Shannon Stacey

Red-Headed Stepchild

I’m pretty freakin aggravated. I know better than to blog when I’m annoyed, but hey–it’s my party and I’ll bitch if I want to.

First, part of my annoyance is having spent the entire afternoon and evening handpainting a flame job on the tall kid’s pinewood derby car. (Obligatory obnoxious-proud-mom photos to come tomorrow. Yes, the derby’s tomorrow. Yes, I’m hoping the paint’s dry. Yes, we got the kit at the pack Christmas party. But since it was still a solid block of wood two weeks ago, I couldn’t paint it then.) But anyway…


It pisses me off that there’s no accountability in the RITAs. I’d like some numbers. I’d like to know how many erotic romances were entered. Percentages, people. I know I can’t have them because it’s not a mathematical process and that’s not the way it works, but I’d still like to know.

And I’d like to know how many people opened their box of RITA books to judge and oohed and aahed over them until they came to an erotic romance. (Okay, I hear Julie Elizabeth Leto’s novella is pretty damn hot, but we all know what I’m talking about.) How many people shoved it back in the bottom of the box and slapped a low number on the scoresheet without even opening the cover?

Hopefully not many. But you know some did. There have been PAN members who’ve made it quite clear they won’t read “those books.”

I’m also hoping that some people who may not have gone into their Borders to buy one of “those books” put on their professional, objective hats and were pleasantly surprised by what they found between the covers.

I don’t have a list of the EC books which were entered into the contest. Even if I did, I probably haven’t read them all.

Are there no erotic romances on the list because they weren’t judged fairly, or did one not honestly score high enough to make the cut? I don’t know.

And I hate not knowing. That’s why I’m aggravated. Not knowing if I have a legitimate bitch aggravates me. So I bitch anyway.

I’ve also had two large Dunkin Donuts iced coffees in the last four hours. That’s probably not helping. Or the enamel paint.

Blogging while hopped up on caffeine and paint fumes. :coffee:

Update: I know they did away with them because of our lawsuit-happy society, but if they brought back comments, not only would you get a little bang for your 50-100 bucks, but you’d know if the reader actually read the book.

Okay. I’m going to bed now. Promise.

22 comments to “Red-Headed Stepchild”

  1. Jaynie R
      · March 26th, 2005 at 3:37 am · Link

    :cursin:They don’t allow comments? How stupid. I’m judging in the Australian equiv of the RITA’s at the moment and we are allowed to make comments.

  2. Jorie
      · March 26th, 2005 at 7:33 am · Link

    Oh, I didn’t know that was the reason there are no comments in the GH.

  3. Shannon
      · March 26th, 2005 at 8:29 am · Link

    I’m not sure that legal protection was THE big reason for stopping the judge’s comments, but I’d heard a while back that it was reason. I guess because the GH final looks so good in the cover letter, people were fighting the comments. A couple to the point of suing, I guess.

    So now the writer pays $50 to enter, and damn close to that again in copying and postage costs (although that may be less now that you can send a disk) for number rankings. 6.5, 5 ,8.2 , 7.1 What does that tell you?

  4. Larissa
      · March 26th, 2005 at 9:47 am · Link

    I’d also like to know how they calculated the numbers for the GH finalists. Weren’t the top 10% supposed to final? If there were 1000 entries, then why only 77 finalists?

  5. Shannon
      · March 26th, 2005 at 9:58 am · Link

    Must be the New Math our children are learning in school. :roll:

    Do they divvy those 1000 evenly. For example, if they dropped a category or two would there be less than 1000, or would they take a thousand in the remaining categories?

  6. Alison
      · March 26th, 2005 at 10:52 am · Link

    Let’s just say, there’s a reason this is my last year in RWA. :) It’s a great organization for those who fit the mold. I don’t!

  7. Alison
      · March 26th, 2005 at 11:51 am · Link

    Okay, that sounded really arrogant, LOL! And that’s not what I meant at all! I haven’t been to a chapter meeting in years. I haven’t gone to the national conference since 2002. I don’t belong to any RWA sponsored loops. I get everything I need for my own career outside of the organization. Ergo, it’s not a good fit for me!

  8. Charlene T
      · March 26th, 2005 at 12:01 pm · Link

    I think the obvious answer is: create a category for erotic romance! It deserves one. There’s a category for “strong romantic elements” to accommodate the women’s fiction writers so isn’t it time for an erotic romance category? Seriously. In fact, I’m astounded that there isn’t a category already! It’s not like this is something new. :shock:

    And no, I’m not just proposing that because I want a Rita. I’ve never entered the GH, so if I never enter the Rita, either, it’s not exactly the end of the world. But it seems like a big gaping hole in the organization. It’s not exactly an insignificant tiny little sub-genre we’re talking about.

  9. Shannon
      · March 26th, 2005 at 12:17 pm · Link

    I think they need an erotic category, too. I realize they can’t make a new category for every subgenre that comes along, but if Inspirational rated one, why not us?

    And that’s why I’ll mail my RWA renewal check on Monday. I’ll stick around another year and see if gets any better.

  10. Charlene T
      · March 26th, 2005 at 12:55 pm · Link

    I still haven’t mailed mine. I’m on the fence. I need to decide pretty soon, too. Maybe more coffee will help. :coffee:

  11. Jill
      · March 26th, 2005 at 1:56 pm · Link

    I think there SHOULD be comments, too! And I would love to see an erotic category, there’s definitely enough books to warrant this.

  12. Gina
      · March 26th, 2005 at 2:07 pm · Link

    I completely agree. They should add an erotic category for both the Rita and GH.

    As far as the number of GH finalists and the number of entries…each category can only have eight finalists at most, so if a category has over 100 entries (I imagine long contemporary might have) it still only gets eight. Also, if you have a category with 38 entries that only makes 3 finalists.

    Kewl smileys BTW… :yin-yang:

  13. Sasha
      · March 26th, 2005 at 4:09 pm · Link

    I was really on the fence about renewing my RWA this year too. The only reason I did was becaude I’d end up paying more for the conference if I didn’t and I plan to go to Reno this year. It will probably be my only RWA conference ever, and my last year as an RWA member, unless they do start an erotic category. I enjoy what I write and I’m not going to try to squeeze it into a different mold just to belong to an organization that won’t recognize a HUGE new market.

  14. Charlene T
      · March 26th, 2005 at 6:03 pm · Link

    I realized I should probably clarify; I’m not on the fence because of this issue or any beef with RWA. It’s more about the fact that I’m about to have 2 pre-school age children, which means I really can’t be involved in any organization – there’s only so much of me to go around and I feel guilty belonging and not being active.

  15. Teresa
      · March 27th, 2005 at 10:46 am · Link

    I’m with everyone else – an Erotica cagetory is definitely needed. I don’t write it myself, but have friends who do and think their work should have its own category for Rita and the GH.

    :coffee: Just HAD to use this cute emoticon (and take a sip of coffeee *g*)

    Can’t remember if we ever learn how many entries were in each category. Would be nice to know.

  16. Cece
      · March 27th, 2005 at 11:55 am · Link

    Larissa I came up with the same explantion Gina did on the numbers and no Alison, you didn’t sound arogant :cheesy:

    I think if I didn’t like my local chapter so much (and if I didn’t get so much out of the one online chapter I”m in) I’d seriously debate renewing this fall also.

  17. kate
      · March 27th, 2005 at 2:22 pm · Link

    I thought this email exchange on cata was right on target.

    >>There’s a category for inspirational romance, so why shouldn’t there
    be one for erotic romance?

    I have to agree with this, especially since I’m a RITA finalist in the
    inspirational category! It doesn’t make sense to me that the
    categories are based on length in some cases and content in others. It
    should be one standard across the board.

    Guess it’s time to let the RWA Board know what we think–they’re
    certainly very interested in our input.

    GROUNDS TO BELIEVE, 2005 RITA Award finalist

  18. kate
      · March 27th, 2005 at 2:24 pm · Link

    Hmmmm. . . I do hope Shelley doesn’t mind my quoting her — but it’s such a good point. I wonder why the whole length vs. content thing hadn’t come up before

  19. Alison
      · March 29th, 2005 at 12:09 am · Link

    Especially since Shelley writes for Harlequin Blaze as well as her inspiration publisher!

  20. Mia
      · March 29th, 2005 at 11:30 am · Link

    I’m almost afraid to comment on this year’s RITA, not wanting anyone to ignore my feelings as sour grapes for not finalling.

    I do know one person who read my long contemporary because she was kind enough to let me know she’d judged it and scored it a 9. However, as much as I appreciated that, I have to add the caveat that she had bought the book and read it when it first came out.

    Is mixing up the panel of books a good thing? Personally I really enjoyed the box I got. Two of the books I would never ever have bought but I kept an open mind and ended up not only enjoying them but scoring them high.

    I wish I could be certain other judges had done the same. Sour grapes warning: I really put my heart into the two books I entered and was deeply disapointed for a full 24 hours at not finalling. :cursin: But then I looked again at the list and realized every single one of the LC finalist books seem to be traditional tearjerkers with no sex in sight.

    Are those books _really_ better? Or are they just safer? If my reviews, fan mail and editor reaction are credible, then I know that my stories addressed tough issues and had tear-worthy moments and have a place on some keeper shelves. But they also had several highly sensual love scenes and I honest think some judges didn’t give any of the Blazes a chance because of that.

    Mia Zachary
    Sensual Romance with a Touch of Sass

  21. Shannon
      · March 29th, 2005 at 1:50 pm · Link

    I think, even if not on a conscious level, Blaze could suffer a little backlash related to people’s strong opinions about EC. I was really, really surprised not to see any this year. Unpleasantly surprised.

  22. Edmond Titch
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  1. the (controversial) way there » Blog Archive » Black Rita Finalist (Inspirational again)
  2. the way there » Black Rita Finalist (Inspirational again)

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