Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Monday Mumblings Has A Conspiracy Theory

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Monday, March 7, 2011

Conspiracy theories seem to be all the rage these days, from politics to publishing. The latest concerns a so-called "YA Mafia," that apparently has the power to block aspiring writers who post bad reviews of YA books from publication. That's right: say you don't like a book and you'll never work in this town again.

Horsefeathers. (Feel free to replace "feathers" with the word of your choice.)

A few links:

Holly Black's take on the whole thing.
Stacia Kane suspects someone completely mistook one of her posts on the topic.
John Scalzi is full of win, as usual.
Jane at Dear Author weighs in and comments ensue.

There are more links from those sites if you want to follow more of the tale.

My take? Yes, you should be professional in your dealings, because it's the thing to do. When you write a review, be honest, but don't tear the author apart. If you can't write the review without being personal, perhaps you should reconsider whether or not you should be writing the review at all. But above all, what Stacia Kane said.  You don't burn your bridges. And what Scalzi said. Writers don't have time to go crushing the careers of aspiring authors. And even if they did, it wouldn't work.

Hey, it's a tough business, and you have to grow a thick skin. I can't think of a single writer who hasn't had a stinging review about their work. When that happens to me, I have two choices. I can shrug it off, or I can feel hurt, go consume a vast amount of chocolate, and then shrug it off. (Someone mentioned the same thing in the comment thread to Scalzi's post.)

Also, I'd be lying through my teeth if I said I still didn't take some things personally. I know I shouldn't. But when you invest a lot of your time, effort, and sweat into a project, it's hard not to separate your ego from the finished work. And this is one reason it's convenient to believe in conspiracy theories.

But trust me, they're not out to get you.

My cats, on the other hand... (I said I had a conspiracy theory!)

Hey, if you have cats, you KNOW what I mean. They conspire against you. They leave "gifts" in the worst possible places. They watch you clean the box, then wait until the doorbell is about to ring before they go do their business and pretend to be startled by the sound of the doorbell, leaving your guest to wonder if you ever clean the box at all.They KNOW when your alarm is set to go off and come in and wake you half an hour early. They're plotting to take over the word, I tell you.

You KNOW it's true. Look! I have the proof:


(This is Geek Kitty. I protest the allegations that Human Woman has made. The Kitty Cabal Abby and I are merely showing our respect for humans. Look into my eyes. You WILL believe me...)

I apologize. There is no conspiracy theory. Pardon me while I go shower the cats with Treats.

Tags: Life Publishing Cats

Filed under: Monday Mumblings   Cats   Publishing   Life   


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