A while back, I joined a group of fun women who are passionate about romance. They meet once a month to review and discuss romance novels. I love the discussions and I pick up recommendations for great books—too many for my limited reading time at the moment! But when it comes to giving my critical opinion about a romance, even in that relaxed forum, I hesitate.
I feel a certain courtesy toward fellow authors, who put their blood, sweat and tears into writing the book of their heart. So I think twice about criticizing a novel in a public forum, though I might analyze what worked for me and what didn’t in the privacy of my own study.
I wish others would extend the same courtesy. Before the internet, you could express an opinion and it need go no further than your own circle of friends. Now, ill-considered rants are broadcast to thousands in the blink of an eye.
That’s not to say I want to stop people reviewing books or talking about them. But might I just send out a plea to aspiring and published authors to stop and think before you make a disparaging comment about someone else’s pride and joy? Are you being completely honest about your motives, or has the green-eyed monster been whispering in your ear? Have you even read the book in question? Will you like it if something similar happens to you?
So...tell me something good. Tell me something a writer has done for you or you’ve done for another writer, to help a career or brighten a day.