Walt Whitman: Words for America, by Barbara Kerley for the Juvenile award, and Worth, by A. LaFaye for YA silver medal. Three cheers for both writers, and you can see all the hoopla at the 74th annual California Book Awards ceremony, which will be held June 14 at the Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., San Francisco.
[Point of interest – San Bernadino author A. LaFaye is also Alexandria LaFaye, who has written a number of series books for middle grades, including the well received Year of the Sawdust Man and its less acclaimed sequels.]
Sadly, my first attempt at securing an agent has been a bust — Tina Dubois of ICM reports that she is unable to ‘resonate emotionally’ with my protagonist, Lainey. However, she admits to being tempted to try some of her recipes. Sigh. I think I’d feel worse if I wasn’t halfway convinced that she’s right… but then, you know me, I’m always questioning the raison d’etre of my characters anyway. I’m not sure where I am mentally with this story except that I’m millimeters away from setting it down permanently and moving on.
Wait. I hear gasps: One the word of ONE AGENT!? An over reaction, then? Input, anyone?
Meanwhile, in what can only be termed ENTERTAINMENT NEWS, since it’s certainly not WRITING news, Anne Rice has gone completely over the edge. It isn’t wasn’t enough that the dorky mistress of the dim (that is, the not really dark) has lent her deathless prose to untold volumes of speculation on the lives of a certain blonde vampire, nor were her soulless forays into erotica, B-Movie plots (“Exit to Eden,” anyone? Rosie O’Donnell in a thong…) and horrifying opera (Elton John’s “Lestat, the Opera?” Oy, enough! Enough!) enough to satisfy her quest for ethereal Authorial Immortality. She’s done interviewing vampires. Now she’s interviewing a new man: Jesus. Or so she says.
Yes, it’s “Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt,” (please note there is NO link to this here. If you want to find and buy it, you’re on your own, good people.) belched forth in a stream of sulfurous fire by Random House this upcoming November. Sources indicate that this novel will be a tell-all about Jesus’ childhood and adolescence, in His own words. Which will be some neat trick, since Christians since the apostle Peter and other bigwigs have never found or published any of Jesus’ little boy, clay tablet journals. Unless Rice is the illegitimate love child of Jerry Fallwell, another notable personage who claims direct conversation with God, I’m not sure just how she’s going to swing this…
The Chronicle’s irrepressible Neva Chonin adds, “Considering Rice’s views on editors, I am impressed by her willingness to accept input from the Almighty and his son. Last year, she was so put out by negative reviews of her final “Vampire Chronicles” installment, “Blood Canticle,” that she posted a 1,200-word rant on Amazon.com accusing her critics of using the site ‘as if it were a public urinal to publish falsehoods and lies.’
She went on to clarify her views on the sanctity of her text: ‘I have no intention of allowing any editor ever to distort, cut, or otherwise mutilate sentences that I have edited and re-edited, and organized and polished myself. … For me, novel writing is a virtuoso performance. It is not a collaborative art.'”
Whoooosh! That’s the sound of an editor spontaneously combusting. I can hear them sputter: “No intention of allowing and editor to ever…” and then, in a tower of greasy smoke and flames, they’re gone. Um. So, Ms. Rice is going to be self-publishing now?? Do writers really EVER get to where they can say this type of statement, and not have people waiting for them to fall flat on their faces?
Wow. Didn’t know you were doing a virtuoso performance, did you, when you sat down to your keyboard this morning? Well, heck, I had no idea either… at any venture, my dears, let me let you get on back to yours… On with the show!!