We All Need to Get Over Ourselves

Wake me up when this bullshit passes.

Wake me up when this bullshit passes.

Reviews are a tricky business. Back when I did them–a looong time ago–I always injected a little bit of snark. It’s in my nature to do so. There were books I loved and books I loathed. With each one, I attempted to at least show some good in each novel. Sometimes it was pulling teeth to find something. Eventually I decided that I wouldn’t post anymore reviews unless I had more positive than negative. Besides, that’s not my gig here to do reviews. I’m just not into it. I like to read at my own pace. On Goodreads, I have a three or more star rule. If I can’t give it at least three stars, I delete the book from my shelf and speak on it no more.

So, through a private site I belong to, I found out about a Blogger Blackout. The anchor, it seems, to this idea was when Kathleen Hale–who I admit is way bat shit crazy–chronicled her stalking a book blogger who gave her a less than savory review. Not having the other side of the coin makes it hard to pass clear judgment but Dear Author, as they do, analyzes it in their own way. Interesting points, to say the least.

Look, stalking is wrong. The lengths that Hale went through are criminal or near to it but without the person in question coming out, there’s really not much of a case. That’s the way the chips fall. Besides, the nice veil of the internet allows people to walk around, asses out, to show their anonymous tattoo in a scrawling script.

From the Ellora’s Cave derpiness to human interaction through the computer akin to monkeys throwing poo lately, I’m just sick of it all. It’s great that people band together to support a cause. I can’t discount the power of that. What I can’t abide by is mob mentality. I’ve been victimized and lumped into a group that I had nothing to do with because of people adopting this philosophy. I kept to the advice I give to others–I didn’t react to it. The fire fades if you don’t throw any fuel on it.

Every author has gotten a bad review, no matter how big they are. It’s the nature of the beast and it’s not going to change anytime soon. My personal favorite that I’ve received remarked how they hated the sex between the man and woman … in my strictly m/m novel. I snickered and moved along. I have no room in my life to slink around or curl up and cry over a bad review. I get over it. I’m doing what I love and to let someone ruin that? No fucking way.

As an author, I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read something I created. Lord knows reading a book takes valuable time plus typing away at the keys to post the review. Everyone is entitled to their opinions on said books. I’ve even thought on some reviews and said to myself ‘man, they have a valid point’. Blog reviewers are just as important as the authors that write the books they review. We need each other, plain and simple.

But I have to ask one thing–can’t we all just get over ourselves? Can we please stop the intimidation through social media and all the verbal diarrhea?  Authors–suck up the bad reviews and do not react to them in any public form or criticism about the content you write. Scream into your pillow at night and soldier on. Review bloggers–can we use a little more tact in the way reviews are written? Take a bad review to a whole new level that makes the author go “thank you, may I have another?” We are all human, full of emotions. Just as authors use pen names, bloggers should be free to use one too. Freedom is a wonderful liberty. However, on both sides of the coin, it doesn’t give anyone the right to verbally demoralize someone or gang up on a blogger/author when you disagree with their opinions.

Just because opinions are like assholes doesn’t give anyone the right to act like one too.

One thing before I close–I recommend everyone read this blogger’s post on the blackout. I like their point of view on this whole subject.

Be kind and be well, people. Find the joy and drop the hate.


Facebook and the Writer: A Love Story


wpid-20140607_124807.jpgSince diving into the publishing world, I’ve met a lot of fellow writers. We all use social media sites in some way. A good bit of them not only publish under their real name but have Facebook accounts where numerous people can friend them. I’ve seen a lot of worms wiggling out of the can because of it. One friend in particular keeps getting photos reported as breaking the rules set by Facebook even though there is no nudity. I wonder why someone would befriend her only to turn around and do that? Especially when she makes no bones about what type of writing she dabbles in.

It’s a bit of a tricky business. We want to connect with readers yet there is always an element just waiting to holier than thou you into a blackout for a couple of days or whatever the ban hammer layeth on you. Plus, a more ugly side if you ask me, is the numerous creeptards who think we live the lives inside our books. I get this under my normal account and I don’t broadcast what I write on my wall. Or at least the extent of it.

So, since I use a pen name, I decided to create a page instead. Now this was also because I didn’t want to log in and out between accounts mainly. Yeah, I’m lazy like that. Plus, it gives the reader an option to ‘like’ my page instead of wading through the waiting list for me to friend back. So, I can interact with readers in a friendly environment. Unlike groups and personal pages, by clicking the ‘like’ button on my page you’re understanding what that page is intended for. While I haven’t had the ‘pleasure’ of getting ban hammered yet, I think it decreases my chances. Not to say I can’t see someone douching out and ‘liking’ an author page just to report them.

18 or older, folks. That’s what my page is marked. So by wary, my fellow writers just starting out or those who have been jogging around the block for a while. While we love sharing our personal life with our readers to be more ‘human’, beware that there are going to be people who don’t like what you do. They will find ways to rain on your parade. Protect yourself and use the pages option on Facebook. It’s free and nearly troll free.

The Kinship of Authors

What I like when you dip your feet into the pool of publishing is the new friends you make in the writing community. Whether it’s your publisher’s group or even a writing community. It’s a great feeling. Social media and the like have made it easier to become friends with people from several different countries.

I love to read about their latest release and sometime wait anxiously for the next. Granted, I’m a space-it-out person. In the big publishing world, I have three authors I pre-order their books as soon as I see them. Nope, not naming them. I’m lucky if I get a book a year from them and honestly, that’s plenty. If they were the only authors I read I’d cry a river but I’m a little more diversse than that.

Now there is a dark side to everything. I don’t notice this from the bigger authors I follow so much but it does happen. I’ll friend about anyone but I’ll cull what I see in a heartbeat if I feel that it’s becoming a bit much.

Maybe you might recognize some like the following:

The Over Achiever: Constantly updates their status on everything, anything pertaining to their books to the point of overkill. Your Facebook wall looks like a harlot’s den of their promotional materials.

Me, Me, Gimme, Gimme: Self-absorbed and only thinks about promoting their own works. Doesn’t offer a spot on their blog for another author but tramps around to get their stuff noticed on other blogs. Say the words ‘quid pro quo’ to them and most likely they look like a canine when a dog whistle is blown.

Pity Me: Looks for sympathy over bad reviews about their books. Not the one-star drive bys but the indepth ones that point out the flaws. They want that pat on the back at tells them everything’s going to be all right. If you find the irony in this because their sales don’t reflect the poor rating, thumbs up to you. See also: Attention Whore.

Attention Whore: Any conversation they have, whether started by them or another, instantly becomes all about them. Never mind you’re celebrating an acheivement in your world. It’s like someone squeezing into a circle of your friends while you go over the latest feat your child did only to have a wallet full of photos from the cut-in queen on their super awesome mage sports offspring.

I really hope to not be or ever be this way. I love my readers but I also know (or hope) they are diverse like me. Too many authors out there to only give one love, IMO. That’s why I like to feature other authors here without expecting a spot on their blog. It’s about them, not me. Though, I will say I have excellent friends and most are more than happy to ante up a little quid pro quo.

*The artwork pictured is one of my original combination handdrawn and digital composition works.