I posted this over on my Facebook page, but I thought it’d probably a good idea to C&P here.
We’ve all read and freaked over the Guardian story about the author stalking the reviewer, right? Really effing creepy and disturbing stuff. I do not say “interesting” or “fascinating” for a reason. Because what Hale did, to me, is not interesting or fascinating. Not even a little. It’s disturbing, appalling, and many of the responses to it are sickening.
Some of you reviewers and bloggers might now be side-eyeing your bad reviews, trying to figure out who all has your address for giveaways. You might be looking at that list and wondering who will hunt you down and invade every inch of your personal life. I don’t blame you. While tweeting about it over the weekend, I had moments of, “aw, hell. Is this gonna come back on me?” Online confrontations can be bad enough. When that comes bursting into your personal life off-line? No. Hell no. All the Hell Nos.
I’m a big fan of giveaways. They make me feel a little like Oprah. “YOU GET A BOOK! AND YOU GET BOOK! EVERYBODY IS GETTING A BOOK!” I do them quite a bit and, as such, I’ve ended up with a lot of email and home addresses. And I always, always, destroy the latter and never again use the former unless we have previously, and in clear terms, discussed me emailing you in the future. Never will I ever contact you in any way, shape, or form unless I know, without certainty, it’s welcome. I do not keep addresses for any reason. I write them down on a slip of paper if I’m sending out multiple things at once, then I shred that paper as soon as the packages are addressed to be mailed. I delete the emails and DMs containing those addresses. Never will I ever knock on your door, either literally or figuratively, to question who you are or what you said about me or my books. You are allowed your thoughts and opinions, you are allowed to voice them, and never will I cross over the line between author and reviewer in that way. EVEN IF WE COMMUNICATE ON OTHER PLATFORMS ON A REGULAR BASIS. I view my books as my babies in a way, yes. But at the end of the day, I separate myself from them when I put them out in the world and do not take what’s said about them personally.
I appreciate the hell out of each of you who pick up my books. I appreciate the hell out of you taking the time out of your lives to review them. I am so sorry that there’s been a level of fear and worry introduced to this hobby, this service, so many of you give authors for free. Privacy, as well as free speech, are two very important things to me, and two things I believe should be protected at all costs. If your privacy, rights, and free speech are threatened by someone else, I can’t promise I can always take up arms for you. I can’t promise I can ride into battle on your behalf. But I’ll always speak up to defend them. I can promise that. And I can promise I will never be the one to threaten those privacy and rights. Pinky swear.