I read a short news story today that gave me serious pause. For several reasons.
The story is about an Australian novelist arrested in Thailand for insulting the Thai monarchy in his novel. His novel which sold SEVEN copies.
This is disturbing on at least two levels. First, the insult was to an "unnamed" prince. And related to a "brief passage" in the book. Presumably the writer made up a fictional character, placed them in the Thai monarchy and never gave it another thought. No legal issues if it's not a real person, right? (Now, clearly I don't know much about this case, so please don't read this as if I do... Maybe it was a thinly disguised portrait of a real prince? But the article didn't make it sound that way.) And people wonder why books like the Princess Diaries (and tons of Harlequin Presents books) are set in fictional countries...
But even more disturbing was SEVEN COPIES? Gee. You'd think he could get seven copies sold just amongst his family members.
How careful are you not to get into potential legal issues in your stories?
And on a completely different topic.... Knight Agency agent, and former Harlequin editor, Melissa Jeglinski is blogging about category romances on the TKA blog today. Interesting stuff.