I love meeting the authors of my favorite books and fortunately, I haven’t had an encounter where the author was anything less than what I expected her/him to be based on social media and such. I recently watched BEA vlog from Rileymarie’s channel about her negative experience with Sarah J. Maas and Susan Dennard. She starts talking about it around 1:48.
So what happens when an author doesn’t live up to your expectations? Do you not read the author’s books anymore? I imagine it is something akin to Hazel and Augustus meeting Peter Van Houten. I’ve only met two authors in person so far–Rick Riordan and Sarah J Maas. By far, my best bookish experiences. I love meeting the creator behind the stories I like or (in the case of Riordan, love) and I love talking to other people about the stories. It’s just nice to have people in real life who shares the bookish obsessions as you. Just having the opportunity to talk to these authors is already pretty exciting.
But what if you take it a bit further, what happens when the author’s values are extreme to one side? I remember when the Ender’s Game movie came out and many people boycotted it because of Card’s homophobic views and supporting the movie meant supporting his views. At the time, there was evidence that Card did donate to several anti-gay organizations.
When I found this out, I was obviously very hurt because here is an author whose work I value so much. If you didn’t know, Ender’s Game is one of my favorite books of all time. Despite the fact that the author is again, homophobic and the work itself is quite sexist. Which is also painful considering I’m a feminist. Now I’m not saying that people should discredit these books entirely. It’s a sad fact that some good or even great books have sexist and racism themes to them along with other -isms. So do authors. After all, they are only people too, people not exempt from criticism but people nonetheless. In the end, I decided to watch the Ender’s Game movie simply because I loved the story and there were more involved with the movie than just him. Though when will I decide when too much is just too much? I don’t know.