Elizabeth: Start Now

As I mentioned a a short while back, this past weekend was the Australian Romance Readers Association‘s Romantic Rendezvous (Locked Down) event. 

In a time when in-person conferences are not an option, many organizations have been coming up with creative virtual events to fill the gap.  This event by the ARRA included 50 YouTube video sessions of author chats, readings, panels, and feature interviews.

While the event had a live feel to it, with the video sessions posted according to the daily schedule, it had actually all been recorded earlier.  As a plus, that meant that there was plenty of time to address any technical difficulties that cropped up during the initial recording, so the posted sessions were basically trouble-free (well, except for the closed-captioning, but they may not have had control over that).

Anyway, as you can imagine, 50 sessions is a lot of watching/listening to fit into a single weekend.  I gave it the old college try, but I still have a few sessions left in my queue.

As I listened to each session, I tried to pull out some piece of information that resonated (and, in all honesty, seemed like it might make a blog topic).  In some cases I came up empty-handed, which is not too surprising since the event was aimed at readers rather than writers, but I did come up with a few. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Haven’t I Read That Before?

Image courtesy of http://www.keble.ox.ac.uk

It was a busy day in Romancelandia today and not in a good way.  If you spent any time on social media recently you’ve probably seen the stories by now.  A Brazilian romance author who had a book entered in this year’s RWA RITA contest, appears to have engaged in some very blatant plagiarism.  I got wind of the story by way of Courtney Milan’s blog at lunchtime and by the end of the day, the list of authors whose work was thought to have been plagiarized read like a Who’s Who of Romance – Courtney Milan Tessa Dare, Bella Andre, Loretta Chase, Victoria Alexander, Nora Roberts – just to name a few.

It was disheartening to read posts from the various authors who were impacted, describing how it felt to see bits and pieces of the stories they’d put their whole heart and soul into writing, being passed off as the work of someone else.

The author, when confronted with the accusations, gave the equivalent of a “the dog ate my homework” excuse, saying “the ghostwriter did it.”  That didn’t fly with anyone, including the understandably outraged ghostwriting community. Continue reading