Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mr. Eastwood is ready for his close-up.

AKA: RWA Nationals Round-up: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

The Good:

~ Barb/Caridad Ferrer's RITA win. However you may feel about the contest itself and the process by which the categories shook themselves out this year, the bottom line is this -- the book RAWKS, and deserves a RITA. The judges thought so, bless their brilliant and insightful hearts, and so do I and a slew of other readers.

Or to quote Jenny Crusie's comment:

"I haven’t read the other comments (sorry!) but these are the same kind of idiots who made the NYT start a children’s book list because Harry Potter was screwing up the NYT bestseller list.

A good book is a good book is a good book. The fact that Barb’s book won in a field of “adult” single titles tells you that it was head and shoulders above the others because there must have been some innate prejudice at work there--look at the prejudice in the comments against it--and yet it made it through to the finals and the win."

Yeah. What she said.

~ Bloggers, reviewers and fans at the conference. Apparently, some folks are uncomfy with this phenomenon, but the general consensus appears to range from "bring it, Bitches," to "meh, whatev." As far as I'm concerned, it's all good, since it makes for entertaining blog hoppage.

~ Candy's rack. 'Nuff said.

The Bad:

~ Bitter shrews who post anonymously. Yeah, we get it. You're miffed. But there are plenty of folks who disagreed with Ferrer's RITA win who managed to say so in a calm, non-insulting -- if not always coherent -- manner and weren't cowardly about expressing their opinions on the record. Have the ovaries to sign your name or STFU.

~ Organizational arrogance and/or incompetence. At first, it seemed like the RWA Board was attempting to redefine the term "vanity/subsidy press" to include any company that sold most of its books from its own website. Now it turns out they're only trying to redefine the word "primarily" to mean "exclusively." (They're allowed to do that -- they're the RWA.) Christ on a cracker, people. You want to be taken seriously? Admit you made a mistake. Or at least that expensive lawyer -- the one you hired with membership dues? -- made a mistake. Said it before, will say it again because I love the sound of my own self-righteousness in the morning: Accountability. It's a good thing.

~ Book "snatch and flippers." Although I'm still waiting for those folks who so vehemently defended selling ARCs on eBay to tell us how THAT is different from THIS.

The Ugly?

I understand there were costumes. And some pronouncements of "how unprofessional" to said costumes. Hey, I get that. If romance writers want respect, we should probably avoid the hats made of overstuffed poultry. On the other hand? At the moment, the RWA is looking (again) an awful lot like the Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight, with or without the Dead Swan Chapeau in the pages of the Dallas Morning News.

Maybe the costumes are the least of their problems?


Oh, look. I did a couple of interviews. Here's one from a few weeks ago, and a brand-spanking new one with Cindy Cruciger (REVENGE GIFTS, Tor, 2005). Enjoy. :) - Romance of Dubious Virtue


Blogger FerfeLaBat said...

Congratulations to Barb/Caridad Ferrer. I sincerely hope RWA doesn't cut away the YA writers the way they did eBooks.

I don't understand the entire debate over bloggers being at RWA, quite frankly. As far as anyone knows only two friends of Kate Rothwells said anything about it. Out of 1500 attendees that hardly rates circling the wagons around Candy's cleavage.

On the costumes? Here's a huge-assed smooch to the women who had the moxy to wear them to the signing. Stand up and stand out. Bitching about costumes is like Dylan saying KISS ruined rock for everyone else. It's just stupid. Life is short and they weren't killing anyone. Personally I'm considering asking Candy if I can advertise my next release on her cleavage. It's been done before, yo.

7/18/2007 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Arin Rhys said...

I think in the list of reasons why romance writers and the romance publishing industry doesn't get respect that authors wearing costumes at book signings is towards the bottom.

7/18/2007 5:43 PM  
Blogger Selah March said...

Oooh, Ferfe, we could each take a boob! I like it.

And yes, Arin. To the hundredth power.

7/18/2007 5:53 PM  
Anonymous Barb said...

Thank you very much Ferfe and I'll have you know, I publicly bitchslapped (in a nice way) my fellow YA writers in my acceptance speech to get their entries in this year.

The BASH (Big-Ass Swan Hat)? Well, Selah already knows how I feel-- I think my problem with it came from the fact that we have some pretty well laid-out regs for the Literacy signing-- no banners, no big blow ups of our covers, no big blow ups of our cover models... that swan was the sartorial equivalent of a huge-ass banner. If it had been at RT, I wouldn't have blinked twice. It's expected there. However, it was the one picture that made the local newspaper and I KNOW people are going to find something to glom onto and make fun of with the industry, but why hand it to them?

But, at the same time, when our own industry makes publicly disparaging comments-- such as the president of AUTHOR'S GUILD, the organization that's supposed to represent our best interests, calls the new Harl/NASCAR tie-in "jumpsuit rippers" in a major media interview...

*sigh* Makes a girl wanna drink something strong.

7/18/2007 8:52 PM  
Blogger FerfeLaBat said...

Oh. OOOOooooohhhhhhhh. There are rules! I'm all about sticking to the rules man. Yep. I can definitely see where that would be bending them unfairly.

"But, at the same time, when our own industry makes publicly disparaging comments-- such as the president of AUTHOR'S GUILD, the organization that's supposed to represent our best interests, calls the new Harl/NASCAR tie-in "jumpsuit rippers" in a major media interview..."

Heh. k. THAT'S funny as hell.

7/18/2007 9:20 PM  
Blogger FerfeLaBat said...

Aren't you due for a rant or something? You've been far too calm of late.

7/19/2007 9:05 PM  
Anonymous barb said...

Aren't you due for a rant or something? You've been far too calm of late.

Me or Selah? I went slightly Ranty McRanterson on the folks who are squawking about my win, if only to set them straight on the rules of the RITA, which they seem to have issues understanding.

Other than that, I'm sure I'll have a rant scheduled for sometime in September-- why yes, I am extremely Virgo and schedule everything? :-P

7/20/2007 9:28 AM  
Blogger FerfeLaBat said...

*vbg* At this point I'll take a decent rant from either of you but I'm not sure I can make it that long between "rant fixes" so Selah needs to schedule something in alternating months. I would rant myself but ...well ... my pilot light must have gone out or something. If I were going to rant, though, it would probably be about how annoying manufactured dramas in the blog-o-sphere are, and how one or two people saying something cranky in a private email is not worthy of 400 comments about a fucking swan hat. Or ... how everytime someone blindly agrees with Nora Roberts or apologizes profusely for "kind of" disagreeing with her, promising to buy more of her books in penance, I feel IQ points being sucked out of my head in much the same way a bot fly gets tweezed from it's nest under human skin while still in the maggot stage.

It's my own fault, of course. If I spent more time writing and less time reading the blogs ... sigh ... It's just ... They're like the four horsemen or something and we are missing the obvious end of days right there in front of us on our computer screens. But for a single, worldwide EMP event, we could have evolved. Now? All we can do is hope the great firewall of China will spread across the Web and save us from madness. ;-)

But you guys can rant on anything and I'd be happy.

7/20/2007 2:06 PM  
Blogger Selah March said...

Ferfe-o'-my-heart, I'm sorry. My Ranty McRantypants hat is in the shop this week, and used up all the juice in the spare over at YOUR blog.

The sad thing is, I don't doubt Nora would agree with you. She seems a level-headed sort, and likely wouldn't mind someone saying, "Respectfully, I think you're fulla shit on this particular point," without then feeling the need to apologize. Only nicer, of course, and without the vulgar language.

The more I read on this particular issue, the more I really think it's never been about the costumes at all. I'm not absolutely certain what it IS about, you understand. But one Dead Poultry Chapeau and a couple of grown women in thigh-highs simply do not make for this much drama all by themselves.

And if it really IS about the costumes and whether or not we should wear them at certain events and what that will do to the level of respect we engender as professionals? Then truly, as a group we don't deserve to garner the level of professional respect we desire, simply because we want it so badly we're willing to savage our own to get it. Poor Marianne, Liz and Sherri. Sacrificed on the altar of Won't You Pleeeeeeeease Respect Us?

And as I said before -- on your blog, I believe -- I just don't care that much what total strangers think of me. And I still don't know if that makes my self-esteem too low or too high.

But I will say that I'm very tempted to show up at the RWA signing some year -- not as a member, you understand, just as a reader and rabble-rouser -- RIDING a swan and wearing thigh highs on every part of my body but the naughty bits. And won't everybody be sorry THEN.

Mostly the swan.

7/20/2007 7:30 PM  

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