When Authors Fall

With all the fervor surrounding J.K. Rowling and as part of the queer community, I felt like I have to speak up.

Firstly, if any of my readers are trans (or if anyone seeing this is trans), let me tell you this: trans women are women, trans men are men, and trans lives matter. Non-binary people matter. I see you all, I respect you all, and I believe we should all live and love without judgment. ❤

So here’s the thing, I grew up with the Harry Potter books. It’s safe to say ~ and I always do~ that reading Harry Potter inspired me to become a writer and to create magical (and tech-riddle and fabulous) worlds of my own. With all the flaws I can see looking back at Harry Potter, I still really do love the series. It’s nostalgic, like a warm blanket that takes me back into my childhood and reminds me that magic still exists. I own all the books, I have a bunch of merch, I’ve watched all the movies, and I went to the opening day of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and happily waited seven hours to get inside. The series will hold a special place in my heart.

That being said, what Rowling said in her blogpost – and has said in the past concerning *waves her hand at all the problematic and transphobic Tweets* all of this – is wrong and hurtful to a large group, and as a longtime fan, I am honestly so disappointed in her. I will no longer support any future books written by her. I unfollowed her on her social media platforms. She’s a fallen author in my eyes, and I hope she sincerely apologizes for her hurtful words.

However, I think this is where we can separate the work from the author, especially since Harry Potter is a backlist title. I believe that once the book is published, it’s out there in the world and out there for the readers. The author can’t really do much about it. (As much as the author would desperately want to, see Rowlings “additions” via random Tweets…or actually, don’t.) Now perhaps this is my nostalgic glasses sliding down my nose because I can’t bear to let Harry Potter go, but to be honest, I think we – the Harry Potter fandom – can keep the series. Can hold the beloved books close to our chest. Can even keep our houses if it makes us happy. (Though it’s clear on the Twitterverse that perhaps we should stop sorting into houses? There are some super fun other sorts – like D&D alignments, elements, even other books!) It’s not a perfect series by any means, but it is quite special to me.

So I think even though the author has fallen and let her fans down, we, as the fandom, can keep that Harry Potter magic inside of us. For as long as we want to.

Don’t forget to love each other!
Warm regards,
Kellie

 

#IndieAuthorDay

Today is #IndieAuthorDay. It’s a day where publishing professionals (writers, agents, librarians, etc.) gather together and celebrate independent authors. It’s a day where folks talk about the hardships and successes of being an independent author. It’s a day that shines a light on them and their community, while also celebrating local libraries in North America.

And it’s a day that I didn’t hear about until today.

Granted it’s brand new (today was the inaugural launch) and I’ve admittedly been entrenched in following the political pulse of the nation this past week instead of the writing pulse (which is a fault of my own).

But I’m a bit sad that I didn’t hear about it until today.

I would’ve wanted to join in on this celebration and conversation. And I did, a little bit. While I missed the local event here at the Portland library, I was able to catch the presentations on YouTube and retweet some key messages from others. And there’s always next year! (On that note: Mark Oct. 8th on your writing calendar, guys, because its something we should all celebrate!)

It seems like a great idea, though, and with all the other stuff happening in the world right now (and not just political stuff, but also Hurricane Matthew and various amazing cons that I’m currently not at), I’m happy to have heard about it at all. It appears like the inaugural event was a success, too, which is awesome, and I’m quite glad it was trending on Twitter so I can take part in it, in my own small way. (Social media connectivity, FTW!)

Good luck, indie authors, and keep on writing!
Warm regards,
Kellie

Being an Exhibitor at Literary Arts Wordstock

Wordstock. A one-day celebration of books. Panels, workshops, readings, LitCrawl, food trucks, beer garden, and books, books, books galore. Packed with so many activities, this event was just up every publishing professional, bookseller, author, writer, and reader in the Portland area and beyond. It was packed!

Being an exhibitor was a lovely experience. There were swells of people, sometimes super crowded, sometimes less so. From 12-2-ish, the place was literally packed. Like claustrophobic packed. And it was great! Having Ripple Grove Press‘ books in front of the eyes of so many people was marvelous. Plus, a bunch of people came over to talk to us and bought our books!

The signings we had went well – I met two of our authors! – and I even got to check on the Ooligan Press table for a little bit to see how they were doing. Ooligan seemed to have a really great day, too, so that made me happy. (Gotta keep tabs on both of my publishing companies, you know? Now, how’s Desert Palm Press doing? *checks their social media accounts* They’re doing good, too! Happiness all around!)

I found that if you wave and smile at people, they’ll come over. I found that some people only want to read the books and move on and some people really love chatting. I found that some people just want a bookmark, which is cool because the bookmarks were beautiful.

We got asked a bunch of questions about the publishing house: how we run things, if we take submissions, what publishers do in the grand scheme of publishing. It was nice that I could answer most of the questions and, if I couldn’t, I directed them to the real publishers Rob and Amanda. (After all, I’m the intern! <- I used that a little bit when I didn’t know the answer, too.) I had a little speal – because, come on, it’s me – but I didn’t use it as much as I expected.

It was a good day overall. I got some valuable experience in the publishing world, met a bunch of people (including some for Write to Publish 2016!), and got to talk about books all day. I call that a win.

Did anyone in the lovely blogosphere go to Wordstock this weekend?
Warm regards,
Kellie