Author Sarah Luddington has come under attack following the release of her Arthurian fantasy series, "The Knights of Camelot", in which the main protagonist is bisexual. The series of books feature a number of gay and bisexual relationships and have caused outrage in some areas, particularly in the United States where there seems to be a concerted attack against the book's gay content.
The first book in the series, Lancelot and The Wolf, originally released June 2011, recently became part of a free promotion on Amazon Kindle and stormed the charts. However, what followed appears to be a campaign of homophobic reviews and a stream of hate emails. “Since this book took off I have received a huge amount of homophobic responses and some of it very unpleasant,” Sarah said. A flurry of one-Star reviews on Amazon U.S. site first alerted Mirador Publishing that there may be a problem. On investigation it was discovered that the reviews all came within a few days and that the tone was similar with a pronounced right-wing, anti-gay bias.
"People seemed outraged that I could suggest that King Arthur and Lancelot were in a gay relationship, yet it’s a definite undercurrent in the stories when one really studies some of the source material of Mallory or Chrétien de Troyes.” Reviewers have described the book on Amazon as "twisted," "perverted" and "disgusting." Amazon was alerted to the problem and has promised to investigate and remove any reviews which do not conform to their guidelines.
Author Sarah Luddington | photo credit: Mirador Publishing
Luddington, a medieval historian, started on the series after years of studying the earlier source material of Mallory and Chrétien de Troyes. She only recently came out as bisexual herself and is distressed that the homophobia displayed comes just at a time when the gay community is trying hard to find acceptance with regards to gay marriage.
"Initially I was surprised by the venom directed toward my books," Luddington said. "But as it went on I found it became quite distressing. It seems one can write about pretty much anything these days but to infer that King Arthur and Lancelot were lovers is tantamount to flag burning."
As a response to the trail of homophobia it has created, Luddington has released a special edition of Lancelot and The Wolf and is donating her royalties to the gay UK charity Stonewall. This edition contains extra stories dealing with the early loves of some of the main characters in the novel. There is also commentary by the author with the background to the project.
"For those who are interested, I am an advocate of Gay Rights and this Special Edition of Lancelot and The Wolf, which you can find in all good ebook stores, is being sold to help Stonewall, to whom I am donating all of my royalties from this edition," said Luddington on a post on the series website. "They are a charity who support the rights of gay people all over the world." Luddington continued, “This means readers can choose whether or not to support the charity. They can still download a free copy from Amazon or they can buy the special edition with proceeds to Stonewall.”
Creative Director & Founder, therepubliq.com
Director, Marketing/Promotions & Co-Founder, The OUTlander Project
Producer, OutCast Austin
Chase is the founder and Creative Director of therepubliq.com and co-founder and Director, Marketing & Promotions of The OUTlander Project. He is also a producer and engineer for OutCast Austin, an award-winning LGBT weekly radio program on KOOP 91.7 FM in Austin. In 2011, he was named the Critics Pick for 'Most Gaybiquitous' in the Austin Chronicle's Best of Austin.
Additionally, Chase runs PlanetChase, LLC, a consulting firm providing a variety of business development services including web development, marketing, branding, technology to small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs; as well as meeting planning services for the financial services industry.
On his spare time, Chase has volunteered with local organizations including AIDS Services of Austin, the Octopus Club, the Austin Gay Basketball League and Volleyball Austin. In 2007, he was appointed by then-Austin Mayor Will Wynn to serve on the Austin Area Comprehensive HIV Planning Council where he served as the chairperson of the Community Access & Nominations committee.