I suppose this could be considered blasphemy in The Red Room. Maybe I'll be unceremoniously dumped from this site which I really do love for its diversity and its opportunity to "meet' so many authors. But I'm a little irked. Oh, it's nothing new. I remember when a fairly well-known "author" in a niche market credited a large number of people in acknowledgments. What the author didn't say was that all of those people were the ones who actually wrote the book.
I've come to expect ghostwriters for celebrity bios and books carrying "and" or "with" in the byline. Those aren't ghostwritten, they're clearly acknowledged What I really don't like is the appearance of someone doing something when I can't prove that they have, in fact, carried out the task.
If you've been reading my blog then you already know that I'm thoroughly independent. I really have a strong sense of fairness and fair play. Okay, I'll admit that I tend to joust at windmills in my efforts to achieve fairness. It might not be attainable but if I don't try, I'll never know.
Not long after I joined The Red Room it was proudly announced that Senator and author, Barak Obama, had joined. Great! Especially since it was announced that this was not a political move on The Red Room's part. I waited to see if any other candidates would appear. I'm sure that at least one other has "written" a book. Nope. No one else. I surfed over to the Senator's page and the only blog entry was part of a speech delivered on January 14th of this year. I periodically surf to the list of authors. Nope, No other politicians that I can see. I also surf back to the Senator's page. The only things added are book covers, videos, all political. No blog entries about writing. Yes, I know, he's busy campaigning.
Actually, I'd be hard pressed to believe that he had anything much to do with the page other than approve its inception. I would guess that it was his p.r. team who make any entries, and his staffers who found The Red Room. They haven't had the courtesy to publish one response to any of the 14 blog comments from people who apparently think that the Senator is reading the blog. Personally, I wouldn't bet that farm on his finding time to glance at the messages, let alone read them. Would someone like to provide proof that he is, in fact, involved in The Red Room?
Interestingly, his is one of about three authors whose larger image rotates on the home page. What has he done to deserve that? He's not James Patterson with a string of best sellers. The line for Patterson at BEA last Summer was so long that it snaked around almost the entire interior of The Jacob Javits Center. I don't see Candace Bushnell's image rotating through and she has certainly earned attention as an author. Or Clive Barker.
The journalist in me wants to know why there is only one politician featured if there is no endorsement? Is this not a tacit endorsement? Where are the others? Were they invited to participate in the interest of fairness? Does anyone else care about this but me?
It doesn't matter for whom I vote. What matters in a democratic society is democracy itself. And, for me, fair play.
Causes Darlene Arden Supports
The Marcia Polimer Abrams Fund for Canine Behavior Studies at the AKC Canine Health Foundation