Wednesday, January 11, 2012

ARETHA HAD IT RIGHT.....

Apollo and the nine Muses
As a “Living Muse” for an author, I become part of the story, part of the process.  I am lucky enough to be included on matters like cover ideas (usually asked for by the publisher).  I am usually the first to read the work. and often the first to edit the little things or to make suggestions when something is not clear.  

I may be the “muse”, but I am also a member of the target market.  I know what I like to see, and I talk to people who are readers and book buyers. People talk to me about their reading preferences. I have talked to many people, past and present who have passed on buying books when the cover did not match the blurb.  I have worked in retail arenas and know a bit about marketing.  Just because the green striped pants and the shirt with the purple dots are appealing separately does not mean you pair them up to merchandise them together.  But I digress.  

I take my position as a living muse seriously.  All people deserve to have there opinions heard, recognized and respected even if I do not agree with them.  I may not like what you say, but I am not going to accuse you of being unprofessional just for having an opinion that differs from mine.  I also learned a long time ago to never put nastiness on paper because it is really hard to take back once it is in the hands of another person.  I have regretted it a time or two.  

My thoughts, opinions, and feelings are mine just as yours are yours.  As a muse I listen to my writer and I feel the words as they are being written.  They become a part of my very being.  They flow through me like a river full of love and the passion the writer puts into each and every piece.

As the “living muse", I take pride in the work along with the author.  Every part of it is important to me.  And in many of the stories, I am actually a part of the story, a character.  I do not expect anyone to kowtow to my or the author’s needs, nor do I expect special treatment.  However, to disregard an author’s or beta reader’s opinions regarding a work just because you are the “publisher”,  and their opinion differs from yours, you may be making a mistake. If something bothers the author or beta reader, it may also bother the target market.

I respect publishers and the fact that with publishing, like any business, they are in it to make money.  But to resort to swearing and name calling individuals with differing opinions is simply childish and unprofessional. Stick to the merits.  

Many choose to sweep with a broad broom, giving far greater significance to statements than is warranted in context. I do not like the look of the car called “CUBE”,  but I like other cars. To say that because I don’t like the “Cube”, I do not like cars is a broad overstatement.  Similarly, I do not read M/M erotica, but that does not mean I dislike all other erotic stories.

I am also a writer.  I love to write and respect writers.  I do not think that any author no matter who they are, what they write, whether or not they like me or what I write, all deserve respect. That is all inclusive. It takes talent, time, and passion to write.  Do I like everything I have read?  No, hardly.  There are so many talented authors out there, so many that I admire even if I do not read what they write.  I admire them because they have the courage to go out there and put themselves on display for the entire world to see.  I admire them for that courage, good or bad, right or wrong.  

 I am a reader reviewer as well as all of the above.  I love books, and my TBR is many pages (which reminds me I need to update it soon).  I love to read and have been reading passionately since I was a small child.  I look at all aspects of a book when I review.  That includes the cover, blurb, editing, flow, and characters.  I often take notes while reading a book for review.   I review in genres I enjoy reading.  Murder mysteries, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, fantasy, f/f, f/m, menage, bdsm, some contemporary romance, romantic suspense, psychological thrillers, and occasionally science fiction and some YA.  If I am not going to read it for enjoyment, I won’t read it for review.  Why?  Because it is not fair to either the author or myself.  

I would never intentionally demean a writer or their work or a publisher’s job.  I may ask questions, have concerns, and ask for some answers to questions when I do not understand something.  I may give examples such as a “what if it was done this way” to see if you can understand my point better, but it is not meant to demean or belittle what you have done, it is simply my way of trying to understand.  Some have found recently that it is easier to attack on a personal level instead of being professional.  I guess it is kind of like politics-- when one can’t deal with or doesn’t have the facts to back up one’s position, then simply attack one’s opponent’s character.  As writers, muses, reviewers, publishers.... industry wide... we should be building each other up, not knocking each other down. Personal attacks harm everyone.  I wrote a poem once, in part it said “Words can hurt more than a slap. Bruises fade, something said lasts forever in a memory.” I do not want the last words I remember of someone to be hateful and hurtful.  Unfortunately, for some it is too late. The hateful words have been said, burned in my brain. Can I put them aside and move on? Yes. Will I ever forget ... NO.  

My job as a muse is to love and support and inspire.  My job as a reviewer is to read and be honest with my OPINION of the work I am reviewing.  As a writer, even if it is just on the pages of my blog, it is to be true to myself, and express what I feel I need to express. I am capable of all of these things.  I am also capable of protecting myself when necessary.  If you attack me personally, I will fight back!  I am a sensitive, emotional woman. I can cry at the drop of a hat,  but that does not give anyone a license to malign or walk all over me.  I will also defend and support my writer.  If you do not like it or anything that has been written above, that is your right.  

Bottom Line: We all have differing opinions on a variety of things.  My writer likes white chocolate I do not.  We need to respect those differences.  Hate filled commentary and personal attacks do no one any good. Sometimes it is better to agree to disagree.

Biting my tongue is a better thing for me to do than to hurt anyone.

6 comments:

  1. Good for you and I totally agree, you are spot on. :)

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  2. Good for you! I knew you had it in ya!

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  3. I like what you have to say here. It's insightful, passionate and fair. I also agree with you, that you don't have to take something to a personal level if you have a disagreement with someone. For the most part that's high school crap and we could all do without it. Well spoken and I don't know what the entire situation is, but still, please be a muse and share your own inspiration the way you have been. :D huge hugs

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  4. You bring up a very valid point- I have many authors that are considered friends, confidantes and mentors but I have never read their work. Why? Because they are determined, have confidence and are relentless. Their strive for completion and success is a joy to see.

    Dawne

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  5. After the day I've had dealing with "broad brush" negative individuals, this post is right on the money! :)Great insights.

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  6. Alexx Mom Cat: This is the best blog of yours that I have read, and now my respect for you has grown many times over. You have explained everything in such minute detail that even a layman reader would be able to understand it.
    The best thing I liked about this post was that it encourages optimism; not every writer does that. In fact, many would love socking you in the face if you did not agree with them on an issue.
    Alexx, you are ready to hurt yourself or be hurt rather than hurt somebody else. This proves that you have a heart of gold. May you always stay that way and may the power of your pen/keyboard grow many times over, Amen. God Bless you.
    This is your fan ME
    From port Karachi

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