Saturday, July 21, 2007

As the stomach churns...

The latest controversy in the romance world has been a hot topic on the internet for the past week or so. It would seem that some upstart authors decided to dress in costume for the Romance Writers of America Literacy Signing.

The Shock...
The Horror...
How DARE they have fun...

First noted at the Smart Bitches site, it would seem that three authors dared to darken the RWA signing wearing costumes to promote themselves and their work. The interesting thing is one author, Sherrilyn Kenyon, has been wearing fabulous and outrageous clothing for years - she wears it everyday - that is how she dresses.

The other two authors wore manga inspired clothing to promote their manga-esque works from the new Dorchester Shomi line. Wow, sure glad they didn't show up dressed in period clothing, that would've really screwed up the readers.

The most amusing aspect, to me at least, is that Big-Wig authors like Nora Roberts, Jenny Crusie and a few others have actually spoken out against the costumes.

JC - I just don’t know how else to say, “This is not a good decision professionally,” when the counter argument seems to be “Lighten up.”

Hmm, maybe it isn't a good decision professionally for you Jenny, but I like it just fine. When did you become the voice of romance authors anyway? I remember you sending out an email to the Board of RWA with an extremely hostile reaction to a statement made by an epublisher back in 2002. Seeing that note caused you to have to step down from the PAN Chair position at RWA - I guess “This is not a good decision professionally,” for you but you did it anyway.

NR - If I’m a brand like Coke (and how could I object to the comparison?) it’s not because I wore costumes or lived something that came out of my books. This is NOT how you become a brand-name author.

Pray tell then Nora, what is the magic key? To write a hundred trilogies about magical sisters over and over again?

In short, I don't get it.

Both ladies along with many others have their panties in a bunch while they scream about a lack of professionalism. Because Sherrilyn Kenyon decided to wear a fabulously HUGE hat to a signing, that makes her unprofessional?? Wait, I'll alert the media...

Yes, I'm being sarcastic. The reason this gets my bra in a twist is since when did someone else set the bar of professionalism for writers?

In my opinion, being a professional means:
- turning in manuscripts on time
- working hard to improve your craft
- be courteious at all times
- maintain a good working relationship with your editor, agent etc
- don't talk badly about editors, agents and publishers...(and other writers)
- show up early for appointments / events
- Don't get drunk & shoot yourself in public

I could go on for days but I won't. I think ya'll get the picture here. I am a writer, I am creative and I like to have fun. If I dress in costume then I'm doing just that, having a good time. Would I show up in costume for a television interview? Probably not but I can also guarantee that I wouldn't be sporting a suit either. Writing is about expressing yourself and so is how you dress.

If writers want to get their skirts in a twirl, maybe they should take a stand on something that is really important like affordable health care for artists or the shrinking fiction market.


Vivi Anna said...

Amen JC! Amen!

J.C. Wilder said...

In case I haven't said it before, you're a smart woman Vivi! :)

Brit Blaise said...

- Don't get drunk & shoot yourself in public

Aah shit! Who made that rule? My panties are in a bunch now too!


TinaGerow said...

I totally agree!

Don't all those people who are getting bras, panties, knickers, skirts and other articles in a bunch have anything better to do. I don't know....maybe they could be writing?!? LOL.

Call me silly, but hundreds of people line up to read Sherrilyn's books at every signing, and the woman has a world-wide fan base. I think she is entitled to wear any damned thing she wants. Sherrilyn is one of the most professional people I've ever met and her readers LOVE her costumes. So, as both a fellow author AND a Sherrilyn fan - I say go girl!

As for the other two authors who dressed up like their Shomi line characters - if I had the body to pull off those costumes and the branding matched my books - I'd be sporting those cute striped thigh highs too :)

To all who are digging twisted clothes out of uncomfortable body parts - lighten up, people. We are writers, which means we can be professional without panty hose and designer suits!!

J.C. Wilder said...

Brit - LOL!!! Watch out, it chafes...

Tina - I look a mess in a designer suit. I dress up and immediately drop something on it and end up looking like someone who rolled out of the backwoods of Podunk! I'm much safer in soft clothes...


Nancy Lindquist-Liedel said...

Jsut found this. I agree with you 100%%%%

thank you for having the guts to speak out, when I'm too scared to do it. I applaud you.