Words That Bite You in the Ass

I’ve had a slew of blog interview requests come in over the last few weeks (and I’m hoping to get to a number of them soon.) Some of them asked for a press kit, which I don’t have yet. (But hey, turns out I get publicist, courtesy of Pocket, so in the next few weeks that very well may change.)

In the meantime, I’ve been looking over the questions  – and it’s great to see the range of them. Several of the interviewers do read my blog and they’ve tailored the questions to various important things like Hello Kitty and man-candy and David Garrett.

I’m rather touched by this.

There are serious questions, too, of course – and one of them specifically asked if I ever regretted writing a review on a book, now that I’m also an author.

And the answer to that is yes. In fact, I’ve gone so far as to actually remove the review/comments in question. I’m sure they’re still cached out there on Google somewhere, but I have made the effort anyway.

Now, why did I do this? The removal of the review doesn’t mean that I feel any differently about the book(s). I still don’t like them. But I wrote them before I had any aspirations of becoming an author. I can see things a little differently now, from this side of the fence and I realize I was probably a bit unfair in my assessments (at least some of them.) That, and I’d at least like to extend a bit of professional courtesy to NOT bash other authors publicly.

Hence, the removal.

Still, the thing is that it’s very easy to get a sort of diarrhea of the mouth syndrome when it comes to the internet. It’s really easy to just read a blog and leave a comment or state an opinion. Add that to the fact that you can often remain “anonymous,” and it opens up a sort of untouchable ability to basically say whatever you want, without fear of repercussion.

Personally, I’m not a fan of anonymous commenting. I realize some of it is driven by laziness (i.e. the user doesn’t feel like logging in)  or maybe they risk their job by posting, but for the most part I feel that if I’m going to take the time to say something, I should probably own it. Of course, that leaves me open to criticism, but that’s how it should be. Discussion isn’t based on everyone agreeing with each other.

With that in mind, though, should people tailor their commentary? Just throw it all out there? Use tact?

I ran into this a little bit last week, with this post from a popular agent’s blog, actually. And I did respond, with my name (or handle, anyway), because the post was actually about me and my former agent. And I did think the blogger had a valid point, though I’m not sure if asking that particular question would really help most aspiring authors. My beef was with a number of the comments being made and the assumptions thrown out there, most of which was based purely on speculation.

I suppose I could have it let slide, or remained anonymous. I didn’t reply to call anyone out, but to at least let people know there’s always a bit more going on behind the scenes. Not everything can be shared (or should be, really), but sometimes the picture is very big indeed.

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