yeah, okay, hush

Monica worried about her blog (Jordan addressed the issue of having a welcoming blog) Does rantage would drag a writer down? Actually we don't mean the writing part of the job, only the Author and The Public Image part. We're dependent on readers, and if we alienate them, we're not doing ourselves any favors.

A friend pointed out that that my last post (that basically accuses the administration of neglect bordering on genocide) could be mite too inflammatory. She has a point, I think. Not only because it would put my readers off, but because when people are too shrill, they're impossible to hear.

I still think that the potato famine thang isn't such a bad example. The English didn't consider the Irish entirely human**, and from the various threads I've read, today the "let them shoot each other" theme is common. Am I the only one who sees that people who write that are demonstrating the attitude that African Americans or perhaps the poor in general are:
1. looters or destructive at heart
2. certainly not as valuable as the neighbors and associates the writer knows. (not said, but implied)
3. therefore not entirely human.

I wish someone would convince me I'm wrong, because it scares me.

Anyway, back to the The Irish--when they landed in the US they faced the same kind of discrimination they encountered in England--lucky for them, future generations lost the tell-tale accent and blended in just fine. You don't often hear that Irish-Americans are not like the rest of us.

Actually, it makes sense that people would villify the poor or make them "different from us". If their poverty is all the fault of poor people themselves (or because of that pesky welfare state) then we don't have to feel guilt or expend our own energy or resources to aide them. Peasants are born and bred to be poor. They have always been with us and always will be. It's natural and therefore we can't do a thing about it. Much easier.

Okay, okay, I'll stop. I don't want to lose my passion, but I think the Marie Antoinette farm example (and by the way she did NOT say that cake line) might be over-the-top. Not as dopey as the poor Bush comment by anonymous in that thread. *****

Sheesh. The last person for whom I feel a drop of pity is George Bush. No matter what happens, he's going to come out of this fine. He'll have his gazillions of dollars, the support of family members who are all still alive and .....uh oh. Heading towards shrilldom again*******. I really truly have to shake some of this unattractive self-righteous anger. A writer's blog is supposed to attract readers, or at least not drive them off.


**Where's Jonathan Swift when we need him? We need a Modest Proposal!

***** In fact the more I read about Bush's photo ops the angrier I get. Click here. Read the last paragraph. Weep for us all.

the photo is from Reuters.

and then this bit from here. I didn't write it so you can't accuse me of ranting. Ha.

"This is a clear signal of the depravity of this administration, where everything is political and nothing can be real. Nothing can be done simply because it's the right thing to do, or it's the best thing for America. There is a 'real' America, and then there's Rove's America, where firemen serve the Republican Party and their leader, not people in distress . . .."

*******note to self: dammit. . .SHUT UP all ready.


  1. To answer your question Kate, if there was a question in there-- yes. Things like that can, do and have driven readers away. I'm not going to cite specific examples on a public blog but I know for a fact it's true.

    It's the fine line an author walks between public and private persona. Politics, religion, racism (in any form- reverse or otherwise) are all very inflammatory and personal to people. Some people don't want things shoved down their throats time and again by the author they look to, to provide them with an escape and enjoyment (and I'm not talking specifically about you or Monica but in general in relation to your 'question')

    I think knowing too much about an author can work against just as much as not knowing anything (therefore making the author forgettable).

    And can I say, I worry for YOU? You keep saying you need to step away from it- take a break- but I haven't seen any evidence that you've done so. I would say you're going to emotionally exhaust yourself but I'm fairly certain I'm too late. Turn of the tv, the internet, the radio (news) for 24 hours and re-discover what makes life good for you, Kate. I dare you.

  2. Oh I'm fine. I'm a grown-up and can take care of myself and my family. I only rip around in a rage online every now and then. The rest of the time I'm leading a life. Thanks for your concern, though, Angie.

    Time to go to work. I'm getting even more socks in case anyone wants them. MORE? Hey, Christmas is coming.

  3. actually, I do seem to tell myself to shut up and awful lot, don't I. Part of that is that I'm not used to being this angry.

    I've always prided myself on my even temper. Snort.

  4. Yeah, it's entirely possible to turn readers off with strong opinions.

    But... I don't know. Even if I am turned off or infuriated by a post (Holly Lisle's accusation that environmentalists were primarily responsible for the breach of the levees gave me one of my biggest "WTF?" moments in a week filled with WTF moments, for example), I'm still able to respect these people for their honesty and bravery in voicing their opinions. Even if I think they're asshatted opinions.

    I've picked up books by people whose blog personas I've disagreed with--none of them so far have survived the 15-page test, though. I've also picked up books by people whose blogs I generally agree with and like--and they flunked the 15-page test, too, or if they passed it, I ended up not liking the book.

    I can think of only two examples so far of writers who came to my attention through their blogs whose works I've read that would get a B grade. (Yowza, that was a horrible run-on sentence from someone who specializes in horrible run-on sentences. But I'm not going to fix it, mwahahahaha.)

    But that's speaking only for me, of course. The bigger concern is: I like your voice, and I don't want it to be stifled, even when you're being ranty. (It helps that I agree with your rants, hehe.)

    I think it might help for you to determine what you want your blog to be: primarily a marketing tool? Primarily a personal space for you to write and rant about whatever? Or a mix of the two--some kind of percentage?

  5. Hi Kate,
    I'm late on chiming in but wanted to comment anyway. I agree with the others that you can alienate readers if they do not agree with your views. And Candy's suggestion of determining what you want your blog to be is a good point.

    I am not published (one day, please, Lord) but when that happens I have absolutely no plans to share my blog space with readers. It is the place I go to say what is on my mind. I am well aware that the people who would perhaps buy my books, wouldn't agree with my politics so there's no point in going down that road for me. I haven't yet seen a blog that successfully lets the reader "in" while keeping it honest, if that makes sense. That said, I think it is important for an author to have a web presence and provide information about herself. A weekly or monthly newsletter perhaps, plus the usual bio and book stuff.

  6. Ha. I had determined that my blog would be about writing--I even put in little books at the top there. Yessirreebob, it would be about writing and about what it's like to be newly published.

    Arlene, would you have a blog? And keep it anonymous?

    I've been thinking about what drives me nuts when it comes to authors and I think the only thing that would make me boycott someone would be deception.

    Even minor deceptions are annoying. Authors are always taking on new names (says Summer Devon)but it seems insulting to their readers when they deny their alteregos.

    Rudeness in a writer is also not impressive--unless it's really well done.

  7. After my weekend rant, I worry just as much about turning off potential agents and editors as I do readers. I tried, I really tried to behave but......

    And for what it's worth, I think FEMA is gonna take the fall for Katrina. FEMA, state and even local govt. but not the shrub =(

  8. Hey, Candy, didn't you say you'd picked up one of my books? When did you put it down again? After five pages? Ten? Fifteen? The first paragraph?

  9. Kate: You e-mailed me Perfection, remember? And I have both Somebody Wonderful and Somebody To Love in my TBR stacks. I couldn't resist your charms; I actually paid money for the latter two.

    Anyway, finished Perfection over the weekend, and have been working on the review off and on, in between other projects and red-lining with rage when I read about yet another Katrina cock-up. The review will (hopefully) be up tomorrow.

    I'm a cruel, evil bitch and won't let you know what grade I gave Perfection--not yet, anyway--but I can tell you this: you probably won't need Monica's visualization aid. Probably.

  10. yeah, but I didn't need to know the review was coming, for god's sake. I forgot I sent that. I must have been drunk at the time.

  11. Kate,
    If I were let me rephrase WHEN I get published (I really have to work on this whole positive thinking thing), I will continue with my own blog but I don't think I'll link it to my Author site. I just think it is way too tricky to have an honest blog and not alienate half of your readership. There are two authors who have sites that I think work: Sandra Brown and Nora Roberts. While I'd like to KNOW more about these authors, I think they've done a good job of giving their target audience just enough information without revealing their deepest thoughts. If you really think about it, a web presence for an author is supposed to be a marketing tool to sell books. So from a business perspective, in order to be successful, people have to buy into what you're selling which is partially a persona.

    I know one woman who has a business with an online presence but also has a blog. Nowhere in her blog does she use her name. The only people that really know where her professional site is, are those who know her fairly well.

    Just some ideas...

  12. yeah, Arlene,

    I should have said "WILL you have a blog" and not "would you have one."

    I think it's a good thing to think about. I rather wish I had done that--but not enough to eliminate my blog. There are a lots of details I know authors think about that I ignore and perhaps shouldn't.

    Hmm. I think I'll move this up to a conversation. Something other than Katarina. Come on, Arlene, hop on and we'll discuss what else you've thought through.

  13. Hello Kate Rothwell, I was going to buy your books-you were a new to me author but I won't because your Howard(I hate Republicans-Republicans are Evil)Dean-DailyKos like comments have alienated me.


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