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You know there’s lots of things I want to blog about, but seriously I can’t be arsed. I’ve got reviews due, but seriously, I can’t be arsed. I want to talk about how people are already ripping into the Da Vinci Code movie, but seriously, I can’t be arsed, although I will ask this question: did anyone else get the feeling that the critics were sharpening their knives way before its premier? Because I did. I suspect that even those people who secretly like it, will rip it to shreds, because they wont want to admit that actually, it’s probably an ok film. That just wouldn’t be cool.

Anyway where was I?

Oh yeah, the Smartbitches have posted a letter written by Laura Kinsale on the subject of authors and their art. Basically she’s saying that she writes for herself, and nobody else, and that all writing should be considered art, regardless of how bad the book is. ( I’m paraphrasing here) It would be interesting to see how many writers would keep writing if they kept getting rejected, year after year, after year, after year.

Also, what if they knew 100% that they would never get published, would they keep at it? As for the whole art question, I tend to agree with Jane’s point of view.

Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, that’s just another nail in the coffin as far as (NYT) author/reader relationships go.

I nipped over to the AAR board a while ago to check out the posts, I left some obligatory comments, seeing as how I wrote the column and all, but to be honest, as with any of the other AAR messages, I see too many authors getting all defensive, and making it all about them. You know who you are. So, until somebody says something that actually makes me mad enough to post, I think I’ll refrain. It was fun while it lasted but I’m bored now.

Why not pop over to Access Romance, where Alison Kent’s been listing all the stuff that’s good about Blaze. Positive Mental Attitude, can’t beat it.

Oh yeah, I’m in the middle of reading Cindy Gerard’s To The Edge, and Anne, you were right, I’m totally loving it.


  • Desiree Erotique
    May 17
    10:33 pm

    What would I do if I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’d never get published by a traditional publisher who sells books in brick and mortar stores in which I can walk through with my Mom and Dad to buy a new family bible, and blush so hard when they point out my books to the manager that my face falls off? Oh, I’d become an exotic dancer or school teacher. Or heck, maybe both. I’m Woman, Hear Me Purr.
    😉 Hugs to ya, Karen!


  • Anne
    May 18
    12:03 am

    Pffffftttt! Of course I was right, Karen.. we’ve got similar reading tastes. I just KNEW you’d like her stuff. Keep going, they’re all good… the third in the series, To The Brink, is my fave. *G* Enjoy!


  • Jane
    May 18
    2:24 pm

    Is it plagaristic to quote from your own blog? I thought about this last night and this morning and I do think we readers/authors are like the Andrews Sisters as Maili suggested:

    (Woe to the Mister who comes between me and my Sister and Woe to the Sister who comes between me and my man!)

    We are family with divergent interests but ultimately we want the same thing: books that rock our world.

    We could debate for hours about what is art and what is respect but I think that something all readers and all authors can agree on is that we love the written word. I love to read it. Authors love to use it to tell the story. We readers want authors to write the best story in them, in whatever way that they can.

    But we readers aren’t responsible for an author’s actions that diminishes that ability. I.e., if reviews (snarky or no) kill you and your creative process, you must rise above the compulsion to read reviews. If reader comments that are negative are harmful to you and limit your vision, don’t go to places where negative comments are likely to appear. As Ms. Kinsale says “If I have to protect it from readers, I will protect it, viciously.”

    Please do so. It’s what the readers want too.

    Let me end with a full caveat that I do think Kinsale is a goddess of writing and I have thoroughly enjoyed the civil debate.


  • Lyn Cash
    May 19
    4:09 am

    Karen, I found you by mistake and have loved the blog posts I’ve read thus far. Bookmarked you.

    On Da Vinci Code…I think the book didn’t get a fair shake – it’s fiction. Get over it as Rabbi Kushner said to the Gentiles reading his book “To Life” – God is arbitrary – he liked us the best – lol. Anyway, I segue – sorry. I don’t think the movie will be handled any differently. There are too many people afraid of fictionalizing their version of the Truth, whatever that is.

    As for all writing being art – I can’t help but fall back on religion and higher powers here. My philosophy is simple – there is One and I ain’t it. For books – art – Lily Tomlin’s character in “Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe”… art…soup. Which is the real art? And does it matter what you call it as long as it works for you?

    Sorry so long – must’ve struck a nerve reading this one. *grin*



  • Anonymous
    May 19
    7:05 pm

    Just wanted to say that I enjoyed your column at AAR and found it to be one of the most interesting so far this spring/summer.

    I have long watched the debate/issue/coverup over at RWA concerning erotic romance. I am an erotic romance reader who enjoys this subgenre of romance wholeheartedly. I agree with some of what you have said about the organization, but not all.

    I don’t think there is some big conspiracy going on in the awards process, however, I do think there is quite a bit of right wing conservatism going on in that the leadership of RWA does not want to recognize erotic romance as part of the romance genre. Oh, sure, they will take the writers dues, but are they ever going to recognize them in the awards process?

    I agree that there should be a seperate category for erotic romance. At least one category, possibly three, series, contemporary, historical/fantasy.

    I read a post over there by someone that I hope is not an editor/buyer of romance for a publishing house. To paraphrase her basically she said why should they give an award to porn or to something that sacrifices character development for sex. I wanted to scream.


  • Anonymous
    May 19
    7:08 pm

    ps… sorry meant to add this to the comment above.

    As a romance reader for 25 plus years, it is very hard for me to consider most published romance today as art, especially when much of it simply follows some formula someone decided to go by for the last 5 years. Yes, there are still some really good mega authors that write what they want and I do consider them great storytellers, but the majority of the midlist today are writing simply what they are told to write in the format the are told to write.

    And the sad thing is that they will never break out of that midlist until they really begin pushing that envelope and demanding to be allowed the space and creativity. I found very few books last year that did that in the midlist.


  • Kat O+
    May 23
    12:19 pm

    I think the mere fact that so many authors feel hard done by should be enough incentive to change the process. Here in Oz, we have the R*BY awards which are judged by READERS (shock, horror, how barbaric!) who are allowed to nominate their preferred categories. It’s probably still not that representative but if only 5 people judge a book, you’re not really going to get a fair spread. I assume this way no one can make accusations of vote rigging (readers cannot be members of the RWA – that’s A for Australia) and keen readers get some free books to read and, if they’re good, discover some new authors.


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