Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Sue's Muse: Enough with the author bashing

Since I started reading the M/M romance genre, my reading in other genres declined. Whereas once I was a huge mainstream fantasy and crime fan, now I tend to read fantasy and crime with gay characters.

I used to read a lot of Piers Anthony, and love his long author's note at the end of the book. Most of the time it is gossip about his WIPs, suggestions made by readers, and general happenings in his life. However Piers isn't backwards in getting snippy with people who disagree with him. Reading these author's notes he does everything that authors are told not to do, including being very vocal about editors, publishers and readers. However Piers Anthony isn't just bitching, he's always been very interactive with his readers, incorporating their ideas and puns into his books.

So why am I burbling about a fantasy writer? Because this man works damn hard at his craft and has done for many years, interacts with his fans, and isn't above keeping his books his. I admire Piers for being the type of writer I want to become. He listens to his fans but he's no yes man. 

The last couple of weeks have been hard in the gayromance genre. We've had to suck up the registration debacle from GayRomLit, and a stinging judgement of the quality of the genre from Reviews by Jessewave, written by reviewers and readers. 

I can't deny that both these events have affected me, and delayed my writing. Hey, no one likes the implication that they're a second class writer. However the amount of damage it does is up to me. I can either sit wibbling under my denial blanket, or I can write all the stories inside me, and ignore the author-bashing. I can't write to the order of reviewers or readers, but I can write the books that I want to; different lengths, different categories, and celebrating gay relationships. 

This blog is not aimed at GRL or Jessewave. It's aimed at me. Time to fill up the coffee pot, stock up on chocolate and get fingers to keys. I have worlds to create and romance to dream about. 

Smoke me a kipper. I'll be back for breakfast.






13 comments:

  1. Here, here! *cracks typing whip*

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    1. I know I owe you a chapter. I've been blank for so long.

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  2. My favorite quote of all time comes from my favorite sci-fi writer Frank Herbert. I've had to take it out a few times the last couple of months to remind me to not fear. Stay strong, girlfriend! You write some of the best stories that I've read. {{hugs}}

    “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
    ― Frank Herbert, Dune

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    1. That is an awesome quote!! I'm going to put that up next to my screen.

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  3. The problem with a post like the Jessewave post is it's a general post, so tars every author with the same brush, which is not really fair. I'll put my hands up here and say I posted on it, I said what I thought but more as an understanding, not a complaint. I apologise if I offended you or anyone else, that was never my intention.

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    1. To be honest I didn't pay attention to names. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. That's what the Jessewave post is designed to do, provoke strong opinions. But Josie, honestly, if you had said something that offended me, I'd probably have discussed it with you.

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  4. I love your work - I have nothing more to say :)

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  5. There seems to be a much closer connection between M/M authors and readers than there is in any other genre, stemming from the fact that it's so easy to make the transition from reader to published author (often with fanfic somewhere in the mix). There is a bit more awe of authors in mainstream science fiction and fantasy, I think. I still remember running into Lois McMaster Bujold in an elevator and thinking that I wasn't worthy to be sharing an elevator with her. :-) I'm not saying that I want readers to feel I'm unapproachable -- absolutely not. But there is also some truth to the cliche that familiarity breeds contempt. Readers of mainstream fiction feel that the authors have paid their dues, whereas readers of M/M fiction seem to feel that we're just amateurs puffing ourselves up. They view the publishers as fly-by-night operations and therefore the authors those publishers pick out of the slush pile aren't properly vetted.

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    1. Not that I think I'm anywhere near the level of Bujold, btw.

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    2. I think time will be a great factor in changing the perspective of the genre. There are a few authors now who have 'paid their dues'. Hopefully as time moves on, publishers, authors and the genre itself will be viewed as professionals and not amateurs playing at the game.

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    3. I think you're right. We just have to hang in there and keep writing.

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  6. I read the Jessewave post, and she had some valid points.

    Maybe it's bloody egotistical of me, but I did not feel any of my books came under that general umbrella of complaint. Neither did those of my closest writerly friends - of which you, Sue, are one. We do not write gratuitous sex, we take great care over plots, characters, pacing, and do our damnedest to produce a polished, professional - but above all, satisfying read.

    The reader and reviewer has to sift through a lot of pyrites before they find the gold, and it has to be disheartening.

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  7. There are hacks and there are good writers, and good reviewers and smart readers will be able to tell the difference. Keep truckin', Sue. :D You're quality.

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