Friday, January 4, 2013

Writers, Readers. and the Balance of Power

Writers, Readers, and the Balance of Power
A spiritual-ish perspective

little while back, my fourteen-year-old daughter told me I was a control monkey. It wasn't in jest and it wasn't speculation. It was a declaration of fact, the evidence beyond dispute, any argument on my part only serving to prove the point. 

Damn kids.

Now, I do have my quirks and yes, I do insist under penalty of death prefer towels be folded a certain way and I've been known to stand in front of my family, tapping my foot and ranting demanding to know who left the empty toilet paper roll on the hanger. But my daughter was talking about my writing, specifically the reason I write.

Her words: because I want to control everything.

My response? I squared my shoulders, raised my chin, looked her dead in the face and said, "Duh!"

 As a writer, especially a fiction write, I've heard this before  and I can't say I entirely disagree. After all, just look at    what I do: I create my own world, my own people and  species and make every single element do exactly what I  want, when I want, and how I want.

 On it's face, that sounds a little...not good. Those who do  this sort of thing in the real world are usually called dictators. Or felons. I don't have the balls or the lack of conscience to be either, so is it possible I write out of some twisted need for absolute pow-ah?

The jury's still out on that one.

In my stories, I decide who lives and who dies. I grant true love or devastating heartache with a few clicks of the keyboard. I create new civilizations, change laws and morality, even conjure up new planets. I parcel out abuse and reward on a whim. For a few hundred pages, I am the god of my own world. It's a damn fine gig - while it lasts.

And there's the catch. 

My reign - though very cool - is wonderfully and horribly finite. 

 When the last word is written, all that power  disappears. It's not taken; I surrender it and do so  freely. I send my world into the real world, knowing it  will be judged, loved or hated. 

It's an incredibly profound moment, the natural culmination of my work.

I'm not passing judgement on those who believe
otherwise, and I'm certainly not propping my opinion on a pedestal as though it's the only correct one.

But, for me, refusing to relinquish control would be to deny a fundamental part of the whole creative process; a part I'm not willing to sacrifice, even for the sake of a super-cute doggy tug-o-war gif. :)

 Readers create writers and writers create readers. It's a symbiotic circle,an  exchange of power that demands and deserves the deepest respect. That's  how I see it, anyway. 

 So, yes. I am a control monkey- for a little while. And I write for the days    when I can give it up.



  1. Hi there!

    Control freak or not, I, for one, am certainly glad that you're into writing. I love Uprising so much. It's been a pleasure to read and worth the big headache I got trying to get my hands on a copy. You see, not even MPH or Borders in my country sells it. I tried to make an order but it's not even available for order! A big pain, if you asked me, especially since the back cover blurb was so intriguing, the review for it on Goodreads was amazing and I liked the excerpt I read from Smashswords. In the end, I had to resort to purchasing an ebook online - my first, mind, which was really a big leap of faith since I'm a big paranoid when it comes to making payments online - and you certainly did not disappoint. The book was worth every cent.

    I loved Rise a lot, especially since I feel very much like her at times. It's embarrassing and I don't dare to admit it to my friends, but I'm pretty much apathetic too. So I end up doing what I think I should do so that people won't regard me as a freak, much the way Rise simply threw together stuffs for the sale. And yes, I feel disturbed that I'm that way, so it's kind of nice to have a storybook character sharing my concerns.

    I can't wait to read the second book in the series! I really want to know more about the whole system and what will happen to Danny, his father and the rest. Seriously, I'm disappointed that so few know of your book. I honestly think that it's easily a thousand times better than many other YA series out there. It's frustrating that I can't even tell my friends to buy a copy because really, the hard copy isn't available in my country and most of my friends aren't terribly fond of ebooks or online purchasing, much like yours truly. Would you mind if I lent them my copy? (Yes, this is a legit question considering I haven't done it yet) I know that it's wrong but I'm kind of hoping that they'll be impressed enough to want to buy the next book in the series.

    Thanks for reading my ramblings! All the best to you and I really hope that Uprising hits the bestselling shelves one day. It certainly deserves it.


    P.S. Greetings from Malaysia! Guess you can say that you have a fan halfway across the globe. Don't worry too much if you've never heard of my country before. I'm pretty used to it by now, really.

    P.P.S. I'm sorry for ranting all over your blog post but I really wanted to tell you how much I LOVED Uprising and I can't find any "contact me" or guestbook on your website.

  2. Lyn~ Thank you SO much!
    Malaysia - how cool is that? I love hearing from new friends and readers all over the world. I have a little flag-counter on my Goodreads profile, so I can see where visitors come from - it's so much fun. :)

    I'm sorry about the lack of contact info - I really need to update my blog and website. And I know all about how hard it is to get copies of the book in some places. My publisher is working hard on distribution channels, but it's a slooooow process.

    I'd be happy to gift an e-book copy to your friends - I just need an e-mail address and find out of they have a Kindle or a Nook or will be reading online.
    Sharing is not a problem at all- I loan my books all the time - we just have to be careful, to make sure it doesn't end up online anywhere. My publisher will grow horns! LOL

    I'm glad you like Rise - I enjoy writing her and she has some big adventures coming up in the next book. Uprising had a slower pace, but the next one is definitely running in the fast lane!

    You can send me an E-mail at Let me know if you'd like a few e-copies your friends. And if you give me your home address, I'll send you a signed copy of the book,too!
    I have to order them from my publisher, so it might be a few weeks before I can get it mailed out.
    Thanks again!

  3. OMG I can't believe you replied! You're such an angel :) I sent you an email (",)