Authors Are My Heroes

Since the beginning of my memory, books have had a huge place in my life – whether books that were read to me, or books that I could read to myself. The only way these miraculous objects could exist was with people brave enough to create them – authors. Authors who put themselves out there and pour their hearts onto a page and deliberately throw their work out in front of the masses to get devoured and dissected, sometimes celebrated and often derided. The courage that this takes is unimaginable to me, as even these few words in a blog post are scary to let others see.

I have had the absolute pleasure of connecting with some amazing authors online and meeting them at author events, as well as being contacted by authors pitching their work to me. These people actively solicit opinions of their work by sending readers their books and requesting an honest review to be posted online……..work that sometimes I don’t love, and work that then I have to figure out how to write about not loving in a non-hurtful way. Authors ASK for this! In my profession, public education, we try to get legislation passed that says we CAN’T be reviewed and ranked publicly in this way, that it’s a disservice to our craft. Authors win.

This is my hat tip to the authors who have inspired me, moved me, brought me to tears, made me so mad I screamed, and especially those whose work is their lifeblood but isn’t fit for the masses yet. The authors who have put everything they have into their work and it isn’t getting published or is getting negative reviews (even from me) ~ you are AMAZING and the bravest people I know.

As a reviewer, I am going to speak for all of my kind ~ don’t let our words take away one iota of pride in your work. Don’t let us scare you. Keep writing, keep being brave, keep writing for us. We need you. Because your work becomes our pleasure – I wouldn’t be me without you.

I would love to hear from readers about favorite authors or experiences meeting these courageous artists ~ or even writers explaining how you keep putting your work into the world despite the fear. Please share in the comments below!

11 thoughts on “Authors Are My Heroes

  1. I’m with you here – I’m a great admirer of authors, but also of librarians and teachers and parents who put books into readers’ hands. So thank YOU! I cannot possibly list all my favorite authors (but you and I definitely have similar tastes), so I will mention only ONE author who is one of my best friends and critique partners, Jo Knowles. I would be a fan of her books even if I didn’t already love her. I’ve had the honor of seeing her drafts and revisions and she has taught me SO much about the craft of writing. I’m currently reading a draft of her next book and let me tell you now, it’s AMAZING! Thanks, Kate, for all your do to spread the good word!

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  2. Awesome! I always feel badly when I don’t love someone’s work, but they need the critique, and what one person hates someone else loves. I try to do those reviews on Goodreads rather than my blog, but we all do better when we understand the good and the bad. Everyone is so afraid of hurting other people’s feelings….I remember a time when I was younger and someone finally told me about a defense mechanism I had that I didn’t have any clue about. Hard to correct a behavior if you don’t know you’re doing it!

    I will say, that I am through the roof when an author finds my blog and appreciates the work I’ve done. We know how much hard work they have to go through to write a book, but reviewing them isn’t so easy either 🙂

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    • Not wanting to ever write a negative review is what initially kept me from applying to be a School Library Journal reviewer, but I overcame that fear and am honing my ability to write constructive and helpful reviews that assist librarians and teachers (and parents!) make good choices for their readers. It’s never easy though!

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  3. Librarians, teachers and literacy advocates/educators are my heroes, both as a reader and a writer. I appreciate all of your hard work done. Blogging/reviewing is a labor of love! Thank you, Kate! 🙂 I’ll have to think of who my author heroes are..

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    • Thank you Maria!! Want to know my other true heroes? Kindergarten teachers – kindergarten is the toughest group on earth! Some of my author heroes from my childhood are E. Nesbit, Lois Lowry, Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary and R.L. Stine 🙂

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