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.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Road Signs