Tuesday, May 27, 2008

This Is NOT a Review

I'm in the middle of an LDS novel that I think is really, really good.

I recently finished another one that I enjoyed a lot.

My daughter recently read a YA book by an LDS writer and is dying for me to read it too. I will soon.

And my husband and I have plans to read aloud a book by yet another LDS writer, whose books we've enjoyed in the past.

All four of these books are by talented people, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if all of them ended up as Whitney finalists for 2008.

But I'm not telling you the names of the books or who wrote them. There's a reason for that.

Now, as many people know, I'm hyper-opinionated. I won't just tell you if I liked or disliked something. Instead, I'm liable to go on a rant about the virtues (or lack thereof) of a particular work. I get passionate about these things. I debate. I foam at the mouth.

That kind of thing.

But this year . . . you won't be hearing any of it from me. At all. Or, at least about fiction written by Latter-day Saints. (Movies and fiction by other writers are all fair game. I may have to get loud and ranty about those just to compensate.)

See, I was thinking about posting review about the one I'm reading as soon as I finish it, but then I remembered: I can't.

The reason is that I have the privilege of serving on the Whitney Awards committee for 2008. I get to read a ton of novels by LDS writers this year and judge in two categories as well as help select the novels that will be up for Best Novel and Best Novel by a New Author.

That's the terrific part about being on the committee. (For those wondering, I'm willing and able to be part of the committee because my next novel, Tower of Strength, won't be released until 2009.)

Keeping my opinions to myself might just be torturous for someone with as big a mouth as I have. On the other hand, I will get to voice them with the other committee members. That's some consolation. (Poor souls have no idea what they're in for.)

I encourage readers to nominate books they think are deserving of a Whitney and to tell others to do the same. Broadcast the news far and wide! The program is there to recognize quality fiction produced by LDS writers and to help the entire cannon improve and grow. The only way to do that is to get the best books nominated, and that takes the readers.

Visit the Whitney site at the link above to submit a book for consideration. Don't assume your favorite is a shoo-in. You never know.

In the meantime, I'll be tying my tongue into a knot.

17 comments:

An Ordinary Mom said...

Darn, I wish you could spread the word about these great books you are reading :) !!

Heather B. Moore said...

Maybe you can put together a summer reading list :)

Ines said...

I'm already working on my list of recommendations. Like Heather, I would love to get a summer reading list.

Don said...

A reading list would be good. Then to steer us in the right direction you could trash the ones you don't like.

That would still be allowed, right?

Annette Lyon said...

Thanks, guys--but I doubt I could do a reading list, as fun as that sounds.

For starters, it would be letting slip which books are officially under consideration (a no-no). And if I recommend something even in a list, that's revealnig my opinion and bias (and on the flip side, my bias against books NOT on the list).

I have to remain entirely neutral publicly and keep all the debate within the committee. Like I said, this will be tough!

But fun. I'm looking forward to all the reading.

sogratefultobemormon.wordpress.com said...

hi annette -- but that is awesome that you speak of things with a passion for them (one way or the other). people who talk or write with conviction and passion are far more interesting any day girl :)

i was away this past holiday weekend camping with family and i accidentally found myself emmersed completely in a murder novel for part of the weekend. i could not put it down, it kept my interest the whole time and i devoured it fast. i love it when a book captures my attention completely -- cause that rarely happens.

keep your passion about what gets you. it is part of what makes you uniquely you. kathleen :)

Tamra Norton said...

Wow--now that'll be tough to remain neutral on the matter. When I read a book I love I want to shout it from the roof tops!

The Whitney Awards banquet was SO INCREDIBLE in 2007. I'm really looking forward to 2008. Tell Rob we need to have a dance after the awards this year.

Tristi Pinkston said...

I'm glad you've got a year to do the reading -- of course, you don't know what books will be nominated yet, but you can be reading new releases throughout the year so that when the nominees do come in, chances are you'll have read several of them and avoid the last minute rush. I think you'll be awesome on the committee -- have fun!

Julie Wright said...

You're a good girl and this is a good reminder to me to be a little more tight lipped since I am on the committee too.

Anna Maria Junus said...

How do you get on this commitee?

Annette Lyon said...

Anna Maria,
To express an interest to be on the committee, you'd contact the Whitney president, Rob Wells. (I knew he was still looking for people, and when I discovered my book wouldn't be out in 08, I volunteered. That's how I got there.) Some people are on the committee by invitation, others are volunteers. Committee members are automatically ineligble to win a Whitney during their tenure, so that reduces how many are willing to do it.

Rob's the one who wears the decision-making hat, and he tries to have a wide variety of industry professionals on the committee.

One bit of great news is that this year, the voting academy will be broadened to include virtually all published LDS writers. You can sign up from the Whitney site to be in the voting academy.

MommyTime said...

Thanks so much for visiting my place earlier today and leaving me such a nice note about my guest post for Brillig. I have just spent a very long time reading your front page. I am so impressed, initially with your success, but even more deeply with the fact that you manage all of this with four children. I look forward to coming back and learning more about you!

Josi said...

Hmmmmm--definately something to think about. I've agreed to do one blog tour book and I better follow through on that, but I think you make an excellent point. As I'm on the commitee too I'm lucky enough to hear your thoughts--I love your reviews (foam not withstanding)

Brillig said...

"Keeping my opinions to myself might just be torturous for someone with as big a mouth as I have."-- HAHA! I would TOTALLY be the same way. I'm utterly incapable of keeping my opinions to myself. So I'm going to enjoy watching you tie your tongue into a knot this year. Heee heeee. :-D

Luisa Perkins said...

Oh, WOW. That is TOUGH duty. I don't know whether I could handle it!

Rebecca Talley said...

I think you should show all of us at the Whitney Gala how you tie your tongue in a knot--it might become even more popular than trying to unwrap a Starburst.

Sounds like you'll have fun on the committee. There are so many great books to read and so little time.

Annette Lyon said...

Josi, yikes--I hadn't remembered about the blog tour (I think I agreed to the same one before I got onto the committee). Maybe I can just do an interview or something, because I can't post a review of the book. Hmm. Thanks for the reminder on that.

I finished the LDS novel I was working on, and the last half fell apart. I wanted to scream and rant. Since I can't do it publicly, my hubby got an earful yesterday!

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