Edgar Awards 2015 — The speeches, or Charles Ardai on editors, plus DBB and YA
But I like him even better after this week's Edgar Awards dinner. Ardai was on hand to receive the Ellery Queen Award, and his acceptance speech constituted the best vindication of editing and editors I have ever heard.
Would anyone scold a great conductor for not letting the first bassoon play more? he asked. Would anyone denigrate a great movie director for exercising casting control over his or her own movies? No. Yet people these days disguise their ignorant contempt for editors and editing behind references to "gatekeepers," perpetrating the delusion that editors only interfere with a writer's "voice." Ardai became the second person I know to describe gatekeeper as a "sneering" term. Since I was the first, while I maintained my composure and kept snapping pictures during Ardai's speech, inwardly I was cheering myself hoarse.
Ardai said he gained his respect for editors early, when an editor performed surgery on one of his stories, changing almost every sentence. That taught him that editors make stories better, and that's what made him decide to be an editor when he grew up. On the way, though, he founded an Internet company and became an award-winning author. Yet an editor is what he wanted to be and what he talked about.
If I were an author, I'd want a man like Ardai behind my work. Join me in saluting a righteous dude, Charles Ardai.
Duncan was named a Mystery Writers of America grand master, and I learned from Hilary Davidson's introduction that Duncan is rated alongside S.E. Hinton and Judy Blume on the young-adult Mount Rushmore. I learned that her books had been censored, and that she wrote an account of the quest for her daughter's killer. I learned from Davidson and later from Sarah Weinman how much Duncan's work had meant to them. And that's one of the things I like best about conventions, dinners, and other mass crime fiction gatherings: The chance to learn about fascinating people and genres I might not otherwise have considered.
© Peter Rozovsky 2015