Thursday, August 07, 2008

Very Bad Blogger

Hey kids! Go get your mommy 'cause Wylie's going to use big bad words...

Did you all read the racking-fracking bruhaha over the non-released book "Jewel of Medina"? There's a very thoughtful commentary on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, but the snip-sniping comments (there are over 300 of them) is an amazing time-suck, blood-pressure-raising experience. Go HERE to check it out, if you have 2 hours ...
My take: I'm okay with this book because it's A) FICTION!! and B) an author's right to write and publisher's right to print and a reader's right to buy. Or not.

Christian's took exception to The DaVinci Code,
Catholics took exception to The Last Temptation of Christ,
Jews to The Passion of the Christ,
Pamela Anderson takes exception to meat.

My point? We all have sensitive points. If you don't like it, don't read it, or watch it, or eat it. Mass signings of petitions, bannings, book burnings, bomb threats, violence... NOT necessary. Just don't spend the money to support it. Is that so hard?

Meanwhile, the press machine is LOVING it, and it only serves to provide even MORE publicity to the thing you are against.

For instance, I would have passed this book with nary a thought to purchase. Now,... I can't wait to get my hands on it!! At full price, for the hard-cover :P

I've been a very bad blogger, I know. I had every intention of doing up a whole post-RWA convention posts but I find myself time-less, getting ready for another trip (don't be envious... have you ever heard of Thunder Bay, Ontario? Hardly a Disney vacation), and still very buried under laundry.

And hey -- the writing thing! Yeah, Wylie has a book to finish... (switching povs) I got a request for partials from lit agent, Caren Johnson (very cool) and Dorchester Pub's senior editor Chris Keelser (head-exploding cool).

The conference was amazing and fun and overwhelming and wonderful... and I do want to talk about stuff, like the awesome authors I met (with awesome sauce on top -- hello Gwen!) and post pics, and say more about the pitches, the Ritas, etc... but it'll all have to wait.

I did put a few pics of Ellora's Cave authors HERE, and I will add this pic of Nora (just because, how often will I get to stand 2 feet away from the woman who has THREE HUNDRED MILLION books in print (yes, they reckon there's one Nora Roberts book sold every 26 seconds)

Also must add that I had the PRIVILEDGE of hearing the new president of RWA, Dianne Pershing (sp?) speak at the President's Luncheon and she totally ROCKED. Impressed the socks of li'l ol' me, anyhoo. The theme of her speech was 'Things I learned at the boardroom table' and a few of her points really spoke to me. This one imparticular (paraphrasing):

I am responsible for my actions,

not the reactions of others.

This is my new mantra -- both for my writing career and personal life.

I just realized how nicely that ties in with the 'Jewel of Medina' crap.

Off to Thunder Bay imminently so I'll say goodbye until the end of August. Hope you're all having an amazing summer.


Thomma Lyn said...

Wow, quite a flap indeed over Jewel of Medina. I agree with you, why should people make such a fuss? I find liver disagreeable, so I don't eat it. Simple. It never fails to befuddle me why people have to make things so complicated.

Holy moly, girlfriend, HUGE congrats on getting requests from Caren Johnson and from an editor at Dorchester! I'm grinning from ear to ear for you... you are on your way. :)))) And I look forward to hearing more about the conference -- sounds like it was fabulous. :)

And in the meantime, have a marvelous trip to Thunder Bay!

karen erickson said...

Yay on the requests and have fun on your trip! :)

Wylie Kinson said...

Thanks Karen and TL.
And I love your liver example :D

M. said...

thunder bay, north shore of lake superior - what's not to like? you can do group of seven literary impersonations...

wylie, great news - two partial requests! is that a direct result of going to SF?

the medina thing - i've been following that in bits and pieces and am of two minds. the writerly, idealistic part says - absolutely, people should write and read as they wish and have the courtesy to allow others to do likewise. the pragmatic part of me says - ok, but by choosing to set a fictional story in real-life historical personas of astronomical significance to a significant portion of the world when we KNOW there are extreme sensitivities involved (Rushdie, Danish cartoons, anyone???) this particular author had to have known there would be strong reaction. There is no convincing way she can possibly plead surprise.

The cover of the pulled book BTW is very attractive.

Wylie Kinson said...

M - your observations practically mimic our dinner table conversation. Yes - WHY did she write the book in the first place? And that will certainly be an ongoing discussion in the Kinson household!
However, I'm still a big believer in the freedom of speech and if one book is pulled for fear of retribution/backlash, where will it stop? Where will the line be drawn?
Imagine if Gloria Steinham and Susan Falutti's (sp?) books didn't come out because they were offensive to men? And those men threatened to go home and beat their wives?
I guess my point is, someone is ALWAYS going to get offended or feel threatened, but we, as intellegent book-buying adults, should have the option of buying/believing or calling it the rubbish it is.

Gee - brings to mind Savaranola and his bonfire of the vanities. Think we all would have learned something between 1498 and now.

Julia Smith said...

Book flap - liberal-minded people can't conceive of not respecting the rights of others (as in, if she wants to write the book, let her. If they want to publish the book, let them. If they want to read the book, let them. Do I want to read the book? Maybe, maybe not.) I find that non-liberal-minded people need to have strict parameters in order to live. Is this allowed or forbidden? If it's forbidden to one, it's forbidden to all. It makes their world simple, somehow. And irritating as hell for the rest of us.

Thanks for the link to the Kittens - I'd never been there before. Love the sidebar-girlie!

Congrats on your requests!!

Have fun up ya later...

Amy Ruttan said...

I know I so want to read the Jewel of Medina now. BIG TIME.

I would have never noticed it if it wasn't for the big bruhaha.

Of course now, the threats, burning and publications will want to make people buy it even more.

It's like Peyton Place, people made such a big deal about that vanilla sex in the fifties ... making it insanely popular.

Have fun in Thunder Bay.

Get cracking on those requests. I'm trying to get through mine too.

Jennifer McKenzie said...

I HATE mass manipulation.

Have a wonderful trip!

Nicholas said...

If I wrote a book that got a section of society up in arms, I’d know I was doing something right somewhere! Not to mention feeling smug about all the free publicity. Society seems to be drifting towards the belief that no one must offend anyone, anyhow. Balls! Life is all about different opinions and if you get offended because people don’t see things your way you need to crawl under a rock. Even more ridiculous is the idea that you can ridicule another person’s politics, morals or any other convictions but for some unknown reason you must never, ever say anything remotely bad about someone’s religious beliefs. Balls, again! Religious beliefs are unprovable and incapable of verification and are fair game for anyone who disagrees.

I think that a writer should be able to write anything without fear of retribution. Nothing should be banned or censored. Control what your children read, by all means, but for adults no doors should be locked.

By the way, I loved your cute little apostrophe in “Christian’s took exception…” !

Jane said...

Have fun, Wylie.

Ann said...

Have a great trip. :)

J.K. Coi said...

Ah controversy! I read that post on Smarth B's, but passed on the 300 comments. I think it's pretty ridiculous. Since when do we ban a book before it even gets published? How can we get up in arms before we know what the hell we're complaining about? *shaking head* I mean, at least wait until you have it in your hands. Censorship is so much more effective when you can actually put a real live flame to your book burning.

*I'm seriously going to get in trouble one of these days*