It’s okay if you are a 60 year old white man

Okay, I try not to get riled up anymore and it’s very difficult to get me to publically rant.  I am going to publically rant. You have been warned.  John Grisham gave an interview to Daily Telegraph in which he said the following.

“We have prisons now filled with guys my age. Sixty-year-old white men in prison who’ve never harmed anybody, would never touch a child,” he said in an exclusive interview to promote his latest novel Gray Mountain which is published next week.

“But they got online one night and started surfing around, probably had too much to drink or whatever, and pushed the wrong buttons, went too far and got into child porn.”

The author of legal thrillers such as The Firm and A Time to Kill who has sold more than 275m books during his 25-year career, cited the case of a “good buddy from law school” who was caught up in a Canadian child porn sting operation a decade ago as an example of excessive sentencing.

“His drinking was out of control, and he went to a website. It was labelled ‘sixteen year old wannabee hookers or something like that’. And it said ’16-year-old girls’. So he went there. Downloaded some stuff – it was 16 year old girls who looked 30.

“He shouldn’t ’a done it. It was stupid, but it wasn’t 10-year-old boys. He didn’t touch anything. And God, a week later there was a knock on the door: ‘FBI!’ and it was sting set up by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to catch people – sex offenders – and he went to prison for three years.”

“There’s so many of them now. There’s so many ‘sex offenders’ – that’s what they’re called – that they put them in the same prison. Like they’re a bunch of perverts, or something; thousands of ’em. We’ve gone nuts with this incarceration,” he added in his loft-office in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Asked about the argument that viewing child pornography fuelled the industry of abuse needed to create the pictures, Mr Grisham said that current sentencing policies failed to draw a distinction between real-world abusers and those who downloaded content, accidentally or otherwise.

“I have no sympathy for real paedophiles,” he said, “God, please lock those people up. But so many of these guys do not deserve harsh prison sentences, and that’s what they’re getting,” adding sentencing disparities between blacks and whites was likely to be the subject of his next book.

Sixty-year-old white men in prison who’ve never harmed anybody.

Sixty year old white men are special and should be given preferential treatment when it comes to child porn.  If they were black or Asian, it would be different.

But they got online one night and started surfing around, probably had too much to drink or whatever, and pushed the wrong buttons, went too far and got into child porn.”

Men look at porn.  Women look at porn. You know what is really difficult to accidentally find on the internet?  Child porn.  A vast majority of pornography sites clearly state that all of their actors and actresses are 18 or older. You have to actively look for child porn.

It was labelled ‘sixteen year old wannabee hookers or something like that’. And it said ’16-year-old girls’.

This site said 16 year old girls.  This was not a trick.

So he went there. Downloaded some stuff – it was 16 year old girls who looked 30.

He didn’t just accidentally click on the site and clicked away.  He downloaded images of children.  Oh but they looked 30, so it must be okay then.

It was stupid, but it wasn’t 10-year-old boys.

Boys are inherently more valuable and precious than girls.  It’s okay to exploit and abuse a 16 year old girl, because her safety, life, and freedom are not worth as much as that of a 10 year old boy.

There’s so many ‘sex offenders’ – that’s what they’re called – that they put them in the same prison.

Yes.  It’s done to protect them from the general prison population, because sex offenders are brutalized in prison.  You see how that works?  Our prison system – which is draconian – still has more regard for sex offenders than they do for their victims.

“I have no sympathy for real paedophiles,” he said, “God, please lock those people up.

People who get off on images of  children being raped and sodomized by grown men are not real pedophiles.

Let’s take this one point at a time.

1) Looking at the images of sexual acts performed by or on children, girls or boys, is pedophilia.  It is illegal.

2) Looking at the images of sexual acts performed by or on children, girls or boys, is not a victimless crime.  Somebody had to take these images.

When I was fifteen, Russian newspapers were filled with advertisements targeted specifically at young girls, ages 14-18, offering excellent wages for picking peaches in Turkey. These adds were specifically pointed out to us by our teachers and parents as human trafficking traps.  If you went to pick peaches in “Turkey,” you would never get home.  You would be sold like cattle for someone’s sexual gratification.  When you look at the images of child porn, you are looking at someone who might be a slave, who might be a starving runaway, or a child repeatedly victimized by someone he or she trusted.  That makes you a fucking scumbag.

3) 60 year old WHITE men.  I will just let that one stand as is.  Although I find it extremely hard to believe that our prisons are overcrowded with 60 year old white men and not, let’s just take a wild stab out there, minority men ages 18-25, who often grow up in poverty, lacking education and basic advantages children from middle class families enjoy.

4) If you want to reduce prison population, how about advocating for legalizing marijuana?  Here is a handy dandy chart for you. As of 2014, 11, 946 sex offenders are incarcerated in federal prisons in US.  Do you want to know how many people are there on drug charges? 98,554.  Of these, 27.6% are there because of pot. That means 27, 201 people.  You want to ease the burden on our prisons, have at it.

I really liked The Brethren.  One of my favorite books.  John Grisham forever poisoned it for me.  I’m a mother to two teenagers. I was a teenager myself once and I’ve seen my fair share of people exposing themselves to me, trying to grope me, following me on the street and generally feeling completely cool with that.  John Grisham seems to believe that his friend’s 3 year long sentence is too harsh, because he is a white, educated, mature male and all around good guy.  I can’t even express how wrong this is.

Comments are locked not because of anybody saying something bad, but because I have to work and this issue is way too rant-inducing for me, so I’m afraid I will just lather up spit and growl in agreement with the comments instead of making words.


Why Men Should Not Watch Notebook

Kid 2, rushing around upstairs (Everyone overslept): My hair!

Me, yelling from downstairs: Honey, you need to hurry up or you will be late.

Kid 2: I know, mom! I know! My hair is awful.  I am so late!

Me: If Hudson doesn’t pick you up, I will totally take you to school, don’t worry!

Kid 2, in high pitched voice: Why would you say that? He always picks me up! He never not shows up, I don’t understand why you would say that!  He…

Gordon, in a slightly too deep rendition of a Southern girl voice: You don’t know anything about love, Momma.  You don’t look at Daddy the way I look at Hudson. You don’t touch or laugh. You don’t play…

And so, everyone is a comedian and life goes on.  :)

Quotes from Today’s Twitter

I know you guys get fussy when exclusive quotes are released, so here you go.


I jumped down from the Tahoe, pulled a ziploc bag from my pocket, and unsheathed Sarrat.

“Stand back please.”

“Oh no,” Derek said from above. “Are you about to do science?”


“Where are *****’s kids now?” Julie asked.

“At the office with Ascanio,” Curran told her.

Julie’s gaze was so saturated with derision, it should’ve been illegal.

“He’s perfectly capable of taking care of them,” I said.

“Sure he is.”

What would my life be without teenage sass?

Dream Book

Working on Magic Shifts this morning.   Poor Kate can’t get away from her band of misfits.

Someone asked us during the New York trip what motivated us to work on Burn For Me.  The honest answer is, I wanted to read a book like that and I couldn’t find it.  I wanted the high magic and high technology and I wanted to see a romantic relationship explored against that background.  I also wanted to see someone question how we treat our veterans.  In romance, sometimes military personnel is subject to the same fetishising as Scotsmen.  Not that many people acknowledge that being a veteran or living with one isn’t always easy.


Click the image to enlarge.

I also wanted a book that would be funny.  A book where a heroine had a family and they were a real family, the kind that loves you unconditionally and can drive you completely nuts.  I couldn’t find it, so I talked Gordon into writing one with me.  The sad thing now, I can’t read it.  Reading our books after they are finished makes me cringe.  Except for Silver Shark.  For some reason, I can reread that one.

But anyway, I was wondering, what is your dream book?  The one that you would love to read but nobody has written yet?

Fair warning: you’re on a writers’ site.  We have no shame.  If you don’t want to risk your dream book being written by us or other authors who frequent this crazy place, it’s best not to share it. :)


NYCC 2014 Trip with pictures

Warning, images ahead.

View from Millenium Hotel window

View from Millennium Hotel window

I used to have anxiety about planes.  I don’t anymore./  Five cities in five days book tour cured me of that.  But still, I do have a slight apprehension before boarding and I was very relieved the flight into New York was uneventful. Four hours, little bit of rain, little bit of turbulence, 1,500 mile-long trip at 30,000 miles altitude.  No problem.

The twenty minute car ride from airport to Millenium Hotel, which we found out was located in lower Manhattan very close to 9/11 Memorial, made my hair stand on end.  I’d like to say our driver was a homicidal maniac who attempted to randomly mow down pedestrians, screamed obscenities at other drivers, ignored traffic lights, and honked his horn, but after four days in New York, I am confident he was perfectly average as far as taxi drivers go.

We arrived to a very beautiful hotel, to a lovely and clean room, and, given as a couple of hours on Wednesday was the only free time we would have, I dragged Gordon to Century 21, a discount clothes store, which was across the street fr0m the hotel.  I don’t know about the rest of New York, but lower Manhattan is clean and ridiculously safe.  I have never seen so much police presence in my life.  They are on every corner.

20141008_183326A long shopping session ensued with pictures texted back and forth to the kids.  Fancy ripped leggings and cabled sweaters were bought at 50% discount.  After going through three stories that offered women’s selection, I took pity on Gordon and we went back to the hotel.  I did buy a really awesome sweatshirt thing.  It’s hard to explain, but it has a shawl collar which is actually a hood.  I wore it the entire time in New York, and before we left, Gordon dragged me back to Century 21 to buy another one in a different color.  :)  I love it.

On Thursday we did an audio podcast with Garth Nix and visited Avon offices, which were ultra modern: white walls and lots of glass.  Because to its proximity to 9/11, the building had very tight security and we had to have IDs printed.  The lobby was decorated in an over-the-top baroques style, complete with enormous marble columns and shockingly buff cupids carved into walls.  We hung out with our agent, Nancy Yost – she has the best view from her office – met staff of Nancy Yost Literary Agency, and got to ride the subway.  Then we went to a signing at BN in Union Square.

Okay, so to me a signing means we blabber on about books for a bit and then people ask us questions.  This turned out to be a storytelling signing, where F. Paul Wilson, David Wellington, Gordon and I and Steven Gould, who was moderating the panel, had to take turns speaking for one minute, trying to create a story.  It was a superhero story and I knew we were in trouble when Amazing Gelatin superhero showed up.  I am not sure if we made sense.  :)

The turn out for the signing was amazing.  Thank you so much for showing up and putting up with our silliness.

The next day we went back to Avon offices for a bagel breakfast and to catch a ride to NYCC.  Okay, so here is how you know I am not a New Yorker.  We walk in and we are led to this lovely room, where there is a spread of bagels, 50 million varieties of cream cheese, fruit, and smoked salmon(!).  Our editor, Erika Tsang, hands us two narrow glasses of orange juice.  So I mentally congratulate myself on taking Prilosec, take the glass, sip… and it’s not orange juice.  It’s a mimosa.  At 10:00 am.  :D

20141010_122027We met C. L. Wilson, who is as entertaining as her books.  We both had teenagers so we commiserated with each other.  Then Avon loaded us into a car.  I thought it would a taxi or a van.  It was a full out stretch limo.  First limo ride ever.

The Comicon was enormous.  It’s hard to describe the mass of people writhing through the Javits center.  Over the next two days we got to meet Kim Harrisson, be on a panel with her (score), do three different signings and so on.  Here are some cool people we met.

Our editors, Anne Sowards (Ace/Kate Daniels) and Erika Tsang (Avon/Hidden Legacy)

Our editors, Anne Sowards (Ace/Kate Daniels) and Erika Tsang (Avon/Hidden Legacy)

Kate Daniels Cosplay!

Kate Daniels Cosplay!



Check out Toothless on the shoulder!

Check out Toothless on the shoulder!

Amazing Outfit.

Amazing Outfit.




Captain America and Black Widow. :D


They were really kind and let us snap all sorts of pictures

In between all of this coolness, signing books and giving away Currans, we got to spend some time with Anne Sowards, our Ace editor.  She took us to High Line Park.  Apparently at some time New York had a raised train line, which the city now converted into a park.  It’s a narrow pathway lined with trees and offering benches that takes you above the city.  The views are amazing and it’s very calm and quiet up there.

20141010_162458 20141010_163458

We got to walk around Comicon a little bit, but the last day we were so tired, we went back to the room and fell asleep.   Before we passed out, however, we got to watch an episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent, where a body was found on the High Line.  Peter Noth informed the viewers that the city was turning High Line into a park and Gordon and I promptly geeked out because we had been there.

We got home on Sunday to ecstatic pets and much relieved children and immediately fell sleep.  At 5:30 pm the kids woke us up for a celebratory trip to the Alamo Drafthouse to see Gone Girl – insanely good movie.  On the way there Kid 1 called the neighbor because she forgot to lock the garage door.  Diana very kindly locked the door.  When we got home, we realized that none of us had the house keys.  Gordon had taken the house key off his car keys and given it to the girls before we left and then everyone forgot to put it back.  Boy 1, Kid 1’s boyfriend, climbed onto the roof and broke into the second floor bathroom window to let us in.  (This security flaw has now been corrected.)  So, things are back to abnormal in the Andrews household. :D

NY Comic Con Schedule – Day 2

October 11th, Ilona & Gordon will be doing their big signings with both Penguin and Avon. Details here:

Saturday, October 11, 2014

New York Comic Con: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM      **Penguin Booth @2108**

 In-booth singing—50 copies of Magic Bites/ giveaway

**Penguin Booth @2108**


Saturday, October 11, 2014

New York Comic Con—12:30 PM – 1:15 PM


Early on-sale  of BURN FOR ME

(HarperCollins  Booth #2118, Jacob Javits Center)

NY Comic Con Schedule – Day 1

Reminder: Tonight, Ilona & Gordon will be at Barnes & Noble for a signing.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

New York City—7:30 PM SF/F

Round Robin Story Telling Event

Barnes & Noble# 2675

(33 East 17th Street, New York, NY 10003)

TOMORROW, October 10th, Ilona & Gordon will have their first day of the NY Comic Con.  You can find them here. They will be signing books immediately after the panel.

Friday, October 10, 2014

New York Comic Con—1:15 PM – 2:00 PM

PANEL: Playing With Magic

1A01, Jacob Javits Center