Thursday, January 17, 2008

Rant of the day

I thought about posting a comment on this at SB’s but then realized I had more to say. For those following all the CE drama – this is only very loosely related so don’t leave yet. While reading the continuing posts on the plagiarism scandal at SB’s, it seems that one of the plagiarized authors, Paul Tolme, wrote an article for Newsweek. It’s quite a hoot of an article and for a laugh I recommend reading it.
But what annoyed me and prompted this rant of the day are some of the responses from fellow romance readers at the end of the article.
To them I say – Get a Sense of Humour and get over yourselves!
I think just about everyone knows that the romance genre isn’t as respected as we all think it should be. We understand that and we live with it, with the inside knowledge that we are right and everyone who hasn’t tried it and scorns it is wrong.
While on some levels it bothers me that romance doesn’t get the respect it so richly deserves, it’s more for the wonderful, Very Talented Authors that I’m peeved. For myself, I don’t care what people think of the genre, I love it and I’m going to read it anyway. This attitude has really been reinforced by being a part of the blogoshere these past couple of years and seeing the rich and diverse group of readers who make up the community. They are intelligent, well-educated, articulate and more than able to hold their own in defense of the industry.
That’s why I was so annoyed at some of the humourless responses to his very funny article. Reading it in Newsweek as opposed to in a book was funny! Very funny. I think we need the ability to laugh at ourselves and at some of the romance books out there. They are unintentionally hilarious. We know this. And sometimes even while we are reading what we consider crap, we’re enjoying it at the same time.
So rather than get all defensive over this poor unsuspecting non-romance reading guy who somehow found his words about a ferret in a heaving bosom type book with a barely dressed, bare chested cover model, laugh along with him. Let him know there is crap out there. And IMO- he came across some of the best of it. But there was also an opportunity to present ourselves in a good light, with a sense of humour and an ability to laugh at our own – deservedly so.

'til later


Apparently Sarah at SB's contacted him for an interview. He didn't have time, but he did write a short note.
This guy is funny!!


Katie(babs) said...

I love how the author admits the writing is clunky, and not because it is a romance, but because he wrote it!!! Bad bad Cassie you are screwed!!
If the tepee is a rocking, don't come a knockin because someone is already a comin inside. LMFAO
I crack myself up.
Very funny and amusing article.

Kristie (J) said...

Katie: It broke me up a number of times. I could somehow just picture this poor guy totally unused to the genre reading his words about ferrets after some wild hot lovin' and going Huh? and then I read some of the comments from fellow romance readers and thought - while rolling my eyes - 'give it a rest already. Don't you think you're being just a wee bit overdramtic here?'

Wendy said...

Pure speculation here....

I think some romance readers think it's OK for them to "make fun" of the genre because after all - they are part of the community. They're allowed. But when an outsider comes in and dismisses it - well that's another matter entirely. They're not "one of us."

I've pretty much ignored this whole brouhaha mainly because I have nothing more to add to it. But the thing that has bothered me from day one is that the "outsiders" would jump on this story and think that all romance writing is as craptastic as Edwards'. Which we all know, it's not.

Jace said...

I read Tolme's article and found it amusing too. Poor chap ... must have been an unbelievable moment for him when he found his ferrets cavorting in a romance! LOL

Kristie (J) said...

Wendy: if the article was written in a sneering kind of way - with a real attitude of superiority, then yea, I'd be upset too. Or if he was talking that way about a GOOD romance novel, then yes, I'd want to say something. But you can tell he's very tongue in cheek and having fun. And let's face it, even before all this came to light, very, VERY few of us would stand and defend CE novels. And let's face it - he bought it because of a blog called Smart Bitches who love Trashy Books which just proves that some of us can laugh at ourselves.

Jace: It is funny isn't it? I read it again and still laughed.

CindyS said...

I don't know how we ever would have missed this! It's so obviously lifted and yet, I guess we just trust authors to write the stuff in their own words.

He's definitely a fun guy for someone who wrote about Black-footed ferrets. I mean, seriously, weren't we all just a touch worried the guy might be a humorless twit? (Just me again?)

I like that we got to read his thoughts on it. It must have been like a walk in another world.

Could you imagine reading a fantasy or sci-fi novel and then come across your experiences with the kitchen lifted straight from your blog? That's how weird it seems to me.

I don't mind this person taking whatever pot shots he wanted - I just don't want to see some hoity toity editor somewhere going 'see, it's all rubbish!'.


Bev(BB) said...

I never quite got to the comments of his article. I was too distracted by my own odd reaction to one line. My first thought was "Now why he go buy one of her books." Then this little bitty tiny voice of reason in my head whispered that maybe it was for evidence. The other immediated yelled back "But dang he just bought one of the books!"

I thought my head was going to explode because I knew both were right somewhat.


Vicious Trollop said...

Re: That’s why I was so annoyed at some of the humourless responses to his very funny article.

I think it's easier for people to get angry at things they don't understand than giving it a bit of thought, and realizing, that perhaps, things aren't as they first perceived them.

Re: I think we need the ability to laugh at ourselves and at some of the romance books out there. They are unintentionally hilarious. We know this.

Very true LOL This is similar to: critizing your family to someone is fine but if the person says something bad about them in reply they're a horrible meanie.

A lot of these people that were jumping on Paul's throat have long-assed posts in their own blogs about how bad such and such author is or how horribly bad this or that book is. Or how half the books published in the genre are rubbish. Ironically funny if you ask me.

I think Paul is gorgeous, funny and smart and I send him an email declaring my undying love to him *g*