Monday 18 January 2010

PSnarkiversary: Michelle Zink (Prophecy of the Sisters)

Michelle Zink has an enormous impact on the YA blogosphere. For many of us, she is our blog mother. Her maternal qualities and great advice make all of us feel like they are being encompassed in a big online hug.

She has kindly accepted my request to be the final guest post for Persnickety Snark's first blogoversary. I can't think of a better person to conclude with!

Having your book published brings with it ample opportunity to speak out online. Sometimes that’s a good thing and sometimes it’s a bad thing, but in this case, it’s a very good thing.

That’s because Adele, aka Persnickety Snark, embodies everything I admire about the blogging community.

As review blogging has become more and more prevalent, we’ve had the opportunity to see incredible generosity, well-thought-out reviews, and true friendship. We’ve also had the opportunity to witness blogging at its not-so-finest, which is what led me to think about why I hold Adele in such high esteem and what, exactly, makes a great review blogger.

First and foremost, a great review blogger is someone who’s professional. It’s easy to wield online power (whether real or perceived) unkindly. We’re separated from one another by miles (sometimes thousands) and computer screens. But as the blogosphere becomes more and more crowded, it’s the professionals who stand out for me. Bad behavior is unbecoming in any medium, and it’s easy to spot in the blogosphere. I have never seen Persnickety Snark behave badly, even in those cases where I thought she had good cause. Adele always behaves with dignity, and that is not to be underrated.

I also appreciate fairness and decency. Honesty tempered with sensitivity. I can always count on my favorite reviewers - Persnickety Snark among them - to write thorough reviews. Ideally, a great reviewer will remember that this is someone’s work, and in pretty much every case, the writer has poured their heart and soul into it. I love it when a reviewer who didn’t care for a book adds things like, “This just isn’t my type of book, but someone who likes XYZ may really like it” or “I loved X Writer’s first book, but this one just wasn’t for me.” In one case, I came across a reviewer (SO wish I could remember who it was!) who actually made a point of posting, at the bottom of a negative review, links to other reviews where the book had been praised. I was blown away by that gesture. It was inconceivable to be that a reviewer would take the time to find and link to reviews with opposing opinions. Along these lines, I always find Persnickety Snark’s reviews to be thorough, fair, and honest. What more can you ask for?

Lastly, I truly enjoying forging friendships with bloggers and other authors alike. It’s not for everyone (which I respect), but the companionship we share is one of my favorite parts of the online community. When push comes to shove, we’re all readers. I was a reader before I was a writer, and my love for storytelling stems from my love of hearing and reading great stories. We have that in common, Adele and I and so many of you reading this right now. We are more alike than you know. It’s a gift when someone like Adele opens their heart, not just in professional camaraderie, but in true friendship. I’m so grateful for that gift.

So Adele, on the first anniversary of your blog, I thank you for your professionalism, honesty, fairness, great wit, and yes, your friendship. We are all lucky to know you.

It's amazing how a piece of writing can make you feel, especially when it's directed at you! Thank you Michelle for your willingness to write a piece for my celebrations.

Her forthcoming novel, Guardian of the Gate (sequel to Prophecy of the Sisters) will be on shelves from August 1st, 2010. For Michelle's thoughts and her amazing Open Mic! feature, hit up her blog now!


Mari - Escape In A Book said...

A great post and what Michelle writes is so very true :)

I must say I admire Michelle for being so visible in the blog community. Michelle has visited my blog a couple of times and left really nice comments. I truly appreciate it when authors takes time out of their day to drop by their readers :) I think it is wonderful to see/feel that an author living in the USA actually reads what a Norwegian fan(I bet I'm not the only one who feels that way) has written.

Lauren said...

Beautiful sentiments - you must be really touched. Frankly, if Michelle had written that about me, I'd have been blubbing all over the place.

Kim Harrington said...

What a great post! I was fortunate enough to meet Michelle at one of her booksignings and she is just as sweet, open, and kind in person as she is online.

As to the entirety of her post... DITTO! :)