"Harlots" Write Great Books, But Divas Read Banned Books?

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Bestselling Author and Women's Advocate Patricia V. Davis Finds Her Second Book Banned in a "Queer Twist"

Patricia V. Davis is the author of the bestselling "Harlot's Sauce: A Memoir of Food, Family, Love, Loss, and Greece" and "The Diva Doctrine: 16 Universal Principles Every Woman Needs to Know." Like every author today, Patricia knows the importance of marketing her own work, so when "The Diva Doctrine" came out in May of 2011, she immediately began to promote the title to women’s book groups and other women's empowerment organizations. Though the response for the most part was positive, Patricia was puzzled by the fact that several more liberal-leaning groups turned down the opportunity to review the book, and it was only recently that she discovered why.

“I asked my publicist to pitch to one particular group that had invited me to speak in the past and that I knew were very pleased with my work. I suppose it was because they didn’t have to speak with me directly that they confessed the reason they were turning me down, and that it was the reason I’d been getting turned down in some other quarters, too. When I learned what that reason was, I had to laugh, because I thought it was such a quirk of fate.”

The organizer of the group told the publicist, “Look, we love Patricia’s work, and we loved 'Harlot’s Sauce.' So we’re sure we’d love 'The Diva Doctrine' too. But we just can’t bring ourselves to promote a book that was published by a group that does not support equal rights.”

The fact that this discovery was made during Banned Books Week 2012 is not lost on Patricia, but the irony is even more singular than that. When Peter Beren, the literary agent who Patricia signed with to sell "The Diva Doctrine" informed her that Cedar Fort wanted to buy her book, she asked him if they knew that she was a very vocal gay rights advocate. (Cedar Fort Publishing and Media is a mid-size publisher out of Utah that has several imprints, some for mainstream readers and some for the LDS market. Their website is at: http://www.cedarfort.com)

Beren’s reply was, "They know exactly who you are and they're fine with it."

Says Patricia, “The only ‘censorship’ there was from Cedar Fort was that they asked, (very politely I might add) that I change the word ‘assh*le’ I’d used in the manuscript to something less harsh.”

One other request had to do with changing the sentence "drinking cosmos" to "drinking lemonade” and Patricia was fine with that too. “The editor gave me a very good reason. She honestly believed that it was such an important book for women that she wanted all her Mormon friends to read it, and she didn't want them to be put off by the possibility that it might have some things in it that are against their beliefs. I could certainly understand that, and was only too happy to help. But life is truly stranger than fiction. I’m a gay rights supporter whose book on empowering women is being shunned by liberal groups because it was published by a Mormon publisher.”

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Jane Hunter
Timothy Ross Publicists
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