Friday, September 28, 2012

Is Sarah Palin Still Eating at Chick-fil-a; Book Reviewer Jerome Whitehead; Whatever Became of "Romfail?"

It looks as though Chick-Fil-A has altered its stand on gay marriage, at least it appears that way at a glance.

Chick-fil-A is looking to put this summer's fast-food culture wars behind it and will no longer donate money to groups fighting to block same-sex marriage—at least that's what gay rights advocates in Chicago are saying. The chicken chain, however, is saying suspiciously little about the whole thing.

You can read more here in an article by Josh Voorhees.

I posted several times about this issue last summer, here, and here. When you click the latter link you'll see a photo of Sarah Palin proudly holding up a big bag of Chick-Fil-A fast food in what clearly looks more like a stand against gay marriage than it does support for freedom of speech.

In any event, now that Chick-Fil-A has changed its stand on contributing money to organizations that don't support gay marriage, I'm wondering if Sarah Palin is waiting in line these days for a big old bag of Chick-Fil-A to prove her point and put yet another spin on a topic that involves civil rights, not so much freedom of speech. Freedom of speech, at least in part, is knowing we can say or write or support anything we want, and I respect that right. But that doesn't mean we are all going to say or write or support a decent, ethical cause. In this case, I don't think it's unreasonable to compare what's going on now with gay marriage to the highly charged civil rights movement in the middle of the last century.

Now, here's a link to a book reviewer, Jerome Whitehead, I recently met through a private message on facebook. He wanted to review one of my books, but only in print. The problem is that even though I have over 90 published works out, the majority of my recent releases are all in digital format...e-books...and all of the older books I've written, or have been in, are not books that I actually own. Believe it or not, the majority of what I've written, including what I've published alone in KDP, are all in my digital library.

But I am going to look around for a copy of something and see what I can come up with. I like/love his most recent review of "Ghetto Medic," by Rachel Hennick, and I'm probably going to buy it and read it myself just based on his review. In this case, I don't think I'll have to vet much. I trust his judgment and the book sounds like something I'd enjoy.

“Ghetto Medic" is the remarkable true story of the life of Bill Hennick, a firefighter and paramedic in Baltimore, Maryland; a city which today boasts the busiest fire stations in the United States. The story begins in 1945, when Bill, aged four, is badly burned in a terrible fire started by an older child playing with matches. When he reaches adulthood, he begins searching for his purpose in life and identifies fire as “the enemy.”

I'm also a huge fan of books set in Baltimore, thanks to Anne Tyler's fiction, and I enjoy that period. You can read the full review at the link provided above. Here's a link to Amazon where the book can be purchased.

There's just one problem. I couldn't find a digital version of the book. And I'm not sure why. The last print book I read was "Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet," and I don't feel like spending $16.50 for a paperback, nor do I want to go back to reading paperbacks when I have five devices on which I read now. But the book does look great, so I'm going to have to weigh that decision. I just wish authors would keep up with what's happening in publishing and at the very least release books in both digital and print. I'm guilty of this myself because I don't release a lot of books in print, just digital. But that's only because sales in print do not compare to sales in digital...for me. It's a pragmatic business decision for me. But I don't understand what would motivate an author to ignore digital books nowadays. I hope she reads this post. I will probably order the paperback, but how many others won't?

Finally, whatever happened to "Romfail?"

That's an interesting question, because Romfail just seemed to disappear into thin air never to be heard of again, oh my. For those who don't know, Romfail was this "thing" on twitter that happened a few years ago. From what I can gather, it was orchestrated by Her Royal Highness Jane Litte of the we all know the best books ever written kingdom...mostly books with covers of women in long flowing red gowns. Oh yes, Romfail was big doings back then. It was filled with pithy snarky internet-isms that make most things now pale in comparison. I didn't keep up with it regularly, but I heard about it everywhere I went online at the time. As far as I can recall, I wasn't targeted in Romfail, but I'd stopped all google alerts around that time because I found them too distracting. So I might have been part of the fun for all I know.

And what kind of fun was that?

Well. Every Friday night a group of people...romance fans of the we all know the best books kingdom...would gather on twitter and laugh about books and authors they didn't like. If you interpreted it as parody, it could be quite entertaining in a harmless way. If you enjoyed watching those who only know what good writing is, you lived for Friday nights. If you didn't, it could be psychologically painful at best. One blogger wrote this:

On a final note, I would love to know what kinds of reviews these “mean girls” are receiving for their books. I would like to know how these people would feel if it were their books being offered up for sacrifice, and just how much fun it would still be if it were they who suffered the humility and heartache over having one of their beloved books torn apart—with quotes taken out of context—for all the world to see.

I find the last line of that excerpt interesting, the part about quotes taken out of context. I recently did this in a blog post myself. I took a non-erotic romance that had a woman with a long flowing red gown on the cover, without naming the author, and put my own spin on the book by taking her quotes out of context and making her book look stupid. Of course I don't really think her book is stupid. I actually like what she writes. But it's an interesting concept anyone can do. I had so much fun (I speak in jest; not fun at all) with that book I might even do it again the next time I see it happen to an erotic romance, just for sport. It's not like anyone would begrudge me having a little fun, too...especially with a romance that had a woman in a long flowing gown on the cover.

Then there was this post, this post, and this post. All about Romfail.

If you google Romfail, you'll come up with other related posts that were written back then by people who were, at the time, either anti-Romfail or pro-Romfail. As I said, I didn't get into it because I was too busy writing books. And it's really not the kind of shitstorm I would have gotten into if I hadn't had better things to do. I don't like that kind of cheese on a regular basis. But I do like to go back once in a while and post things like this for those who are new to publishing and those who don't know all the intricacies of navigating the web as authors or readers. Pardon the cliche, but history always repeats itself. And there are some things we should never forgot.

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