Here’s To You, Judy Mays

1 May

I would have reported about this earlier, but well . . . I think I’d just posted a rant about people taking swipes at other book fans, and really? TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING AND ALL. The good thing in this case being Hee-Ree. No, really, stop saying you can’t get enough of me. Your flattery embarrasses us both.

Before Wednesday of last week, I sincerely doubt any of you heard of Judy Mays. Maybe you did, and if that’s the case I apologize, but for the most part she flew under my radar (and as this is a Hillary-centric universe, I assume everyone is just like me.) She’s a romance author who writes pretty racy stuff. My cursory glance into her background proves she’s been prolific which – hey – I hope one day to have a long string of books attached to my name. Maybe not romance pron books, but that could change! I’d write good pron. Really. Wanna see?


My one feeling. You’ve hurt it.

Anyway, so Miss Judy writes explicit sex. If you don’t believe me, look at the cover of her latest book.


Come to find out, Judy Mays has another name – Judy Buranich. Judy Buranich is a High School teacher. A well-respected High School teacher at that. Of course, this discovery has lead to a bunch of CONCERNED CITIZEN PARENTS demanding that she either quit her high school job, or stop writing the books.


I Need One Of These Buzzers

So let’s touch upon Wendy Apple, the “well-meaning parent” who put Judy Buranich’s SECRET IDENTITY ON THE MAP. She “discovered on the Internet that Judy Mays and Judy Buranich were the same person because the author photo resembled her son’s tenth grade English teacher.” Discovered, eh? You discovered a youtube author interview with Mays out of nowhere? Cause that happens to us all the time, that we just RANDOMLY HOLY SHIT DISCOVER PEOPLE WHO ARE PURPOSEFULLY HIDING. So let’s read between the lines on this, because really, there’s only two possible ways Wendy Apple “discovered” anything:

1) She heard a rumor from someone else and went on a witch hunt. The article does suggest the kids knew, so perhaps someone else’s parent made the connection, mentioned it to their kid, the rumor mill started, and Ms. Apple decided to be a pillar of the community! Or something!

2) Wendy Apple was /looking for some girl-porn books and said “I recognize that woman!”/ So she was going to READ some smut and got her panties in a bunch when she discovered the same woman who taught her son how to read and write WAS THE SMUT PEDDLER.

In the case of number two up there? Wendy Apple is a pervy hypocrite and screw her. In the case of one, well . . . she’s petty. Look, I’ve said it before, Lauren’s probably said it before, too. Shit, most authors or writers say it at some point, so let’s be repetitious for fun: less than two percent of writers make it on their writing income alone. It’s just not the huge paying industry people picture. We don’t drive Aston Martins and drink ten dollar mochachinos. Okay so James Patterson does, and Stephen King’s probably got a pretty sweet ride, but they’re the statistical anomaly. The rest of us have a 9 – 5 like everyone else. In this woman’s case, it’s to teach people how to write.

Not what to write, how to write. If she’s a published author, she’s probably got a good idea of how to string a couple words together, eh? It takes some talent to get an agent, an editor, and onto the shelves – the odds are seriously against you from the onset when you write a book. So why does it fucking matter what she’s writing in her own free time? “My son will be thinking about her erotica instead of learning in her class!” Seriously, that’s one of Wendy Apple’s big problems with Buranich continuing to teach at that high school. Well, Mom, WHY’D YOU MAKE IT A MEDIA CIRCUS IF YOU DON’T WANT HIM THINKING ABOUT IT?

Apple also said:

‘I thought she was a top-of-the-line teacher.’

‘It’s unethical, totally unacceptable. Period.’

‘It just sort of sickens and saddens me to know everybody’s sort of looking at this like, hey, this is OK.’

THOUGHT she was a top-of-the-line teacher? What’s changed? Because she probably said the words “cock” and “quivering love tunnel” in fiction (that she wrote under a pseudonym you exposed, on her own time, and in the privacy of her own home) she’s no longer a great teacher? How does one thing have to do with the other? Her function as an educator of our lovely language is to teach kids how to communicate well on paper. I bet she teaches some literature, too, and I bet when she’s assigning reading material for homework, it ain’t Rednecks N’ Romance. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say how she supplements her income doesn’t actually manifest in her classroom, like, ever.

As for ‘It’s unethical, totally unacceptable. Period.’ Well! Here’s my take on it. I think a heat-seeking missile should blow you up, Wendy Apple, if you went looking for erotica and then got all pissy that the person whose books you’re reading for nipple chubbies ended up being someone in your community. If not, well okay, no heat-seeking missile, but as I pointed out in my last post, what people read should not cause them shame, whether it’s romance, science fiction, chick lit, or otherwise. There’s no shame to what she’s writing either, and if you find shame in it, maybe you should sit down and question why you associate something romantic and sexual as dirty and wrong. The objection says more about your own personal hang-ups about sex than it does the woman hawking the shit to make a dime.

‘It just sort of sickens and saddens me to know everybody’s sort of looking at this like, hey, this is OK.’ Yeah, Wendy, a lot of us are saying that, because:

A) It’s none of your fucking business what the woman does in her free time. Seriously. If she shows up to work every day and teaches the crap out of English, what happens after hours when you’re not there to loom over her has nothing to do with you. Get out of her living room, office, bedroom, and anywhere else you don’t belong. You worry about you, let her worry about her. If you don’t want your son reading her porn books, tell him so and PARENT HIM. The way to get a kid to not play with fire is not to ban all the matches in the world, therein denying everyone else the benefits of fire. It’s to be a parent and tell him you don’t want him reading the books. If the little bastard gets his hands on a copy anyway? PARENT HIM SOME MORE. I heard XBox 360’s are oddly aerodynamic.

B) You’re wrong.

The good news is, as far as I can tell anyway, the vast majority of people responding to the Buranich fiasco are saying the teacher’s in the right. It gives me a little hope. This comment, found on the previously linked Mail Online page (a UK publication, btw, if you don’t think a little story like this has legs) actually made me smile:

I live in the school district that this teacher teaches in. I have 3 children that are in the district. I would like to say that this whole thing is out of control. It’s parents that don’t have a life and dwell with stupidity over things that aren’t their business that are taking this issue out on a very good teacher. They are also the same parents that complain about bullying, but what are they doing? I think they should take a huge step back and look at the big picture. What is really important to them? Getting the best education for their child or nit picking over something that isn’t any of their concern.

– Tara, McClure Pa , 01/5/2011

I’m hoping this whole thing results in romance fans taking note of Judy Mays the author and buying her books. If she’s going to be under such a stupid microscope for such a stupid reason, I hope the controversy stirs up some book sales for her. I’m betting it will, if for no other reason than the people who want to get mad about something will now have cannon fodder. At least the cannon fodder will get Mays a royalty check, amirite?


5 Responses to “Here’s To You, Judy Mays”

  1. Caulle May 2, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    AFK! I’m off to buy some smut at my local bookstore!

  2. falconesse May 2, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

    “…less than two percent of writers make it on their writing income alone.”

    And, as we’ve been seeing on the news lo these last few weeks (and what most of us already knew anyway) is that teacher salaries suck bigtime. So here’s this woman who’s been teaching for years, supplementing her nothing-to-crow-about teacher’s salary with what is likely a nothing-to-crow-about royalty check.*

    Neither of those are jobs you keep plugging away at if you hate doing them. So, far as I’m concerned, this woman is doubly passionate — about teaching English to high schoolers and writing novels — and good for her. She’s a rare find, and if Wendy Apple and her daughter-in-law can’t see that, I sure hope the other parents and the school board listen to the overwhelming majority of her current and former students who are speaking up in her defense.

    From the comments on there, it sounds like her writing career has been pretty common knowledge for a long time now, at least with the students. None of them thought it was a big deal. My guess is that the Apple kid came home and told his mom “OMFG GUESS WHAT” and mom went apeshit.

    I have to say, if your 17-year-old is getting all Beavis and Butthead over this and failing English, it’s not so much that he’s distracted by the teacher’s other job as it is your kid’s just fucking immature. Tell him to grow up and do his homework.

    (*I mean, I dunno, I’ve never seen her 1099s or W-2s or other tax documents, so it’s entirely possible that she’s the best paid teacher ever and is raking in the dough from Ellora’s Cave, but I seriously doubt it.)

  3. ILikeBubbles May 2, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    Dear parents, teenagers are often thinking about sex all the time anyway…

  4. D. J May 22, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    I was absolutely mortified when I saw the hoohaa over this author and I know of several romance and erotica authors who are now very carefully guarding their pen names and have made sure there are no photo likenesses anywhere on the web. It is a shame that people are so small-minded–I seriously doubt that she ever brought any sort of erotica into the classroom and if most parents were aware of what their teens were reading, it would be a real piece of reality for them. That this all happened ina part of the U. S. where people have such limited understanding and willingness to let people be who they are is not surprising. I hope that Ms Mays can weather this and we can keep on enjoying her entertaining writing.


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