I was working on a list of questions submitted by Bitchery readers for an interview with freelance writer Paul Tolme, but unfortunately, Mr. Tolme is on deadline, and has found that he does not have the time for an interview with us as originally thought. Major bummer! He has, however, written the following letter.
First off, thanks for all the kind comments. The response to my Newsweek.com story has been overwhelming. You romance novel readers and writers are a passionate bunch. I’ve been applauded, castigated, criticized and propositioned.
Now let me apologize. I poked fun at the entire genre of romance novels in my story, and that was wrong. For this I have been disciplined. I was a bad boy, and I’ve been properly spanked. Not all romance novels are created equal.
Lastly, the outpouring of financial support for black-footed ferrets by romance readers and writers including Nora Roberts and Smart Bitches is extremely heartening. This crazy saga of plagiarism and hot romance has done more to highlight the plight of black-footed ferrets than any event in recent history.
Through the efforts of individuals such as Travis Livieri and others, the species is slowly returning. There are now 1,000 in the wild, and captive breeding programs are helping to reintroduce ferrets to more portions of their former range every year. The big obstacle is habitat loss. The vast prairie ecosystem that once covered the heartland of our nation has been almost entirely converted to human uses. Surely we can save a few small corners of the prairie for black-footed ferrets, prairie dogs and other threatened species such as burrowing owls and mountain plovers. It is a test of our humanity.
Best wishes and lots of love to all you romance readers. Your passion is sorely needed in the effort to save not just black-footed ferrets but all endangered species. I urge you to learn more by visiting sites such as www.prairiewildlife.org, www.defenders.org and www.nationalwildlife.org. Having my work copied in a romance novel has introduced me to an audience of readers I knew little about, and for that I am glad.
Now if you will excuse me I have to get to work on my sexy wildlife romance novel.