My Two Cents

You’d have to be living under a rock not be abreast of what’s been going on lately. I normally sit here with popcorn and watch the drama unfolds but I thought that I’m doing a disservice to anyone who cared enough for my opinion on things if I’ll continue to sit idly by. So here are my two cents – and they’re only probably worth that much. 

On The Story Siren’s Plagiarism

YES, she committed the greatest no-no in this community and the literary world. 
YES, I’m disappointed. 
YES, she lost some of my respect.
Her credibility and integrity have now been put into spotlight. A lot of us are left to question just how much of her opinion would now matter to us. Sadly, I admired her – truly. But in light of the events this week, I am looking at her differently.
Having said that, I am also very disappointed with the way some of us reacted. She was crucified; some were like vultures, picking her apart while she was flayed in the open. Well, I am not going to that. Does that mean I support plagiarists? NO. Hell. NO. It means I’m going to take her gravest sin and learn from it. 
Am I going to stop doing IMM as a protest to her blog? NO. I’ve always called mine Hoarders anyway. If I ever do decide in the future to go and create my own, I’m going to give credit where credit is due. To the bloggers who started their own versions: Good for you. I just hope you won’t miss the fact that your versions are still inspired by hers and Pop Culture Junkie’s IMM. If you think that by leaving IMM as a part of my regular posts is an act in support of plagiarists, well, I can’t do anything about that. That’s entirely your opinion. I’ve learned that we, humans are pretty much set in our ways; once an opinion is formed, there’s no taking it back or dissuading us to the contrary. I believe Mr. Darcy said something to that effect. Smart man.
On The Fifty Shades Series
I’m a big supporter of authors who are starting out, regardless of their beginnings. I followed this fan fiction religiously. Was I surprised when she decided to publish? NO. Was I surprised by the unbelievable popularity it’s been getting? YES. It’s mind blowing. Love them or hate them, Twi-hards are and will always be an incredible army of support for those fan fiction authors.
But the books are not for everyone. Don’t like it? Don’t buy it. Don’t read it. Simple as that. Is she riding the coattails of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight? YES. Do I think she’s infringing on SM’s work? No. Reality is, The Fifty Shades characters are not vampires, not werewolves. They’re all human. Try to ignore the fact that these books are based on fan fiction, and what do you get? I know it’s impossible. But it is what it is. Many are crying foul and copyright infringement. I am still at a lost.
I loved the fan fiction. I loved the books. Were they perfectly written? NO. To be honest, I’m really not a good judge. I’m only a technical reader when the mistakes are glaringly obvious. I don’t nit pick and I’m sorry that when I read them, I didn’t know any better. But in my opinion, the series did their job. I read to escape; to read a reality that I know will never be for me. I’ve read them but never did review them. It’s a difficult task; I have a conscientious duty to always be honest on my reviews. I fear I cannot do that with these books.  She’s not the first fan fiction writer who pulled their work for publishing. But because she’s gotten astronomically popular, she’s become an example of what not to be, somewhat. I believe this happened to Cassandra Clare with her Mortal Instruments series. Question still remains, is it theirs or not? 
I have questioned how E.L. James feels about this – the fact that it is and it isn’t an original fiction. How much creds can I give an author whose characters were inspired by another person’s work? Not much. But cheers on her successes and good luck on her future endeavors. My fervent hope is that she writes something that she can truly call her own and that it will be just as successful.
On Authors Behaving Badly.
All I can say is, I quickly lose my respect for authors who can’t handle criticisms well. I also think that there are harsh reviews out there. But heck, it’s the nature of the business. Give and take, people. Let’s just learn to co-exist and not turn our love for reading into something nasty.
The Things I learned About the Community and Myself.
  • Dog eat dog.
  • Respect is hard to earn.
  • No matter how hard I work on my reviews, it probably won’t mean much – because good reviews will not get me followers. And I’m okay with that. Follow me because you’re interested in what I have to say, not because I’m bribing you.
  • I can’t read under the pressure of obligation.
  • I need to STOP requesting ARCs. 

Much Love,
Joy xoxo.