Briefly, on not liking my books, and the books I don’t like

There has been rather a large kerfuffle happening online about whether a “YA mafia” exists and whether your behavior online may affect your writing career down the road. The best sum-up I’ve come across is this one, at YA Highway, for anyone who’s interested but somehow managed to miss it.

I am not posting about that, because I think everything I would say has already been said by others. But I would like to post about me, because as Janni Simner rightly pointed out, it’s important for authors to let readers know how we feel.

I am not offended by anyone disliking my books. I am awaiting the release of The Way We Fall review copies knowing there will be people who do not like it. No book is for everyone. That’s part of what makes creativity and the arts so exciting and varied. I am totally okay with people discussing my writing critically or expressing the fact that they don’t happen to like it. I’m just glad to see people reading my work and finding it meaningful enough to be worth discussing!

I do not make critical comments about other books on this blog. Even if a book is not for me (even if it really really isn’t for me), I don’t feel comfortable saying something that might dissuade readers from picking up a book by one of my writer colleagues. Because they are my colleagues, and we’re in this together, and I don’t like the idea of potentially hurting someone else’s career, even in a very small way, over what is really most often just a matter of my personal taste. So if I’m talking about a book, it’s because I really enjoyed that book, and I want to share it with others. (If I don’t like a book enough to want to recommend it, I simply don’t talk about it.) However, that is what makes me feel comfortable, not a standard I expect any other writer (aspiring or published) to follow. I’ve never thought less of anyone who defined their comfort levels differently.

So that’s where I stand. And I hope I’ve never given anyone reason to think I felt otherwise!

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