12 JULY 2, 2004
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Too 'Hot' for Texas
Austin radio station
vows to block gay
By BRYAN ANDERT0N
FOR FAR TOO LONG, GAY MEN HAVE
been deprived of their own versions of the
lurid romance novels read by millions of
straight women in the United States. But
that changed in late 2003, when a gay couple
from Boston started a line of books called
"Romentics" targeting a gay male audience.
Written by real-life couple Scott
Pomfret and Scott Whittier, the line currently includes four self-published novels:
"Hot Sauce," "Razor Burn," "Nick of
Time" and "Spare Parts."
Next year, one of the books, "Hot
Sauce," is scheduled to be released nationwide by Warner Book Group, the book
publishing arm of Time-Warner, Inc.
But one Texas radio station is asking
its listeners to lobby Warner to drop plans
to publish the book, saying it is too "scandalous" to be released.
Under the heading "The War Rages On,"
a post on the Web site for KIXL, a Christian
radio station based in Austin, Texas, states,
"If you think traditional romance novels
are scandalous, just wait until.Time-
Warner Books starts distributing a new
line of homosexual romance novels."
The post goes on to encourage listeners
to "let Warner Books know how you feel
about its decision to distribute books in
this Romentic series" by contacting
Warner's chair and chief executive officer
Laurence J. Kirshbaum by phone or fax.
Pomfret and Whittier said Warner had
received numerous complaints about the
books from KIXL's listeners, but that
Warner has assured them that it is still
fully behind the project.
"[This campaign] was a bit of a shocker," Pomfret said. "To use the terminology of war on a series of love stories tells
me all you need to know about these guys.
It couldn't have been more mean-spirited
or un-Christian, as far as I'm concerned."
Qf ACTION! INFO
Warner Book Group
1271 Ave. of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
KIXL 970 AM
11615 Angus Road, Suite 120B
Austin, TX 78759
A Christian radio station in Texas has asked listeners to lobby Warner Book Group to stop plans to
publish 'Hot Sauce,' a gay romance novel.
Directly below the posting about the
books on the station's Web site is another
one about "Marriage Protection Sunday," an
event being planned by the anti-gay
American Family Association on July 11, the
day before the U.S. Senate is reportedly to
vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment.
Representatives of KIXL and Warner
Books could not be reached for comment
by press time,
'Romentics' for men
The two authors, who affectionately refer
to themselves as "Scott & Scott" on the
books' covers, said they developed the idea
after realizing the number of romance novels Whittier's mother and grandmother read
every month, and realizing there was an
absence of any such material for gay men.
So the couple brainstormed some ideas,
and churned out four novels from late 2002
until mid-2003. In November 2003, they self-
published the books and began selling
them on their Web site. They sent the novels to several agents, one of whom sold
Warner Books on the idea, Pomfret said.
Warner Books decided to publish and
distribute "Hot Sauce," which is scheduled to hit shelves in June 2005.
According to Pomfret, the company is
also considering re-publishing the couple's three other novels.
Whitter said the publisher reassured
the two men that the company remains
committed to the project even after receiving phone calls from KIXL listeners. But
even so, Whittier and Pomfret began asking fans to contact the company, too.
"I think they were very pleased when
we asked our readers and supporters to
get In touch with them, because they are
so much more diverse from the people
who go to KIXL's Web site," Whittier said.
"It really said that straight women with
kids, entrepreneurs, and a wide range of
others really support this idea, and it's
ABOUT ACTION ALERT: Action Alert is a Forum section feature that informs readers of issues for response
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