Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Guest Blogger: The Evil HR Lady Goes All Literary On Us

Normally found lurking in the dark recesses of the Human Resources Department of a large, unnamed company, the Evil HR Lady has stepped into the glare of the sunlight (with her identity concealed by special sunglasses) to express her views on LDS fiction. So by way of introduction--well, heck, how am I supposed to introduce her? She's anonymous. But drop by her blog if you get a chance and check out today's action shot of Offspring.

Stephanie begged me to do a guest blog for her. Yes, truly begged me. She said that she would do anything for me, if I would just write one little blog post for her.

I think, by the way, that she's lying. I told her I would do it if she would just make 6 months of my mortgage payments. Is that asking too much? I don't think so. I mean, that's the normal payment for this blogging thing, right?

She wanted me to give my thoughts on LDS fiction, but first I wanted to answer the question that is burning in all of your minds: With a name like "Evil" and a profession in HR, is entrance into an LDS bookstore even allowed?

Well, it's a good question. Fortunately, most bookstores don't ask for a temple recommend (should they?) when you enter. Fortunately, my stake president is a lawyer and my bishop is a real estate agent, so I'm actually in the more respected profession.

As for LDS fiction, there needs to be a good novel about a brilliant HR manager. Other than that, I like things with characters that aren't stupid. You all know what I mean--people who when they are put into the Witness Protection Program don't just call up their high school boyfriend to chat. If that phone call truly is essential to the plot, the author better come up with a convincing reason why a rational person would make the decision to call the ex-boyfriend rather than sit safely in the apartment in South Dakota.

And as long as we're talking stupid characters, let's talk about Fairy Tales. Sleeping Beauty's parents? Dumb as rocks. "Oh, she's been cursed that she'll sleep for 100 years if she touches a spinning wheel on or before her 16th birthday. I know, let's bring her out of hiding on her 16th birthday, rather than keeping her safe for one more day!" And don't even get me started about Ariel.

Sorry, LDS fiction. I don't want something that "pushes the envelope" which seems to be code for, "slips in bad words." If I wanted bad words, I would buy national market fiction. Because of the small print runs and high costs of LDS fiction, an LDS novel is almost always more expensive than a national market one. Why would I pay a premium for an LDS novel that is the same as the national market ones?

I don't want everyone to be baptized in the end of each story. But, if a story ends that way, it's fine, as long as it's consistent with the plot. I need to like the characters, or at least be intrigued by them. I want to be able to cheer on a heroine, not barely tolerate her.

I do like a little bit of romance, but I'm not a romance fan. I did try to convince Stephanie to have a little more love in The Believer, but she wouldn’t listen to me. I loved Kerry Blair’s This Just In, because it had believable romance even though the circumstances were a bit unbelievable.

Lastly, I’d like a good solid idea so I can write the great LDS novel and become rich and famous. Although, ironically, none of you would ever know it was me because, well, I’m anonymous. But you’d read it anyway, because it would be so good. Hmmm, maybe I could do something about the Mormon Tabernacle Choir meeting up with the Vienna Boys Choir at a choir competition. Each member of the choir could convert a member of the other choir. It could be a book of 300 short stories about each conversion!

On second thought, I'd better leave the LDS fiction writing to the experts here on the Frog Blog. I don’t even know what percentage of the Vienna Boys Choir is over eight.


At 3/21/2007 5:08 PM, Blogger Mean Aunt said...

Yes but can all the MoTab members speak German? And in the movie version who would play Mack Wilberg?(I'm thinking Patrick Stewart)

At 3/21/2007 6:15 PM, Blogger Jon said...

people who when they are put into the Witness Protection Program don't just call up their high school boyfriend to chat.

I know this will not surprise you, but my wife just recently edited something that had a very similar situation to this one.
Someone is on the run, hiding from the bad guys, (and, naturally, is getting the help of an old girlfriend), and decides that it's not moral of him to sleep in the same motel room (not on the floor? the bathtub?) so he sleeps in the car in the parking lot. Yeah, the guy that's in hiding.

Excellent guest blog!

I don't see any reason why you couldn't write a novel with a main character from HR. Write what you know, right?

Here's your novel idea:

You've just been hired as a high-ranking member of HR for a large company. You notice a lot of turnover, but can never get in touch with people who have been laid off. You begin to suspect that employees that are terminated ... well, you get the idea. (Think of the severance savings!) You have the assistance of a lovable, but quirky private detective. Together you seek to unravel the mystery...

No need for royalties, just put me in your acknowledgement section. =)


At 3/21/2007 6:52 PM, Blogger Evil HR Lady said...

FHL--what a fabulous suggestion. Since I deal with severance on a daily basis, I could certainly appreciate the ease of just "terminating people."


As for Mean Aunt, I definitely think Patrick Stewart would work. Angela Lansbury could star as well.

At 3/21/2007 6:53 PM, Blogger Evil HR Lady said...

Hey, and for the record, I don't lurk in the "dark recesses" of human resources. I have an office with a window! Which they are moving me out of because I'm not high enough up the food chain and other people are complaining.

So, in about two weeks I'll be in the "dark recesses," but not today!

At 3/21/2007 8:41 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Bummer about losing the window.

I love the novel idea, FHL. Future bestseller!


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