This is the start of my second year as a full-time writer, and I’ve been able to write more and interact with more of my readers on a more regular basis.
And while I am very happy about that, I have to say that not all of my interactions are positive ones. The ratio of good to bad is astoundingly high, like 3 million to one, and I feel very blessed that if people do not like my work, they do not personally judge me by it, and they go off to find someone’s work they do like without telling me I am a horrible person for what I’ve written.
NOTE: Please ignore this is you’ve never felt the urge to publicly run to my social media and declare I’m a horrible person because of my writing.
But there is still that .0000001% of people who feel the need to remind me, at certain times, that my characters are horrible people (some of them) and assume I am one for writing them that way.
So, here is my Author PSA for 2018:
I AM NOT MY CHARACTERS. I DON’T ALWAYS APPROVE OF WHAT MY CHARACTERS SAY OR DO, AND CHANCES ARE IF YOU ARE UPSET BY SOMETHING THEY DO, I AM ALSO NOT HAPPY THEY DID THAT, BUT I WROTE IT THAT WAY FOR THE SAKE OF THE STORY. MY CHARACTERS REFLECT REALITY, AND IN REALITY I’VE MET HORRIBLE PEOPLE WHO DO HORRIBLE OR ANNOYING OR HORRIBLY ANNOYING THINGS. BUT I’VE ALSO DONE SOME HORRIBLE AND ANNOYING AND YES, EVEN HORRIBLY ANNOYING THINGS, AND I WRITE CHARACTERS TO UNDERSTAND THEM AND TO KNOW THAT SUCH A PERSON LIKE ME CAN BE REDEEMED AND FORGIVEN IN THE END. THAT DOES NOT MEAN I APPROVE OF WHAT THEY DO OR EVEN WHAT THEY DO NOT DO, THAT DOES NOT MEAN I WOULD ADVOCATE FOR THEIR ACTIONS, THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT I THINK WHAT THEY DO IS THE BEST THING THEY COULD DO. THIS ALSO MEANS THAT IF MY CHARACTERS DO NOT GET THEIR HAPPY ENDINGS, IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT THEY DON’T DESERVE IT.
Personally, I am a relatively easy person to get along with, with a good understanding of morals and manners, and even if we disagree on everything possible, I will still believe your life to be of value, and that you are created in the Imago-Dei, the image of God, and I can still love you for that … even if I hate getting your emails.
I write stories about people who are true, even if they are not real. I write stories for cynical people to rediscover their wonder. I write for people to understand other people. I write to entertain and yes, to get you to think at times. My books are like the cake that has broccoli bits ground up inside of it, and yes, sometimes you will find a bite or two that has much more broccoli than you would’ve liked to taste. The fact that I keep it clean and at times vague is icing on top of that.
I do not write “Happily Ever After” stories, I write “Happily Enough Ever After” stories. And yes, some of my books become more tragic and horrible the more you think about the implications of their endings.
If you are not sure you’d like to read my work, I offer a bunch of titles for free so you can go for a test drive. If you email me (email@example.com), chances are I will offer you even more for free; some people have even gotten all of my books for free.
You can get some by joining my mailing list. Click here for one link right now!
P. S. A lot of the authors I know also feel this way. We are extremely grateful for your attention, and we even appreciate constructive feedback! I like that my readers find things that seem off to them or things that leave them wondering — chances are, it was supposed to do that! But if it’s not, I still like to hear about it because it might help me improve my writing in more objective ways later on.
When J. K. Rowling let Hedwig die, I was furious, but I did not go on Twitter and tell her she must hate animals. When Roth killed off Tris in the end, I was upset, but I did not go onto her Facebook page and rant about how she probably has a savior-complex. When Lewis left the question of Susan’s fate open, I did not write a letter telling him he was being sexist. (I do not believe any of those claims; these are just examples.)