Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Even before I became a writer I had a major problem with author bashing. I completely understand that everyone has their own opinion and we all have the right to share that opinion but I've never understood the need to publicly bash or slam an author or their book. Now if you don't enjoy a book, and give in an honest review that states that opinion, I understand, but when it turns to mug slinging, berating and slamming a book, author, or their ability to write, that is where I draw the line.
As a reader, I have never felt the urge to do that. I've never emailed an author of a book I disliked and told her all the things I thought were wrong with her book. I've never posted a bad review or spread the word in anyway that I disliked a book because the way I see it, just because I don't like it, doesn't mean the book is terrible. What I hate you may love and vice versa. Why would I want you to go into the book with negative thoughts about it because nine times out of ten, that will sway your opinion when you might have enjoyed the book without going into it from a negative standpoint.
That is how I take it from a reader standpoint but from an author view it plain pisses me off. Again, not saying people don't have a right to their opinion but when a NY Times best selling author feels the need to publicly announce that another author "dosesn't write worth a darn" I think that's wrong. The way I see it, as authors we should all be on the same side. You have to worry about what your readers will think of your books (rightfully so), you worry about reviews, your editor, agent, why should we be getting slammed by our peers as well? I KNOW how much of my heart, mind, time and love goes into my books that I can't imagine attacking another author who does the same thing. Even if I feel that way, to me, something like that is better kept to myself, or even a close friend.
I have a friend who received an angry letter because "there is so much going on in the world today that you should be ashamed of yourself by focusing on something a trivial as you are" Umm, really? So throw out escapism, imagination and HOPE? I don't think so. In times like that, I rely on my books even more. Even if I didn't, I can't imagine emailing an author to tell her that.
Of course, that's just me. I try to play by one of the first lessons my mom taught me when I was four years old: Treat others the way you want to be treated. I think that's a damn good rule to live by.