If you don't believe in Jesus, I can't like you, because you're going to Hell. Now, my faith directs me to accept and love other people whether they're Christians or not, so I found the message in this book deeply offensive. I won't read this author again, and if the rest of Christian chick-lit is like this, I doubt I'll be reading any more.