Sunday, June 12

Book Contests and Stupid Cows

I'm prefacing this by saying I am not a writer nor do I ever wish to be a writer. 1. I'm not sure I could handle the rejections and 2. I have absolutely no writing talent. But, book contests fascinate me.

One of the first RTB columns I read referred to contest reviewers as "stupid cows". Twice a year I become a "stupid cow." I do this through my local UBS. The UBS used to have a romance reader book club and several members volunteered for this, myself included, and we've been doing it for years. This week I picked up copies of the prologue and first chapter of 6 different historical novels. One of the question the contest asks is "What would it take to get you to recommend this book?" I'm paraphrasing the question because I don't have the work sheets in front of me. HOW ABOUT LETTING ME READ THE WHOLE FREAKIN' BOOK?!!? How can anyone recommend a book based on 25 pages?

So, this year I got historicals, which was nice considering last year I reviewed category romances and boy all but 2 were really bad, you have no idea whose books your reviewing because the authors name is not included, which is fine. But, 2 or 3 months after the contest you start getting thank you cards and you have no idea if someone is thanking you for liking their manuscript or really saying "nah, nah you stupid cow, I sold my manuscript."

Sorry, I think I got off track there. Like I said, this year I got historicals, 3 Regency periods, 1 Victorian, 1 Medieval and 1 Native American/Indian. I actually like 4 out of the 6, and would have liked to have finished each manuscript. One of the ones I didn't like was a Regency with so many characters introduced in the first chapter my head was swimming and I needed a score card. The other was the Medieval which breaks my heart because it really is my favorite historical time period. Within the first 25 pages you realize the heroine is a feisty, TSTL idiot who runs off to the Cruscades to "help" her father. I've come to the conclusion that feisty is synonymous with stupid.

I really did enjoy the first 25 pages of two of the manuscripts and will probably write a note to the coordinators and see if I can get the entire manuscripts. One was set in 1898 England and I liked the heroine from the first time she opened her mouth. And the other was a Regency set in Egypt. I would really like to finish both of these books.

This "Stupid Cow" is signing off, have a great day and happy reading.

6 comments:

Mary Stella said...

I'm sorry that someone referred to reviewers as 'stupid cows'. That's a horrible thing to say, even if a reviewer didn't like your book.

CW said...

I've come to the conclusion that feisty is synonymous with stupid.

LOL!

One was set in 1898 England and I liked the heroine from the first time she opened her mouth. And the other was a Regency set in Egypt. I would really like to finish both of these books.

Oooh, any way you can point us in the right direction, if the excerpts are available online? Or something.

Tara Marie said...

Mary, the column wasn't that bad, and it was kind of funny after I thought about it.

Anne E. said...

I think you are correct that stupid and feisty are interchangeable! One of the reason I don't like Julie Garwood's "historicals" is because her heroines often do such asinine things..the one that always comes to mind is a wedding scene where the bride turns from the altar and starts walking toward the back of the church whenever the priest uses the word "obey" in the service. Oh, come on, it was the Middle Ages, ofcourse obey was in the service! That was a wallbanger for me, yet I know women who love that book, so maybe it's just me.

jenster said...

I have absolutely no writing talent.

Oh contrare! This post proves you wrong, Tara.

Somehow I've never pictured you as a stupid cow.

Tara Marie said...

Jenster, you're being generous. I'm thinking about posting a picture of a black and white heifer in the sidebar.