Sunday, May 3, 2015

From the Heart

     Alrighty then, I'm going to attempt this blog and try and keep it together. This is going to be difficult for me on many different levels, which I'll get into further on.

     First off, I'd like to thank everyone in Australia, especially Lauren and her wonderful mother, Theresa, for making this a trip of a lifetime. I was able to see and do so much there. It really was amazing. The most gratifying thing was to meet such wonderful people who I've known online and finally got to meet in person, something I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to do. Thank you one and all.

     It was while I was in Australia that I was kind of taken to task. See, I don't normally read reviews. I let someone else point some good ones out to me for promotional use, but other than that, I really don't want to see the negative, which every author is going to receive. It is just part of the business. Not everyone is going to like what you have to say. I'm okay with that, as long as I don't have to read it. It’s like someone stabbing my kid or something. It can be very hurtful.

     Why was I taken to task you may ask? Well, it seems that by not acknowledging reviews I'm actually ignoring readers. Something I'd not thought about. That was never my intention. I have gotten very close to a lot of readers and I am truly blessed that they are willing to shell out their hard-earned cash for the stuff I write.

     For this, I'm very sorry. It has never been my intention to not show how grateful I am to each and every one who decides to read my work. It still amazes me that people like what I do. Don't ask me why that is, I just am.

     Sooo… this is where it gets hard for me. I went to Goodreads and read reviews for Going Home. OMG, I was in tears. Good tears. Yeah, there were a few not so good reviews there, but for the most part, all were very positive. I had no idea. I was very touched.

     Some of the reviews were so powerful and heartfelt, that I just wept. I really did. Again, I am so, so sorry that it has taken me this long to acknowledge those who took the time to sit down and write out what they thought of the book. I will do better from now on, I promise.

     Fans. I still don't feel comfortable with the whole fan thing. When someone said that they were a fan, I think I may have cringed. I've never thought of myself being in a position to have a fan. I really am just me and don’t think of myself as anything all that special. As some may tell you, I just consider myself to be a middle-aged, handicapped ol’ fart. Well, that and having little or no filters; a true curmudgeon. Yeah, that is what I see in the morning when I look in the mirror.

     So, yeah, me having a fan? Pfft, not me. I just think of people who decide to take a chance on buying my books as just… people. Lord only knows I'm not Brad Pitt or anyone all that special. Really, I'm not. I’m just me.

     Once again, let me apologize to one and all if I've not taken the time to appreciate those who have taken the time to do reviews and/or leave comments about my books. It was never intentional.

     And… this leads me into yet another discussion that I've had in the past with other authors, but never readers: rude or badly behaving authors. First let me start off with apologizing yet again. If for any reason I've been rude to any reader, it wasn't intentional. I surely hope to god I've not been, but just covering the bases here. Actually I'm a shy person and sometimes I do get a bit overwhelmed with crowds. I've always been in the back of the house and never in the spotlight. It really freaks me the hell out to be honest.

     But I digress. I am after all just rambling on, as I normally do. Who knows what’s going to pop into my head. Back to the subject of rude authors. I am always amazed when I see or experience this. Yeah, I've seen it. So if there are any authors out there reading this drivel, you might want to pay attention.

     Readers do talk to one another. Really they do, and let me tell you something, how you treat them does matter. This was discussed openly, in front of me, while in Australia. Names were being named and I was appalled at how many were mentioned. And guess what, they aren't buying your books, authors. It doesn't matter how well it is written or what a great story it might be. They have tuned you right out.

     What got me, surprisingly enough, was this also applies to reviewers and bloggers. Yeah, you guys were mentioned also. There are quite a few review sites and blog sites that were discussed, and readers are a smart bunch, yes they are. They do take notice of who you are hanging out with and whose books you’re pushing, on a regular basis. I never took notice of it before, but readers sure do. One site, a major one, was mentioned quite harshly as only reviewing certain authors, to the point that several had stopped reading that particular blog.

     Am I always nice? Probably not. I do tend to speak my mind. Oh, and sometimes I really do stick both feet into my mouth. However, I have tried to never be downright rude, I am Southern after all. I've been treated rudely before and I just take it with a grain of salt most of the time. I've got a pretty hard shell when it comes to things like that. It does boil down to treat others like you want to be treated. I've always believed that.

     Sometimes I’m just downright dense, especially before coffee. I've gone back and read some things that I posted before I'd finished the first cup of coffee and good lord, people must think me a moron sometimes. I really shouldn't be allowed anywhere near electronics before two cups of coffee. Just ask K.C. Wells. Not all of us can jump out of bed and be Tiger right off the bat. Ugh... that’s all I have to say on that subject. So if I say something really stupid, check the time and the coffee status before holding it against me please.

     A quick update on what I'm working on… because I've been asked… 

     I decided that since the Sutton family was so stuck in my head, after the last one, that I'd rip off another short of the Memories series. Yeah, well so much for short. They are taking me on quite a ride. This damn thing is turning into a full blown book from the way they are going on. Oh, and there are two new characters that popped in and introduced themselves. I love these two ol’ geezers. I’m thinking they are going to need their own book. Would anyone care to see Maggie as a young woman? I think I would.

     After I get out of the Sutton’s lives for a bit, I’ll get back to My Hero. Yes, James, I know, I know. You've been waiting for a long time now. I’m getting to it, I do promise.

     I also have another one started that I want to get back to. Bene, I promise to get it finished up this. Get the piano tuned up.

     Then I have another one started. It is going to be one that is going to rip my heart to shreds. I can see it coming. I’m going to be sitting here with a red eyes and snot running out of my nose. It is one of those that is just banging on the door waiting to come out. I know I'll not have a choice in going there, even though I think I’d rather not. It’s demanding to be written.

     Then I have one that I've had in the back of my mind for quite some time. Yeah, it’s that historical piece that I've told a few people about. It has actually been in my head for two years now. I’ll get there eventually, and I think it is going to be one of those that I’m going to be very proud of. I know going in that it is going to be a lot of work and take a lot of time to do. I'll get there, if I don't keel over first.

     What else is there…? 

      Oh yeah, I want to give a special shout out to one of the most amazing women I've met in the last few years, Lynn Schmitz. This lady never ceases to amaze me at tireless effort in contributing to PFLAG and the youngsters in her area. Please, everyone, give her a round of applause. She is someone I admire greatly. Thank you, Lynn for all you do.

     With that in mind, y'all go off and do something for someone else. It can be something so small you may not even realize you've done anything at all. Just take a moment and think about how you might help someone’s day be just a little bit better. I'll see y'all next week, the lord willing and the creek don't rise, as my grandmother would say. 

     Have a good one.


     p.s. This blog didn't really lend itself to many photos, so I thought I'd give you a special one to end with. ;-)

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