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June 10th, 2009

12:11 AM

Unwanted Advice to Trinity Blacio

Dear Trinity Blacio,

While I don't have any problems with Jane and Maili ripping your story to shreds at Dear Author, buck up, darling, and keep your head up, because I find it really bizarre when I hear that you are apologizing for writing a bad book. I don't know who you are and I have never even heard of you before this, but somehow I feel compelled to offer some unwanted advice to you when I heard of what you have done.

I know it sounds odd coming from me, but I'm strange like that, heh - you really don't have to be so gracious. I really commend you for not showing up at Dear Author to berate the authors or complain that you are hurt, but at the same time, let's not go too far to the other extreme, shall we? Should you be ashamed of your book? If the story is riddled with mistakes, then perhaps, yes. But you shouldn't be ashamed for writing and submitting your story for publication. No one writes a perfect book straight out of the gate. I have some keepers by authors whose early books make me want to chew on broken glass. What you should do here is to learn from this painful lesson and better yourself.

Remember, this is not about you embarrassing Siren Bookstrand. This is not about you causing the fall of civilization or besmirching the name of the genre, because bad books have been around since the dawn of time and the public have always enjoyed them, much to the dismay of some people (me included). But I don't think I have the right to accuse those authors (like you, in the case of this book) or the readers who enjoy their books (which includes readers who enjoy your story) as stupid. I'd like to imagine that sometimes people just want to sit back, relax, and enjoy simple and undemanding stories as a way to escape from the doldrums of life. It's a valid reason to read as any. The thing is, reviewers, even amateur reviewers, can't just say, "You know what, I understand, so I'll overlook those horrible mistakes." They have to judge a book they review by an accepted minimal standard of quality, and apparently your story fails to meet many of those standards. I hope you understand that and realize that it's nothing personal on a reviewer's part.

It's gracious that you apologize, but I don't think you have to. As I've said before on this blog, an author doesn't answer to reviewers, she answers to her fans. Therefore, only apologize if your reader writes to you complaining about the story. And even then, do it privately. A public statement where you behave as if you have soiled the reputation of Siren Bookstrand is unnecessary and, frankly, overkill. Just put this behind you and keep writing, take the good things from this incident and learn from them, and forget all those commentators who act as if you have personally violated their sense of righteousness. It's the nature of an unmoderated blog like Dear Author where some of the people who comment there can sometimes lose all sense of perspective and start coming off like angry aliens from the movie Mars Attack! going "Ngah! Ngah! Ngah!" at everything. The last I checked, some people were speculating on the backdoors you must have used to get published. Sigh, what is wrong with these people? Anyway, read the review by Jane and Maili, but don't read any more the comments that follow or react to these comments!

Good luck, have fun with writing, and keep marching to the beat you hear in your head. Don't beat yourself up too much over this drama. As long as you keep a positive attitude and accept that you need to ramp up thing a notch and start editing/revising your works more carefully in the future, I think you'll be fine. The best apology is to deliver a knock-'em-dead book in the future. Not to mention - forcing your detractors to eat humble pie and admit that you have written a fabulous book and they have to change their opinion of your talent can also be the best kind of revenge.

So stop wasting time playing the martyr in the Siren Bookstrand author list and get back to your writing. Go on - the world won't wait for you, you know!
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