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Why, Hale, Why?

I read the long Guardian article by Kathleen Hale and posted the short of my opinion to twitter. I thought the topic deserved a blog post, which I am sure there have been plenty of since the guardian article shed light on this blogger/author debacle.


Mrs. Kathleen Hale you earned yourself a nifty twitter hashtag , a few rounds of twitter trending and a lot of press. I don't know whether this is good or bad for a first time author whose book No One Else Can Have You came out from HarperTeen in January 7, 2014 but it is a argument we will continue to discuss because of the issues it brings up with social media, privacy, trolling, stalking and bullying.


Some of you might or might not remember Kiera Cass's (author of The Selection series) run-in with her blogger. Cass and her agent got into it with a reviewer from Goodreads because they didn't like her review. In Mrs. Hale's situation, I find myself asking:


1. Why would the Guardian print this? It is awful, one-sided and somewhat rant-ty too. I can't believe both sides weren't given equal time in a matter that really pulls at social media issues. 


2. Isn't this the true definition of stalking? Did you not think that at any point during your research of your blogger?                                                                                                                                         


3. Why go this far? Why, why, why? You could have written a blog post about it, how it's unfair how public opinion affects people wanting to read books and people should read or try things on their own. You could have used your platform to shed light on a number of issues, let's say; public opinion, blogging, bullying, catfishing or the blogger/reviewer/author relationship.


4. Was it that serious for you to do #6 and #7 on my list? Seriously?


5. Were you trying to make enemies? Your response was so unprofessional and as a now published author could have been handled in better way.


6. $19 for an internet background check? Seriously? It truly doesn't matter who the person is on other side of the computer, yes there are people that listen to them in your case but you have people too because you got published by one of the Big 5 (counting Random/Penguin as one) and you wrote for the Guardian.
                                                                                                     
7. Really a rent-a-car? This is when you should have sought professional help. Why would you think it was ok to visit anyone after getting their address online. That doesn't make sense.


8. You called  (fan-girling-how did he sound?) Seriously though? If someone was catfishing you then you probably should report it and move on. Don't request to do a blog interview with them and then proceed to find out where they might live, call someone who might or might not be them and visit their possible home. LET IT GO.
                                                     
9. Your visit was a "sort of" personal rock bottom? Sort of? Your choice of words baffles me- "sort of rock bottom," that's like a drunk saying their "sort of drunk". Be real with yourself. Admit you went to far, fix it and move on. Hopefully you can recover from your actions both personally and professionally. The Kiera Cass Debacle was off-putting but it made me want to read her book in order to form my own opinion. However despite mediocre reviews Kiera Cass has successfully published 5 books plus novellas (2014). And a caveat - Cass also apologized for her behavior and I think she meant it. Still I feel sorry for Wendy Darling (blogger extraordinaire) who continues to be attacked for her opinion.


10. DO NOT ENGAGE. Don't you wish you listened? Public opinions vary that is the beauty of us being different. This is advice I will take to heart. I wish there was a program authors could let bloggers read their books as part of editing process and then glaring issues could be addressed early. No - writers can't make everyone happy nor should we try to but if there are fundamental issues in a novel that a blogger could help with before publishing, I'd welcome the challenge.                               


Now in Mrs. Hale's defense I understand how one could go too far when looking at people's reviews and opinions online especially about something as personal as a novel. Believe you me I dread the day but also welcome the day when my novel is in the public eye. I feel that once you put it out there, you have to stop letting public opinion matter. This is where we take a page from the famous stars who get followed and hounded and talked about all day every day by the media and everyone else who has an opinion. Live your life and do what you an on other ends to make people still want to read your book and be interested in you.


Trolling, cyber bullying and stalking on the internet sucks. It sucks. People have killed themselves because of it. It is not a light or funny issue. Let me tell you how many hateful messages I have read about stars, novels, current issues, the president, races, regular people...


People hide behind the computer. That's technology for you - that's anonymity. I think technology protects and it also allows some really cruddy people to make hateful comments to people they don't know, it isn't fair. But life is not fair. I learned that from my parents repeating it over and over again and then through living life. Life is not fair, so don't expect the internet or the people on it to be.


DO NOT ENGAGE. Words to live by.


References:
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/oct/18/am-i-being-catfished-an-author-confronts-her-number-one-online-critic?CMP=twt_gu


http://www.bustle.com/articles/44927-kathleen-hale-controversy-brings-up-major-issues-in-the-new-era-of-book-blogging-social-media

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