Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Once Upon a Time in the West Ward #erotica

Erotic romance author meets college arts festival and a strange political controversy begins.

Stranger than fiction, but this isn’t fiction. Several months ago, Ghen Zando-Dennis, managing editor for The West Word, a local community magazine about my neighborhood—the West Ward of Easton, PA, offered to do an interview on me. I was flattered and excited. The focus of the paper as Ghen explained was to talk about the residents, businesses and events in the neighborhood to improve the perception of the area.

She came to my house for the interview. I live in a 100 y/o Victorian that my husband and I have been restoring for over 11 years. She took photos of the house and was interested in our original carriage house garage that was constructed from rejected tombstones. We live next to the cemetery where many Civil War veterans are buried. She also asked about my day job as a Cytotechnologist and my part time writing as an erotic romance writer. There was nothing lewd in the article and no excerpts from my books. I thought she did an excellent job.

Because of that article and the one criticizing the college arts festival, the paper has received complaints. And the editor fears the paper could either “lose its funding or have its leadership replaced.” According to Easton Patch

Who’s complaining? The mayor of Easton objected to my article. He said it “goes out to all age groups.” In the Express Times, he said it was too racy. The paper is funded by the CACLV (Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley) and the WWNP (West Ward Neighborhood Partnership). Last month the paper learned that the CACLV wanted to begin editing its content. The mayor did say he didn’t want to see the paper end but wanted a different focus.

“The mayor has been very critical and, frankly, I need the support of the mayor in order to do meaningful community and economic development in any community,” said Jennings, executive director of CACLV to Dennis.

Ghen says the paper is getting a lot of support from the community and that people loved the interview article and appreciated the honest reporting of an arts festival that needs improvement.

To read more:

Personally, I feel the article was a relevant human interest piece. I’m sure there are women in the West Ward who like to read timely books. And if you notice on the bestsellers list many of the books now are erotic romance. In addition, the West Ward has beautiful, old historic homes. I’m sure some readers of the paper would be interested about a resident restoring an old home. Not every article will interest every reader. If erotic romance books or restoring historic homes isn’t your thing, turn the page. I’ll admit I don’t read the sports section of the newspaper.
The next committee meeting is in May.

If you know anyone who wants to write a letter-to-the-editor for print in the next issue regarding all of this controversy, or support for the paper, please feel free to forward the email address:


flchen1 said...

Oy--thank you for the relevant links, Kathy! Will be taking some time to put my thoughts together before e-mailing a response to the editor :) Please know that you have much support from us readers!

Trillium said...

It's amazing what people take offense to -- and more amazing what they don't take offense to!

Cris Anson said...

It's too bad your mayor doesn't pay attention to the First Amendment - freedom of speech.

Kathy Kulig said...

Thanks Fedora! I appreciate your support and I'm sure the paper does too. :)

Hi Trillium. So true.

Hey Cris, I'm sure the paper is frustrated too.