Temper your words wisely… they can be a dangerous weapon


Most of us in the Indie writing community have heard about the recent drama on Facebook. There was an accusation made against someone, an Indie Designer, Lee Ching… that accusation (unsubstantiated as far as I know) led a group of 80+ people to attack the accused through messenger. The messages alledgedly ran the gambit from accusing her of being a theif, to encouraging her to take her own life. From what I understand, the attack was relentless, to the point that this talented individual tried to take her own life. Thankfully her cousin found her in time, and she is, I hope, recovering, which I’m sure will continue, at least emotionally, long after she is released from the hospital.
I don’t know Ms. Ching, but I do remember a time that someone, another Indie author, who is now one of my best friends, was attacked by several individuals on Goodreads. It occured because she had the audacity to express her opinion. I know about this first hand, becasue it occurred on my book’s review thread. A 1 star review was left, which isn’t the issue, the reviewer made mention of several incidents that didn’t occur in the book, which led several people to make the statement that if the reviewer couldn’t be bothered to pay attention, maybe he shouldn’t have left a review.
The bullies, under the guise they were defending the reviewer against bullies, attacked. But they didn’t attack everyone who had an opposing view to the reviewer, they only attacked my author friend, who only said she agreed with the assessment of a blogger that it appeared the reviewer hadn’t been paying attention. They targeted her.
These individuals attacked her facebook, her twitter, her blog, whatever they could find. They left vitrol everywhere, it was relentless. She’s a fighter,and fought back which only fueled their attack. I advised her to walk away. I’m not sure that was the best advice, but it was taking a toll on her well being. They eventually relented, and kudos to the reviewer, who actually asked them to stop. But God forbid, someone come back to the original thread and support this author. Like true trolls, they lurk in the shadows, waiting for an oppurtunity to strike, and they will.
They didn’t know this writer. What they felt they did know was that because of her profession, she shouldn’t have an opinion about another book. They felt that she couldn’t possibly be unbiased. They felt she shouldn’t have a voice. When I researched who they were, I discovered they felt it was their right to target Indie Authors, yes, target them. they wanted to take them down. Why? I could never figure it out. Eventually theses 3 individuals (yes, 3) moved on to bigger game. But in their wake, they left destruction and while I don’t dwell on it, I’m reminded of it everytime something happens in the wake of bullying. This incident with Ms. Ching is such an event.
There is no evidence that she stole anything. It’s my understanding that she used a stock photo, which most designers use, especially Indie. Quite often if the photo isn’t manipulated enough, some covers will look the same, it doesn’t mean anyone stole the cover of another individual, it just means the designer did what they were asked, or liked the image as it was. but let’s play Devil’s Advocate, what if she did steal it? Then you send a cease and desist letter, you report her to the publishing companies. You don’t go on the assault.
Street Teams are few and far between now because of the bullying tactics employed by more than one author out there, encouraging their “fans” to go after other authors.  And even if the authors didn’t encourage bad behavior, they did nothing to stop it.
Accusations are everywhere. I saw on the other day where one author accused another of publishing her book. It wasn’t true. The Publishing platform had made an error as both books had the same title. When the accused author contacted the platform, they agreed to fix immediately and apologized and when she explained to her accuser what happened, the accusing author would not relent, still accusing her of stealing the book.  To my knowledge, she still has yet to apologize.
I have thought long and hard about writing this post. We live in a society of innocent until proven guilty, yet many people have forgotten this. The pitchfork mentality is running rampant and Social media has led many people in the world to believe that because its the internet, it’s okay to do whatever you want. Those people think that the anonymity of being “invisible” gives you the right to say whatever you want, whenever you want… it’s not.
If someone has committed a crime, then report them to the authorities. If someone’s behavior is blantantly unacceptable, let your friends and family now, so they are aware. If someone posts something you don’t like, feel free to tell them in a “grown-up”, respectable way, then walk away. Everyone has an opinion, and chances are you aren’t going to agree with a lot of them. Freedom of speech is Freedom of speech, even when it’s hateful and ugly, but that doesn’t mean you get to attack and harrass someone because you don’t agree, or you feel they did something wrong. Again, if they did something crimnal, report them to the appropriate entity.
I have been a part of the Indie Author community for 8 years now. In that time, I have seen my fair share of ugliness, but mostly, I have seen the comraderie and beauty in our community. We need to get back to be professional adults. We are writers. We tell our stories. We are not in competition with each other, even though some will say we are, but we aren’t. We all have our own style. That goes for all the other professions in this community as well. Editors, Proofreaders, Marketers, Bloggers, Swag and Cover Designers. We are a family, and while we fight, and disagree, there should always be respect, admiration and love for one another.
From this day forward, temper your words wisely. Don’t fly off the handle, and say something that you might regret. Stop making assumtions about things until you have the facts… the facts, not someone’s opinion about what may or may not have happened.
And remember, words are powerful weapons, and as easliy as they can build you up, they can tear you down. They can rip out your heart, and crush your soul.
Use them wisely.
Advertisements

One Star Reviews – Cynthia Shepp


My friend Cynthia posted this today on her blog and I think it was eloquently stated and couldn’t be more true. Please check it out.

Cynthia Shepp

I want to talk about one star reviews for a minute. A book that I really liked got a 1 star review this morning that it does not deserve. This book had great writing and a great plot. I reviewed it myself and I gave it 5 stars. It was funny, unique, and I still tell people to read it and I read it a long time ago. Which means that the book stuck with me because it was good. I only give books what I think they deserve. If I really loved a book, the editing was good, and the book flowed well, I will give it 5 stars because it deserves it.

Some books could deserve one star reviews, I am not disputing that. People should always give their truthful opinion. If you don’t like the book, you don’t like the book. What pisses me off is when…

View original post 194 more words

The 2nd novel… OOOOO SCARY!!!


Well, yeah, it is.  It took me over 7 years to write my first novel, from idea to published product.  I took the advice of learned writers before me and I tossed several incarnations of the book.  The first was in the wrong place, the second was full of the wrong kind of dialogue, the third, I kept writing chapters that ended no where, but in the end, I had the book I wanted.  I love my book.  I love everything about it.  It’s a little bit of everything.  Fantasy, adventure, romance, thriller, horror… it covers them all.

Some people criticize the number of characters, but I think they are all needed.  I’ve had a lot of positive feedback and reviews, and some negative.  I have some of my fans who are screaming for the 2nd installment.  Thus the title of this post… the dreaded 2nd novel.  I always thought it might be somewhat difficult, but I had no idea the kind of pressure we put on ourselves as writers when it comes to a second book.  It’s not that I don’t want to return to Lia Fail and my beloved characters, I do.  I know where they are and what they’re doing for the most part (they will really get talking soon ; ), nor is it getting lost in their stories.  It’s not the hours of solitude (I actually love that part).  It’s the readers… the ones who loved my book.

The scary part is in the potential to disappoint them.  Something that scares the hell out of me.  I know I have two choices.  I can stop writing altogether (sucky option) or I can just man up and get it done.  Well, not writing anymore isn’t going to happen.  It’s part of me and who I am, like breathing.  I have to do it.  So I guess, I just need to man up.

It’s not like I’m out of ideas, those keep coming, actually piling up in my head.  Actually, I should get them out, right?  Ok, time to be a grown-up and sit down and start increasing that word count.  Kind of like here.   Ok, so maybe it’s not that scary.  Maybe I’m being a big baby.  I guess there’s only one way to find out… jumping off again!!!  Oh, My Lovelies, be kind!!! ; )