Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mean People

So my birthday was on my Monday and I had planned on blogging (with pictures included!), but my camera didn't work so no pictures were taken. Besides the camera issues, I scrapped the blog idea for a topic much more important: Mean People!

One of my author friends called me recently. She was terribly upset because someone had bashed both her and her books on the Internet. During a Google search, she had found the post that ripped her apart.

"Why are people mean?" she asked me over the phone. I wanted to sit there and call the author of the blog nasty names to defend my friend. I wanted to sooth her hurt feelings and make her feel better. I didn't call anyone names but I did try to ease her hurt. While doing so, I thought about why people don't like certain books or whatever.

Have you ever watched a movie and the main character reminded you of someone you know? I did. I love the movie The Waitress. I love the story line, most of the characters, even the main actress is one of my faves, but I cringe every single time the main character's husband appears on the screen. You see, the husband in the movie looks exactly like a guy who used to beat on my relative. It hits to close to home for me. If I was more sensitive, I'd probably hate the movie just because that one actor.

Back to books... I once had a new critique partner. She started reading Confessions and couldn't get past the first chapter. She sent back a nasty note with my manuscript that went something like: Wendy, it is impossible for people to sell their babies. It just doesn't happen. You won't ever sell this book to a publisher and I'm not going to critique it for you. I was pissed and wanted to ask her if she ever watched Lifetime because damn it, people do sell their babies. It isn't legal but since when do laws stop some people? Never. Just so you know, my mom was sold as a toddler and Confessions is #1 bestseller for romantic suspense on my publishers site! Anyway, I later found out that my new critique partner couldn't stand my story because it hit way too close to her own life. The stuff going on in my book reopened issues she had in her life.

I explained all that to my friend. Sure, the person didn't like her book and we don't know why since it is taboo to comment to negative posts. Something in my friend's novel might have struck a nerve with the poster of the blog. Maybe one of the characters reminded her of someone she once knew. My friend needed to just brush off the fact that the blogger didn't like her book.

What wasn't acceptable is the crap she talked about my friend. We never know when someone we talk about is going to read our blog so why should we make comments like "I would rather die than read anything from that author again" (that wasn't what was said. I made that statement up). I think that is a lot worse than saying, "I didn't like such and such in the book because..."

There is a difference between stating your opinion in a respectful way and being mean. So, my friends, that is all for this Wednesday! Have a great evening and I will talk to you soon.

Wendy Ely


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