Primarily, yes we talk about books here. We are a book blog, discussing everything bookish. But with that, sometimes comes other issues. For example, me and Sophie are both in the LGBTQ+ community, which leaves us very open to what is happening in that community. Another thing that is involved with being in the Bookish community is authors, and bloggers, and the relationships between the two.
There’s no secret to the fact that bloggers and authors have had somewhat of a mainly strained relationship in the last few years. Yes, as bloggers we appreciate everything the authors do, and in return they appreciate what we do for them, hyping books and promotion. However, there’s a fine line where that can be easily stepped over and become something too familiar.
It’s the same sense of your favourite celebrity having a Twitter account, sometimes it does feel like you know them well, so you can become a little too familiar with their habits and quirks. However, there are few people in the community that tend to step over that line, and this is when the trust is shattered between the two parties.
I feel like a lot of the reasoning we think we have rights to ask questions and get an answer is because of books, and book content of that specific author. However, books can be an incredibly personal thing for an author, something that truly relates to the indepth parts of their life. It doesn’t give us right to keep questioning or demand answers. It gives us a right to enjoy the book, or not enjoy the book and share our thoughts.
By now, i would have hoped you’d have guessed that i’m going to discuss the forced coming out of authors, which has happened more than once in our community. Of course, it’s completely an authors choice whether they make an announcement of their personal life, whether that’s situation, sexuality or anything else you can imagine. But we have to accept some level of us pushing that to happen which is not okay.
Recently, another author has been forced to come out, and they are rightly so, incredibly angry about the fact. They were faced with constant questions, and judgement about why their books were queer and them themselves were not outwardly presenting as queer.
To reitterate, this isn’t anyone elses business.
As bloggers, i feel like our main job here is to enjoy the book or not enjoy the book. Queer own voice authors are not the only authors that can offer us good representation. In the same way own voices authors can give us awful representation. What i’m saying is, if someone writes a gay book, it’s not within our right to know everything about their private lives.
This is something that can damage families, people and situations, and i’m incredibly happy that in the statement this author made, they addressed the fact that it’s not going to be fine for everyone that is coming out.
We love interviewing authors and hearing the stories behind their written ones. However, some bloggers (not all, most bloggers know where the line is drawn), need to learn desperately where to stop asking questions, and if someone seems uncomfortable about answering something, just don’t push it.
I hate the idea of a forced coming out, i am lucky enough that it’s only happened within one area of my life that i was forced to come out. But the irony of this authors coming out and their book content is not lost on me. No-one should be subjected to this, no matter who they are or what content has been released in to the world.
There are admittedly a lot of people that are pleasant, that respect personal boundaries and enjoy the opportunities they are given. But more so i’ve noticed authors being disgruntled with the lack of personal space or privacy they’re given. I’m not saying every author is perfect, and we KNOW there are very seperate issues regarding that at the moment. But no matter how anyone is treated, who they are or how they treat others, no-one deserves to be outted.
As someone in the LGBTQ+ community, i can see how damaging it is. Especially as i think, we’re a pretty inclusive community who generally accepts everyone. But right now, what some people are doing is unfair. It’s pressure, it’s stress for those on the other side and it’s basically just learning when to stop.
I wish i’d never felt the need to write this, but i feel like there’s a huge need to distance the author and who they are from the book they’re writing. If they address that book as deeply personal to them, that’s fine, however if no comment is made about it, maybe leave it alone, because you never know what they’re going through behind the pages.