Friday, December 26, 2008

Werewolf out of the Bag...Wait, or was that a Werecat?

Okay, for some of you following TextNovel.com, you may have already put this together.

Although I write under the name of Saoirse Redgrave (been doing a bit here and there with it for a while) I'm actually Shannon Reinbold-Gee (some of my family not being keen on the idea of integrating fantasy and sometimes romantic elements into writing, so I try to spare them). So what does that matter to you as readers and maybe members of TextNovel.com? Look at the Editorial Advisory Board for TextNovel.com .

Yep, that's me at the bottom. It was very kind of Stan Soper to make me a member of that, and I did some stuff to try and help the site out (press release, etc.--pretty much the same I'd do for anyone if I thought I could help) but it's been nagging me that now I have a story in the top five (actually 2 at the moment, I guess) and the Editorial Advisory Board gets to make the decision on who wins this thing (even after popular vote). See, here:

• Winner is picked by Textnovel.com Editorial Advisory Board.

Morally and ethically I think it would be in poor taste (at the very least) for me to be involved in the voting when I'm one of the folks potentially being voted on. I never thought this would be a real issue--I was mainly experimenting with the site and seeing how I could use it to inspire me to write and push myself to write more (and quickly)-and then--organically. Instead of Nanowrimo I was TextNovelling. I didn't expect to be up near the top (or even on top as I was--perhaps still am now--who knows?). Anyhow, because of my own moral convictions I feel I can't be involved in the final vote.

Folks in the legal trade (were this next red phrase comes from--yep, Granddad was a lawyer) would realize my involvement could be mistaken as a "conflict of interest" if I was voting on the Board and my story won. Just not cool.

So why did I try to keep my identity quiet? Probably in part for the same reasons other writers do. Depending on what else we (or our loved ones) do, we are open to public scrutiny more often than not (yeah, I know--it's SO very "middle school"). My husband is a teacher. I once was, also. I raise (and will be raising) certain questions, exhibit certain characteristics of characters that some educators and administrators might not always appreciate.

Not that my writing would negatively impact my husband's job, but we are in an off and on conservative region of New York. Better to be cautious. AND--(although Stan accidentally "outed" me once or twice) I liked the idea folks could look at my writing as Saoirse and form their own opinions (thumbs up/thumbs down) without wondering what I might or might not do as a member of some Board.

So, do I expect my story to win? I'm not sure what to expect after today. "13 to Life" is up against a very well-polished manuscript and an assortment of various stories--all of which appeal to different sorts of folks. I don't know what the Board will decide at the end of all this (and I don't think I'm ready to know, anyhow).

I really know nothing about my fellow Board members and their tastes--I don't live anywhere near the rest of them and I never have time to chat (complain, yes; question, absolutely!) so I can't fathom which stories are their favorites.

The winner could even be something not on the front page (except in occasional updates). Anyhow, it'll be a total surprise to me.

Would I like my story to win? ABSOLUTELY! Being a mom, a homesteader of sorts and the wife of a teacher, I use a borrowed computer and cut LOTS of coupons. $1,000 (even after taxes) would help a lot.

So, I'll be waiting like the rest of you to see how this all comes out, because the decision that's made for this first TextNovel contest will go a huge way towards deciding how people mentally "brand" the site and the American side of the movement.

Okay, I need to go to sleep. Lots to do tomorow! Take care!
~Saoirse

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