My bit of writing excitement last week — which I’ve already blasted around all the social media to which I belong — was being accepted into Goodreads Author program. I’ve been a member of Goodreads for over three years now, and recently I was looking at the collection of science fiction short stories, Queer Dimensions, in which I published a piece. I noticed that several of the short story contributors in the anthology had a “Goodreads Author” credit next to their names, but that acknowledgment was woefully missing from my name. So I did a quick Google search, applied to be part of the program, and voila! Three days later, I, too, have become a Goodreads Author.
The best part of this transition is probably that it pulled up a few reviews of the anthology that I hadn’t read before, including one that referenced my contribution, “The Man in the Mirror” as “the most sincere of the stories.” I also appreciated this review from Lily:
THE MAN IN THE MIRROR by Lacey Louwagie
This well written story is about what could happen when everything you’ve always wanted starts to come true. In this sweet yet oftentimes sad story the heroine learns that being yourself, and not trying to be what someone else needs, is the only way to truly be happy. Very nice story with an excellent ending.
As endings are the most challenging part for me to write, I was particularly pleased that she commented on the ending.
There are some scary things about crossing the threshold to “Goodreads Author,” too. One is that now I’ll have to be ready to buck up and accept negative, even scathing reviews, of what I’ve written (Lord knows I probably deserve it, after some of the reviews I’ve written!) I admit that when I review a book on Goodreads that designates the author as a “Goodreads Author,” I feel more hesitant to write something negative. A good friend of mine admitted to feeling the same thing, but then made peace with it by deciding that authors just need to accept that not everyone is going to like their work. It’s part of the territory. I agree with her. Now let’s see if I can take as good as I can give (one thing I will NOT do is leave comments on bad reviews “defending” my work. Readers have every right not to like what you’ve written, no questions asked.)
And then there is the issue about being brave, too. I tell the world I write speculative fiction, but it’s not as widely known that some of it (much of it, if I’m totally honest), addresses queer themes in subtle or overt ways. I know that this means some people will judge me immediately as a person, and skip right over the writer part, skip right over what I actually have to say (“oh, she’s part of that agenda”). And that saddens me. But it’s part of the world we live in, and it’s not going to get better if we continue to hide.
Mostly, though, I feel challenged. Because as good as I thought it would feel to reach this milestone, I find the one book to my credit looking pretty piddly on my author account page. I want more books there. MORE!! Around this time next year, I’ll be able to add the book I’m working on for ACTA publications to the roster. Hopefully by the time that one is there, I’ll have another in the works that I can look forward to putting in spot number three.