Let’s get real for a moment here. If you’ve read my prior posts, you know that July was a hard month. Bedbug infestation, leaving my publisher, quitting one job.
I’m struggling right now. Not with money or the new schedule. But with not being extremely bitter toward the one person who drove me away from my old publisher.
It’s under new hands, and I really hope they’re able to make it a good place to be. The bridge between me and the former owner/CEO, however, has gone up in a bonfire of epic proportions.
You see, she’s the one who lied to me. For years, she told me things that I believed. Shorter books were the way to go. Concentrate on ebooks. Enter contests. You’re going to be great one year. Maybe this new release will be the break out title.
Then I find out she really had no clue about the genre I write. The readership I’m going for. Or if I can keep a promise I made to our family.
I write well crafted, intelligent stories. They’re worth reading. And, yes, I use ‘big words’. I have a good vocabulary and know how to use it. Honestly, the language choices I make aren’t that hard. They’re suitable for the age group I’m aiming for (15 and up). Most of the ‘big words’ I use I learned from vocab tests in middle school.
Here’s the thing. That person didn’t know what they were talking about. Their own books (I know, because I edited some of them) are simplistic and have zero character development. The words may be shorter, ‘easier’, but the effect is that they’re pandering to their reader. Talking down to them. My kids would’ve rejected them before they were 12.
When you’re writing, it’s my belief that readers don’t want you to dumb down the story. It reflects poorly on the author. It says we don’t believe you’re smart enough to read, that we have to simplify the story so you’ll understand it. That you can’t infer the meaning of a word based on the text around it.
I’ve got a feeling that my departure from the company was welcomed, possibly even celebrated, by this person. Even as she herself sold it and left shortly after I did. Why? Because I write better than she does. Because I’ve got a better idea of what it takes to be an author in the modern day than she did. And, yes, because I don’t talk down to anyone in my stories.
That may just be my ego talking. I admit that. It’s really hard not to look back on the whole situation and not be bitter, though. I’m still waiting to hear back from the first few queries I put out. I’m working on writing new books, as well as revising the old. I’ll probably put up a short story or two here as free reads.
I will survive this. I will come back, stronger and better. Through it all, I’ll maintain a sense of professionalism that this person couldn’t match on their best day.
And that’s going to be the final log that gets tossed onto the bonfire.