Tag Archives: Charles Yallowitz

#WW The Reader’s Reaction

18 Feb

#WW The Reader’s Reaction:

I can admit the worst thing a reader ever wrote to me. It was 2007, I was 16, Golden Eagle Publishing had released my first novel, and Honesty Box was the hottest app on Facebook. My high school self was naïve enough to have one of these, and one day, I found myself staring at the message, “you are the bastardization of the English language.”

::blink blink::

I’ve tried not to think about this message often. In fact, I confess I’ve tried to completely kick it out of my mind – especially since I think it had more to do with high school bullying than anything notable. But the most common type of bullying I faced for writing a book in high school followed this script:

honesty-boxA fellow student would say, “Go write a book.”

Normally, I never responded, but sometimes I snapped and stupidly said, “I already did.”

Which almost always got, “Now, go write a good one.”

::sigh::

Perhaps, this affected me more than I would like to admit. A few months later, when I ran into issues with my publisher, I didn’t fight it much, and in turn, November Snow was taken off of the market. I can’t say I minded much. I think I was a little relieved. That’s probably why seven years passed between my first and second publication. Now that I’m 23, my coping skills have definitely grown.

Writers always get responses – both good and bad – and some days are more uplifting than others. Some days are even downright hilarious. Not in the mocking way, of course, but in the this-reader-could-be-my-best-friend sort of way. Some days, readers make your day, and other days, a reader’s comment inspires your next piece of work. Sometimes, they teach you by pointing out levels of confusion or confliction, and other times, they talk about how your work taught them something about life. The combination is a beautiful thing.

I have plenty of stories I wish I could tell you about all of the wonderful readers who have reviewed my novels, shared quotes, tweeted encouraging messages, and sent me an email just to explain their emotions – but the important part is how the uplifting readers always overcome the negative ones. I could share hundreds, but I would like to share a few to show types:

The Encouraging Reader:

Pau from Pau’s Castles recently read Death Before Daylight. In fact, she’s read all three books of The Timely Death Trilogy, and she even took the time to review them – and she goes even further. She LIVE tweeted to me about everything – her reactions, her jokes, her emotions (including how she squealed in the middle of class while reading), and her overall encouragement. Readers – WOW – you all make my entire life when you do this. I cannot begin to explain how delighted I feel when I am able to talk to readers and connect with them as friends. Joking about my own work with someone is surreal. The friendship between a reader and an author is unlike any other type of friendship I’ve ever had, but it brings me just as much love, comfort, and joy.

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The Confused Reader that brings laughter into my overly serious writing life:

I want to clarify that this is not condescending laughter. This is more like a friend, even if the reader never knows it. I actually enjoy moments where readers have pointed out confusion or mislabeled something because it’s often something I (and many editors) overlooked. My most recent example came from numerous readers over Take Me Tomorrow. A few readers have compared the dictator, Wheston Phelps to Michael Phelps – the Olympic swimmer – instead of who I intended – Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church – and I’ve had a great giggle over that image-switch. If you’re one of the readers who thought of Michael Phelps instead of Fred, please don’t worry! I had a great giggle, and I feel like it’s more of an inside joke than anything else. Also, more people thought of Michael than Fred. (A handshake goes out to Just Another Girl and Her Books who pointed out many topics, including Fred Phelps, that went overlooked in Take Me Tomorrow. If you’re curious what the sequels might show, this review definitely foreshadows a lot of it).

The Critical Reader

And sometimes the negative can help me take a step back and laugh at myself. In fact, these have begun to remind me of my initial editing process. The clearest example I can think of was when my editor for Seconds Before Sunrise was going through the first chapter and saw, “Robb grabbed his plaid sh*t” instead of his shirt. Yep. That editing mistake happened. That’s embarrassing. And – trust me – I will never, EVER make that mistake again. Every time I write the word “shirt”, I will cringe. (And then, I will laugh uncontrollably).

Me as a Reader

I am a reader, too, and while I’m not everyone’s reader, my day is made when I tweet to an author and they actually tweet back to me. This recently happened to me when I sent a message to Stephen Collins, the graphic novelist of The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil. (Read it if you haven’t by the way)! It was literal Christmas for me.

Stephen

No matter how many readers authors come in contact with, I think we can find ourselves in their reviews, but more importantly, we connect with friends. To think that I might be able to bring joy to a reader in the way Stephen Collins brought joy to me, fills me with a lot of hope and understanding that I didn’t have when I was 16. I am very grateful for all the readers who have helped me grow since then, and I continue to love my readers more than anything else. It’s also nice to have reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble instead of Honesty Box.

~SAT

A big shout-out goes out to Charles E. Yallowitz for posting my guest article – Balancing the Editor’s Life with an Author’s Dream – on Legends of Windemere. Check his website out by clicking the link! In my article, I discuss balancing my life as an editor and an author, and I hope you enjoy the read.

I also want to give a gigantic shout-out to JK and CK from House Kelley! About one month ago, this wonderful couple guided me to Clean Teen Publishing, and I thank them for their guidance. Check their writing out, say hi, give them a big hug, and write with them. They are fantastic.

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Author Announcements

26 Sep

Author Announcements:

Yesterday was my two-year anniversary of blogging here on ShannonAThompson.com. For that reason, I would like to thank each and every one of you for liking, sharing, and commenting on my website as we move forward into the future. A special thanks goes out to my top five commenters – Charles Yallowitz, Mishka Jenkins, theowllady, Deby Fredericks, and Phoenix Rainez – and I hope the next year is just as amazing!

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If you’re interested, here were my top three blog posts from this past last year:

1. Censorship of Self-Published Authors or Something Else? (Oct. 13, 2013)

2. Scribd, Oyster, and Why I’m Hesitant as a Reader and Writer (Dec. 29, 2013)

3. Writing Tips: Hobbies and Talents (Nov. 13, 2013)

I hope you enjoy the posts if you haven’t read them already!

Moving onto the future – many exciting things are happening this fall, so I wanted to share them today, and I hope you’ll help me share the news.

I am doing a meet and greet book signing in the Kansas City area on October 2 from 6 – 8 p.m. Here is a link to the event’s page on Facebook for more information. I know many of you are from around the world and cannot make it in person, but it would mean the world to me if you shared it with your friends and followers in case they are nearby me. I would love to meet everyone that I can! (Also free chocolate muffins and apple tea will be served.)

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I would also like to take this moment to state that prices have now been added to my Services page. They are subject to change, but I hope you check those out. The Author Extension Community provides personal assistant services, including review requests and content editing, as well as social media help, such as Facebook event photos and assessment guidance.

In other news, my latest poem – Peeling Oranges – has been added to my interactive poetry series on Wattpad. Be sure to like, comment, and vote for your chance to be mentioned during my next YouTube video on my channel, Coffee & Cats.

My next two posts – Website Wonders and September Ketchup – will be closing up this month, but I just want to thank everyone for being so enlightening, encouraging, and energizing these past few weeks. I’m excited for what Autumn will bring, and I cannot wait to spend it with you all right here on ShannonAThompson.com.

Have a great weekend,

~SAT

P.S.

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Readers Hating Other Readers

9 Feb

We live in an era of hate. Instead of praising our favorite singers, we are tearing down one that doesn’t even matter to us. Instead of leaving a 5-star review on one of our favorite books, we are leaving a 1-star review on the recently highlighted one. Instead of looking up neat dance videos, we are watching a series of YouTube flicks of people falling down during their wedding day. For every person who loves something, there are ten people who are trying to tear it down just for fun.

At some point, it became “cool” to “hate” on whatever is out there – generally the latest, most popular-selling item. I could write about all kinds of hate in our culture, but I would rather focus on the “hating” that is happening between readers. I want to clarify that I realize most people do not participate in this hating. It’s often the haters that are simply the loudest, but I still think it’s important to face the issue of readers hating on readers in order to let readers know they are not alone and they can – in fact – be proud of what they love to read, no matter what it is.

So, what is hating between readers?

1. Making fun of someone for their reading choices. Sadly, this shouldn’t need an explanation, because it is wrong, but it is one of the main types of hate that I have personally seen happen, especially in schools. However, it also happens outside of school – mainly on the Internet – and I will explain why this is destructive below.

2. Fans putting down fans of the same novel/author: no one is a “better” fan of the same novel. Everyone is a fan. We should be happy that we enjoyed the same story. Who cares who read the book before the movie deal or after they watched the film? No one needs every edition of every novel in order to say they are a fan, and no one should be put down because they don’t have every fact about the series memorized. 

3. Deliberately spending obnoxious amounts of time tearing down a novel: ex/ creating entire websites that encourage the burning of said novel, especially when one has not even touched said novel.

These are the three main types that I see, and I think it is destructive for many reasons, but this article is one of my favorites: Hating Twilight Does Not Make You Cool. In this bit, Brian D. Buckley writes about how readers look down on one another, even going as far as to call someone “stupid” for not reading something else. Google is a pretty…sad place if you start searching for keywords regarding certain novels. In fact, there are entire websites dedicated to saying horrible things about certain novels AND the readers of those novels.

I know the “hating” generally focuses on the books, but why focus on what someone doesn’t like at all? Why not spend your time praising what you love instead? The reason I think readers should spend more time praising what they love and less time hating what they dislike is simple: the “hating” seems to get more attention today, and the “hating” starts making some of those readers embarrassed to say they are, in fact, a fan of those novels. This can be destructive, because those readers might not branch out to other novels that they would also enjoy. They may stop talking about what they are reading. They might not write reviews or share their thoughts with their friends. They may even stop reading altogether.

We know we are creating a negative reading culture when articles like this are popular: Be seen with a book? It’s just not cool, says 1 in 5 children. There is even something known as “Hate-Reading” which is when people purposely go out of their way to read about everything they dislike instead of enjoy. We should be an encouraging culture that appreciates all readers for whatever they feel connected with. Personally, I am happy if people are reading – no matter what it is. I think everyone has their preferences, and I worry that “reader hating” is preventing people from reading more and/or causing readers to hide instead of discussing their favorite novels.

We could hide in a pile of laundry like Bogart. (Jk)

We could hide in a pile of laundry like Bogart. (Jk)

So, what can we do?

We can encourage readers to love whatever they love. We tell those haters to go spend their time being positive instead of negative. If someone starts talking about something they hate in an inappropriate way (like calling fans stupid) we avert the conversation to something that person likes and/or tell them to try not to judge others’ tastes. We can encourage each other to remain positive, and we can create safe environments on the internet for fans to be positive by asking those internet “trolls” to leave or to be more appropriate. We can read what we love, and we can share it, even if it’s the “uncool” thing to do. (Because nothing should be defined as “cool”) We should be proud of what we love.

On my Facebook Author Page, I actually asked, “Has anyone ever made ‘fun’ of what you were reading? Why do you think people do this, and do you think it is destructive to the reading community? What do you think?” And here were some of those answers:

Charles Yallowitz: Not since high school and it was usually only part of the mocking. Some people simply carry low opinions of certain book types and those who read them. It’s close-minded and cuts a person off from a variety of reading.

Ojan BorotI haven’t personally found that. I am a 36 year old hwy construction worker and have no issue telling everyone that I am currently reading the Twilight series and am enjoying it. (even though I hate the 3 lead characters). I am halfway through Breaking Dawn and I read The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.

Lori Remenicky: Reading is reading is reading – doesn’t matter what it is. I’ve always read romance – I hope no one has made fun of me for that.

Join me on FB, and your responses might be used next!

Join me on FB, and your responses might be used next!

Check out all of the answers, and leave yours below! 

I would love to keep this conversation going in order to encourage readers to be proud of whatever they enjoy reading.

~SAT

Anniversary & 9,000 Likes Giveaway

25 Sep

Today marks the one-year anniversary of ShannonAThompson.com!

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I wanted to thank everyone for encouraging me as I continue on this journey of writing and publishing. You might recall that I announced a GIANT giveaway to celebrate 9,000 followers, and it is now up and running:

a Rafflecopter giveaway (for U.S. residents only)

You can enter the raffle until October 9, so have fun and enter to win all of these fantastic novels:

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