Friday, February 22, 2013

Knowing Who Writes the Books

Happy Friday all! I have to apologize first for no Five on Friday. Unfortunately our author for this week fell through. If I get the responses at a later date, I'll reschedule. In the meantime, I am excited about some of the authors who are getting on board for the 2013 year. You'll see some familiar folks, but a lot of new faces as well, which is very exciting to me.

Instead of a Five on Friday, I'm going to do a little philosophizing today, I guess. Or maybe that's too generous a word...maybe talking out loud...or typing in cyberspace. Whatever. I want to talk about a topic that I've seen mentioned in a couple articles now. I've made brief comments about them but feel a full blog post is appropriate. And I think it ties into the idea of our Five on Friday feature as well. The topic is getting to know the people who write the books.

Back in January, the New Yorker had this article about "reading repulsive authors." I commented that I really can't do that. Once someone has done something to make me repulsed by them, I can't read their books the same way anymore. Peter Damien at Book Riot seems to share my sentiments on that and has a very open, generous post explaining his feelings.

I love how Damien opens his article saying it's a good thing to see your heroes as human. And I agree completely. In fact, seeing many of them as human has only caused me to admire them more. 

I respect everyone's right to have their own opinions and to be able to voice them, provided they are not inducing violence against others or overriding the rights of someone else. So someone expressing their political views or religious views or some other sensitive topic, isn't going to deter me from reading their work if I enjoy what they write. In fact, I may even be more open to hearing what they are saying if it differs from my own views because I've come to respect them in other areas. [I will add a caveat here...fanatics are a different situation. If your beliefs terrify me, forget it. I'm outta Dodge.]

I also believe in the Golden Rule, however, and if I see or experience someone mistreating someone else or behaving as though they are more important than someone else, that's usually a black mark in my eye. And those are the only instances that have caused me to stop reading authors I once read (actually it was only one author) or not start reading someone. I know that my negative experience has been extensive enough that I can't objectively read the author any longer. And I sure wouldn't find that fun. I'm certainly not going to punish myself for something someone else did.

But we've kind of been discussing this as though authors are the only ones who encounter this kind of issue. And that's not the case at all. If we look at President Clinton, we see that he had to deal with people knowing about his personal life in ways that President Kennedy, or any president before Kennedy for that matter, did not. Royalty in Europe find the paparazzi much more intrusive than 30 or 40 years ago. Teachers, police officers, firefighters...all have had scandals, sometimes losing their jobs, because of otherwise legal things that they did or said in their own personal lives that made it back to their employers. Whether it's right or not is a moot point. It happens; when we make choices about what careers we want to pursue, where we want to live, who we want to be, there are conditions that come along with those choices. When we make choices there's always some kind of consequence. Sometimes they're positive, sometimes not--but they always exist.

Likewise, in our country, we have the right to express dissatisfaction or disgust by choosing not to buy or support, it's the nature of the beast in a society like ours. Years ago I stopped attending professional sporting events or buying merchandise because I've become so enraged by the value we place on professional sports over things like education and human welfare. I've chosen not to eat in restaurants when the company opts for cheap over humane animal treatment. Will it make a difference? No, not likely. But that's the voice I have and no matter how small, I choose to be heard that way.

Similarly, people can choose what music they listen to, what movies they see, what books they read and there is an overwhelming amount to choose from. It's not as though any one artist has a monopoly in their chosen field. Can a great writer be a complete ass and still make money? Sure. But is the reader who chooses not to continue reading that author really going to lose out? Probably not because there are so many other great writers out there as well.

Of course I can say this in a genre where I've experienced VERY few bad encounters.

My conclusion for all this is always make sure that the reading experience remains fun. If you can read someone who has been a jerk and still enjoy the book, like Maria Bustillos can, then do it. If you're more like me and it takes the fun out of a reading experience, then don't read that person anymore. But do keep in mind that our authors are humans. If you expect them to be Gods, you probably won't have much to read.

3 comments:

Rhiannon February 23, 2013 at 10:33 PM  

This is a good topic to cover. I also agree with your policy for reviewing books you like only, as another reader I know puts it "life is too short to finish one star books". If I find a book to be 1-2 stars and not thrilling or moving, I will put it down and move on. There are just too many books in my pile waiting for me to waste time finishing the duds just for the sake of finishing.

It takes a lot for an author to turn me off entirely and good behavior on a personal level will also make me seek out another book by an author I didn't care for previously (maybe it was the series if they have several, or one bad book).

Webmaster February 25, 2013 at 1:22 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
George at The Thirty Year Itch February 25, 2013 at 1:25 AM  

Good post Jen. Since I've never been mistreated by an author I don't know exactly how I would react, but I suspect I, too, would avoid his or her work.

I also think this works well the other way, too. When I meet an author that seems genuine and I like, I become more likely to read his or her books and support their work publicly. Perhaps it makes me feel like part of the team!

Labels

2011 2012 2013 Ace Atkins Adrian McKinty Agnete Friis Alafair Burke Alan Bradley Alan Glynn Alan Orloff Alex Berenson Alex Dryden Alexandra Sokoloff Andrew Grant Andrew Gross Anne Zouroudi Annie Barrows Ariana Franklin Arne Dahl Attica Locke audiobook jukebox Audiobooks author events Author Q/A Barry Eisler Bernard Cornwell Beth Ann Fennelly Bill Cameron Bill Crider Bill Loehfelm Bill Pronzini blog tour Book Events Book News Brad Meltzer Brad Parks Brent Ghelfi Brett Battles Brian Azzarello Brian Freeman Brian McGilloway Bryan Gruley C. J. Box C.J. West Camilla Läckberg Cara Black Carl Hiaasen Carla Buckley Carlos Ruiz Zafon Carter Wilson Catriona McPherson Charles Cumming Charlie Huston Charlie Newton Chevy Stevens Chris Grabenstein Chris Holm Chris Kluwe Christa Faust Christopher Reich Christopher Rice Chuck Greaves CJ Lyons Claude Berube Colin Cotterill Cozy Mystery Craig Johnson Craig McDonald CRCRC crime caper Crime Fiction Crime Writers Caught Recommending Crime CWCRC D.A. Mishani Dana Cameron Daniel Palmer Daniel Silva DATW Dave Barry David Baldacci David Corbett David Ellis David Handler David Hayward David Morrell David Rosenfelt Deborah Coonts Deborah Crombie Declan Burke Denise Hamilton Denise Mina Dennis Lehane Detective Fiction Diane Stuckart Don Bruns Don Winslow Donald E Westlake Donato Carrisi Douglas Corleone Duane Swierczynski dystopian Earl Emerson ebook Ed Lynskey Edoardo Ballerini Elizabeth Hand Elizabeth Haynes Emma Donoghue Eric Beetner F. Paul Wilson FFB Five on Friday Focus Features Forensic Science Foul Play Books Francine Mathews Gabriella Herkert Gar Anthony Haywood Gayle Lynds General Fiction George Guidall George Pelecanos Gillian Flynn Graham Brown Gregg Hurwitz Hallie Ephron Hank Phillippi Ryan Harlan Coben Harley Jane Kozak Harper Lee Herman Koch Heroes and Villains Hilary Davidson Historical Fiction Hugh Laurie Ian Rankin Inger Frimansson Ingrid Thoft international thriller J.J. Myers J.T. Ellison James Barney James Conway James Crumley James DuPont James Fredericks James Grippando James Lee Burke James LePore James O. Born Jamie Freveletti Jan Burke Jane Cleland Janet Evanovich January LaVoy Jassy Mackenzie Jed Rubenfeld Jeff Abbott Jeff Woodman Jeffery Deaver Jeffrey Cohen Jeffrey Siger Jennifer McMahon JIAB2011 JIAM2013 Jill Thompson Jo Nesbø Joelle Charbonneau John Connolly John Grisham John Hart John Lescroart John Sandford John Shannon John Verdon Johnny Shaw Jon Land Jonathan Hayes Jonathan Kellerman Jonathan Schuppe Joseph Finder Joseph Wallace Joseph Wambaugh Josh Bazell Josh Corin Joy Castro Julia Heaberlin Julia Pomeroy Julia Spencer-Fleming Julie Hyzy Juliet Blackwell Karen Fossum Karen Olson Karin Slaughter Katherine Kellgren Keith Thomson Kelli Stanley Kelly Braffet Ken Bruen Ken Isaacson Kevin Guilfoile Kimberly McCreight Lachlan Smith Laura Lippman Laurie R King Lawrence Block Lee Child Left Coast Crime Legal Thriller Lene Kaaberbøl Lenny Kleinfeld Les Roberts Liad Shoham Libby Hellmann Linda Castillo Linda Fairstein Linwood Barclay Lisa Ballantyne Lisa Black Lisa Brackmann Lisa Gardner Lisa Lutz Lisa Unger Literary Mystery Lori Roy Lou Berney Louis Bayard Louise Erdrich Louise Penny Louise Ure MacLeod Andrews Marcia Clark Marcus Sakey Mark Billingham Mark Gimenez Mark Hammer Mark Pryor Mark Sullivan Markus Zusak Martin Limon Martyn Waites Mary Higgins Clark Matt Coyle Matthew Dicks Matthew Pearl Matthew Quirk Medical Thriller Meg Gardiner Megan Abbott Memoirs Meredith Cole MfM 2011 Michael Chabon Michael Connelly Michael Harvey Michael Koryta Michael Lister Michael Stanley Michael Van Rooy Michael Wiley Michelle Gagnon Middle Grade Mike Lawson military thriller Murder and Mayhem in Muskego Narrator Interviews Nevada Barr Nonfiction novella NPM Oliver Harris Owen Laukkanen p.i. fiction paranormal Paranormal Thriller Pat Conroy Paul Levine Pete Larkin Peter Berkrot Peter Robinson PI Fiction poetry Police Procedural political thriller Psychological Thriller R.J. Ellory Ralph Cosham Raymond Chandler Rebecca Cantrell Reed Farrel Coleman Reg E. Cathey Review review copy Richard Lange Ridley Pearson Robert B. Parker Robert Crais Robert Dugoni Robert Fate Robert Greer Robert Gregory Browne Robert Pobi Robin Burcell Rochelle Staab romantic suspense Rosemary Harris Ross Macdonald Rupinder Gill Ruth Rendell Ryan David Jahn S. J. Watson S.J. Rozan Sandra Ruttan Sara Gruen Sara Henry Sara Paretsky Sarah Weinman Sasha Abramsky Sci-Fi scientific thriller Scott Turow Sean Black Sean Chercover Sean Doolittle Shane Gericke Shelf Awareness review Short Stories Simon Lewis Simon Prebble Simon Vance Simon Wood Six-word Memoirs Sophie Hannah Sophie Littlefield Spencer Quinn spy thriller Stefanie Pintoff Stephen Cannell Stephen Coonts Stephen Jay Schwartz Stephen King Stephen White Steve Forman Steve Hamilton Steve Hockensmith Steve Mosby Steve Ulfelder Steven Forman Stieg Larsson Stuart Macbride Sue Ann Jaffarian Sue Grafton Susan Arnout Smith Suspense/Mystery T. Jefferson Parker Tania Carver Tasha Alexander Tess Gerritsen theme week Theresa Schwegel Thomas Holland Thomas Kaufman Thomas Young Thriller Tim Dorsey Tim Maleeny Timothy Hallinan tlc book tours Todd Ritter Tom Franklin Tom Piccirilli Tom Schreck Toni McGee Causey Tony Hays Tony Hillerman Trevanian Truman Capote Val McDermid Victor Gischler Walter Mosley Warren Ellis Wayne Arthurson Will Lavender William Kent Krueger Xe Sands xuni author Yasmina Khadra Young Adult Young Readers Yrsa Sigurdardóttir Zoë Sharp

Great Indie Bookstores

xuni

xuni
An amazing collection of authors!

TLC Book Tours

Traffic Map

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Feed

Google+ Followers

Our Blogger Templates Web Design


  © Blogger templates 'Neuronic' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP