I had an author email me once that while she loved the blog, she wished that I would talk about the decency of authors. I admittedly have a bad habit of referring authors as one big collective, when they are as individual as a reader. Authors are good, bad, indifferent, gracious, embarrassing, petty, curmudgeony, and funny as hell, just like readers.
It’s easy to get derailed by negativity. It becomes a guilty pleasure at times. Even Google focuses on the negative. When I typed in authors behaving well, the search results were for authors behaving badly. In an effort to help Google obtain a more relevant search result, I provide my own list of Authors Behaving Well.
- Authors, like Charlene Teglia (Wild, Wild West, August), who keep me up late at night with their very good writing.
- Authors, like Kathryn Smith (Taken by the Night, November), who was grace in motion when I gave a negative review of one of her books. She still comments on the blog from time to time.
- Authors like HelenKay Dimon (Your Mouth Drives Me Crazy, July) and Alison Kent (The Perfect Stranger, April) are brave enough to review books for the benefit of the romance community while facing possible censure from their peers.
- Authors like Suzanne Brockmann (Force of Nature, August) is relentless in her support of the troops and encourages her fans and everyone that she knows to support them by sending them books, care packages and cards of thanks. No matter what you think of the war, these boys are doing a hero’s work just by serving.
- Brenda Novak’s (Dead Right, August) third annual Auction for Diabetes Research raised $141,700.00. Dozens of authors offered up free books, time and other goodies to raise money to research cures for diabetes.
- Linda Lael Miller (A Wanted Man, July) provides a scholarship for non traditional female students to help them earn a higher education.
- Authors like Jennifer Crusie (Unfortunate Miss Fortunes), Eloisa James (Desperate Duchesses), and Julia Quinn (The Secret Diaries of Miranda Cheever) tirelessly share their knowledge of writing, for free, with aspiring writers.
- Nora Roberts (High Noon, July) provides straight from the hip opinion. Love her or hate her, there is no subterfuge with her and she’s unafraid to join the fray.
- On July 11, 2007, RWA will host its 27th Annual Readers for Life Literacy Autographing where over 450 romance authors sign donated books to sell to readers. The proceeds of the sale go to literacy charities.
There is an interesting concept behind the “author” persona. First, of course, is the author as the creator of the work and myself as a consumer. Second, is the online persona of the author. The relationship that arises from the author/consumer relationship is completely different than one that can be created through participation in an online community. When I devised my list, I noticed that there was a mixing of the two. I don’t know that I can separate the two entities entirely which is why I think that authorial behavior can affect me both positively and negatively. Authors behaving well can encourage me to try their books when I wouldn’t have ordinarily done so. But qualitatively “good” authorial behavior can be as simplistic as meeting her obligations to readers by writing the best book possible. It seems that is the most important thing to me. When I wrote out my list, Charlene Teglia’s book was the first thing that popped into my head. Should we readers expect anything else but good writing?