Excerpts of Mormon authors back gay writer in squabble with Cedar Fort, By Matthew Piper, Salt Lake Tribune
A dispute between a Utah publisher and a gay author who made a nod to his boyfriend in his biography has gained the attention of Mormons in the publishing community.
As of Saturday morning, 41 Mormon authors had signed a letter asking publishers to base decisions on "content, quality, and commercial viability, not on any other factor." Meanwhile, an Arizona-based LDS author said Cedar Fort just last week published a book of his that contains a significant gay subplot.
The book-flap flap follows a news release earlier this week from "Woven" authors Michael Jensen and David Powers King. They say that Cedar Fort Publishing's national imprint, Sweetwater Books, nixed the young-adult fantasy novel when Jensen demanded that his biography reference the partner with whom he lives in Salt Lake City.
The letter from a contingent of Mormon authors reads, "While publishers have the right to choose what they will and will not publish, we believe books should be accepted or rejected upon the merits of their content, quality, and commercial viability, not on any other factor."
Rapier signed the petition and says that he's particularly miffed by Cedar Fort's problems with "Woven" because his book was OK'd by the LDS-dedicated Bonneville Books, while Sweetwater is not even geared toward a particular audience. Rapier also said he was rejected by another LDS publisher, Covenant Communications, for the stated reason that his book had a gay character. And his acquisitions editor at Cedar Fort, Angie Workman, was the same editor who raised a red flag over Jensen's bio.
"It's very odd," Rapier said, "because they had chosen to take a risk with my book."