Saturday, April 17, 2010

Keeping it Real

So, there's this thing out there in the author world about 'over sharing' information about yourself. I've been heavily criticized for talking openly about my life, the things I do and the people in it. Basically, I over share. (According to some critical others.) But what they call over sharing and TMI, I call keeping it real.

I'm sorry, but the world has enough stuck up, holier-than-thou assholes in it. I am not going sit up on some NYT Bestselling throne looking down my nose at all the little peons come to worship at my feet, keeping the air of mystery, playing the entitled diva. Frankly, I'm not entitled to squat unless you, the readers, feel like giving it to me...and I am grateful enough as it is for your pocket change when you decide to buy my work. If you go beyond that, if you come to me with an email or follow me on Facebook or any of that stuff, I assume you are doing it because you want to get to know me a little better. You want to know something other than if I can write a good story.

So, I am happy to give you...me. My weight loss journey. My boob job. My struggles with my kid. My puddles of insecurity, my tears when I see someone trash talk me...the list goes on. And I'm not going to give you a shinier version of me. Just the me of me. Now, mind you, I will keep things to myself in certain ways. Like, my real name. Where I live. Some of ya'll are freaks (if you are offended by that reference, then...urm...you're probably a freak. Clearly even you think so!)and I am going to protect my kids and family.

There are those who say it's a matter of professionalism. It's unprofessional to talk about how, ever since you hit forty, you have the worst time trying not to fart in public. Oh c'mon. You're all women out there! (Men have never cared about when and where they fart, so...)You all have bodies! And frankly it always gives me tremendous comfort to know someone else goes through this and is willing to talk about it! What would be unprofessional is if I tried to put that tidbit into a conversation between one of my heroes and heroines. That is not romantic. (Although, it's funny shit so another writer who does comedic romance might get away with it). You come to my writing to suspend reality. You come to me to keep it real. If you don't like what I have to say, stop following me! Resign from the blogs and mailing lists and etc. Right? If you want mystery between us, by all means. I can do that. So long as you don't read my blogs or my Facebook posts. I call it the 'head in the sand' approach. I don't cope well with bad reviews, so therefore I avoid them like the plague. I stick my fingers in my ears, shut my eyes and yell "La! La! La!" Voila! As far as I am concerned, I never get a bad review. (Okay, well, I do come across them accidentally once in a while. In which case, I need a fifth of scotch to fix the problem. And don't get me started on reviews. Did you know there are people out there with NOTHING BETTER TO DO than to go on Amazon and trash talk other people's books in order to raise up the authors they like?? Can you believe that?? Oh, but we're not supposed to talk about that, too. And we're not supposed to answer back. I am not making that up. According to RWR magazine, that is known as 'shooting yourself in the foot' professionally.)

I understand. It serves no purpose to waste energy engaging an idiot in a battle of wits...especially when the poor dears are so unarmed. It's basically grade school all over again. Bullies. The popular girls make themselves feel better by whipping others to shreds. Oy. Grow up and get a life. But the fact is, it still wounds you if you are a sensitive human being. I am not going to pretend otherwise because, frankly, I am proud of being a sensitive human being. I am proud to over share. I love nothing more than when a reader writes to me and says how 'down to earth' I am. How real I am. How much they appreciate my touchable approach. I will be ashamed of myself the day I look down my nose at someone and deem myself too good to be honest with them.

If I want to be professional, I call my agent and cry hysterically with her or get mad and stomp my feet with her and then let HER call my editors or publishers or whoever has ticked me off and communicate my...erm...discontent with the current situation. Unprofessional would be to call them directly and curse them out like the New York gal I am with no regard for my future contracts. That, after all, is why she earns the big bucks. She is a tool. A buffer. An ambassador. A very talented one. A priceless one. What, are you shocked to hear I can behave like a child on occasion? You mean you don't? Not even deep down on the inside? If you are able to keep that under wraps, I envy you. Perhaps it is because I am bipolar, perhaps it's because I never learned how to suppress all of that emotion...perhaps I'm a child now and forever. Flaws. A ton of them. And I have them like crazy!!

Don't you?

Hugs and Kitties
Jacki

27 comments:

Laura Elizabeth said...

I believe I have found a friend. I feel so much the same way. I have serious problems believing my publisher screwed me so bad and doesn't care if they sell books or not. I have a huge problem with the today's agents. It's easy to see when they don't even read your stuff an then say it's not for them, like they even know what they read! I like real. Talk and talk some more. Stay the way you are hun. A true person!
Love it,
Laura Elizabeth

Ethereal said...

Personally, I do not like author's that do not care for their audience. I love Anne Rice, I love Kendra Leigh Castle, and frankly my hon I LOVE you! I think they all need to be told to stuff it up their tight *****, grow up and get real lives. I have to admit, this is the only part of becoming a published author that keeps me from wanting to bother. Kudos! You are the best! You are bold, beautiful, sincere and the greatest! Keep being you!!

Krista said...

I love you ESPECIALLY because of your flaws ;)

Rica said...

Girl listen, you do what feels right for YOU. If you want to share with others...guess what? That's your right. If someone has a problem with that, then that's THEIR problem. Don't you dare let them make it yours. No one forces them to come to Your site and read. They come because they want to. They then see the adoration your fans have for you and jealousy and envy take over. Don’t you cry another tear over their pathetic criticisms. They aren't fans and may never be. That's fine, leave them to their poisons. They aren't family and definitely aren't friends. If they betray your trust, they won't get that chance again because now you know them for who they really are.

You just keep doing your thing...sharing your gift. Because the haters aren't going anywhere, so you have to remove their importance within your heart and mind. Ignore the hate and bask in the love of your fans.

Rica

Donna said...

Thank you for allowing your readers to see you as a real person. You're just like us--you laugh, you cry, you get mad--just like we do. The difference is our jobs are rather ordinary and your job brings happiness to so many of your fans. Jobs don't make people different from other folks. Real people are just real people. I applaud your courage and will continue to follow you on facebook. Thank you for being real.

Indrianna said...

You're awesome. Keep doing what you're doing. Ignore other's petty rumblings!

Jen said...

If I hadn't loved your books before becoming your friend on facebook, the fact that you are so real would have made me get up and go buy them. I find it comforting that someone I can look up to and see as one of those people you admire is real and goes through the same things I do. Don't ever change! I love what you do and say and how you do and say it. To heck with what other people think! Thank you for being you!

Laurann Dohner said...

I love it when you share. I love reading what you write between pages and what you put out there about yourself. It is refreshing to find an author who keeps it real, who shows they are human and has the same problems as the rest of the world does. You inspire me in so many ways and thank you for being real person who doesn't hide behind 'the mystery'. LOL.

shiver said...

Jackie..I have considered you a friend since we met in Pittsburgh at RT..wow been 3 years already...we talked even before I knew who you were...and felt a kinship with you from the first. What I seen in the person you are is the rare honestly of lifes ups and downs and the abilty to over come adversity..To keep writing wonderfull books, to know that tomorrow will come and to face it Head on with no doubt...We woman can all be bitches and ya know what?? It has to be somethimes to get done , to get over and to get through life..You keep on .keeping on girl..you had me at "Hello"...LOL..Pam Mann

randeemckee said...

To be honest it is wonderful to feel like We, are a part of the process you and other authors a lot like you, go thru. I love reading a new book that I knew was hard to finish, or that you had a melt down over a certain chapter and gave you headaches. That process is Also LIFE,I am a mother and LOVE the everyday process that pops up with them, cause they pop up here too. LOVE the occasional comments back at us. I am also a woman over 40 and all that entails..yay us. I am a paramedic and my escape is the books...but we LIVE and experiance life and sharing can get us threw it, so we can do our jobs. thank you for being real..because real..is TRUTH.

Kate Douglas said...

I saw your comment on Facebook and really had to read this, because I'm an open book online and I've caught flack for it as well. It's almost funny when I'm asked to blog and then they want me to "tell readers something they don't already know." Well, duh. There ain't no secrets. "I yam what I yam," as Popeye would say. Get over it.

It's a great post, m'dear, and probably a good part of the reason your readers are so loyal. I don't know about you, but my writing schedule keeps me tied to my desk, and it I didn't have online friends I could spill my guts to, I'd live in a vacuum.

I'd suggest you just keep on being who you are, but do stay away from those Amazon reviews. There are some truly toxic people in the world, and none of us needs that in our lives.

Bianca D'Arc said...

Jacki, my friend, don't ever change who you are. Not for nuthin'. And dude, did you just call your agent a tool? LMAO!!! (Okay, I'm sure you didn't mean it in quite that way.) *snicker* I'm looking forward to seeing you real soon! :)
B.

Deidre said...

Hi Jacki, you are a great person and I appreciate you "keeping it real" :) That is why I enjoy you so much! I am glad you are not one of those holier than tho writers who will sometimes not bother to meet the readers. If you were you never would have let me talk you into coming to Atlantic Canada to meet me and see my part of the world :) Even though it didn't turn out as well as we both hoped, it was a pleasure to have you and B at the house for a few days and to meet you in person :) Any way I can talk you into flying up to see me this summer? I leave in a few days for the North Pole, come on, you know you want to :D Take care of yourself lady and I am so proud of all you have done! keep up the great work!!

Suzette said...

Love, love, love this post! As a fan of your work I absolutely love that you are real! It does make you more approachable. Just one of the gals! Love this about you! Don't stop! Much love!

Stephanie*magic* said...

All these ladies have said it all, and well.
*lubs ya*

Tempty’s Scattered Thoughts said...

I would much rather see the "real" you, than some made up story. I buy the novels to get the stories. There are a good many NYT Bestsellers that I won't touch because they look like phonies. I Like that you get our there with your fans. You are real and you are human. So don't change and keep being yourself, that is what we all love about you.

Stephanie*magic* said...

Just reading the post and thinking.
Ya know, you are the only author to really show she cared about the fans. You chatted with us regularly, and you even called me on the phone a few times. Sorry i'm not a great conversationalist, and cant put what I feel into words well, but you always made me feel like a friend.
That, in my opinion makes you the coolest, realest author ever!

Kimi said...

I loved your writing from the very first book I read.
I thought you were a very talented writer and I danced happily whenever you put out a new book.
I just started reading your blog and I have to say the latest one made me grin and shout YOU GO GIRL!

charlizecie said...

You will always be one of my favorite writers and i love the fact that you choose to be open with us and we love you for that... take care always.

elvira said...

Jacki,
I haven't been following your blog but I certainly do appreciate your honesty and sincerity. Since I am a BP II, I can relate to what you feel, what you say.
As to those who trash you, especially if they are other authors, consider what would be their motivation. All I can think of is insecurity, jealousy, fear. Why would a writer who is confident of their "place" in the writing world take the time and the effort to trash another writer? He/She would not. Only someone who feels inept so Jacki, consider the source. If the criticism is constructive, take it...if its trashing...ignore it because they are afraid of you.
Elvira

alley youngblood said...

ima not a writer myself however since november of 2009 i started to read to keep my mind busy while my heart greived at the loss of my mother.. i say just be urself who gives a shit what others may say u being down to earth and freely speaking ur mind is what i admire most about u.. u always have ur fans and i will forever be one i read nything i can get ny hands on always novels and i am really OCD bout reading them in order i cant seem to help it and i have read ur shadowdwellers and nightwalkers and the gathers so keep up the good work... alison youngblood

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Chirping Chicks said...

I just want to say that you are a talented author and I could not put your books down... I love them!!
Also, I say vent all you want and dont care of what people think about you! I agree with "Laura Elizabeth" be yourself...

MeJerry said...

It disturbs me when I read: "I am going to protect my kids and family." This can be a sad world. Do not be overconfident. (And most certainly do not explain.)

I come to you as a new reader, not yet having made any firm decisions, but obviously I have an interest or I wouldn't be here. I enjoy reading author's blogs which display something of their personality. To read the other trash sometimes posted can be a really sad waste of time.

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Crystal Dee said...

I can't imagine there really being anyone who doesn't love your writing. I fall into your stories and find it utterly impossible to surface until the end and then I just want to start over.
As to those who tell you not to be so forthcoming about who you are, DON'T LISTEN TO THEM.Who you are is just fine with me and about a gazillion other fans of yours.

Mrs. Disser said...

Your name and nice comments about your books came up in a Amazon discussion thread about JR Ward's Lover Mine. We tend to share names of authors we like who write fantasy romances. I am new to fantasy romance having followed historical romance writers for more years than I care to admit.
I, for one, would love to see what happens with your Nightwalkers in the future.

 

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