Jeffe Kennedy Blog
RITA ® Award-Winning Author of Fantasy Romance
The Talon of the Hawk is my favorite, but I also love The Pages of the Mind. I think it stands out because of Daphne. She’s not a great fighter and is average in many ways. But she knows her worth and understands what she can contribute as a librarian. So she’s a very memorable character.
Plus for people who read the original trilogy first, it was such a bonus to get her story.
As I’ve said before, I do not get the hate of prologues many people seem to have.
I liked the prologue of The Orchid Throne. But if they are only going to read the start, can you just submit the first three chapters? Or is the rule the prologue has to count if the book has one?
I agree more that the prologue is the beginning of the book as it is where the reader should start. If a writer truly feels a prologue is not needed then it shouldn’t be in the book. But as I’ve said in the past I do not understand why someone would skip a prologue if one is included.
I am also a reader who doesn’t need everything spoon-fed to them so doesn’t mind starting a book not certain what is going on. Maybe for the dark wizard book readers should find out whatever this is means at the same time the hero does and things will only make sense in hindsight. That might work just as well as a prologue. But without knowing what ‘it” is that may not work at all.
I think the pre-screening of books/round one or whatever they want to call it is a good idea in theory, I just worry some judges will use it as an excuse to keep AOC books from advancing either subconsciously or on purpose. That whole “I just couldn’t connect with the characters” mumbo jumbo is not going to go away on its own.
I don’t have a solution. I just don’t think all the problems with the Rita Award had do to the way it was judged but rather who was doing the judging. There were some great books that won Ritas over the years but there were a lot of mediocre ones as well. I don’t think anybody who has read the entire slate of nominees in any given year could honestly disagree with that.
All good thoughts – thanks! TALON will always hold a special place in my heart. I do think there’s something to Daphne being an ordinary gal, as it were, that has led so many readers to connect with her.
We have to submit the entire book, so if there’s a prologue it will count as the first chapter.
That might be what I’ll do on Dark Wizard. We shall see!
Talon of the Hawk is also my favorite, but I do have serious <3 for Daphne. I'm curious which book you think is best, since you didn't say? Also, I'm going to point out that readers might particularly gravitate to/root for a librarian/someone who loves books MC 😉 That book also was the first one with dragons, and I learned recently that some magazine used to always buy a dragon story every month, because if it had a dragon on the cover, it sold more. Just saying.
I don't have a problem with prologues in theory; i think they get a bad rap b/c a *lot* of beginning authors do really terrible ones and/or try to mimic books like The Wheel of Time (if you haven't read it, the prologues get increasingly long as the series progresses, have a sort of biblical feel, and talk a lot about the weather).
The Vivian first round sounds similar to how FWA does theirs (Florida Writers Association), although FWA has a rubric, and I don't know if the Vivians will. I also worry about AOC/LGBT+/etc. still getting denied by bad judges, and I can't tell if they've got good safeguards in place to try and prevent that sort of thing.
I actually don’t think any of my books are the best. There are a few I’d improve, if I could go back in time, but none feels like The Best to me. I try to make every book as excellent as I can, so affection often goes to whichever one I’ve recently finished.
Very true on the bookworm heroine! And yes, you’re right about prologues being badly executed. I frankly got bored with WoT when I started book two and they seemed to go through exactly the same loop as book one. Ugh.
There is a rubric for the Vivian – and a number of safeguards to prevent biased judging – so we’ll see if those work!
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