Monday, June 06, 2005

Curiosity Rules The Day...

I can't say that I got much writing done today. (Gee, I hope my editor doesn't see this ) I've spent most of the early afternoon hopping from blog to blog to see what everyone had to say. Being a big fan of conversation, I’m very pleased to report that I’ve found some pretty smart cookies out there.

There are a lot of topics up for debate in the world of blogs and the current controversy among the writer-ly set is RWA's new, so-called, Graphical Standards. Said standards are a 'guideline' (and I'm using the term very loosely) of less than desirable images / words that if found on a book cover will not be 'accepted' by RWA. Meaning, if you have any of these items on a cover, you cannot post it on an RWA sanctioned website or sign them at an RWA sanctioned event.

Hmm… I guess I can't get my panties into too much of a twist over this only because I've been a member of RWA since 95 and I've seen them make outlandish statements then be forced to eat their words so fast that I'm surprised the BoD doesn't have perpetual indigestion. With each new officer that comes to the board they receive a Policy & Procedures manual along with a gallon-sized bottle of TUMS.

I knew I should've bought stock in TUMS.

RWA fails to take into account that authors have very little, if any at all - input into their covers. One of the 'guidelines' is no naked butts on book covers. It just so happens that BLOOD LAW does sport a naked butt (and a very nice one at that). Did I have any say in how this book cover was created?


But now RWA says that my book cover falls outside their guidelines and I a) cannot post it on an RWA sanctioned website and b) cannot sign it at the literacy signing at the National convention. Hmm...aren't the books for the signing DONATED for the cause of stamping out ILLITERACY? I guess RWA doesn’t want my helping hand in their noble cause.

It bothers me that RWA is impugning my right to Freedom of Speech in that rather than standing up for the authors it has chosen to side with the fundies and be EX-clusive rather than IN-clusive. What next? No oral sex in romance novels? Only under the sheets, in the dark sexual encounters can be depicted?

Where does the madness end?

A few years ago I had a conversation with then RWA President Harold Lowery regarding the 'standards' for admitting epublishers into the hallowed halls of RWA Recognition. I told him that .50 and RWA Recognition wouldn't buy me a cup of coffee and I stand by that statement today. RWA is totally out of touch with the needs of a working author as policing my covers is the last thing I want them to do. How about working on getting fair and equitable contracts, health insurance (that is affordable) as well as a pension or retirement plan?

Nope, RWA is more worried about the word ‘tit’ or a naked butt appearing on a cover.

Oh well – I guess I’ll just take my naked butt cover and go on my way.