Fred Head vs. Susan Combs

I normally steer clear of politics and such. Imagine my surprise to return from vacation and discover a candidate for Texas State Comptroller has launched a political attack on his opponent based on her authorship of a contemporary romance novel.

Fred Head has branded his opponent Susan Combs as a pornographer based on a romance novel she published with Meteor Kismet many years ago.

What's wrong with this?

1. I also published with Meteor Kismet and know that none of the novels were what would be considered porn.

2. Head excerpts text from this COPYRIGHTED novel to prove his so-called point. He has scanned in the back cover copy, the author's bio page, and 3 random pages from the novel itself. This is illegal under the copyright laws of the United States unless he has permission from the copyright holder ... drum roll please ... the book's author Susan Combs. Now, I doubt Ms. Combs would grant permission for her published work to be used in this manner.

3. So this self-righteous man apparently thinks romance novels are porn AND he thinks he is above the laws of this land and can take copyrighted material and use it however he wishes without permission or remuneration to the author of said material.

You Texans out there, remember these names when you vote for Comptroller.

Fred Head who apparently thinks romance novels are porn. If he'd ever actually read one instead of just excerpting what he considers offensive sexual text, he'd have learned that romance novels are relationship novels that celebrate love and commitment. Mr. Head also seems to think he can violate the copyright laws of this nation with impunity. Or perhaps he is ignorant of what the United States Copyright laws are which is just as bad if not worse.

Susan Combs, who is a victim of copyright violation, is being called a pornographer for writing a novel about a consensual relationship between an adult man and an adult woman which leads to love and commitment. Ms. Combs is a businesswoman who apparently has served well in her current position. She's a wife and a mother, and, now, a maligned romance author.

Sometimes I get very tired of the "trashing romance novel syndrome." Romance novels are written mostly by women and for women. We're like the Rodney Dangerfield of the literary world. We get no respect. But, boy, are we popular. More than 50% of all mass market paperbacks sold are romance novels.

If Mr. Head wanted to take a stand against immorality in literature, why didn't he take on Dan Brown, an author who has written something millions consider not only morally wrong but sacriligious. So why didn't he take a swipe at Dan Brown and The DaVinci Code? Oh, right. Dan Brown isn't opposing him in a political race.

If you read this, and you are a registered voter in Texas, please feel free to check out the sites I've linked to. Pass the word or link to this blog. We don't need more politicians who pick and choose the laws they obey especially when we authors are an embattled bunch desperately fighting for our livlihood which in this electronic age is only too easily taken from us.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Wow, Anon really made the rounds last night, lol. OUt of curiousity, I looked it up.

    I already stated my response to anon's debate request on my blog. BTW, someone tracked where the comments were coming from, lol.

  3. I deleted the comment by Anonymous since it was about as significant as a spam email. Anonymous posted the same comment on multiple blog sites where the blogger decried Fred Head's actions. One busy guy, huh?

  4. I honestly wish I was a Texas resident so I could vote.

    I've emailed all my Texan friends and asked them, even if they are Democrats, to please vote for Susan Combs.

    I think Mr. Head made a huge error in judgement when he decided to slam a member of the Romance Community...especially since the National offices of RWA are located in Texas!