Thursday, July 20, 2017

From the Mail Bag... A Veiled Threat

Once again I have received a communication from a reader complaining about my vocal opinions about Trump, and suggesting it could impact the sales of my books.

Here's what I received:

Hi Sue, I love your books, and that will not change my opinion of your writing. But I am very tired of people, such as yourself, who are in the public eye denigrating our president. I view authors as celebrities, and I feel they should walk a fine line. I know you have another job, not just writing. But there are a lot of people, I know that love your books, but would not hesitate buying something else. If you were making your living just by writing, could you afford to alienate people who voted for the person they thought is best? The joke was cute, your comment was not. Everybody needs to laugh at themselves. I never make it a habit to make jokes about others, you know "glass houses" and all.
Here is my response:

[Y]ou are certainly entitled to your opinion (and I will fight for your right to it), but I couldn't disagree with you more. As an individual, a writer, a paralegal, a citizen, etc., I am entitled to air my opinion out in public. There is no fine line I should be walking, nor will I. I feel it's my duty to be vocal about things I think are wrong and Trump is near the top of my list. I totally respect the office of the presidency, but I do not, nor will I ever, respect him and what he is doing to this country. If people want to not buy my books because of that, then they are free to not buy them. And I would feel this way even if I were earning my living 100% from them. A lot of authors keep their opinions to themselves out of fear of not selling a book or two. That's their decision. But many authors don't - check out Stephen King, Chuck Wendig, Jeri Westerson, Tim Hallinan, Margaret Atwood, Jan Burke, just to name a couple, and there are more, many more who do not let that fear rule their opinons. If you want to chide a "celebrity", use your energy to go after those abusing animals, beating on women, getting off scott-free after drunk driving. Those folks need to be walking not a "fine line" but a "moral line. "

(Yes, I know there are typos, but this is how it was sent, so deal with it.)
Then this arrived:
I think your response to me was harsh. I do not like celebrities, I do not watch Television, nor do I go to concerts, or movies. We, the hard working, middle class pay their salaries. They are pariah, for the most part. I do go after people abusing any animals and children, people that cannot take care of themselves. I do not support women who let themselves be a victim.
Side note: I find it interesting  that this person is willing to stand up against abuse, except that against women. At least this is how that reads to me. It reads as if this person, a woman BTW, thinks abused women are allowing themselves to be a victim, therefore are not worthy of support or protection. Talk about "harsh."
On the heels of the above message, came this:
I am not going to read anymore of your books, I am unfriendliness you now, and our libraries don't carry your books neither does our Barnes and Noble. So I guess you are not that important after all.
She must think she hit my jugular here. Sorry to disappoint, because she missed it entirely. And she did "unfriendliness" me. I checked later.
My final reply:
You just proved that you are an intolerant individual. I always welcome opinions opposite mine. You, apparently, do not. Still I will keep my mouth open in defense of your freedoms. You're welcome.
When I participated in the Women's March, I had people unfriending me and vowing not to buy my books any longer. That didn't faze me and neither will this.

I have lots of friends who hold opinions opposite mine, and who even voted for Trump. We are still friends because I believe they are entitled to their opinion. On my Facebook page, I never block anyone making comments in opposition to one of my posts. What will get someone blocked is being nasty or picking a fight. And I have blocked people who agree with me on things, as well some who disagree with me, for those reasons.

But a word to anyone reading this who thinks sending a message like this to an author, an actor, or even the pastor down the street, will make them change their mind: It won't.  And if it will, then their convictions are truly soggy and worthless.

Minds are changed by facts and truth, not by threats.



deb warner said...

Back you 100% and would even if I didn't despise Trump to the bottom of my soul. A sad intolerant woman who only hurts herself with her attitude. Why would anyone think they could try to bully an author, especially one you allegedly like. How would you respect an author who wimped out. Love your books, still hope to see Madison Rose again.

Pam Hopkins said...

terrific responses to the "Veiled Threat" hypocrite. You continue just the way you are. sending hugs to you.

AZKay said...

Does this so-called reader realize that she is defending a CELEBRITY??? Oh, wait...she doesn't watch television, etc. Let's not break her spirit by giving her our President's resume'.

Val said...

Butthurt people are butthurt and maybe not so bright. Your responses were perfect

Bev said...

Sue Ann, I do not agree with a lot of your political views, but I will defend your right to voice them any day of the week. People need to get off their high horse and realize it is not necessary to agree with each and every opinion in order to like them. You keep being yourself. I'll keep shaking my head and chuckling when I disagree with you. Here's to keeping "friendliness", my friend.

Doug Pearson said...

I also agree that expressing your opinions is fine. And, like Deb Warner, I "still hope to see Madison Rose again."

You said you knew there were typos, but sent the message anyway. Fair enough. I certainly send enough typos in my own messages--once sent, you can't undo them!

But I'd like to talk about one: phase vs faze.

Your usage, "That didn't phase me ..." should be "That didn't faze me ..." but you are in lots of company. I often see "phase" when it should be "faze". I'm pretty sure I've done it myself. There are numerous other word pairs where misuse is common, "affect" vs "effect", for example. And, with today's automated spell checkers, some rather bizarre word choices creep into messages.

I don't know what to do about it, except be vigilant and, in my case, that's pretty much hit or miss. (Or should that be hit and miss?)

Once again back to the topic: Keep on expressing your opinions--that's why I like your blog.

Becky Muth said...

With friendliness like that, who would need enemies? Thank you for standing by your convictions.

Pat McGhan said...

Good for you❤ I love ypur books and that you express how you feel about things. Makes you a more real person to me, and makes me admire you even more that you produce such awesome books with as busy and crazy a life as so many of us.

Alice T-B said...

You know, Sue Ann, ignorance is the basis of prejudice. Also it's bliss!
Maybe that person is very young, certainly very ignorant!
J C Black is another author who is very vocal about her Trump opinions and yet has a large following and many book sales.
I wish more people were brave enough to speak up and out!
After all freedom of speech is a basic right.
Just please be careful as even JC was crucified by the ignorant!

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Doug, I fixed faze. :)

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