Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Rant on Stupidity

Lots has happened in the past week or so and I've been meeting myself coming and going. The Dallas Area Romance Authors hosted their annual Dreamin' in Dallas conference this past weekend and it sold out two months prior! It was a great turnout and I got to spend a lot of quality time (and listening to rude people time) with my enormously talented and wonderfully nice agent, Kristin Nelson. I'm not sure what possesses people at conferences, but apparently some lose their mind. Example -

Kristin and another of her clients, Shanna Swendson, are doing a workshop on Chick Lit. I am moderator. A guy (yes, I said guy) starts with this whole line of questioning on the "educational level" of chick lit readers because, in his words, his wife reads romance and he knows that's fluff.

HUH?! Great way to influence people - in the WRONG way! I was sitting directly in front of him and actually broke an acryllic nail that I'd been picking on when that bit of wisdom came out of his mouth.

Fortunately, Kristin was quick to correct him before a good ole' Texas hanging occurred and one woman quickly ripped the RWA statistics out of her bag and informed him of the educational level of romance readers. What a jerk!

Then he has the absolute nerve to start pitching his book to Kristin after the workshop - IMMEDIATELY after he'd just insulted most of her client list and her own choice (sometimes) of reading material. HELLO!? Is there a brain working in there?

I simply don't understand what he thought he could accomplish. And I'm dismayed that this perception of romance readers and writers persists. I don't get it. Of the woman I know who write - exactly one - ONE - is a stay-at-home mom. But she's been to college and is hardly an idiot and certainly not interested in reading "fluff." The remainder are mostly college level graduates, some advanced degrees and (of the ones I know) highly successful at their careers - most hold upper and executive level management positions.

So what the f?

A piece of advice to all who are attending conferences - don't insult the genre of the conference you're attending. In fact, don't insult any genre. It only makes you look very small.


Kelly Parra said...

Oooh, gosh. I'd like to have been there to see the reaction of that room! Romance and Chick Lit have a stereotype and it's silly. I think the people who label it incorrectly are the ones who don't read it. Or are sore they can't write it. =D

Jana DeLeon said...

I agree that anyone who hasn't actually read, done, seen something really should wait until they do to offer an opinion on the matter. Kristin was grace under pressure as always. But what an idiot!

Anonymous said...

Men! Oh, wait. I'm a man. I meant, moron. I hope we don't give the rest of us a bad name.

Jana DeLeon said...

LOL, anon. I'm sure you're not all that way - and besides, I've heard women who were just as bad.

Besides, my husband loves my work. (grins)

Dana Y. T. Lin said...

Yeah, what a moron. If he'd ever tried a hand at writing romance or chick lit, he'd know how diffiult it is.

Jana DeLeon said...

I totally agree, Dana. I am what is considered one of the "top" positions in corporate America for my college education (accounting - ick) but I can tell you that fighting the corporate politics and the good ole' boy network was nothing compared to getting that first book sold.

Definitely the hardest thing I've ever done.

It's just like professional sports in my opinion - the really talented ones make it look easy.

Lady M said...


Jana - I bet in retrospect, that guy was kicking himself.

That's so funny - you ought to write a comedy sketch on it!

Something along the lines of "Why I Never Got an Agent and Now What?"

I'd read it for the laughter.

Cheers Girlie! Hope you had a marvelous time otherwise!

Lady M

Jana DeLeon said...

Hi Lady M! The conference was a lot of fun. I'm at that point where I've started to meet a lot of writers from other states and it's always nice to see them since it so rarely happens. And spending time with Kristin was great, well, except for "fluff" guy.

Will you be attending RWA National in Atlanta?

Lady M said...

Naw - unfortunately I'm in Alaska.

In a job that doesn't seem to like vacations. LOL!

Ah well - But it is always soooo grand to hear about them from you guys.


Lady M

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