Hi, Edith here!
There are four times of the year when editors from all media in the world, universe, multiverse and outlying dimensions, take a rest and go for the easy way. They assign stories to their most eager new reporters, sit back and let tradition roll on.
One of these times is coming up.
Scene: Newspaper/Magazine/TV/Internet/ Assignment Desk anywhere in the universe, multiverse and adjacent dimensions.
Editor (looks around blearily) “How’s the Holland kid doing?”
Underling: “Fine. Ready and set to go. Got an assignment for him?”
Editor: “Look at the calendar. He’s got two weeks. Tell him to dig up a local Romance writer and do an interview. Send a photographer with him.”
Underling: “What Romance Writer? We live here (in the desert, under the sea, in the lost continent of Atlantis, two miles south of the Bermuda Triangle, in Outer Space.)”
Editor (smiles) “There’s Always a Romance Writer nearby. You know, like they say that you’re only six feet from a spider at any time in your life? There are more romance writers than that. Have the kid dig one up. Get a new angle on it, maybe.”
Underling: “A new angle on a Romance Writer and Valentine’s Day?”
Editor (wearily): “Just tell him to get the interview, OK?”
So the eager reporter calls a local Romance Writer. After the LRW swoons, she/he picks him/herself up and goes into a tizzy! An interview, in the newspaper, magazine, TV Nightly News! This could be the Big Break!
Of course, it never occurs to said Romance Writer that:
1) It will only matter in sales if her/his book is coming out the same day
2) She/he may be made to look like an idiot
3) She/he, if in paper media, will definitely be lining a birdcage the day after the interview.
The Romance Writer dithers for days about what to wear. Then days more about what to say. How to explain that love is never trashy, that love is what makes the world go around, and how Romance is necessary for the beautification of the human soul?
This is, of course, a waste of time. There will be only two questions, with endless variations, asked.
1) How do you/your family feel about you writing such hot books?
2) How do you/your famiy feel about you writing about all that sex?
And of course, there is never a good answer, even if the LRW writes erotic Romance, because the reporter already has most of the piece written in his/her head.***
Do I sound cynical? Do I sound as if I have sometime in my past been ill used by media? Have I been made to look silly, and had my message misconstrued? This is entirely possible. And yet, and still, when the phone rings in a few days and someone asks me if I will consent to be interviewed for the local paper, I will go into a tizzy, wondering about what to wear, and worrying abut what to say. Because it may be the start of Something Big.
By the way – the three other occasions upon which locals are always called upon by editors are:
Local witches, for Halloween interviews, in which they dress in silly clothes and/or are made to look silly by the interview.
Poor local children, lost local puppies and local reunions for a nice, sob-worthy Christmas feature.
Local women who have had in excess of thirteen children, for a Mother’s Day interview.
****Maybe I am wrong about this. Maybe there is an intelligent sure-fire answer explaining Love and Romance. Can you think of an intelligent line for a LRW to use in an interview, one that can’t be misconstrued? An impartial judge will choose one respondent to receive a signed copy of my aptly named: THE CHOICE.