**Disclaimer: This has errors in it. I’m writing while very emotional and depressed, so please excuse the mess I’m sure It will be**
This is going to be a longer post and that’s because I feel I need to explain a few things. I’ve never been one to let things roll off especially when it affects me so deeply. I’m going to try my best to explain some of what I’ve dealing with and what is going on.
I am depressed, and yes, it’s bad.
I have deactivated my Facebook account. I’m not sure it will be permanent, but for now, it just added stress I can’t have in my life. I am keeping my author page, so please see the link below and like my page to follow any of my new releases or information. I will occasionally log onto my Facebook account to grab stuff off it. After all, I have years of information and pictures saved there, but I really feel after the events today and the way life has been going for me, it’s for the best.
This year has been hard for me. I’ve been dealing with some emotional family issues. As most of you know, my sister and nephew were in a car accident last November 1st. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of this accident. My nephew is a paraplegic because of this. He will never be the same. We are trying everything to help him, but the truth is, he will always have complications. My sister suffers from severe anxiety and depression because of it. Her husband, my nephew’s father, passed away last February. To say they’ve been through hell would be an understatement. It’s been trying on all of us and sadly it has really effected my writing.
It’s hard to stay focused, to write and mother by myself. I’m trying everything I can do to stay afloat. I used my Facebook as a journal of sorts, and that was wrong of me. I apologize for that. I let emotions run the page when I should have been smarter. In the meantime, I have lost many people I considered friends. People I thought would be supportive, but this serves as a reminder: Facebook friends aren’t always true friends. I have watched changes in this genre that I am extremely proud of and some that make me sick to my stomach. We have witnessed scammers, catfishers, liars, and cheats. But in the same breath, we’ve seen strength and support. It’s always a whirlwind here in the M/M genre, that’s for sure.
What I’ve noticed, and I can say this for certain I am not the only one, is the rise of cliques and groups. Normally, it wouldn’t be an issue, but it’s gotten to the point where some feel out of place. I admittedly am one of those people. I don’t feel welcome. But I am reminded I’m not here for other authors, they don’t give a shit what happens to me or my books. I need to focus on me and the readers I owe everything to.
One of my biggest problems is I try too hard. I feel too much and I hope to fix everything. I am sadly reminded that some things just can’t be fixed. Much like what happened today. I’m going to speak freely here because let’s face it, my vague booking is what got me into trouble to begin with.
I’ve watched several authors quit lately. All were for different reasons, but all had an underlining issue. They all mentioned that they didn’t feel like they were welcome. I’m tired of people saying it’s jealousy. It has nothing to do with jealousy. It has to do with the way people are accepted. This is a genre that boasts itself on acceptance and love, but sadly, it only applies to some. And you can try to dispute me on this, that’s fine, but I’ve witnessed it. I’ve seen the authors quit, cry, give up on their dreams. I’ve seen status upon status with similar issues, and it all stems from the support of authors NOT the readers. Again, I’m reminded of this: Fuck other people, do it for YOU and the people that enjoy your work.
This isn’t High School. People should be able to go to GRL and be accepted by authors, but sadly, they weren’t. It saddens me when I hear an author tell me that they were excited to see said author but was snubbed when they tried to approach them. Now listen, I know I’m only hearing only one side of the story, but since it happened to more than one person, I tend to believe it. I wanted to be with my family and that was the main reason I didn’t go to GRL, but I will say this. If it wasn’t for a select few at last year’s GRL, I would have been completely disappointed. What saved me was the fact that I got to spend time with one of my dearest friends and to me that was worth the entire visit.
So this is my thoughts on GRL. It’s truth time: Stop thinking everyone will accept you. It’s a complete lie. In theory it’s a nice thought, but don’t set yourself up to be disappointed. If you go, don’t expect everyone to like you as they do on Facebook. People AREN’T the same as they present themselves on Facebook. It’s harsh, I’m sorry, but it’s the truth. There are going to be cliques that only do things together. There will be groups or events you might not be invited to. BE OKAY WITH THAT. Because if you’re not, you will get your feelings hurt. If you can accept these things, you will enjoy yourself despite others. And we’re forgetting the main reason is to interact with the readers, and yes, I understand that some readers migrate to the more popular groups, but they’ll love you if you put yourself out there.
Will I go back to GRL? No. Not unless something desperately changes in myself. I’m too sensitive for it, and that’s no one’s fault but my own. It isn’t the groups of friends and authors that deserve their time together. They look forward to it and enjoy this vacation with the people they interact with on Facebook. I think that’s great, but to be the odd man out, is hard. I get it. I’ve been there and I do hope those authors that shared their stories with me do try again with the conference. Fact, do what makes you happy.
Ok, since I’m opening up about everything, here we go again…..
Let’s talk about social media, shall we.
Guess what? There are people who might not use a photo or a real name, but does that mean they are up to no good? NO! Stop speculating before you get facts. I’ve witnessed a lovely man get torn to pieces because he didn’t use a picture and someone blasted his mental status on Facebook. It’s bull. I understand there are fake people and catfishers like Byron. But don’t accuse until you know. I can give you a list of people I think aren’t real or are selling a story to sell books, but guess what? They’re not hurting me, so I leave them alone. People are trying to survive the same as you and me and you might not like the way they approach it, but it doesn’t mean they deserve to be attacked. The man-made drama is out of control, and I’m not saying that some isn’t justified. When you hurt someone intentionally for your own pleasure or career then yes, that is awful. When you make a fake profile to spread your political agendas or spread hate, it’s wrong. When you pretend to be a gay man and cry horrors that simply aren’t true when you’re actually a woman from Texas, that’s wrong. When you have a line of victims that fell for your games, well that’s just pure evil. But because of this we’ve lost faith and trust in each other. We’ve pointed fingers, accusing innocent people and ruining them. I know because I was accused of it, and I finally just had to let it go. We must learn to love one another, to help one another and not fear the fake people. I hope to see this catfishing trend die off, but sadly, as long as gay romance stories sell, there will be people faking it. Just be careful. It’s all we can do.
The battle between the prolific and slow writers. I’ve been guilty for mentioning how jealous I am that some can kick out books, but I’ve never been so jealous that I hate an author for it. It’s more of an amazement to me that they can do it, and I wish I could. I write slow! Super slow. I beat myself up about it. I put a lot of pressure on myself and it hurts me. Why? To keep up with the Jones? Do they care if you kick out books? No, because they’re too busy doing what they should be doing. Writing. The true fact is, they don’t care what you do with YOUR career. They have their own to worry about. So focus on what you can do and not on competing with anyone else. This shouldn’t be a competition.
Open up your book release parties and events! Invite other authors. It’s THE SAME groups all the time and you wonder why authors are feeling left out or like there’s cliques. Prove them wrong. Show them they are just as important as the popular crowd. It’s all small stuff to you, but HUGE to others.
Sharing post and supporting other authors. This is something I’ve always prided myself on. No matter what I’ve tried my best to share and support every author, and yes, I miss some but it’s not on purpose. I didn’t expect anything in return, but I guess I just thought when the time came it would be returned. The lesson is, not everyone will do what you do. I released a book and many authors I religiously shared their work didn’t mine. And you can say “I don’t keep tabs.” But you know what, it’s different for some authors because they get pimped everywhere! They get shared before they even get to announce it themselves. That is awesome for them, but please don’t undermine the author who says they’re hurt by the fact that they were left out. This is important to them. They want to feel the support they have shown you. So yes, it’s not about tabs, but it is about common respect and a feeling of acceptance. Can we share every book by every author? Of course not, but we can try our best to show everyone they are welcome. Maybe pay attention to the people that share your books that way you can return the favor. You have no idea what it would do to an author just starting out to be boosted by a “popular” author or group of readers.
All of this, every single thing may seem petty to some authors but you have NO idea what an impact it has on the author who feels they’re slipping away from the community or the author who is depressed and just desperately wants to feel like they belong. GIVE THEM A PLACE TO FEEL WELCOME! If you’re one of the lucky authors that don’t have to worry about any of these issues, great for you, but I can promise you, there are far more that do feel this way.
I am including myself in this. I know I am guilty of some of these things. I have caused drama and went along with it. I got caught up in issues I had no place being. To those I hurt along my journey as an author, I am truly and unforgivably sorry.
Just lately everything has opened my eyes to a new light in this genre and I’m afraid it is not something I like. It wasn’t like this. I don’t know what changed, but something did. Maybe it was me, who knows. Which brings me to the reason for this blog post and one of the reasons I am choosing to step away from social media and debating giving up my career.
I made a vague post last night. A post that yes, I should not have made. Let me stress that again. I SHOULD NOT HAVE POSTED IT. I was emotional from the anniversary of the accident, my son’s school, and something else I can’t share. I was done, emotionally drained and I let it get the best of me, which I do a lot and I realize this is something I HAVE to work on. These aren’t excuses, it’s simply the truth and this is what I’m telling here.
The post I originally had written basically said that I was upset over finding out a female author who originally told me that she doesn’t work well with others was now doing a collaboration with two other authors. In the post, I mentioned that she should have just told the truth instead of lying. I stand by that because this author and I have had issues. She has had a problem with me since I released Angel of Darkness. She literally comments under every promo I do or if someone recs my book, she will tell the person asking why another book is better and then go on to bash mine. Fine, it’s her opinion, but it just got out of control. Especially since I have NO clue what I did to this woman. Anyway, way before my AOD release, she and I had talked about doing a collab but something happened. Wish I knew what, And ironically someone had mentioned years later that we’d be good to do a collab. Well, of course she didn’t like that idea but played nice in front of everyone until someone made a comment and she got snippy. I immediately messaged her to “fix it.” That was my mistake because you can’t fix what you have no clue what is wrong. It was bad, but it was a year ago and I let it get the best of me last night when I had noticed a post about her doing a collab and commenting about her doing it with an author that was basically worthy of her. It upset me. I admit it. I let it get the best of me, so I vague booked and all hell broke loose.
Again, I’m going to speak frankly here to avoid any other drama.
I want to say this, if I mention a vague post or an author you can be sure I talked to the author first and tried to rectify it. And please know if I do vague book it’s because I’m at my wits end, a plea sort of. Again, not justifying what I did, only explaining. I don’t go and cause issues for my own pleasure. I don’t hurt people or ruin them. If I do, it’s because I want them to hear me and help. I can’t stand when someone is hurt or is mad. I hate it! I feel like I must fix it, but I’m learning the hard way, I can’t.
Which brings me to what happened. I can’t even remember if it was the same thread or another, but someone had mentioned in a group under a thread of which authors they would like to see work together. Someone mentioned me and Aimee Walker. I was flattered, don’t know about her and truthfully at this point it doesn’t even matter. Aimee had commented under that post thanking the commenter and said something to the effect that she works better alone. Fine, right. It was with me. Was I offended? Nope. Never was because it was only a fun post about what readers would like. I didn’t take it personally, not to mention in the same exact thread someone had said she and Annabella should do one. EVERYONE knows Annabella and she are best friends and they’ve been going through this journey together. IT was no surprise to me that they wanted to share a moment like this. I WOULD if I went through this with one of my best friends. I get it and I thought that it would be awesome if they did. Plus, it was right around the time where she announced a collab with Nicholas Bella. Was I offended because she wanted to work with them and not me? OMG NO! Not even a little. I don’t know Aimee except what I’ve seen on Facebook. We’ve literally said only few words to one another. Why on earth would I expect to do a collab with her? I think she is an excellent author; one I had looked up to. I admired her strength, positivity, and courage in her fight last year. WHY would I want to bad mouth her? I don’t get any of this. And I’ll stress one more time. The post was about the other author NOT Aimee, and I’m sorry she thought it was her. All because of a stupid misunderstanding and sadly my attempts to explain has done no good.
But she thought I was talking about her. Again fine, except if I had a problem with her I would have went directly to her just like I did when I found out that she made a post about it. I’m going to stress this. Aimee and I haven’t been Facebook friends in a while. I do not know why we weren’t or how I got unfriend or if it was Facebooks screw up and I got deleted. I don’t know and that’s why I didn’t push anything. I figured if these authors that are missing off my account missed me, they’d ask. None did. Lesson learned. About two months ago I had deactivated my account because of severe depression and when I came back several authors were off my list. Again, not sure if it was Facebook or them, but to avoid drama, I let it be. They probably didn’t even notice I was gone off their list, but I did because I was a fan of the ones that were off mine. I will admit, I was hurt. I still am. I took it personally as I do everything. But because I couldn’t say how it happened, I let it roll off.
With that said, I only knew about the post made because I was getting messages from people pissed off at me for hurting Aimee. I was floored. I had no idea what was going on, so I asked a friend to show me her post. I will admit she did not use my name and perhaps some didn’t know it was me, but there were many that did.
I immediately messaged Aimee. I was shaken, crying and just plain upset. I didn’t want her hurt, but it really did no good. She believes what she wants to. I will not sit back and be blamed for attacking someone that I didn’t or be accused of hurting someone’s integrity. I tried to straighten it out, but they still believe it. What choice do I have? She felt it odd the timing of my post. I had NO clue what she was talking about, so again, I asked a friend and I guess yesterday or the day before she had mentioned collabs with Nicholas and Annabella, so I get the timing comment now, but I want to remind you and her, I WAS NOT ON HER FRIEND’S LIST AND COULD NOT SEE IT. When you have your status to friend only, guess what only friends can see it! Much like my post. Only friends could see it so she must have had others show her. It’s fine. I don’t care, but I had no way of knowing she had made that post at the time. It was bad timing on my end and it was coincidental whether she or you want to believe it.
She also made a comment that she found it odd that only one of her writing partners could see my post and the other couldn’t. Yes, they were both on my friend’s list so they should have been able to. Like I did something to hide it from them. I DIDN’T! The truth is, I have NO idea why. The only thing I can think of is, back when all this stuff was happening when I was being accused of being a catfish, I had restricted some people that I thought was sending information back to the person. There was a huge thing in a private group. A bunch of drama and I had restricted people back then. It is possible I didn’t remove him from my list and I’m sorry. Especially since it had nothing to do with him and he did nothing wrong. It was only my way of catching who was doing it and obviously NOT him. I was just trying to protect myself at the time. Again, I haven’t looked on Facebook, but that is the only thing I can think of as to why only one would see it. Why would I hide it? If I was “attacking” someone I wouldn’t care if it got back to them because that would be the point of the post. BUT IT WASN’T. It was me venting and it was a mistake.
I can NOT stress this enough. It had NOTHING TO DO WITH AIMEE. And yes, I know she doesn’t believe me because she insists that it was her. I can only speak my truth. It’s all I can do. I’m at a loss not her! Everyone was commenting their support and wishing me(or the person hurting her) ill. So, yeah, I get it….. there is no fixing this because people will believe what they wish.
I’m hurt, but it seems it doesn’t matter. And frankly, I’m a little angry because when I reach out to you and pour my truth and explain the best I can and you brush it away, it hurts. Especially when we’ve had NO BAD BLOOD between us! There was never anything wrong. This is what I don’t get.
It was the last straw for me.
(You in this statement is a universal term not specific to anyone) This did me in, and yes, I realize it was my own doing for the vague post. But it just proved what I’ve been saying all along. This is when I wish if you have a problem GO to that person before posting and ruining them. Because even if you don’t vocalize it, the ones that support you will turn on the other. Let’s hope that never happens to anyone else or you.
Again, I want to stress a million times. I KNOW I DID THIS, No one else. I made my bed. I tried to fix it and now I must lay in my repercussions. But this was all a big misunderstanding whether people want to believe it or not. I have no ill feelings to anyone and I do hope and pray for continued success to Aimee and everyone else. I love seeing people succeed.
With all this said, I know it will be different now. I know I will not be welcome in that circle of authors, supporters, and readers. I know their loyalty is with what they believe isn’t true on my end. I can’t change that, but what I can change is the way I handle this and my business.
Since I caused it and I am having these issues with severe depression, I have decided to remove myself from the social media circle, and I’m sure it’s no loss to some (ok, sorry depression speaking there. Pity party I suppose) Like I said above, I plan to use my author page and website, maybe Twitter to promote my work when and if I can get through this.
I had planned to quit, but why? Because someone took what I said wrong? They don’t care if I quit. Why should I give up on what I enjoy? So, I’m going to finish out my series and current wips and see where I am emotionally then. I have a special announcement with a friend soon that will explain the rest of my plans. I truly hope that the other authors and professionals will keep things separate and still work with me. This had nothing to do with any of them, but I can only wait to see how this all works out.
I have literally spent the entire day crying and worried about this. It just isn’t fair. I cannot beat myself up about this anymore.
The entire purpose of this post is to apologize to Aimee, again, the other two authors that were hurt I guess from my post and YOU.
I have paid too much attention to being accepted by people that just don’t care that I forgot the reason I am here. TO write! TO read! To put out works readers will enjoy. YOU are the reason I want to try again. I will do my best to make you happy.
I understand to those that I have put off because of this misunderstanding. I just wish that someone would believe me but I can’t force it. I’m sorry, guess I’m getting too emotional now.
So, I’ll leave with this…… a lesson for myself and I hope you to learn from my mistakes.
Trust only yourself.
Listen to your heart.
No one is going to advocate for you but YOU.
Stop focusing on other authors and trying to keep up.
And realize people on social media aren’t always the same in real life.
Simple rules that should make life in this drama filled genre a little easier.
I am disappointed in so much, myself the most. I just don’t know what to do anymore. It sucks being lost and feeling so alone. To the authors that have the support, cherish it. You don’t realize how lucky you are.
I am sorry. Truly and utterly sorry.
I will let you know when I return to writing but for now, I need to get over this.
Much love to all of you,
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