I’ve been emailing with different authors about the “controversy” of Caridad Ferrer’s book AdiÃ³s to my Old Life winning the RITA® for Best Contemporary Romance, and I have to say, I’m befuddled.
I honestly do not get it. I was frankly disgusted by the anonymous commenters calling it bullshit on this blog and others, but not because they disagreed with the decision. Hey, if you are bummed because your favorite book didn’t win? Ok. Whatever. Plenty of people are pissed when Oscars® are announced, so you’re in good company.
What blows my mind is the anonymity – I guess the nicey-nice culture of romance novel readers & fans & authors is alive, well, and reducing any valid criticism into ultimatums issued by people with no balls. I’d have a lot more respect for all those anonymous opinions if, say, the person writing them had the stone ovaries to say WHO THEY WERE for God’s sake. One on our site called it bullshit; another anonymous ball-less commenter says it’s a “‘fucking’ disgrace.”
“Controversy” not withstanding, the nicey-nice seems to be rearing it’s perfectly coiffed head again. If you can’t say you’re happy for a winner, then you hide behind a fake name and announce that a YA novel winning Best Contemporary is the end of the world and a sign that the RITAs mean nothing? Why the hell is there no room to say publicly that you disagree and are bummed out that your favorite book didn’t win? The nicey-nice culture makes no room for disagreement unless it’s gutter-trash style hidden in the safety of anonymous driveby comment? Yeesh.
I totally disagree that there’s something inherently wrong with any YA novel winning the RITA® Best Contemporary, but I’d be interested in hearing from someone who thinks it’s wrong – but I’d prefer that someone be a person with the basic sense of cluecake to identify him- or herself and say why they’re disappointed with the decision.
Ironically, I had a few people in publishing, including authors, say to my face that the RITA feels great as an acknowledgement but means little to nothing in terms of sales and future contracts. It’s not like people in acquisitions see “RITA-winner” and up the advance by 10k.
Now, controversy, on the other hand, that’ll up your sales by 10k easy, so I’m sure there’s plenty of folks in Ferrer’s publishing house who are saying, ‘Oh yes, please! Keep talking! Disgrace? Oh, tell me more!”
I’m not pissed off because people disagree. I’m disappointed because people can’t disagree without being anonymous sniping buttmonkeys. Have some stones people. If you’re disappointed, say so and be a grown up. Big girl panties are in aisle 4. Head on over and get yourself a pair.