I'm from Louisville, Kentucky. So, when my friend Leslea Tash interviewed Louisville writer Sue Grafton for LouisvilleKY.com, I read it. Like just about every other indie author who read or heard about the interview, I was hurt and angry over Grafton's attitude. You can read the original interview here:
BUT -- and this separates the professionals from the merely successful, the classy from the merely stuck-up -- when Grafton felt the backlash she didn't get defensive, entrenched, or sarcastic. She didn't backpedal or try to pretend she hadn't said what she said.
She realized and admitted that she (as all of us tend to do) had spoken from outdated knowledge. She corresponded with some of her detractors, not to get into a flame war, but to learn.
Grafton is a busy woman, and she would continue to sell massive amounts of books, even if every indie author in the world boycotted her. Still, she took the time to educate herself and to send Leslea Tash a follow-up to her original interview.
It isn't very long, and it's worth reading as an example of how to comport oneself when one discovers a thick, rich coating of manure on your boots:
The best bit is the last:
I will take responsibility for my gaffe and I hope you will understand the spirit in which it was meant. I have always championed both aspiring writers and working professionals. I have been insulated, I grant you, but I am not arrogant or indifferent to the challenges we all face. I am still learning and I hope to keep on learning for as long as I write.
I'm not madly keen about Grafton's books; after about E or so, I lost interest. But I just may go back and read them all. I think I could learn a lot from spending time with this lady.
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