It’s been an interesting week. Not in writing…didn’t do much of that. But in fighting a good fight. Moving beyond those who condemn a genre solely because of what they perceive it’s about.
I’m working on a signing event at a newly opened bookstore. Until recently, when it was bought out, it was a Christian book store. The new chain, which is open to all genres, retained the staff from the prior store. Corporate, I’ve been told by my contact, is behind me. They want the event to happen. The store’s manager doesn’t.
Why? They’re devoutly Evangelical Christian and think that the entire scifi/fantasy genre is ‘demonic’, ‘evil’, ‘promoting devil worship’.
They’ve never read one of my books, but are stonewalling on committing to a date based on their perception of what I write. It’s not a personal reflection on me. I know that. They’d be this way if George R.R. Martin wanted to spend two hours in their store.
I am who I am. I write what I feel compelled to write. I do not, nor does any author, need this one person’s approval to do what we do. They need to accept we have the right to do so, and our readers have the right to purchase our titles.
My plan? Kill them with kindness and professionalism. Be upbeat, positive. Know that the event will move forward, no matter what they personally feel about it. The manager can certainly work the schedule so they aren’t there during the event. But they can’t prevent it from happening.
As an author, we’re going to encounter this. There are those who won’t want to stock our books because of what they ‘believe’ is the nature of the story. Even if they’ve never read a single word of our stories. They won’t want to come to our events, have our books signed. They’d rather see them burned.
But this is America. We have the right to write the story we have inside us. Readers have the right to purchase the work and read/review it. I stand by my titles, my stories, my conduct. These are good books, worthy of purchase.
I’ll keep that in mind over allowing someone’s viewpoint (which they are allowed to have) dictate the Path that I walk.