Big Babies

I’m crabby so watch out. I’m not even sleeping on my crabbiness to see if I won’t feel more rested, as well as diplomatic, in the morning. I’m just laying it down. Right here. Right now.

Some people–and in this case, a select number of authors judging contests, particularly RWA’s annual Rita contest–should get over themselves. Seriously. I’ve judged the Ritas for years and I’ve never given a Rita entry anything lower than a four, and a four is rare. But there are a couple judges out there–and I’m airing dirty laundry–handing out 2’s to Harlequin Presents that have dominated the Waldenbooks Bestseller list…for weeks. There are judges, who, for whatever reason (professional jealousy? envy that Presents pay the bills? disgust that readers enjoy sexual foreign lovers? what?) can’t give a Presents title a fair read.

Because here’s the thing–no lovingly written and edited book by a reputable publisher deserves a 2. And the judges giving authors the 2’s can do it because they’re judging anonymously.

In case my crabbiness isn’t shining all the way through, let me say it louder.

Ladies, little girls, little girls who seem to enjoy hurting other people—stop judging contests. Get out. Take a vacation. Find a new hobby. Rediscover sex. Just please, stop judging the Ritas if you can’t be fair and impartial.

You’re not helping the Ritas by skewering certain authors, or a certain line, you’re hurting it. I don’t want to be part of a contest, or an organization, that smears select authors, or specific lines, simply because you don’t get it, or like it. And I know this, I’ve never had a Harlequin published that deserved a 2, nor have a half dozen of the other brilliant Harlequin authors I write with. And this is happening, and has happened, for the past several years.

I might feel bad in the morning that I didn’t find a cute fun way to phrase this, but I won’t be sorry I brought the subject up. I’m damn proud to be a Presents author.

You know, on second thought, give me the 2. I like the company I’m keeping.

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