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September 24, 2012


Linda W

As a blogger, you have the right to express your opinions. While I've agreed with many of your opinions, I have disagreed sometimes. But that won't stop me from reading your books.

I will stop reading an author's books if that author expresses his or her opinions in an extremely rude way or endorses said behavior. For example, I read several posts about an author who seemed to condone a spouse's bullying behavior toward a blogger for a negative review of the author's book. I was so turned off, I don't think I could ever pick up another one of that author's books.


I'm grateful that you take the time to chat with us, Shannon. I don't always agree with everything you say, but you express yourself so nicely that even when I disagree, I can't help but respect your opinion.

That said, I know personally a couple of famous authors who might fare better if they kept more of their opinions to themselves. One in particular seems so convinced of his great intelligence and genius that he has no trouble skewering people in a very ugly fashion. Presumptuous does not even begin to describe one encounter that I had with him.

That said, you are not that sort. Please keep sharing with us your insights and feelings about writing, publishing, and books you love (or don't love).


I think that reading your blog has made me an even bigger fan! Not only to i get to know the characters in your book, but i get to know you! Its way more fun, and you've even helped me with my own writing! We are allowed to have our own thoughts and ideas, this is America! Just look at facebook and you'll have plenty of people to disagree with!


I'm not a regular poster to this blog, but I am a regular reader of your books. I come here because I follow you on Twitter. Why do I follow you and other authors on Twitter? I'm not sure. To be honest, I miss the days when I thought a book was something magical, separate from the real world, something that came out of the ether for me to explore and absorb. Now that I know so much about the writing and publishing process, the magic is mostly gone. Of course, I originally started exploring this process because I want to publish myself some day.

Authors are encouraged to promote their work via Twitter, Facebook, etc. these days. Books aren't expected to stand on their merits anymore ... they get bought because they've been splashed across the web so much that you can't help but give in and buy them. I've been the "victim" of this sort of advertising; I used to follow a teen website called Figment Fiction religiously, and one day purchased a book they were heavily promoting. It was awful. Oddly enough, however, I still follow the author on Twitter, even though I have zero interest in the book's sequel ... of which approximately 90% of her tweets are about these days.

Readers should never learn about writers' personalities. Think how disappointing it was to learn that Hemingway was a drunk or that Dickens left his wife and ten kids for another woman. It just does no one any good to know that sort of thing. And yet we can't help seeking it out.


A lot of authors (past and present) have said and done things I disagree with. If I like their books, I like their books. Their opinions and actions really have no bearing on whether their books are good or not. It's rather immature to suddenly "hate" an author (and their books) just because they hold different opinions than you, really. If we were all the same and agreed 100% of the time, that would be seriously boring.

FWIW, your blog and your honesty have made me an even bigger fan.


I think the extra social media access available helps enhance my overall reading experience. Listening to interviews or reading blogs enables me to have a little more insight or perspective or maybe context when I read the authors' books.

It seems like the greater public persona helps the cause, unless the author really does need an editor before he opened his mouth. But I have found those instances to be few and far between. My kids seem more attached to authors or books than I was as a kid because they have been able to meet them or find more info about the books online. Like my daughter will forever love Nathan Hale and everything he does because she got to print paper dolls off his website several years ago.

Maybe people that get offended like to hero worship authors from afar and the humanized, flawed author is too conflicting? I think it's awesome and gives me a different level of respect that people are willing to speak and write before it's editor approved and publish- worthy.


Both in person and online, respect and thoughtfulness are key in conversation. If you presented a view I didn't agree with--"Vanilla is totally better than chocolate"--I would politely respond with my reasons why chocolate is totally the best. But I'd also try to understand that we just might not agree. I'd only stop reading your blog/books if you posted something that offended me morally and to such an extent that I couldn't read your blog/books without thinking about that one view. So far that hasn't really happened to me when reading about my favorite authors, and I like hearing about their lives and opinions outside of their books (even if we don't always agree).


I think part of the issue is just a general problem with the interwebz- as long as your words can reach such a large audience, there will ALWAYS be those willing to misunderstand/take offense/what have you. That should not be a sign to you that you need to self-censor/edit.

As a previous commenter said- you are not at all one of those authors who desperately does need to edit their public comments. I've always found your blog and your personal opinions to be well thought out and well reasoned, whether I agree with them or not. I also appreciate that your blog is, often times, a medium of discussion, and I like that you are open and welcoming to the opinions of others. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that I know it's difficult to see the negative comments, but honestly I think you're an intelligent and reasonable person and you're a gem to even take the time to engage with us.

There have been very few authors whose personal opinions have steered me away from their works, but usually it's a result of those beliefs shining through in their published works. Example: after reading several books by Philip K. Dick, I was increasingly convinced that he was probably a bit misogynistic (understatement). Further research into his personal life and writings convinced me of that fact. I haven't picked up a book of his since then (which maybe is short-sighted of me since he's such an influential writer these days)- but I really don't need one more voice shouting "ALL WOMEN ARE CRAZY" at me.


That's one of the things I love about you, Shannon. I attended several of your workshops when I was at BYU, and I loved how completely yourself you were when you presented. My daughters would have had to skip school to come to the presentations with me, but I've told them that if they get the chance as they get older, your presentations are easily the most worthwhile. You're honest, you work at writing and you can explain how you do it, and you not only produce, you produce quality. I've told my girls they need to have something else--they can't just be writers--but if they're going to write, you can teach them how to make it happen.


I seem to have lost my original train of thought in my last comment. If you turn on the filter too much and become a politician, you will lose your genuine quality, and that's part of what makes you Shannon.

Nathan Hale

As a reader, I don't like hearing from authors. It's from growing up in pre-internet times, like you mentioned. I miss the days where the ONLY interaction with an author (or musician/actor/whatever) was through their book (album/movie/etc.) I want the stories, nothing else.

One of my favorite childhood authors has, over the years, devolved into a raving loon (or maybe he always was) and I wouldn't know that if it weren't for the crazy opinions he posts online. Well, actually I would know that from his recent books...anyway, it would have taken longer to figure out.

As an author, I don't like to post my opinions (except for here, wa-wa!) I don't even like recommending books or movies. But I also realize that authors are expected to maintain a lively online interaction with fans. I take the easy way out--I just post drawings every day. People rarely get offended over drawings (right, Syria?) I'd get in a LOT of trouble, really fast if I posted my opinions. Yikes.

You're brave for putting yourself out there, Shannon!

PS Is this about that "Pooping" post on facebook?


I personally love your blog posts, and that's why I read them. And to be honest, I see a lot of your personality here that shines through in your books. I see that on a lot of other authors' blogs as well, and somehow I can't conceive there being an author with such a heinous personality that it would make me want to stop reading their books without said personality coming through in their books and turning me off from reading them before I see what the author's public persona is like. And if it happens, I guess I'll just try my hardest to ignore it if I honestly enjoy the books? I think if the author's personal beliefs put me off enough to make me want to stop reading, I probably didn't really like they're books in the first place.
Does that even make sense? Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that I've yet to come across a situation like this, but I definitely don't think writers should stop blogging. (Especially not you!) They are, after all, writers, and should write as they please. Don't like it? Don't read it, and don't take it upon yourself to attack them.


Wow, *their. /hangs head in shame/

Connie Onnie

One of my favorite quotes is by CS Lewis "Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." Anytime I felt this way towards I book I have ended up loving the author's online or when I have met them. Do I never disagree with what they say OF COURSE NOT but we shouldn't be afraid of different opinion we should embrace differences and try to understand where others are coming from.
There have been other authors who I have enjoyed their book but not cared for their tweets or whatever and you know what, I just stopped following them but I can still enjoy their books. Only once has knowing an author turned me from their books but I don't hate them or hate even their books I just didn't seem to care enough to finish their next book.
I say keep being yourself it has only made me love you and your books more!

James Nicholas Adams

I think it can go both ways. I personally enjoy getting to know the author beyond reading their books. I am not one to become easily offended someone else's opinion but when I do, I never turn around and attack someone for it. Sadly I have to admit I have not yet had a chance to read any of your books, but have wanted to because the stories sound intriguing. In reading your blog posts, tweets, etc. it has actually influenced me to want to read your books even more.
I can completely agree with you that it is difficult to express your opinions at times in this day and age because of how widespread social media has become. I may not always respond to your posts but this is one I feel strongly about. Don't let someone's disagreeing with your personal feelings and opinions drive you away from sharing them. As a writer myself, I know how valuable it is to get those thoughts out. The times that I have held back when I have something to say, I have noticed that it can reflect in my writing. I become afraid to let loose in my writing. The story line becomes stiff and sometimes a little forced.
Unfortunately those strong, sometimes attacking responses are going to come because it is easy to 'talk' harshly to someone when it is through a relatively anonymous response to a blog/forum. And yes, you are going to run those that are going to be so strongly offended that they may unsubscribe from you blogs and maybe even stop reading your work, but on the flip side, you are going to have others that have been so strongly moved to by what you said that they will want to go buy all your books and become a advocate in your defense. They'll recommend your blogs and your books to people they and you'll gain new fans and supporters.
Again, don't let fear get in the way of sharing your thoughts and opinions. It would be sad to have the grow and prevent you from writing the best of your abilities!
Keep on writing and keep on sharing!


I liked the reference to politics. It makes sense, no one really wants their opinion. In this day it seems no one can express an opinion without being attacked. In the name of free speech it seems that respect has gone out the window. It is sad, every one has an opinion and should be heard. We can agree to disagree politely. I love your blogs. Feeling a connection with authors has made me love their books more. Meeting some authors and liking them has made me want to read their books that otherwise were not a priority and I had new books to love and share. Thank you for your blog.


The last few years have been transformative between writers and readers and it's new world where no one knows the rules.

I enjoy limited interaction with authors (I was just on Megan Wahlen Turner's website today wishing for any new snippet of writing I could possibly find).

For me I think author's can share their *opinions* ie
-I think regular publishing is awesome
-I think . . .
Most issues these days are nuanced and filled with complexity. It's when authors get into this 'this is right and you are wrong' instead of 'this is how I see things' that I have little patience. And that's with all people, not just public figures. I wouldn't quit reading someone's works unless they really stood for something I couldn't condone or support - or if they were antagonistic to readers/reviewers. I won't read an author because I saw a comment where they called names to all readers who ever publish a negative review for free. If an author is going to interact on the interwebs they need to behave like a public figure and grow tougher skin. This has been happening to public figures forever. See: Dixie Chicks. Artists have the right to express anything they want - and consumers have the right to respond with their dollars. Good luck figuring it out.


I love, love, LOVE being able to get to know authors as people through blogs and social media. I follow far more authors this way than I do with books, sadly. There are authors that I haven't read that I adore following, and it has led me to read outside my normal parameters. (So many books, so little time!) I have also found wonderful books after following author blogs, some of my favorites...for example The Books of Bayern. :) There have been a few authors about whom I have learned things that surprised me. Usually that is not enough to make me not want to read their work, and most of the time the surprises are good. :) Your blog is one that I particularly enjoy because of your honesty. Please don't let the opinions of some change how you blog. That would be sad. If they don't like what you have to say, they can just not come back.

Emily's Reading Room

I actually did a survey about something related to this not long ago. It was specifically about how readers, bloggers, and other authors feel about authors being political on twitter. And, the results were really surprising to me. In my very small, non-scientific survey, it was split pretty evenly. Some people really hate it, and others think it brings a bit of humanity. Personally? I think that your online presence can easily become a warped reflection of yourself, and it's good to look at what you're posting and tweeting every once in awhile to make sure that you are presenting yourself in a way that you are okay with.

If you're interested, here is the link to my blog post.


Emily's Reading Room

Also, a follow-up to my comment, I have had a couple situations where I have unfollowed an author for tweeting something that I just didn't agree with. I've even not read their books. Just because sometimes once you know someone a little too well, it's hard to get into their work again. But, there's one author that often tweets things that I don't agree with politically, but I met her in person and she was so incredibly gracious, smart, and funny, that I just can't cut myself off from her work or her personality, no matter how we differ in political matters.


It makes me sad that people can be so mean about something that is so easy to get over. If something you read offends you, just close the tab, and chances are, you'll forget about it. Easy! Human nature is to be offended and to hold grudges, but we, as humans, can overcome that. I personally try not to delve too deep. Sometimes the more you know about a person, the more reason to be judgemental. :)


You're fantastic, Shannon! Never change. I am so inspired by you :) You are a very strong person to continue to be your kind, friendly, open self in the face of people who judge you from your "rough draft" conversation. I want to be like you--not proud, but confident and self-aware enough not to become bitter or jaded by the pain others inflict. It would be much easier not to blog, not to ask these valuable questions, to protect yourself from judgments made of your opinions. But you are doing a wonderful thing here, encouraging conversations that are important and meaningful in the world of books :)


Please don't ever stop giving strong opinions on things. I don't think being a writer negates your right to have and share your thoughts. I love getting a sense of who an author is outside of their books. Do I always agree? No. (well, I don't disagree with you too often.) but still.

Tiffany L.

This is a great topic to discuss. I love the writer behind the story. When I was young, I tried to decipher as much as I could about a writer by the three sentence bio and one-inch picture on the back flap. Now, once I've finished a book, I go to the internet to read up on an author on Wikipedia, or on their own blog. Because the story behind the story is also worth telling.

It's alway disturbs me when people say, "I hated that book," and that was the only thought they have to offer. There are books I don't like, but that doesn't mean I wasn't better for reading them. We've become so dismissive in our reactions to what people say and write. The idea of debate, of bringing up an idea for the sake of pulling it apart and looking at all sides, is a lost art, but one that needs to be perpetuated. So thank you for doing so in this space!


I like knowing who wrote a book because I like it when I can track a writer's style, and I (sometimes) like it when I can peek through the curtain and see how the author's experience affects what and how he or she writes

melissa @ 1lbr

I'm with you in saying "it depends." Sometimes an author will say/do stuff that just rubs me the wrong way and I'll avoid them. Other times, I just like the books too much to care. Keep talking and don't censor yourself (unless you really need to :)


I like that we can learn about who the authors behind books we like are. I'm especially glad that your books are so awesome and you are a nice person, because then there is no questioning whether I like your books or not. I do think that sometimes finding out what type of person someone is can change your opinion of their books. Thank you so
Much for having this blog and sharing your opinions with your readers, most of us who I don't think you have any idea who we are.


I think it's very easy to be rude or confrontational online (referring to your commenters, not yourself!) because of the anonymity. There's no accountability for hurting someone's feelings, or being discourteous, or seeing a hurt face, etc. How easy is it to type our opinions into comment boxes and forget about politeness and decency? It always blows my mind to find negative commenters on blogs. If you don't like what someone's saying, by all means, please go away! No one is forcing you to read this blog, or even asking that you agree with the contents.

I enjoy your posts as I do most authors. It makes you more human, instead of just an abstract name on my book jacket. :)


I agree with you Shannon and like that you're unfiltered. I haven't arrived there...yet. I still tend to be politically correct on my blog, nice and cutesy. (Blah!) So, I'll have to continue live vicariously through bloggers like you until I'm ready.
You're also correct about knowing too much about authors, but we readers can always choose who we want to follow and who we just want to read. (Their books, that is.)


I've had both good and bad experiences with this. I started following one of my favorite authors on Twitter and discovered she's extremely vocal politically contrary to my own views; but I think I'm secure enough in her writing that I can separate her from the books I love. Other authors whose work I was interested in, I discover that they're mildly annoying or just Not Funny in real life. Does that make me less likely to read their work again? I guess it depends, like you, on how engaged I've been with their work. Usually if I like the work but not the author, I just ignore what I don't like and take what I do. I'm going to read whatever looks interesting to me, and anyway, you don't have to agree with everything someone else thinks in order to support or befriend them.

Do I think an author blogger should self-edit on tough or unpopular topics? Not really. Some discretion may be in order, in keeping in mind the type of people who will be reading it, but many of the posts I've read here have sparked really insightful discussions on hard subjects and brought up questions that needed to be asked and thought on carefully. It's sad that some readers feel the need to lash out their disagreement, but I wouldn't want to avoid it and then lose out on those readers who can really benefit from your sincerity. To find authors who feel like kindred spirits gives us a sense that our own thoughts are more legitimate.


Knowing the person behind the book definitely makes a difference for me. However, sometimes it acts in reverse. I liked your books enough to buy PA and the first three Books of Bayern and the most recently out Book of a Thousand Days (those were the only ones out at the time, I believe). There were a couple elements that made me uneasy, though, and I wasn't sure whether I would continue reading any of your future works. But I couldn't stay away from your blog. And I had to try reading Austenland. And Forest Born. And just three days ago I bought Palace of Stone. Because somehow through these years, I've come to love your blog. I've always respected you as an author with your special insight. And I have also fallen in love with the way you write. I absolutely adored Austenland. Forest Born was gorgeous. And I'm pretty sure I'll love Palace of Stone, too. :)

So yes, people do have an effect most times. Sometimes it can be for the better, too!


As an aspiring writer myself, I think having a blog is a good thing. That way, you don't feel like you have to insert you're own views into your books (so many authors I've had to read do, and it annoys me). When you have both, you can let the stories live in the polished books and let yourself live on the blog. You can connect with your readers, and to me, that's great. I love connecting with you on here! It's one of the things that disappointed me about J.K. Rowling's new author site: it's very impersonal now. The old one was situated like her desk, with little tidbits to find and things actually written by her. I love reading your blog, Shannon, because you open yourself and your life up to us (to a certain extent, of course! :) )

Amelia Loken

I am sad when I see hateful remarks or childish "I'll never read your book again."

I think if a reader wants to delve into an authors 'real world' they need to be brace themselves to see the person behind the curtain. Yes, there will be flaws and the fantasy portrait of the author may be tarnished. The un-photoshoped author may have warts or dust-bunnies or dishes piled in the sink.

The reader should be aware of that before they delve into the blogosphere of authors.

That said, I believe authors should be aware of hot-topics that should be avoided or at least handled with care.

I happen to love what you say. Though I don't always agree (though mostly I do) I try to me mature enough to know you are not aiming a sizzling fireball at me personally and not take offense. The world is filled with as many opinions as people. If one decides that all who disagree with them are idiots, they will find their circle of friends shrinks rather fast.

Thank you, Shannon, for your beautiful books, your fresh (and real) dialogue across the web in its various forms and thank you for being courageous for standing up for the things that matter to you. You are doing a fine job. Keep it up! :)


i love getting to know my favorite authors. :) It helps me understand where they are coming from when they write the books.

While you may present rather strong opinions at some times, that's your legal right. Isn't that one of the reason's to have a blog? To let your voice be heard by whomever wants to read it? Would the world be as awesome a place if we all thought the same thing (not to encourage disagreement or anything. Diverse thinking is more in the direction i'm thinking about)?

Am I correct in saying whenever you present your opinions you don't mean any harm to whomever disagrees? I mean, that's how I am. I don't agree with a lot of things people say, but it's not like i mean to insult them or have anything against them, that's just what believe in, the way they believe in the opposite. And that't totally fine that they disagree. I can't change them.

From what I've seen, there's people going around the internet maligning everything they see, from youtube videos to fanfiction to blogs. People will just post nasty things for no reason other than releasing pent up energy or whatever. I guess the best thing to do is just 'be the better person' as superficial and goody-two-shoes as that sounds. I mean, who knows, a person may have just lost their mom or whatever and are in such a horrible mood, hence the bashing.


I love reading your blog and books! I don't think it is a problem for people to express their opinions as long as they are respectful, which you are.

Robin Weeks (@Robin_Weeks)

I'm happy with any opinion so long as the person doesn't suggest that I'm somehow lesser if I disagree. You NEVER do that. (Also, I tend to agree with you most of the time.) You have some strong opinions, but you back them up kindly and rationally, and never berate people for not agreeing with you. That's a win in my book.

Lately, whenever I finish a book I enjoyed, I immediately head over to the author's site. I like knowing authors on a more personal level. Very fun. :)


Not to be harsh at all!! but, if the author writes amazingly, who cares what their opinions are?! No one's going to agree with anyone 100%.

Anyway, if they've "friended" you on Facebook or "followed" you on Twitter or follow your blog, they're subjecting themselves to your opinion, THEREFORE, the must understand the consequences! You opinions will be different, we are all human. I don't have any rights to hate you/your writings just because you're not non-denominational Christian, like me. (and anyone that think all Christians are stuck-up and that their opinion is the only legit one--I'm sorry. If they think that, they shouldn't be vocal. we're people too, though, we mess up. But I'm really sorry.)

Anyway... When authors are snobs, it can be hard. Understood. But if they're politely stating their beliefs and not totally calling yours stupid, it shouldn't be an issues. -.- Peoples....


Personally, alot of my growth and self-awareness has come through me reading books that I DON'T agree with. There are some things I wouldn't know that I disagreed with unless I'd read a book in which the opposing view was displayed. So, I've found reading books containing things I don't necessarily like or agree with to be a good thing. I can almost understand why people like to just turn those things away and ignore them, because it can be kind of uncomfortable to sit down with yourself and say, "Ok, this book/blogger seems to be saying THIS. But I don't agree with this. What do I think? I agree more with THAT. But the author is still a human and I should treat them with respect, even though I disagree." Reading then becomes more than just a fun free-time activity, its promoting personal growth.


This is difficult. If you're a person with the ability to start discussions that get people thinking about things that are important to think about, I support you using that ability. But when you write (or draw or act or anything really) for a living, you have to really decide whether you want to start those discussions, because, unfair as it may be, people will take your "outside" words to your books and your "book" words to your outside words. If your purpose is to write books and raise issues, then, by all means go for discussing issues on your blog. If your purpose is simply to write books, then maybe you shouldn't be blogging about anything else (or blogging at all).

Shannon, I love your blog, and I've learned a lot about writing and books from you. You've always done a good job of being positive, friendly, and thought-provoking, and I admire that.


As others have said, I'm glad that you share things with us on your blog. The things you share make me think, and while I don't always agree with things you say, I feel that everything you say is said with good intentions. I've read your blog for years and met you in person several times, and you've always come across as very kind and respectful to me. Thank you for being willing to share yourself with us, both through your amazing books and your blog!


I think writers are supposed to make people feel even if it is anger or dissappointment. It's ridiculous for someone to stop reading an author's writing just because they have a disagreement with them, we all have our different opinions. The only time it's justified is when, like the sexist author they are against you becauses of what you are, like saying they're better because of theire gender, religion, or race. It's upsurd! I don't like the Twilight series personally but I'm not goning to attack Shannon Hale or any who support hey have their opinion.
I love reading an author's blog. Iget to see who the y are and what they believe. I prefer knowing the author.
The writer does alter my opinion but it's better than not knowing who wrote my favorite book and they think.


I've just now read your "How to be a reader" post on a related topic, and completely agree. It is up to the reader to decide what message/feelings they take out of the story, just as it is the author's job to write the story the way they wish to, the way they feel works for them.
However, despite my agreement, I struggle mightily when I read a book, fall in love with its characters and then read a scholarly SLJ-type review that slams or criticises it. To me, the reviewer's criticism feels almost like a personal insult, and I have to remind myself that they are voicing their own opinion on the book, just as I have the right to voice mine; the only difference is that, considering their job, they are doing it far more publicly.

Ani Brooke

I feel like this post is two questions: 1)Should writers just shut the crap up? and 2)Should Shannon just shut the crap up?

I have two answers: 1)Sometimes, and 2)Never.

Some writers, like some other people, need to self-edit to show decent human respect and courtesy. I have never seen Shannon Hale fail in this manner. Plus, this blog is way too much fun to read for me to ask it to go away, even if it does support Twilight. ;)

As for the writerly mystique - I actually prefer this new Internet age for stripping it away. I get the chance to "know" the awesomeness that is present in many of my favorite writers - the silly humor or strong opinions which are sometimes muted in books for the sake of the story, the character behind my favorite characters. And when the authors are less awesome, it's a reminder that books always need to be read critically.

Besides, writers have always been a blend of their books and their known personalities (think of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Twain...) - it's nice to make sure the author is able to speak for him/herself in a multitude of contexts rather than simply having the rumor mill and biographers make up the rest.

OTOH, I hate the thought of authors being forced into being public personalities with all the pressure that entails. So while I love it when an author chooses to express opinions and ideas to the world at large, I deplore it when it's something forced by the public or publisher upon someone who'd rather remain totally private.

So please keep talking as long as you wish! But don't feel like you have to if the trolls become too much of a nuisance. Even if they aren't generally worth regarding in the slightest.

Cassie Fox

I appreciate your "thinking aloud." In this case, I think reading your blog has helped me enjoy your books more. I'm more aware of themes in your books, sometimes because you mention them, and sometimes because I notice them as themes on your blog as well. I enjoy your more thought-provoking blogs, because they help me to think of the world in different ways. I understand your fears, as I do a lot of thinking aloud (although it's literal in my case), and I sometimes worry after I've said something that I shouldn't have said it. However if we live with a fear of offending others, we'll spend a lot of time with our mouths shut. It's a person's own choice to be offended or not. I know you don't intend to offend others, and you listen when people criticize your arguments. I don't think anyone can ask any more than that. I don't think it's difficult to avoid an author if you don't want who they are to cloud your view of their books (well, maybe not you, Miss I'm-an-author-so-I-get-to-go-to-cool-events-all-the-time-and-meet-epic-authors, but for most of us readers, we are stuck with the books) (and for the record, that was good-natured jealousy. Please don't be afraid about sharing all your wonderful experiences with us). All in all, please don't stop thinking aloud. I enjoy it too much.


It is my choice whether I read your blog - or any other author's blog. I would not read your blog unless I was interested in what you have to say as an individual.

Why would people who want you to shut up choose to read your blog? It doesn't make any sense to me. Those people should just unsubscribe.

Have a sunny day!


Ooh. This is tough. Actually, I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and for now my policy stands as this: I don't love it when authors post their political views on their blogs because I am a bit intense about politics. But if an author posts their views in a respectful way, that accepts that other people may think differently than them, I can accept that. What makes me abandon an author is when they say things like 'people who believe this are so stupid/bigoted/hateful/the devil in human form.' I actually read a tweet recently by an author in which she blatantly insulted people with my political views, and I won't be reading or buying her books anymore. I can't in good conscience support somebody who insults me like that. Now, that is fully a personal decision for me and I don't blame anybody who disagrees or even thinks I'm being too sensitive. Probably I am. But again, I won't stop reading an author's books just because I disagree with them-only when they start name calling, or being deliberately vicious. That said, you, Shannon, have always been lovely and respectful in sharing your views, and I want to thank you for that. I never get the sense that you're angry or mean, and that will ensure that I continue recommending you as one of my favorite authors.


As an aspiring author, I love getting to see the real people behind my favorite books. Even if I don't always agree with everything they say, it's fascinating to see who they are as a person. Also, I think your blog is wonderful! I love that you post about things that are real-world issues, and sometimes you make me think about things from a new perspective. You've never presented your opinions in a way that is particularly offensive, so I personally think that if anyone is hurt by things you've said, it's because they're taking things too personally. People can't survive in today's world if they don't learn to listen to other opinions and (politely) respond, even if they disagree.


I idolized you as a pre-teen/teen because you were one of the few authors that I liked that had an online presence and I could see how awesome you are. I don't think I would have been so dedicated to reading all of your books as I have if I hadn't seen past the photo on the back coverflap. But, there are other authors that I have not enjoyed the pleasure of seeing a good side to them, so I ignore anything they say and do, and if they are worthwhile writers, I'll read them and not take anything personally. Michelangelo is considered one of the best painters ever, and yet, he was an awful person. It happens.


Personally I love having a look at the person behind the book...at least the authors of books that have truly impacted me. :) I think a blog should be uncensored at least for the most part. I like to think of a blog as a conversation that I am having with a friend. I like the casual feel of a blog!


One of my literature professors says, "Sometimes I think we know too much about writers' lives," but then, he was trying to convince us not to be put off by Yeats (who believed his wife had actual visions and his job was to write poetry using the symbols she communicated, and who proposed to the same woman (and later her daughter) numerous times), and Eliot (who left his wife for a year-long teaching job and decided to divorce her without ever seeing her again and started dating again once she was institutionalized). My professor says, "Trust the writing, not the writer," and I think that's true in some cases. But you're asking for it if you read someone's blog.

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