Friday, March 27, 2015

Round-Up: RITAs, H&H and My Final Word (Uh, Maybe)

In a moment of genuine happy-happy-joy-joy in Romancelandia yesterday, RWA announced RITA and Golden Heart finalists for 2015.  The list is now complete and you can head on over to the RWA site to check it out.

I was one of the folks who voiced displeasure at last year's process which saw 300 nominees in some categories and, like, two in others.  Look, I'm not widely read in Inspirational romance, but I had a hard time believing only two books were worthy of finalling last year.  So it was nice to see RWA right the ship and color me impressed with this year's list of nominees.  I personally feel there is a nice mix here, with authors of color representing, m/m nominations, and a strong showing by self-publishing.  Is it all perfect and rosy?  No.  But I think this is a step in the right direction.

I have roughly five of the nominees in the TBR Pile of Doom.  I hope to reprioritize my reading and get some of these read before I head to conference in July.

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My latest list of Unusual Historicals has gone live over at Heroes & Heartbreakers.  And on a similar note, in light of recent events, I've updated the disclosure page here at the Bat Cave.

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I know we've hit saturation point on the latest Bombshell Du Jour here in Romancelandia, where Dear Author Jane has come out as New Adult Author Jen Frederick.  My original blog post on the matter came fairly quickly on the heels of the announcement and was my way to start wrapping my own mind around how I really felt - and as can be shown in the comments I eventually fell on the side of having very strong feelings on the subject.

Other discussions have naturally cropped up and I'm starting to see comments along the lines of "Dear People Not Thrilled By This, what do you expect Jane to do?  Shut down Dear Author?  Step away from it?  What do you think b*tching is going to do?  Get over yourself."

OK, paraphrasing wildly - but that's the gist.  Here's my answer.

Nothing.  I expect Jane to do nothing.  She's going to make the decision she feels is best for her, her writing career and blog.  And believe you me, I don't think she's going to be swayed by the fact that I feel the way I feel or someone else feels the way they feel.  Here's what I think should happen and will.

We'll all make our own choices.  If you loved DA before and still do - then nothing will change.  If you hated DA before and still do - then nothing will change.  If you were a casual DA visitor and depending on how you feel now - then you'll act accordingly.  I know how I will interact with DA from this moment forward and like how all things should be in life, that's my choice and bully for me.  You have choices and free will and bully for you.

What I am sorry for and continue to be sorry for are several things: 1) that people are hurt. Whether you think they have a "right" to be hurt or not is incidental.  They're hurt and that sucks.  2) Gah,  the tin-foil-hat-wearing DA-haters are in full froth and they make me so very tired.  Hence why I haven't waded too deeply into certain comment threads and 3) that some people were put in an impossible situation of knowing but couldn't truly say anything because Jane is their friend and it wasn't their secret to tell.  I get that.  And honestly?  It adds another layer to this for me - a layer that tastes rather bitter if I'm totally honest.

So yes, we'll all move on - but I'm sad.  I'm not sorry that I feel this way.  But after 12 years of blogging and over 15 years of being part of the online romance community, the past year has been the most trying time for me, personally.  I used to never think about packing up my cookies and going home, but beginning with the Katherine Hale stalking incident, coupled with the Ellora's Cave suit, and now this?  It's hard to not have those feelings now, on occasion.

But then I think about how much I like talking about books, and the friends I've made, and things like the TBR Challenge and I buck up a bit.  Yes, the wind has been getting knocked out of my sails with more frequency of late, but there's one thing you learn after 12 years of endless blathering: this too shall pass even as things begin to change.  I feel strongly about this blog, my "brand" (such as it is), and how I've carried myself with readers, industry folks and authors over the years.  I think the content of this blog stands on it's own merit (again, such as that is) and that my reviews and commentary speak for themselves.

No, I'm not leaving.  I'm here.  My wee lone voice in the wilderness, ironing my cape and polishing my tiara.  Nothing stays the same.  Things change.  And as we learned this week: change is hard.

18 comments:

willaful said...

I'm happy to see this post!

Lynne Connolly said...

Glad you're staying!
This is not about the Ellora's Cave authors. We seem to have been forgotten in the rush of judgments, and what happens next. Frankly, we are the pawns, shoved to the side in the frantic rush to Give Opinions.
Meanwhile, we're still stuck in limbo.

Phyl said...

I'm glad you're not leaving! I've discovered some wonderful books and authors thanks to you (Janice Kay Johnson is an excellent example) and increased the size of my own Mt. TBR. I heart you :)

azteclady said...

I don't expect Jane to do anything either, though I do think somethings should have been done by now.

Like you, Wendy, I'm very sad, and Lynne, I have not forgotten for a moment what Ellora's Cave authors have been going through since well before the post that brought on the lawsuit.

I am pretty angry for all the people who have been hurt and are still being hurt by the deception--starting with the many Ellora's Cave authors who had chosen not to speak about that publisher publicly but who may now be at risk of being subpoenaed, regardless.

See this comment by Courtney Milan left at SBSarah's post.

zannerina said...

A thoughtful, honest, and much appreciated post!

Lori said...

I'm glad that you're sticking around. I'd miss you if you left. I'm pretty well fed up with significant quarters of Romancelandia at this point, so I'd hate to lose a place that's good.

Donna Alward said...

You know how I feel about you, Wendy. :) Let me just say that I think all of us sometimes think about packing up our toys and going home, but we just love it too much to do it. Maybe the industry needs more of those voices of positivity to be heard, you know? Anyway, I too am glad you are sticking around.

Jennifer said...

Wendy I'm glad you're staying, too.! Hope we cross paths again soon, maybe meet up for coffee sometime.

LibraryMaven said...

I've read the blogarama about this with the horrified fascination of a witness to a bad accident. My ecky feelings about where JF crossed the lines closely match yours. I feel a bigger line was crossed when JF collaborated on the new series, then got a book/movie deal. As a librarian I know that is a HUGE milestone in an indy author's career. She became a professional author and not just an amateur blogger then. Disclosure needed. It was no longer an experiment but a career change. Also, requesting entry in private blogs where you know you won't be welcome under another name--NO, No.

Megan Frampton said...

Wendy, I'm glad you're not leaving the blogosphere because of someone else's poor decision making. I have come to a resolution of my own, of sorts, and that means I'm sticking to people I can trust. One of whom is YOU.

PK the Bookeemonster said...

Very glad to hear you'll still be here and sharing your love of books. It feels like the world is spinning faster and faster into craziness, I know. Why? I don't know but it feeds on itself and grows and is sad to watch. We can only be true to ourselves .... and keep reading. :)

Cate Cameron said...

Possibly it's too early for to be looking for silver linings, but at least for me...

This has been a great opportunity for me to read more widely in the romance community and hear a wider diversity of voices. So maybe I've unfollowed a couple blogs, but I've also added lots to my reader, including yours. So... yay?

Wendy said...

Lynne: And this lawsuit seems to be the longest, slowest ship moving across the ocean. I'm hoping now that the suit is in the deposition/discovery stages that maybe (hopefully!) authors will start getting some answers. Because surely EC will have to crack open their books - right?

Wendy said...

AL: It will be interesting to see where it goes from here. All I know about the law is what I've gleaned from Law & Order. If CM is even partly correct - oy!

Wendy said...

LibraryMaven: Bad accident is an apt way to put it. Last week it was like watching a slow moving freight train with no breaks heading towards a cliff. And that's a good way of putting it! When it moved from "experiment" to "career" - disclose, disclose, disclose. Because really, at this point? She's proven to be quite successful as JF. It's obviously no fly-by-night "hobby."

Wendy said...

Thanks for all the nice comments everybody! I would never pack up this blog over just one incident - but it honestly seems like the last several "incidents" have been real doozies. Remember when we had kinder, gentler kerfuffles? Ah, those were the days. The Hale thing (and subsequent fallout) was huge for me, coupled with the EC law suit - which honestly I never saw coming. So this was just a matter of - getting more shaken? Losing another piece of a community that we could ill-afford to lose? So, yeah. I've been wallowing. Now I think I'm probably over my wallowing phase - it'll just be a matter of landing back on my feet again.

LynnD said...

With respect to CM's comments, having practiced law "in the trenches" for a long time, I suspect that EC had their own "people" in all of the loops anyway (which is not good, but unfortunately, this how things work these days). I have both won and lost cases because of unfortunate emails, texts, Facebook, Twitter, and posts in loops which my clients have thought were completely private - even some of those standard "memes" about ex spouses are enough to make a judge draw an adverse inference about a party in a case where parental alienation is an issue. It is now standard practice for lawyers to ask for access to a person's Facebook, Twitter etc. accounts and in some cases to get production of a person's hard drive.

This is just a sad situation all around, but if nothing else comes from this, it is another reminder to everyone that NOTHING is private on the internet.

LynnD said...

With respect to CM's comments, having practiced law "in the trenches" for a long time, I suspect that EC had their own "people" in all of the loops anyway (which is not good, but unfortunately, this how things work these days). I have both won and lost cases because of unfortunate emails, texts, Facebook, Twitter, and posts in loops which my clients have thought were completely private - even some of those standard "memes" about ex spouses are enough to make a judge draw an adverse inference about a party in a case where parental alienation is an issue. It is now standard practice for lawyers to ask for access to a person's Facebook, Twitter etc. accounts and in some cases to get production of a person's hard drive.

This is just a sad situation all around, but if nothing else comes from this, it is another reminder to everyone that NOTHING is private on the internet.