Last week, there was a bit of a dust up about All the Ugly and Wonderful Things on social media. I did my best to stay out of it, but having stayed out of it, I’d like to address the issue very briefly here and without naming names.
It’s okay to hate my book. Not every book is for everybody.
If you read my book and you hate it, that’s fine. We’re square, you and me. I brought myself to the book. You brought yourself to the book. Perhaps we’re just not compatible. That’s cool.
If you choose not to read my book, because of things you have heard about it, that’s okay, too. I often give books a pass if they sound like something I wouldn’t want to read.
If you choose not to read my book, but then publicly express your hatred for it and for anyone who enjoyed it, understand that your hatred is coming from a place of ignorance. Are you comfortable with being that person? Someone who hates something out of ignorance? Someone who judges people without knowing who they are or what they’ve been through?
On a nearly daily basis, I am called upon by strangers to defend All the Ugly and Wonderful Things. And if they were merely asking me to defend my book, I might not be so troubled, but this morning, I have yet another email that asks, “Why would you write a book like this?”
I suspect that the real question is Why do you exist? Within that question about my existence, there are these questions: Why did you choose to have a drug dealer as your father? Why did you experience things that make me uncomfortable? Why do you think you have a right to tell stories that reflect your life? Why don’t you shut up?
The answer is simple. I won’t shut up, because if people like you have the right to tell and read stories that reflect what you’ve experienced, people like me have the right to tell and read stories that reflect what we’ve experienced. I’m going to keep doing that.
Posted in Important Things, Writing | Tagged All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, controversy, defending my work, emails from strangers, hate, hate mail, hatred, ignorance, my life, own voices, shut up, stories, why do you exist?, Writing | 41 Comments »
You all were busy this weekend, as I woke up to more than a thousand reviews on Goodreads.
I guess that means it’s time to take a look at the poll for deleted scenes…
I think one of the hardest things I had to cut from All the Ugly and Wonderful Things was most of Donal’s story after he was taken away from Wavy. When one is a famous, established author, one can get away with producing a sprawling 800-page saga, but publishing frowns on that for unknown, unestablished writers such as myself. So most of Donal’s life with Sean got axed early on, because it required the reader to follow and invest in two rapidly diverging story lines.
Because that’s such a big chunk, and I’m essentially a devious person, I’m not sending it all out at once. I’ll send the first two chapters tonight, and the next two when I hit one of the other two goals. Over on Amazon, only 26 reviews to go to hit 200. Mwahahahahah. If you’ve already written a review on Goodreads, it’s easy enough to copy and paste over to Amazon or B&N.
Or you could try giving your friends who’ve reviewed on Goodreads sad puppy eyes to convince them to post their review elsewhere. Here, you can use Josey.
Posted in books, Writing | Tagged All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, book reviews, deleted scenes, Donal, lost scenes, sad puppy eyes | 5 Comments »
Once, again I went to my trusted neutral third party to pick winners for my audio book giveaway, and the winners are …
Marla Milrad (who entered on this here blog)
Kell Donaldson (who entered on Facebook)
Marla, I don’t have contact info for you, so drop me a line.
I have a few things to get caught up on, and then there’s likely to be a poll about what deleted scene you want to see first …
Posted in books | Tagged All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, Audible, audio book, book giveaway, free books, freebie | 2 Comments »
When the audio book of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things went on sale, Audible sent me the ten promotional copies that were promised in my contract. “Use one for yourself and the rest to promote your book with giveaways” their overly cheery email suggested. I promptly did a couple of little giveaways and passed out a handful of the promotional codes.
I didn’t plan to listen to the audio book, but then people kept asking me if it was any good. Writer friends were curious how the narration of sixteen different narrators turned out. So I downloaded it, intending to listen to a few snippets. Instead, over the course of the last week, I listened to the whole thing.
It is weirdly compelling. The narrator, Jorjeana Marie, did an amazing job, particularly in light of the fact that the sixteen narrators span from a five-year-old boy to a seventy-year-old woman, and include college girls, old men, drug-dealing heavies, and half a dozen random strangers. She makes it compelling. Nothing weird about that.
The weird part is to find myself compelled by my own work. I have been over this book so many times, I couldn’t give you an accurate count. A few hundred at least. I’ve read it aloud at least a dozen times, because that’s one of the best ways to do revisions. Read it out loud and really listen to the rhythm of it. I was sure that at this point in time there weren’t any surprises for me, but I was wrong. Hearing someone else read it reminded me of details I’d forgotten and introduced me to beats I didn’t even realize I’d written. Weird.
All this to say that I still have some promotional codes to give away, and if you’re willing to take my biased opinion, it is weirdly compelling. To enter to win, leave me a comment with your favorite audio book. Now that I’ve taken the plunge, I’m curious.
(Because Audible is world rights, this is open to international folks, too.)
Posted in books, Weirdness, Writing | Tagged All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, Audible, audio book, book giveaway, freebie, giveaway, Jorjeana Marie, multiple narrators, weirdly compelling | 10 Comments »
I’m officially kicking off my wild sighting giveaway!
To get your own signed bookplate, you have to do three simple things:
- Find a copy of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things out in the wild (your local bookstore, your library, public transit, etc.)
- Take a picture. You with the book, if you’re not shy, or just the book, if you are.
- Post it on whatever social media site you prefer, tell where you found the book, and tag me. I’m on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Ello, and this here blog. If you post somewhere else, just send/post a link.
I’ll get back to you to find out where to send your signed bookplate. I’ll give signed bookplates to the first 50 wild sightings I get, and I’ll pick five random winners to receive additional book swag in the form of key chains, necklaces, and mix tapes.
Posted in books, Writing | Tagged All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, book swag, bookplates, books in the wild, freebie, giveaway, signed bookplates, signed books, wild sighting | 8 Comments »