Earlier this week, Romance Writers of America announced the finalists for the RITA, the equivalent of our Oscar nominees. In our little world, discussions popped up discussing them, but one comment was the most common, it seemed: the weird skewing of numbers in each category. For instance, Inspirational Romance only had two entries, while Paranormal Romance had Lucky 13. Contemporary had eighteen!
From what I understand, this is attributable to a couple of factors, but one of the main ones is that the finalist had to garner a 90% score or higher, with no low score dropped. Another factor, is that the new scoring system is now in place for the RITA, with the ‘romance’ portion heavily weighted.
Did this hurt the categories like Inspirational, Erotic and Romantic Suspense, which have different genre expectations? Did those categories just have fewer entrants, thus making the field proportionally smaller that would get the 90% score? I heard the YA category had to be eliminated because there weren’t enough entrants, which is a shame. I know last year a nice proportion of them were paranormals.
But before we get into discussing all this, I’d like to celebrate the finalists in the Paranormal Romance category, which includes our very own Lexi George!
Here are the finalists!
- The Burning Sky, by Sherry Thomas
- Caged Warrior, by Lindsey Piper
- Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar, by Lexi George (woohoo! Way to go, Lexi! mwah!)
- The Devil’s Heart, by by Cathy Maxwell
- Diamond Dust, by Vivian Arend
- The Firebird, by Susanna Kearsley
- Heart of Obsidian, by Nalini Singh
- His Clockwork Canary, by Beth Ciotta
- Immortally Ever After, by Angie Fox
- Shadowdance, by Kristen Callihan
- Skies of Gold: The Ether Chronicles, by Zoë Archer
- Teardrop, by Lauren Kate
- Witch Bound, by Eleri Stone
One thing that struck me was the lack of some of the bigger names in PNR, like Ward, Cole, Kenyon, etc. In the past, they’ve been in the list, alongside the newcomers and the other solid writers that just haven’t made it to the rarefied air of the JR Ward level. Is it the new scoring system? I want to be clear, this isn’t knocking this list AT ALL. I’ve read three of these thirteen and they deserve to be there, and just the names of some of the others assure me they should be there as I’ve read others of theirs. I just wonder if it’s limiting to good stories of just a certain type, leaving out good stories of another type due to the new scoring system. Does that make sense? Or is it as simple as they didn’t enter? I really don’t know.
What about you? Which have you read? I’ve read Piper’s, George’s and Callihan’s and I’m eager to dive into a number of these, especially Sherry Thomas’ (as I love her historicals) and Susanna Kearsley’s (loved the Shadow Horses!). I also want to read Beth Ciotta’s as I enjoyed the first book in that series. Some of the others I haven’t heard of, but looking forward to getting acquainted.
Do you non-writers even care about this award? Are we the only ones that get excited about it? Or do you notice and add some to your TBR pile?
What are your thoughts? We’d love to hear from you!