choices

Something in the Making…Thanks to E-books

About a month ago I was approached about doing something with another author whom I’ve always admired. And though I’ve never collaborated with anyone on anything, I was extremely interested.

So the publisher introduced us…we’d never met…and the e-mails started flying. After a great deal of brainstorming, we came up with a concept, a theme, and a deadline.

Nothing is in writing yet so I can’t give out details. But I can say this much. It’s most likely going to be a novella collection, it’s going to be m/m romance, and it will be out before Christmas.

The whole idea of collaborating has been very nice. The other author and I get along wonderfully and it’s an experience I’m looking forward to. For years I worked on anthologies with many other authors, for Cleis Press, Alyson Books, and one other gay press. I’ve also worked with a few European publishers on short story collections. It’s actually my favorite way to write and I’m glad that all the new advances in digital technology have allowed authors to have this kind of freedom. And as a reader, I would imagine people are having just as much fun as I am buying short stories, novellas, and full length novels. It’s hard to believe we didn’t have those choices five or ten years ago.

The Interesting Thing About Social Media…

I’ve talked about social media a few times on this blog, especially Facebook. I’ve been kicked off Facebook for no apparent reason and then put back on…without an explanation. (They do this to gay people sometimes, whenever someone complains about gay content of any kind, even if it’s a simple status update about gay marriage. Facebook isn’t a democracy.)

And, frankly, I’m not even on Facebook that much. I usually post something fast once in the morning and then once again later at night. Then I take a few minutes to check out what friends are posting; just to keep up and to see how everyone is doing. I honestly do look forward to most status updates. I like the people I met on all the social networks I’ve joined.

I’ve had gay friends kicked off facebook for no apparent reason, too. Some are authors who write gay fiction, others are gay people who just post information about gay events and trivia. I rarely ever see anything harmful.

But there is a good side to all this in spite of this drawback. At least Facebook allows us to pick and choose with whom we want to be friendly. You can manage your account so that you don’t have to read anything you’d rather not read. Which makes me wonder how deeply the hate goes for gay people when it’s so simple to just “unfriend” someone and never read their status updates again.

And let’s face it, we’re never all going to love what everyone is posting on facebook. With me there are two negatives: one is when people post political rants and the other is when people post religious rants. I personally go to facebook to socialize, not to read about politics. I go other places for that. And I certainly don’t go to facebook to read about religion…or disdain for religion. I have my own personal faith, thank you, and I don’t need to read about anyone else’s faith…or their lack of faith.

Sometimes I just “hide” people. I usually do this when they do annoying things. For example, one or two friends might be watching a football game on TV and they might be posting information about the game on Facebook every ten seconds. I’m thrilled they are so excited. I really am. But I couldn’t care less and I hide them so I don’t have to read a whole page of status updates about the game they are watching. You have to have good manners on social media, too, just like in real life.

And I have “unfriended” people, just like I’m sure people have done the same to me. I don’t know when it’s happened to me, because I don’t really care (it’s Facebook, seriously) and I’m certainly not going to take the time to go through my entire friend list. I used to feel guilty about “unfriending” people. And then I stopped feeling guilty when I realized it doesn’t really matter. You can rant and post about how proud you are to be an athiest all you want. But I don’t have to read it. You can rant about how much you hate Sarah Palin or Barrack Obama all you want. But, again, I don’t have to read it. I guess there are people who do care what your relgious or political beliefs are, but I’m not one of them. I just want to have fun on social networks. And I think that’s the main reason why they were designed.

I do think authors should beware of posting political or religious rants or opinions. You’re shooting yoursleves in the foot if you think people are going to buy your books if you piss them off on social media. And they have every right to feel that way, because we do, indeed, have choices.