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CONVERSATION OF THE WEEK: “It Matters…”

PersonalizedBannerSheri

Boys in our Books Friday Question of the Week is the CONVERSATION of the WEEK!

This week, Sheri, has shared a bit of what’s been on her heart lately about the books we read. Join in on the conversation…

QUESTION:

Does it matter to you?

It’s seems dramatic to say, but it’s the honest-to-goodness truth….

Two years ago, a book changed my life.

I was shown a whole new piece of the romance lit world and in turn, a beautiful community. The first year I was consumed with soaking up as many books as I could. Head down, keeping to the quiet side of things, I just wanted to read. As I’ve said before, I never had any intention to cross that imaginary line between passive reader and active reader. I tried to distance myself from the face on the back of the cover (remember those days?) and focus on the story and the story alone.

Well, during the past year things evolved and I found myself drawn behind the curtain. Somewhere along the way, I claimed a spot in the m/m community whether I had intended to or not. There are times when it’s not what I bargained for and wish I could slip discretely back to the shadows once more. But would I change it?

Not a chance.

I am forever grateful for the countless gifts I’ve been blessed with. Not only have I scored great friends, but I have gained sisters. I plan to travel the world with them. We will never part and will protect and love each other until we rely on audio books or extra large print. I’ve gained teammates and dear friends that I will cherish forever. AND I have gained a passion for fight I never thought I would partake in.

Suddenly, it wasn’t just about the books anymore.

It was about the love inside the books. It was about love that should be celebrated.

I found myself drawn to particular authors. I realized it does matter to me who happens to be penning the tale. I want to support and highlight the men and women that I respect. Some people think you should separate your feelings from the master and their masterpiece.

I can’t do this.

I have joined the fans of the authors that I admire and value what they have to say outside of the book. Yet, I don’t think I am alone in this. Readers love authors for more than their stories. This is another reason I am glad I am not an author! The pressure, the thick skin, the criticism. I gotta give them props.

I have found that if I am attracted to an author’s voice, I might seek them out elsewhere. It’s difficult to keep things from getting personal because readers tend to thrive on doing exactly that. And yet, I can’t say that I’m upset that I ventured into this delicate area.

If I didn’t let things get ‘personal’ I would have missed out on opportunities to help. I might not have turned over my holiday bonus last year to a youcare fund. I might not collect and buy basic dental needs to send to lgbt teens that don’t have a toothbrush. I might have missed out on helping organizations that desperately need help. I’ve always liked to help. I consider myself fortunate for the quiet but blessed life I live. But I never helped polish the rainbow. Now I do. The path was shown and lit for me by authors, authors that I have great respect for and will continue to cheer for their success.

I’ve changed. I may be a straight woman, but I have a rainbow patch on my heart. I will raise my daughter to know and accept that all love is to be celebrated. It’s more than the books now. It matters to me whose face is behind the books. It matters to me who they are and what they say.

Does it matter to you?

 

20 comments on “CONVERSATION OF THE WEEK: “It Matters…”

  1. Xing
    October 3, 2014

    Beautiful, Sheri! It looks like we both crossed that imaginary line at about the same time (roughly two years). And my answer to your question is: yes, it does matter to me. :)

    Like

    • Sheri
      October 3, 2014

      *links arms and strolls along the ‘other’ side*
      It’s been quite a ride so far, hasn’t it? Squeeeing together *coughs…Hale* has been awesome. And I can’t wait for more adventures my friend.
      *smooches*

      Like

  2. xlorix
    October 3, 2014

    Sheri, wow that is so beautifully put. I wholeheartedly agree. Xx

    Like

    • Sheri
      October 3, 2014

      Thanks Lor. I can’t imagine everything I would have missed out on had I not read that ‘one’ book. Your sunshine reaches allll the way across the pond and I’m so very thankful for you.
      *kisses and hugs*

      Like

  3. Jennifer B
    October 3, 2014

    I absolutely agree! For me about 2 years ago and I’ve met so many fabulous people along the way. And yes, it does matter.

    Like

    • Sheri
      October 3, 2014

      It’s truly amazing the wonderful people this small-but-not-so-small community holds. And I continue to discover new faces I’ve yet to meet.
      I’m so glad you have been blessed as well.

      Like

  4. ameliabishop
    October 3, 2014

    Thank you so much for acknowledging this, Sheri!
    It does matter. An author’s personality, as much as their voice, influences a reader. I often read statements from readers/reviewers that suggest they can fully separate their feelings about an author from their work, and I am always skeptical. I can’t do it, myself. I feel that some authors have become like friends to me, and how can I not give preference to a friend’s work? Likewise, how can real-life negativity fail to influence my reading?
    Also I totally agree with the way you have been sucked into the world, and let it change you in positive ways. Though I’ve been an ally for many years due to my off-line friends and family, the m/m community has given me a great outlet, a place and a way to show support, and the opportunity to back it up with real action.
    Thank you for sharing your experiences and feelings :) Great post!

    Like

    • Sheri
      October 3, 2014

      Ohhhh yes!
      I know exactly what you mean. I tried my best to stay away from friends books, but then I found that it is impossible and honestly, I didn’t want to miss them. I have some friends who happen to be incredible authors. I want to support them and hoot-n-holler from the sidelines. I’ve embraced the fact that this is okay…it’s not bias, I just have a different connection to these authors.
      You are right, I was certainly sucked in. I’m so glad we have this….place online to support and love one another. I have shed many happy tears observing the many great things this community has done and continues to do.
      Thanks for sharing your story too!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ilhem
    October 3, 2014

    Sometimes an author’s words reach something deep inside me, and I sort of fall in love with the mind that wrote them. Or sometimes, an author says/writes/does something that makes me decide I will never approach his/her work at all or again. It’s not because I want to punish said author. It’s because he/she showed me something in his/her mind that I deeply disrespect, and I have not the indulgence nor the will to immerge myself in his/her world because this disrespect would taint my reading and my pleasure. And frankly, I don’t see why I should strain myself.

    So, to answer your question : yes, it definitely matters. That’s not all that there is to it, but it matters.

    Like

    • Sheri
      October 3, 2014

      Ilhem my dear, you nailed it. I have also fallen in love with the voice and in turn, have been turned off by the voice. No need to strain ourselves, there are many-o-books yet to read. New and old treasures await us!

      Like

  6. felinewyvern
    October 3, 2014

    Beautifully put and my answer is YES. It’s not the only thing that matters obviously but it does matter a lot.

    Like

    • Sheri
      October 3, 2014

      Thank you. I’m so happy that I am not alone. For a while I wondered how I could turn off my emotions, then I realized…. I can’t!
      I’m an emotional reader and I can’t change that.
      You are right- lots of factors come into play when choosing a book, but for me, this is one of them. Thanks for chiming in :)

      Like

  7. Kristie
    October 3, 2014

    Beautifully said, Sheri! And yes, it also matters to me. I know I’ve changed as a person, and it’s all from the books, and the authors who pen them. I can only hope that as I talk to my nieces and nephews, and their parents, and my friends, that they are as open as I am. I hope that you, me, and everyone else here can find a way to make positive change in the lives around us. A positive change for the authors that bring us the amazing stories and worlds that we devour.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sheri
      October 3, 2014

      Awesome!
      The love continues to spread and shine brighter…soo cool.
      One of my favorite things happens to be pay-it-forward and I try to pass on the warm fuzzies and love I receive. We can keep it going…I know we can.
      *hugs*

      Like

  8. Jody
    October 3, 2014

    Yes, it matters a lot to me. It can taint my view completely.
    Way to follow your heart Sheri! I often think I should check out what my local community does or needs and never follow through. My current volunteer time is taken up already, but I could donate in other ways. You inspire me to try harder! Thanks for sharing!

    Like

    • Sheri
      October 3, 2014

      Awwww, this makes me smile!
      There never seems to be enough time or money, but that’s okay. You do what you can and know in your heart that you’ve made a difference. Slight or otherwise, one smile, one hug, one pat on the back matters. Last year my girlfriends decided in lieu of holiday gifts for one another, we’d donate to a great cause. It felt wonderful and I can’t wait to do it again.
      I’m so happy you stopped by to chat.
      *big squeezes*

      Like

  9. Ana
    October 4, 2014

    Beautifully said, Sheri! And yes, it matters.xx

    Like

    • Sheri
      October 4, 2014

      Thank you Ana.
      *hugs*

      Like

  10. Kaje
    October 4, 2014

    It’s readers, saying things like this, that help us authors past a nasty comment or a bad review. When we occasionally wonder if it’s worth engaging with readers, or even putting the books out there? To know that we’re helping to build that support network for LGBT rights, by pulling readers into the community – Wow, that’s a powerful affirmation for what we do.

    Of course the romance we write is entertainment, first and foremost. But I think an author can’t get into writing M/M without feeling the injustice that our couples face, and from that, wanting to help change the world. To know that my contribution is not just what I do personally, but magnified by people who might have read books of mine and been coaxed further into support and activism, is just a lovely thing. :)

    Like

    • Sheri
      October 10, 2014

      Oops! I missed this…sorry Kaje.
      I honestly can’t imagine the stress & pressures engaging with readers has, I’m sure it’s not all sunshine and smiles. But yes, I believe there is an underlining power that comes when you slip on your author hat and I love to see it used to spread the love. One hug (I’m a hugger :D) can turn into a hundred hugs…and I think that’s just awesome.

      Like

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This entry was posted on October 3, 2014 by in News, Reviewer: Sheri and tagged .

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