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First, I'm really liking the Keilhauer Junior. It's weird, and it sort of makes my back itch a little (yes, I am wearing clothes -- I think this is a muscle reaction to where the back of the chair meets the back of me), but it's comfortable in an energizing way. Which is good.

Second, I'm finally back to listening to disco! Chic-ism is _very nice_. Yum. Last night, I listened to all of Brandy Clark's _12 Stories_. While as "music" (performance, melody, orchestration, wtf), it is good, as _lyrics_ it is mind-blowingly awesome -- possibly the single most consistently incredible album I have ever heard. As a reader who likes music, transcendent. I'm not so sure what a music lover who ignored lyrics entirely would think of it; R. is supposed to get back to me on that point.

Third, I am finally working on the decluttering writing again. I'm very happy about that. I had broken up my page into multiple pages, and then never got around to revision/extension, until now.

And now onto the subject matter of today's email. I got two upsetting pieces of email from women that I love, admire, respect and aspire to be more like. They were _nice_ pieces of email; they just rubbed me the wrong way, and I think both senders knew that and did everything they could to create an easy landing for me. I've replied to the first and will be getting to the second after this. But the first one was blog-worthy.

I created this blog when I moved to the East Coast. I wanted to maintain something approximately daily contact with longtime friends, mostly in the PNW, but scattered around the world as well. I knew I would suck at consistent calls and people would be left out of my life as it developed (marriage, babies, etc., but also my evolving perspective on ... everything I have a perspective on). I'm pretty relentlessly nerdy, and books are my passion, so I read and I write here about what I read and when I love something I sometimes drool and when something pisses me off, I'll say so. I don't feel compelled to finish a book to give my opinion on it (altho I will note when I don't finish a book and why, and in many cases label those not-a-book-review, altho I also use that to refer to liveblogging a book I'm reading). While I really loved meeting authors and getting to talk to them when I was younger, I find I am a middle-aged woman who reads and reviews books and _dreads_ author contact. If you are an author and I reach out to you, it's because I'm crazy in love with your work, or there's something you are doing as a person that I find worth interacting with independent of your work as an "author". If you are an author and you reach out to me, I'll probably read whatever you have to say to me while shaking.

I'm not kidding.

I might be shaking with laughter, or rage, or terror, and honestly, none of those actually improve my life. Not even the laughter.

Fortunately, not too many authors attempt to get in touch with me, and I'm pretty good at scaring away the ones who show up and think they should be able to change my mind about a review I wrote (seriously? Seriously??? Your book was your best shot at shaping my opinion.). But someone tried a new tactic today, by asking one of their co-workers, who is a relative of mine, to ask for my e-mail so they could send me a response.

So now I'm shaking with fear on behalf of my relative, because _I have no fucking clue_ what kind of pressure is being brought to bear on the relative. I don't understand the politics, and believe me when I say, _there are politics_. These people are all better educated, more politically savvy than me, and wildly more connected. Obvs, I told the relative not to pass along my email, and pointed out that if the person who asked genuinely couldn't figure out how to get it from my blog (follow _one link_, and there you are), they aren't savvy enough to be messing with social media to promote their book. Hopefully, this is one of those Evil Vs. Stupid questions where the guy is _just_ stupid.

If you're an author, especially if you don't like a review, don't get in touch with the reviewer. _Really_ don't try to use your coworker who is a family member of the reviewer to broker contact.

I didn't think there had to be a rule. Especially not after the goodreads scandal.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Amy M Yasuda
Jan. 24th, 2014 04:47 pm (UTC)
Holy Crap
Wow. And I thought I was the only one.

I love reviewing books. Nothing pleases me more than to find a book by a new author and be able to honestly promote it. Nothing pleases me less than authors who harangue me via e-mail (or try to friend me on Facebook or other social media) in order to get a review or have a review altered.

The thought of someone contacting a family member... well, if I found out, I would likely scorch the earth attempting to destroy said author. I understand that since I review books in several places and do freelance editing that getting e-mails from authors is part of the deal. Having family members harassed is way out of bounds.

Please feel free to post this author's name and I will happily review his book everywhere I can- and no promises it will be unbiased (er, pretty sure it won't be).
Jan. 24th, 2014 04:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Holy Crap
Author isn't going to be named unless there are further developments. Relative has fessed to teasing author with my review, so it wasn't a unilateral attempt at contact by the author. I'm now _really_ glad I didn't name names. But thanks for the offer [edited: wow, wordos today], in case things deteriorate. ;-)

Edited at 2014-01-24 06:41 pm (UTC)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )