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The Perils of Diva-dom

I just returned from a wonderful event with a terrific group of people. From fans to booksellers to publishing house types to authors to various and sundry others, we all had one thing in common: the love of books. Nearly everyone was wonderful, from the tireless volunteer organizers to the cover model hopefuls to you name it, they were all nice, fun, and friendly.

Or nearly all, and the very few exceptions present really stood out. Divas who treated others like their personal water carriers. Mean gossips. The abusive or dismissive. Each one made an indelible impression -- and not the one I would imagine they'd prefer to spread. (Though it does -- and faster than herpes in a ho' house.)

As my roommate wisely said, your "public face" is the least expensive and most memorable form of promotion. If you're kind, approachable, and funny, people will remember that about you. They'll root for you when you're down and will cheer you when you make it big. If you're bitchy, snarky, threatening, and concerned only with your own perceived successes, the opposite will happen. Publishing pros and agents may work with you (grudgingly), but you'll miss out on the very best thing about this business... the camaraderie that comes of cheering on real friends and welcoming more into the fold with each event that you attend.


Anonymous said…
You are SO right, Colleen! I wasn't at RT this weekend, but I've been to RWA and have seen the best - and the worst. It's definitely easier, and will pay off bigger in the long run, if a writer is kind to her fans and everyone else around her -- at least in public. Also, it pays to be careful in cyberspace as well, don't you think? Negative bashing of other writers, even on an author's own message forum or whatever, will inevitably come back in a not-so-very positive way.

You bet I agree. Cyberspace is absolutely a public forum, and even private e-mails are easily forwarded, either accidentally or on purpose.

Fortunately, there are many great examples of authors who are unfailingly kind and pleasant to lessen the bad taste left by the few turnips out there. :)

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