Authors Gone Wild

Hey all,

For those of you rapidly scrolling up and down looking for pictures, you want girls gone wild.  for those of you reading,  last night at one of my writing groups, one of my fellow members had a piece about how they had stopped reading a poet they loved because he was having an affair.  The ensuing discussion suddenly started around how authors can and can’t, should or shouldn’t behave.

in a perfect world, an authors opinions would be unimportant in relation to their writing. their story craft would stand on its own and their own views of the world and politics and the events of the world would be unimportant.  Of course, in that same world I would have a pet giraffe that I would ride to the store with a killer stereo between its horns and an AC so I didn’t get too hot.

In the real world, especially with the need to use social media, an author will be judged by his views as much as his writing.

say for instance you have a strong view about the de-desalinization of the ocean. (and yes I choose a subject that no one will have an opinion on)  an Author that comes out in favor of oceanic desalinization, some readers that agree with him will dismiss him, either because he is not Pro-desalinization enough, or because they think he is only on board for desalinization to grow a readership.  the other extreme, an author that is willing to chain him self to the intake valve to shut the desalinization plant down and save the plankton. Most readers will decide he is unstable or that he is a publicity hound only trying to get readers.

Sad reality is, no matter what side of the desalinization debate an author is on, the only thing he can do by jumping in on it is loose readers.

My tactic has been simple, people who post things that annoy me, I turn them off my feeds, they can see what I am doing and when/if I start making money, I will contribute to the causes I believe in quietly [and hope that no one ever discovers I am pro desalinization]

we could dwell on how ironic it is that thanks to marketing and social media, an author, who by definition writes words for a living needs to self censor.

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11 thoughts on “Authors Gone Wild

  1. 100% agreed. (And now looking with paranoia over my shoulder as I contemplate if my stance on supporting the opinion of a pro-desalinization author is somehow branding me as part of the camp and thus costing me readers… *twitch*) In all seriousness, though, I do tend to fall into that “perfect world” camp with my own reading selections.
    Would I want to hang out and be bestest pals with Chuck P or Clive Barker? Most likely not. Does that stop me from snatching their books off the shelves and flying to the counter, shouting “Shut up and take my money?” It does not. I remember the stink when Barker “came out,” the boycotts and bans, the shrieks. I calmly took my copy of Weaveworld down, read it again and said “Um. Still an awesome story…” then went right to the store to snag Sacrament.

    The whole thing is just mystifying to me. Though I am well aware that it exists, which is why I try not to get involved (even peripherally) in causes, trends of opinion or anything of the like when I can. It is a sad state of affairs, though.

    Reply
    • I’m sure the anti-plankton people are going to be protesting at house. better saddle your giraffe just in case! This is one of these wished it didn’t exist, but it is what it is… doesn’t mean we have to like it, just deal with it

      Reply
      • Also thanks to Facebook/Twitter/etc, everyone thinks they know the opinion of an artist… whether it’s really their opinion or not. Internet Telephone, for the win!

      • you bring up an interesting problem. If you don’t tell them what you think, then the post about how you used rock salt in your cooler could be taken to show your beliefs on desalinization. So now the question – is it better to lose readers because of what they believe you think or because of what you really think..

      • I just go with “it’s really out of my hands what people think or don’t, so I’ll write, hope it turns out well, and hope at least someone reads it.” XD I might worry about it more extensively if I ever appear on The Today Show with Stephen King on one side and Rebel Wilson on the other, but I don’t expect that day to come anytime soon. XD

  2. I often have to grit my teeth and sit on my fingers when I read posts about how stupid and hateful anti-desalinization people are–and yes, I have dropped people from my feeds on social media because I don’t want to see a stream of pro-desalinization propaganda. (I mean, seriously, how can people believe that it’ll be good for the whales when whales are adapted to live in salt water?)

    There are authors that I won’t read because their books become platforms for their beliefs, and they aren’t always authors I disagree with, either. I loathe polemic in fiction. But there are authors that I disagree with very strongly who write books that I enjoy.

    Clive Barker came out? Wait–was Clive Barker ever “in”? I mean, I’ve been following him since The Books Of Blood were released in the US, and I thought it was pretty clear that his writing about gay characters was based on real life experience. Granted, there are straight relationships, too, in a lot of his books, but I was never in doubt about his sexuality. He’s not preachy about it, just very honest, which is one of the things I like about his writing.

    Reply
    • you do know with out desalinization where are we going to get the salt for margaritas ? and think about how much better the whales skin will be with out all that salt on it. Your a welcome exception to the general rule. there are far too many people “I don’t want to read X because he came out gay, or had an affair, or is Anti Desalinization”

      Reply
    • I never really thought Barker was straight, either (after reading the rather… detailed?… manner in which he described a character’s “dainty butthole” in Everville, I’d say it was pretty clear), but around the time Sacrament came out here, there was a lot of hooplah about it. I suspect he was in the camp that just didn’t bother saying one way or the other, and someone just pinned him and made him confirm it or some such. I didn’t pay a lot of attention, because what he chooses to do in the bedroom is his business. My business is deciding if I want to give him my $30 for a book. And consistently, he gave me reasons to do that, so I did. XD

      I know what you mean about writers turning their work into a mobile platform for their own beliefs, though. I dropped Koontz for a long time, coming back only grudgingly around the time Odd Thomas came out, strictly because he was getting almost ridiculously preachy and formulaic regarding his religion and the causes he chose to support. “Oh, look. Another partially disabled boy with an amazing service dog that’s secretly a guardian angel!” Blah. Meanwhile, Ted Dekker still manages to get my interest and enjoyment even though we disagree on matters of faith, and I never get that “preachy” vibe off of him.

      Reply

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