My life at Dear Author started in December a couple years back. I had begun reading it and Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. I had discovered a love of romance novels and wanted more and more information about them and their readers – even though, at the time, I had almost no access to said romance novels. Reading DA and SBTB became a daily ritual that I have continued since.
Months later, after participating in a DA community vote involving a DA blogger bundle and category romances, Jane contacted me in regards to being a reviewer for DA. It was a thrill for me as a blogger who had just been starting to try and make his mark in the young-adult blogosphere. Romance had become a second love; a second passion that my reading showed. DA was a place for me to let out the romance reader.
Since then, I’ve had a wonderful experience reviewing for DA. I’ve gotten to share opinions on some romances – sometimes to little fanfare, other times to an excessive amount that took me by surprise – and opinions on young adult novels. Young adult reviewing was a better choice at the time due to my age, and DA readers were extremely supportive of that shift. I’ve since shared some books that I’ve loved and some that I’ve loathed – and some that just fell smack-dab in between.
Life moves on. It’s been over two years since I’ve started reviewing for Dear Author, and every minute has been fabulous – but things change. Dear Author is primarily a romance-focused community, and my contributions have mainly involved a genre that isn’t a major crossover for romance readers. School has become a maddening affair as well, and this year alone has been more along the lines of self-discovery than exemplary scholarship. Sure, I’ve had great luck with SAT scores and self-improvement, but people do not lie when they say that the junior year of one’s high school career is the hardest.
Because of all of this, Jane and I mutually agreed that it was time for me to bid a fond farewell to DA as a reviewer. I’ll always be a reader – how could I not be? – but it seems time to move on a bit and explore other things. I’ll still be exploring my voice as a reviewer outside of the young-adult genre, but it may be suited to other venues that are more in need of a struggling new reader’s perspectives. On top of that, there is a want to focus on applying for scholarships, getting a job to prepare for college, and finding time to do other things such as creative writing.
DA has taught me so much. I’m not the common romance reader – gay, teenage, male – but the community has welcomed me with open arms. I have made so many friends from this experience and have learned from them every day. My writing has gotten stronger. I’ve become a better person. There’s just nothing that can top that kind of experience.
I’ll miss this all so much, but I can’t wait for what the future beholds as well. There’s the promise of college; another still of writing and become a part of the publishing world. Using all of this experience, I hope to become an author and an editor someday. It’s been a dream for as long as I can remember, and I hope that someday I can give back to the community and share my voice. The future is scary but exciting.
I have to thank everyone for all that this has given me. The DA crew – Jane and all of the other fabulous reviewers -for taking me in, becoming my teachers and mentors, showing me the ropes, and giving me the chance to share my voice with new readers. The authors, romance and non, for providing me with stories that I can get lost in and learn from as a wannabee writer. And, most of all, the readers of DA. You all have given me a chance to show my voice in a new light. You are vastly different from the young adult blogging community, and that’s not a bad thing. Getting to know you and how supportive you are has been an immense pleasure. I look forward to continuing my role as a romance reader and participant in the community, and I hope that, someday in the future, I can share my voice with you in entirely new ways. This has been amazing. I’m eternally thankful for all that it’s given me.