I am sure many of you know by now that I
like LOVE attending conventions. I love meeting new authors, readers and bloggers. I love socializing and talking about all things books. It makes me truly happy. But hearing some of the things that come of authors mouths at conventions can be a real eye opener and contain some real #WTF moments.
If you are new to this book review blog, you should know that I predominately read paranormal and urban fantasy. I also read sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, steampunk, and I could go on and on. I don’t read exclusively romance and I tend to read a variety of things or else I get bored. Hell, right now I am neck deep in The Walking Dead comic books. I would consider myself a bit of an adventurous reader. I know the few things I don’t care for and I don’t judge or have any negative feelings towards the authors or readers that enjoy the things I don’t.
One of the huge local websites hosts a small con once a year. (They host other events as well, but I don’t attend many of those) This year I had not planned to attend, but I have been really stressed and needed a FUN day and they were offering one day tickets. With my puppy responsibilities I couldn’t be gone all weekend, but the one day ticket allowed me to do one entire day and just do the short drive to and from the convention. (Don’t worry, the baby was not alone.) One of the panels was about “reader trends” and I decided to sit in and see what this was about. The panel consisted of two paranormal authors, one contemporary author and two historical authors. Most of the panel steered around some great aspects and discussions about “trends” and a variety of general topics surrounding that general subject. One of the readers in the audience asked what trend the authors wished would die. One of the authors – we are going to call her Bad Author for the purposed of this story – Bad Author says, PARANORMAL. I am sure a look came over my face as I was trying to process this, but I didn’t have time before Bad Author launches into why paranormal is stupid. Bad Author proceeded to provide a list of reasons why she believes paranormal literature is stupid. Bad Author obviously felt offended that readers would say anything in her historical books were not believable, but they could believe someone could transform into a bat and just fly away. Clearly, Bad Author felt passionately about this subject and it obviously held a lot of hurt for her. Guess what, still not an excuse to put down other genres.
You are allowed to not like other genres, it’s cool. This world would be incredibly boring if we all liked the same thing. However; it is NOT OK to put down another genre. It doesn’t matter what your feelings are or why you feel justified in having said feelings. Bad Author sat on a panel with her fellow authors and peers and insulted them in front of an entire group of (mostly) readers and other authors that were strangers. And did so KNOWING some of the others sitting on the panel wrote the EXACT thing she was bashing. What the fuck?
I would also like to point out that paranormal is not a trend. It is genre. I guess you could say vampires or shifters are trends within the genre, but paranormal is an entire genre independently.
When you are with your fellow authors and readers do not put down other genres. It is FINE to say “I don’t like XXXX” it is not ok to say “XXXX is stupid because *insert insult here*”. EVER. JUST NEVER EVER.
As a reader, I was completely insulted and not just because I read paranormal. It was fucking unprofessional and disrespectful. The counter to this is Good Author. One of the paranormal authors, prior to this Bad Author incident, actually said historicals were one of the few things she did not write and then proceeded to talk about how much mad respect she had for historical authors because she found it beyond her abilities to write that genre. GOOD AUTHOR. I am SO buying and reading your fucking books. I am going to read them sooo hard and then review like a boss!
I want everyone to take a minute and appreciate that restraint that I held in for not saying anything out loud during the panel. I kept my shit together! GO ME. Well, except I just kept it all inside brooding until I could have some time so spew it into this post.
I want to disclose that I personally know one of the five authors on this panel. Neither the Good Author or Bad Author are the author I know. All of the rest of these authors were new authors to me and I have not read or interacted with them prior to this day. And NO I am not going to share the author names at this time.