It has been a slow reading week for me with a DNF and I am halfway through A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole. I am enjoying Portia and her plan of being a better person. I had every intention of finishing that book tonight (Thursday) but got sidetracked when I realized that the RITA’s would be streaming online. I have been awards show obsessed since I was a young gal. So naturally I would feel compelled to watch the one that celebrates our community.
Of the over 80 books nominated, I’ve read 5, so obviously I am the expert. I am kidding. I am not, I just like to watch people get all dressed up and get awards. Only one of the books that I read, Take the Lead by Alexis Daria won an award- Best First Book. But congratulations to all the winners and nominees. I cried several times, so thanks to Lexi Blake and Alexis Daria for making me cry. The speeches were great to watch.
It is hard to not acknowledge the huge lack of diversity in both the nominees and winners of the RITA awards. It definitely appears to be a broken system. I don’t propose to know how to start to fix the issues with the RITA nominations and award. But I think we can’t fix something until we acknowledge that it is broken, and I think many including the RWA has acknowledged it is broken.
With that being said, the night belonged to Suzanne Brockmann. Brockmann was the recipient of the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. She was introduced by her son Jason and it was a cute intro. But once Brockmann came on the stage it was almost as if she brought a match and burned it all down. In the best way possible. She dropped the F bomb at least four times. She talked about how not just ten years ago RWA was an obstacle to her, by preventing her from talking about her son’s marriage to a man in a speech. She talked about how publishing is a racist system. She talked about how she’s tired of being nice and not rocking the boat. She called out the current administration. Suzanne Brockmann pretty much burned everything to the ground and was like #sorrynotsorry. I heard lots of cheers and I can only imagine that behind those cheers lots of folks were feeling uncomfortable as well they should be. Brockmann talked about some uncomfortable truths. But this conversation is necessary and vital in order to make change. I’ve never read a novel by Brockmann prior to today, but I hope to change that in the near future. RWA hasn’t posted the full video yet, but as soon as they do, I will update this thread. Jessica Scott posted a pretty good summary via Twitter. I applaud Suzanne Brockmann and her bravery for using her platform to speak on this difficult topic. Did anyone else see if? What did you think?
I’ll be back next week with some actual books read. I hope :)