August 13, 2007

Blowin' in the Wind

Ahh, what's that bracing citrus scent, astringent, acidic and clean? Why, it's the smell of a rant. Yes, folks, MotherReader has finally gone all-out, creating a bumper sticker and a fabulous logo for BACA - Bloggers Against Celebrity Authors.

Some may feel uneasy with the level of vitriol this subject can elicit, but here's the thing: Can celebrities bank on their celebrity to get into Serious Lit'triture? No. You can have a "my life on the backlot" tell-all book or a celebrity+'pimping for serious topic' book like Katie Couric's about her husband's cancer, but those are a dime a dozen, and are generally stripped, pulped and recycled within a month unless they're just awesome. (This from people in the know at B&N.) Could, say, Matt Damon Angelina Jolie, walk into a New York publishing firm and be taken seriously as a novelist? No. But let him her write a children's book -- The Bourne Babies My Many Colored Babies -- and heck, hshe'd be in. {EDIT: Thanks to blogger e.luper for reminding me that Matt Damon did, in fact, write the script for Good Will Hunting, and may, in fact, be able to ...write a novel. Maybe.}

It's as if publishing is a marble-walled edifice, gates kept by stern agents and editorial assistants in ocher and bronze livery, and children's publishing is a back door flapping open in the wind with no gate, and no guards, through which any fool off the street can wander.

...unless they're an actual person, and not a Name, and then, miraculously, the gates and guards are back, with an extra layer of frowning critics who expect that kidlit writers are people with too many cats and a Garanimals-for-Grownups wardrobe, in some kind of extended adolescence and not in possession of a real job writing for 'real' people.

What is UP WITH THAT!?

Today's other rant is about my current Work In Progress. Via GalleyCat, I hear that not only in the U.S. is there a wave of WWII novels in the making, it's happening in the UK as well. I am obscurely annoyed by this, as my current WIP, going to the editor this week? Is set during... the Second World War.

Am I merely a follower, here, banking on the Ultimate Good v. Evil story, where the Good Guys Won? Good grief, I hope not... I think what I have is an unique angle, but is there really anything new in plots these days, especially plots with a foregone conclusion? Not... really. I guess it's because current situations aren't as clean-cut that people want to return to old victories... which is another rant in itself, I'm sure.

What's that? A breath of fresh air? Why, yes, it's A.F.'s interview with the 7-Imps! Don't miss it!


eluper said...

I agree with your post with the exception of your Matt Damon example. I mean, Matt Damon wrote GOOD WILL HUNTING which won an Oscar for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (1998). I'd imagine if he set his mind to writing a novel he could write a pretty darn good one. Now, if you used Paula Abdul as an example....

tanita✿davis said...

You know what? I forgot that, and I TOTALLY take your point. Though I believe that screen writing IS completely different, I will change my example.

To ...Paula ABDUL!? Yikes.

David T. Macknet said...

We might think about the resurgence of WWII as a topic in light of the current non-war. The only war I know of which met "just war" principles was WWII, and the manner in which it was conducted wasn't entirely ethical. So, it's probably the only example easily related to by readers ... and is rather sad, actually.

Besides - if you were a follower, would your manuscript be complete? Would you have started writing it, oh, 3 years ago?

(I linked to the Wiki article, just because it states the theory most succinctly ... but it's not the best, if it's something you're really interested in)

Sarah Stevenson said...

Yeah, and imagine MY surprise when I thought about my earlier manuscript, which has some WWII-era historical elements (but is set in the modern day). And I started that--when? Actually, back in 2001, I think.


Anonymous said...

Well,Paula Abdul IS a songwriter and "Cold Hearted Snake" really just needs some Eric Carle artwork to take off. Oh, that mischevious snake! He don't play by rules!

tanita✿davis said...

The thought of Eric Carle illustrating the coldhearted snake...

Ohh, that was bad. Bad, bad, bad. And now that song will be in my head for the rest of the day.

Thanks, Sam!

MotherReader said...

I think the Jolie book is just a matter of time. And I will NOT read it.