It might be shocking to for book readers—and actually for people in general—to realize that THEY can be held to a standard. Readers can be rated and judged by authors, as good readers or as useless, offensive, and boring. Viewers of TV shows and movies, members of fandoms, writers of reviews for any products, and just plain ordinary people interacting during daily life are not above rules. There are expectations for them and a book reader or online network contact can most certainly get a 1-star rating as much as other people can.
There’s an idea out there that people are allowed to have no regard for other people if they’re discussing entertainment. That what they say exists in a consequenceless vaccum where ordinary rules don’t apply. This is stupid. “Reader” is not some sort of exalted, deified position that means you don’t have to be legit. It’s a human relationship—a relationship between the author, the reader, and others out there who have read the same book. Books, like pretty much anything in life, are a network of real connections between real people with real feelings. And with real, very active standards for how you treat them.
It’s hard work to do work—to put any product out there. Even a weak book or movie takes hours and hours, possibly even years of work. Even more effort to make a good one. Relationships are also work. Going the extra mile, caring about people’s feelings, and building bridges that last takes effort. On the other hand, it’s easy to mouth off on the work of other people, as if no one could ever have or express a critical opinion of you. But authors don’t want shoddy, lazy, stupid, rude people reading their books any more than a manager in a grocery store would want to hire such an employee. And, far more importantly, they don’t want that kind of behavior to appear in deeper, real-life relationships outside of writing.
In short, to paraphrase the old joke about mathematicians—“Authors are people too.”
And there will be more updates.
Singing, dreaming, telling stories . . . I live surrounded by cultivated fields that rapidly give way to wild flowers, wild plants, and wild life. I love to write more than I love to read, but nothing equals a book that draws me in to find its story. Most recently publication: A Year with the Harrisons, a contemporary coming of age about three sisters, country life, and music. Next year's publication: Temmark Osteraith, a futuristic fairy-tale adventure.