I’m probably going to be sorry for this but I’d like to talk about the perceived “reader/author” divide a little bit.
First and up front – I love my readers. I do and they know it and I do my level best to show them how much I appreciate their support of me and my work. I know that without them I’d be writing books for my hard drive instead of getting them published.
That said, simply because I write books instead of putting tires on cars or practicing law or making shoes in a factory does not mean I’ve signed on to not have opinions. Sorry, I’m opinionated. I have feelings and opinions and sometimes I share them and sometimes I start to share them and delete my response because along with my feelings I’m also somewhat of a public figure and so I need to be aware of that.
God, I don’t even know what the hell that sentence means. See what happens when I try to walk a middle line and not offend anyone?
Okay fuckit, here’s the thing – we all have opinions and yes, we know what they say about opinions, right? The expression of an opinion does not, simply by its expression, make me any more bitchy or poorly behaved than anyone else. I’m already a bitch, that comes with the opinionated part. But my having feelings doesn’t make me bitchy. How I express my opinion is another thing entirely and that’s the crux of the issue that gets missed so often. (For instance, see the difference between Lydia Joyce expressing her opinion at AAR and a certain other person – one is opinion, the other is opinion expressed in a manner destined to get people upset)
I don’t like it when people think that because I write books, I have no right to have feelings. See, that’s an opinion. I don’t like it when they talk the worst kind of hateful stuff about authors as if we’re merely laptops with arms. See, another opinion. You see, I’m not an animatronic person placed on earth to serve you. (if I was, I could eat all the chocolate and pringles I wanted and my ass would fit into my jeans. Oh and I wouldn’t have those evil stretch marks).
And I’m not talking about Karen S, let’s say that explicitly right now. I happen to like Karen and her ability to laugh at herself as well as other people. I have my own opinions of the flap at her blog but it’s not even a thing and I’m not going there – enough people have spoken about it.
Frankly, I don’t think there is an author/reader divide at all. I think there are some authors and some readers who get into it – to extrapolate that out to all of us is irresponsible. I love my readers, you can go to my loop and ask em if you like, or you can read this blog, shrug. I appreciate them and their support. And most of all, I respect them. And it appears they respect me too, which means a lot to me.
I’m looking out on the loops and blogs and I’m not seeing it. I see trouble spots but I’m not seeing a “divide” at all. I see some people who thrive on drama and shit stirring (on both sides) but for the most part, the rest of us are doing our own thing and getting along quite well and it pisses me off to have a few people trying to stir people up and make a problem when there is none simply to amuse themselves or get attention.
Not everyone is going to like you. That sucks of course, LOL, as everyone should love me and erect shrines to me with cupcakes and Pearl Jam CDs. But I’m as flawed as anyone else, hell, moreso because I’m neurotic as well as opinionated. I’ve got opinions folks and sometimes I’m gonna share em. If you want to share yours, it’s only fair I share mine. Not that I will all the time you see, but I hold that right just in case something pushes my buttons and my husband can’t talk me down.
Okay, I’m out.
June 20th, 2006 at 12:23 pm · Link
From all reports, the readers and authors who met and mingled at Romantic Times and Lori Foster’s get-together had a lovely time. I don’t think the online outbursts of late are very representative of readers and authors as a whole.
June 20th, 2006 at 3:36 pm · Link
We had a fan-freaking-tastic time at the LF get together! Authors mingled with readers and vice versa. It was a wonderfully fun time.
However, there are a few authors out there who go around showing their bitchiness and snarkiness at extreme levels and find no shame in doing so *coughMJDcough* I could name a few others, but I won’t, as KarenS would say, I can’t be arsed. : ) Same goes for readers but only a few stand out in my mind and I’m not going to name and shame them here… hell, for all I know you could consider me one of them! LOL I surely hope not.
Great post Lauren. *G*
June 20th, 2006 at 3:47 pm · Link
Charli – I agree!
Anne – I’m so glad you enjoyed yourself at the Lori Foster gathering! I’m wicked jealous that you all got to go (I’m really going to try to make next year’s though)
And naw, dollface, I don’t think you’re anything but a sweetheart.
June 20th, 2006 at 4:20 pm · Link
Lauren, it makes me think of world politics. I was in Jerusalem back in the early eighties when the war broke out in Lebanon (before anyone coud even imagine what we have going on now) and the Arabs and Israelis got along beautifully in their neighborly, everyday life. It was the *few* who stirred up trouble for their own agenda that blew it up. That’s always the way.
The Internet is just a microcosm–one that on a very small and insignificant level, manages to be a metaphor for life.
Sorry. I’ve had a couple of pre-dinner beers and when I do that, I get weird. Hey, I’m a writer. We’re still allowed to be weird, if not bitchy. *gg*
June 20th, 2006 at 4:42 pm · Link
Ann – I think I need a few pre dinner beers, too, LOL.
Let’s hope some sanity reigns here and the rest of us don’t get pulled into this tempest in a teapot.
June 20th, 2006 at 7:17 pm · Link
OMG – not everyone likes me? But, but…I’m the center of the universe damnit.
great post hon *g*
June 20th, 2006 at 9:51 pm · Link
I agree – overall, authors seem to appreciate their readers, and vice versa. And the LF/DC get together was a blast!
And, Lauren, on a side note, this is the first I’ve seen the cover for Giving Chase. OMG – I freakin’ love it! Where have I been?
June 21st, 2006 at 12:36 pm · Link
Lori, I know, it’s purty! I love it, Scott did a great job.
And Jaynie, I love you, hon. That’s really all that counts, LOL.
June 21st, 2006 at 4:31 pm · Link
“I see some people who thrive on drama and shit stirring (on both sides).”
Uh, yeah. I’m even more of a mind to avoid the blogs and whatnot than I was before. I’m not into the drama. I’m just not. Only in my fiction. *g*
I reserve my right to be a human being with thoughts, opinions and emotions. I reserve my right to not enjoy being thought of as some piece of factory equipment, churning out novel after novel for people who do not think of me as a human being with thoughts, opinions and emotions.
That is all.
*bows deeply and offers Lauren a chocolate cupcake and a stack of Pearl Jam CDs*
June 21st, 2006 at 5:53 pm · Link
June 22nd, 2006 at 11:26 am · Link
I’m coming in a few days late on this. Poor me, I was on a beach in Mexico. I think maybe you’re holding back a little here. Still trying to be cautious. I feel myself doing it all the time. Because if you rant, you’re an author bitch. Readers get to be bitches, but not authors. Except those who have sculpted their personas around that trait. I’m working very, very hard on “becoming myself” in cyberspace, and it feels very dicey. I really liked your post.
June 22nd, 2006 at 3:26 pm · Link
Anya, LOL, I’ll share the cupcakes with you doll.
Jenny, thank you.
Ciar – yeah. I am a bitch, period, which makes me want to comment when I see stuff that makes me absolutely livid. So absolutely yes, this is me trying to speak out and yet still be circumspect. Which is difficult. At the same time, it was absolutely necessary for me to speak on the issue because it’s not okay to let a small group of people make a war out of some petty bullshit.