A peace offering for those who feel the words on this page hurt you. Good luck.
I’m sure this will have themes of a rant. I’m sure it will be extremely unpopular. Whatever. I don’t have it in me to censor. It’s the second day of my bf having a fever of over 102 (the weekend? Like, seriously? All the clinics are closed and he has no insurance. @[email protected]) I’m pretty sure my temp is crawling up while I sit typing this. And really, I’ve come to the conclusion this is everything authors and readers do, so why be surprised to see it unfold online? Authors create pain and readers seek to be hurt, and my fuck, don’t they all think pain is important.
A Feeding Frenzy Of Outrage
A MM author was outed for being a woman. Yup, another one. The pitchforks have been gathered, the outrage shouted, and the fires lit. Money extortion and sob stories. He/she lost two publishing deals, and, you know, that’s what you get for writing MM fiction.
Is any of it true? Who the fuck knows. Someone said it on the Internet so it must be, right? I know that’s how the justice system works; we accuse and tell a persuasive story and then condemn someone for the rest of their life. It’s been great for the ‘Me Too’ movement where you say shit about people and watch them be fired while no one bothers to see if anything is true or not. Who has the time to fact check? The author said he/she was a male on the Internet the same way, so that must be true, too. Belief of someone’s identity is really all you need to know about a person. And the gender of a person is really fucking important when it comes to their ability to write. I talk about my tits all the time when I write about dick because it’s super fucking important to what I do.
Hmm, I might be feeling sarcastic today. There ya go. The bitch is in.
So, to be clear, this wouldn’t be news if it was outside the LGBTQ community. I have seen nonfiction writers present themselves with head shots straight from stock photo sites. I’ve seen atheists write for Christians. Shameless people write ‘clean’ fiction, women pretend to be mothers with kids—everyone pretend to be an ‘authority.’ And I’ve seen authors of every kind of book lie about their gender.
In romance, men pretend to be women. In most everything else outside of heath and fitness, nutrition/dieting, and beauty, women pretend to be men. Why? Well, for one because women still don’t believe they’re allowed to succeed as women. But mainly because readers can have these expectations based off of gender about if an author is safe to trust before they even crack open a book. They want to be reflected, or they want the promise of a certain experience, and they will have a knee-jerk reaction based off of the gender of a name.
Yeah, sexist as fuck. Welcome to reality. And guess what? Many readers and writers of LGBTQ are the worst at this.
They care. They care what’s between your legs, they care who you want to fuck, they care how you present yourself, and they care if you don’t reflect back every moral and social expectation and belief they have. They care and they want you to care, and if you don’t, you will be punished. A gay book isn’t fiction to them, it is the reflection of all the pain, self-esteem issues, discrimination, and trauma every gay, lesbian, bi, trans, ace what-have-you individual has experienced. If you come across critical reviews on an LGBTQ book, you can see a story unfold of how much the community believes these books belong to them.
Gay fiction is ‘serious.’ It’s ‘important.’ You being paid means you’re making money off of our experiences, so you better be one of us. We own your fiction.
This is part of the exhausting, drama reality of writing for the LGBTQ community, and legit, just don’t do it if you care what others think. And more importantly, don’t do it if you feel like you need to be good enough for these people, because they will tear you down. My harshest reviews are from people who came into a book with an expectation. They expected the book to be a certain way, and it wasn’t. I don’t write the same kind of books as everyone else, and guess who has the biggest expectations of what an LGBTQ book should look like? Those in the community. And guess who is extra inclined to demand your book be a certain way? Those who identify with fiction as life.
I’m Afraid This Needs To Be Said: Books Aren’t Real
In every other genre, writing books is a business. It’s to make money while having fun creating something. Writing is content creation; that’s it. There is nothing real in a book. It’s symbols on a page, and every pain felt is from the reader.
Not in the community, though. Here, it’s identity. You need to represent your readers—the ones who come to you, every book looking to feel, looking to relive the pain in their lives while you lead them out of it. They need your story, and you are obligated to make it a certain way and give them their happy ending. They were promised a soulmate and you better deliver. And if you turn out to be yourself instead of how you’re perceived? Get ready for the righteous outrage. You can only be how they see you in this community.
This is why I don’t write realistic gay stories, or seek any of the ‘validating’ awards in the community, or jump into ‘Own Voices’ like to live an experience is the only fucking reason you are allowed to write about something. I won’t write bisexuality just because I’m attracted to men, women, and everyone in between, and fuck people for expecting that of me. My sexuality, my skin color, my ancestry, my gender and the things I experience in life are not all I’m allowed to be, and I can write whatever the fuck I want.
Fuck people who think books are real. Fuck people who think they are owed because someone has the ability to write a story. Fuck this bullshit of reading a book and thinking it’s about you, when the author doesn’t even know you exist. Enjoy it—please, enjoy it—but don’t identify with fiction. How fucking insane. It’s not real, and that crushing need to own what you didn’t even make leads to so much stupidity.
Do you even get how fucking hard this shit is? All an author does is sell, sell, sell who they are while pretending they’re only selling a book. It’s like forever being in front of a mirror, squinting, making duck face, laughing and crying, and showing every experience of your very life in the ‘right’ perspective to be as attractive and entertaining to others as possible. But it’s not for facebook and your friends; it’s to make a living. It’s your job. Society is demanding Reality TV now, and although we all know Reality TV is fake, we hold authors to a totally different standard of genuine nakedness. And you know me, I’m fucking lazy at this shit because I don’t want to be someone I’m not. I don’t want to give a fuck—but I do want to pay my bills, so I show up each week and offer you a story about the world.
It’s fun for the most part, until someone feels the need to explain how I’m wrong with how I live, or work, or write, or feel. How what I create is supposed to be different, or ‘appropriate.’ Don’t think for a second I don’t understand why other authors create a persona, create a fake face, a fake name, create fake details to a fake life—I’m Gabrielle, btw, if you didn’t notice it under my author page. All my photos are real with the addition of some creative photoshopping (sorry to disappoint.) Being you in front of a bunch of critical people on the Internet can be soul crushing. I get to be Sadie Sins, even if Sadie’s life is pretty damn similar to Gabrielle’s. It’s still a persona, it’s still a buffer from the judgmental bullshit on the Internet. This is an entertainment business, and to make it to the top as an author, you aren’t just selling your books, you’re selling a story about yourself.
How much space does an author have to put into a bio? How much of their entire existence are they going to fit? Some put their writing and scholarly achievements in there—the ‘authority’ reasons for why their writing is valuable. Some put details of their personal history in there—the emotional reasons as to why they deserve to be noticed. Some put info about why they like to write—the creative inspiration, or the social drive that keeps them changing the world. Do you really think this is all a person is? It’s a perspective, a persuasive glance at an author to get a reader interested, and hopefully hang around to read more. We understand that for a business, but apparently writing isn’t a business but an identity for some observers.
For the readers and other authors who think being an author is an identity where some authors just get ‘lucky’ to become popular; you’re a big reason we have to sell a story. Because you want to read about a down-on-their-luck, plucky artist getting discovered because it fits the narrative of your own dream. How ugly to learn the exhausting truth of having to entertain and satisfy every random person who looks an author’s way while also living a life of complexity and obstacles. How troubling to realize that an author isn’t an asshole when they push back, but are so overwhelmed with people wanting them to be different that they need to set boundaries just to breathe.
But nah, ignore reality. Ignore the human who bends over backwards for countless people every day they will never even meet. Some people just want to support who they think deserves to win this game of survival. And if they don’t think they deserve it by their terms, they want to see an author hurt.
You ever have someone tell you they want you to ‘be yourself’? But after a while, you realize they don’t want that at all; they just want you to be who THEY think you are? Suddenly you’re someone who leads people, or needs to be saved, or comforted. Welcome to show business, where you’re called a whore for selling yourself, while at the same time no one gives a fuck about the real you unless you entertain them. Unless you belong. Unless you can convince the hordes that you have a right to be here.
And why, in this modern world, are we still battling the idea we’re not allowed to be paid for writing? An author was dropped by her publishers because of the fans’ outrage over her identity, and what’s the battle cry? She deserved it for pretending to be a guy. She deserved it for telling a story, and then having someone else tell the story from a different perspective. Now when these fans look back, the memory is different. They weren’t helping, they were being scammed. They weren’t supporting, they were being victimized. They weren’t enjoying a book, they were misled.
My fuck, people are insane. Stop blaming words for the pain you feel. Stop making the past into some sort of current reality, because it’s not and never will be. Stop demanding people not be allowed to exist—because that’s what happens when you take away someone’s income source. Money = survival in this world.
How many fans do I have to get emails from asking for more, while refusing to see how much is given? When did it become a crime to want to pay your bills and not fear being thrown out on the street, while working every single day to build something? Do people not understand how completely unstable income is for a writer? How fickle the market is? How shit KU is while at the same time it feels like the only way? Do you get how hard it is to be a book about fictional characters, when you’re a human being who wants to be seen as a whole person? But you can’t be because some readers just want you to be a book, and you need to make a living, so you nod like a dumbass and smile while a little part of you dies inside? Yay, show business.
Food costs money, heat costs money—you can’t exist in my country in a shelter without someone expecting money for taxes. I write adult books for adults, but for every adult who talks to me, a child comes along wanting me to fulfill whatever it is they think I exist to give them. A child demands all authors should be just like them, because the way they’re an author is the ‘right’ way. The only way. The deserving way. They cut everyone down instead of hold a hand out, and fuck, I’m so tired of being around it.
Authors want to succeed so they can write more, so they can do this job and flourish. It’s nice to do what you love and not fucking suffer financially. Why is it a battle to be allowed to make money and art? Why, in this obnoxious popularity contest, must we battle each other when every book has its merits, and every author has a talent to be discovered and appreciated? Why all the damn drama over fiction?
People, we are story tellers. That’s it. We are human beings making money telling stories. We show you characters in pain that you reflect off of, and you think it’s real in your mind. You supply the feelings to these inert, meaningless words on a screen, and then you praise/blame the author for arranging those words the way they did.
And If those words hurt you? Really? Words don’t hurt; your ideas about words hurt. It’s the same madness of censorship when blaming mouth sounds for hurting people. The stupidity of trigger warnings when triggers exist in the mind, not the world. It’s the mind that reacts, not an attack from inert words.
You think I can tell a story? What about the person reading my book who comes back and reviews saying anyone who reads this “would be forced to join forces with all these people who believe that being gay is a sin”? There’s a fucking story being told and it has nothing to do with reality.
I love that one-star review, btw. It is forever my wakeup call to remind me. It doesn’t matter what I write, it doesn’t matter what I put out into the world, people will perceive it however they want. I push for releasing shame and someone read that story as abusive and rapy. This newsletter—do you think I’m typing furiously, freaking out, raging at the world right now? I’m not. XD But if you think it, it must be true, right?
This example of self destructive behavior in the LGBTQ community is everything about the relationship between author and reader I have come to understand. All these books focus on pain. The conflict of the characters. Authors try to write the most compelling pain to attract readers, but it’s still the reader who comes seeking, looking to hurt. They want to feel something, and the ones who can’t figure out reality from fiction, drag those feelings into the real world. Social media is an amazing example of people looking to feel pain all the fucking time, looking for a fight, looking to be right, looking to be validated or knocked down so they can have someone to push against.
So hey, I’m an author, and here you go. I think having your feelings hurt over perceptions of someone you never knew is ridiculous. That destroying someone’s career because they didn’t disclose their life story in a business setting is egotistical bullshit. That believing what you read about someone on the Internet and clinging to that image hurts everyone involved. If you think my words define you, then you must think your words define me. They don’t. They never will, but I will forever be whatever it is you see me as. Just like that author who was seen one way and is now seen another. All because someone thought pain was important.
‘But Sadie, you’re being judgmental in your need to tell people to not be judgmental!’ you might insist.
Yup, I still bitch, but I’m aware it’s me who’s upset. This entire newsletter is me bitching about how people can’t accept that reality is not how they perceive it to be. It’s me frustrated that my queer peers have once again helped to tear down one of their own writers, because instead of seeing someone trying to make it in a business, they see a gender identity, or a sexual identity, or the ‘wrong’ identity, and pass judgment based off of it. Or maybe they just saw a success, and that was reason enough to want to stay quiet when others come with torches.
I know it won’t stop. People love this. How do I know they love this? Because the majority of America still tunes in to hear whatever sick bullshit Trump has done each day. Some people want to hurt, they want to suffer, and authors have the beautiful ability to write the pain they’re looking for. People like pain, they find it entertaining, and they keep coming back for more. Giving them what they want in text form isn’t the moralistic crime of a lifetime. Having authors and readers insist it is, is a hypocrisy I can’t stop rolling my eyes at.
This does nothing helpful for a community, but instead creates more rigid expectations of how people think an author is supposed to be. It just opens the gates for the next witch hunt because no one will stop and point out, hey, this is normal practices in the business world. This is basic branding—tell the people what they want to hear—so get the fuck over it already.
No one outside of the LGBTQ community gives a fuck about the gender of another author. They don’t care about the sexuality of another author. It’s a fucking obsession in this community and it’s fucking people over. And if they decide pen names aren’t allowed, or own voices are the only gay fiction allowed? What then? I seriously wish I liked to write straight couples or something. Not even joking. Watching this go down is like seeing poison bubble right from the ground. You knew it was there beneath the surface, but seeing the toxic reality is just sickening. It’s the same bullshit but with a different name. Gay people must represent their sexuality like this. Writers must represent the gay community like this. What a fucking mess.
Whatever. Maybe these authors keep giving in to all those voices demanding they write and act in ways only the readers want, and then they need to punish those who say fuck it to those shitty expectations. And they are shitty expectation. It’s a bunch of rules of how you’re allowed to play, how you need to ‘fit in,’ and it’s the reason some people don full persona’s to begin with.
That author was everything the community wanted until he/she wasn’t. Just another creation of the expectations set for allowable success. A gay male in the community with heartfelt experiences to share in book form. Throw in some ethnic background for good measure. Get me turned on and falling in love but make sure it’s respectful and relatable. A champion for gay fiction everywhere until it’s discovered fiction is fiction, and people aren’t role models.
It took me a long time to get over Orson Scott Card. I loved his fiction, and when I discovered he had written something for his church coming out against gays, I was heartbroken. But I grew up, and forced myself to face the reality that it was because he struggled with his religious beliefs that made his fiction the way it was.
It was because he wasn’t fully formed that he could write these themes I saw in the Ender series that had me paying attention, had me wondering why he was leaning the other way on something so obvious to me. He was able to represent a view I didn’t have, and although I don’t share it, I can understand it better because of it. And, not to sound like a pretentious dick, I noticed when his religious and bigoted themes slipped in, it hurt his writing. It wasn’t allowed to flow because his mind had placed a block to go ‘this means this.’
If I never saw that, would I ever search my own writing for the same? Would I search my own thoughts? Should his books disappear because they don’t reflect my beliefs when in his difference of opinion, I was able to see more of myself to learn?
What is the value of entertainment, and how many must be sacrificed until we realize it doesn’t have to be so fucking serious. It doesn’t have to be a representation of a sexual revolution. It can just be fucking fiction… or fiction about fucking. <3
The Demand For Others To Be Something Else is Exhausting
I don’t want to be a part of all these witch hunts, and how sad to see this shit happening. All these judges and juries of who is allowed to write a fucking story and make a living off of it. I don’t want to value the emotional pain of someone not having their expectations met, over the real life consequence of having your entire career taken from you because a group of people felt you were undeserving.
I don’t expect actors to be the characters they play in movies. I don’t expect singers to stop on the street and serenade me just because they have a nice voice. I don’t expect readers to see the real me no matter how much I reveal. Should I stay bed bound and dying with mold toxicity because that was who I first was when I started self-publishing in 2015? Should I only write one type of story, because expectation’s are more important than my reality? I think you can guess how much I give a fuck. (But if you can’t, it’s not a lot. At all. >_>)
I can never know anyone outside of my perspective of them, so how can they know me outside of their perspective of me? You can’t. No one will ever know another human being fully, so why do we feel entitled to know exactly that? Of a stranger? Why would I expect an author to be who I want? Why would I expect anyone to be anyone? How fucking assholic and pretentious.
The kindest thing you can do is forget someone. It allows them to be who they are the next time you meet, instead of who you thought they were.
Every brain perceiving my newsletter sees me as a different person. I cannot be what is perceived; I can only be myself. It’s enough, no matter how many demand otherwise. Being is enough. You are enough and so am I. To all the authors out there, I truly hope no one comes looking to tear you down for joining in the glamor of show business of writing books.
Okay, On To Actual Writing Stuff
Ugh, fever of 101. I’m definitely catching whatever it is the bf has. =_= Motherfuck. Umm… after insulting readers and writers of gay fiction alike, let me sell you an audiobook. Sound good? XD First one is free.
I did some more studying on the audiobook creation, and realized even though the industry standard of 32kbps is a wonderfully small file, it sounds like shit. It compresses nice, but it sounds weird. And maybe it’s just the software used, I dunno, but I decided to offer both a compressed file and a larger file in the download for those who don’t mind the extra space taken up for a higher quality sound. I have the first 3 Demon Bonded audiobooks done, although subscribers can listen to the 4 currently made for free on the site. I need to finish putting together the bonus episode and add it to #4 before I can sell Magnificent Night and Demencious Saga, the bundle of them.
Oh, I figured out how to get all the audio on the site without killing my bandwidth! So every audiobook made will be available to be listened to by subscribers. I’m still trying to find a better player… But yeah, it’s been a ton of fun. It has my brain sparking on things like ‘can I do different voices for different characters,’ or ‘can I do sound effects’? The answer at the moment being no, it sounds like shit. XD But I’m looking at options because it’s super fun. Oh, and a blog post for anyone interested in making your own audiobook. It’s pretty easy if you have the time.
No One Knows His Secret
Joey is the star quarterback for the Kites Football Team. Everyone is counting on him to take them to the championship.
So, they can’t know he’s gay.
That’s why he’s kept quiet all these years, despite having the biggest crush on his best friend and agent.
Drew is the epitome of a man with his dark hair and ruggedly handsome good looks.
Drew would never switch teams – sexually speaking.
And yet, one night, after a drunken escapade, they end up naked in the same bed together.
Two men, one watch…
When Alex and Charlie met, they instantly clicked. Throughout the years, their bond grew from friends, to lovers. But when Charlies father passes away something inside him changes. Alex feared their relationship was over and knew his heart would never survive.
Things spiral out of control as Charlie’s erratic behavior leads Alex to think the worst. During an intense argument, they’re transported back in time. When Charlie come to, Alex isn’t by his side. Frantically, he searches for him. But when he finds him, he’s surprised Alex doesn’t remember who he is.
Charlie must make Alex fall in love with him again. But what happens if he doesn’t?
Will this be the end of their relationship, or will it be game over for them both?