Who I Want to Write a Book

KATIE NOLAN.

I bet you have no idea who she is. I’ll tell you. She started just a few years ago on YouTube. Then she hosted a web series for Fox Sports. She then began hosting her own weekly show on Fox Sports 1. But I’m not clamoring for anyone else to write a book, whether they’re in sports or not.

Let me tell you why I’d buy her book. She’s funny, witty, loves sports, and doesn’t back away from her opinion. She has no problem calling out athletes or officials who act badly. And I mean she really calls them out. We need more of her not just in sports media, but in general. We need people to speak up and speak out whenever a wrong is committed against another person or a group of people. Sometimes it may be an athlete against another person, but it also may be a political candidate talking about one of us “regular” people. The notion that “celebrities” should not have opinions or speak out about issues they’re passionate about is ridiculous. And Un-American.

Her show is sports comedy, but not everything is related to sports or comedy. And I’d be eager to here how she feels about a number of different things, whether we’re in agreement or not.

So write a book, KATIE! I’ll buy!

Who do you want to write a book who hasn’t?

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Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy

I imagine most know by now that Jinny Fallon published his first children’s book in 2015. Aside from all the laughs that book surely caused, now he’s doing something more important.

He’s teaming up with his publisher to donate $1,000,000 worth of books to First Book, a nonprofit based in the US that provides new books to children in need.

I imagine some might criticize him for this because surely a disadvantaged kid could use something else (food, clean water, clothing) just a bit more than a book they may not even want. My response is to say literacy is of the utmost importance. An illiterate child is immediately left behind by his or her peers, and that gap is incredibly difficult to overcome. To discount the importance of literacy does harm and no good.

Disadvantaged children need food, clothing, shelter, and clean water. But they also need books. They do.

Jimmy Fallon won’t solve every problem by donating these books, but at least he’s focusing on one. Are you?

Saturday Selects: Christina Grimmie

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write on the first Saturday of each month outside the general bookish theme of the blog. This will actually be my second of the month because of current events.

Christina Grimmie was well known on YouTube, and later on NBC’s “The Voice”. She was 22-years-old. Just a few hours before her show in her hometown of Orlando she posted a video on Twitter inviting her fans to attend.

But unfortunately it would be the final performance of her life. A man approached her after the show during a meet and greet and opened fire. She was struck three times before her brother tackled the shooter. The shooter then committed suicide. She was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, but died a few hours later.

Her death will receive attention because she’s a known celebrity, but her story is a common one in today’s America. Young people in cities like Chicago, Detroit, NYC, LA, and more are victims of gun violence every single day in this country. But nothing has been done to combat it in recent months and years on a federal level. I imagine her death will spark another conversation about gun violence, but unfortunately I don’t see any real change coming about on a national level.

This all comes back to what YOU want. Do you want to keep reading stories like this one in the future? Or do you want to enact some change?

The shooter’s identity has not been released publicly, but he was said to have two handguns, lots of ammo, and a knife on him during the shooting.

We can tweet and post and continue talking about gun violence but if we continue to vote the same NRA-backed members of Congress into office, then you can be assured nothing will be done.

This man clearly had no business with a gun in his possession, but I bet it’ll come out in the coming days that both guns were purchased legally. And that’s simply unacceptable. It’s well beyond the time to demand real change, but we always need more people making the demand.

Also, I’d like to note the venue had no metal detectors and security was not armed. This venue can hold 1200 people. I think metal detectors will be installed very soon, and I believe Christina Grimmie’s family will ultimately file suit for not doing enough to protect the young singer.

My only hope is that more people decide that enough is enough and refuse to accept the ongoing gun violence as the new normal.

Rest in peace, Christina.

22-years-old is too young to die, but there is no appropriate age to become a victim of gun violence. ALL victims of gun violence are too young to die.

Why is Zoella’s new Book Causing Such a Fuss?

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You need to know two things before reading on to have any idea what I’m talking about. First, Zoella is a very popular YouTuber. Second, her novel Girl Online had the best opening sales week ever for a debut novel in the UK. It was just released at the end of November.

Okay. If you don’t know what the fuss is about, well that’s what I’m here for. I’ve read blog post after blog post and article after article criticizing Zoella for her book. Why are all these people criticizing her? Because she used a ghostwriter. See, I have a theory. The criticism she’s getting really has nothing to do with that fact, though she had to release a statement on Twitter admitting that she had help. No. I think UK readers have issue with the fact that her book has outdone JK Rowling in some way. Because this young online star is somehow unworthy of selling a lot of books. What bullshit.

Just about every article I’ve read mentions JK Rowling. “Zoella outsells even JK Rowling and Harry Potter” or “This 24-year-old has best debut sales week ever in UK; besting JK Rowling.”

I know some people have issue with the use of ghostwriters. That’s fine. But why is this girl somehow being treated differently than other “authors” who have used them in the past? Oh. Because she sold a lot of books. The funny thing is that readers really have no idea how many authors actually use ghostwriters. No idea at all. Because some publishers and authors are a lot more open about that fact than others.

Lastly, I have no issue with her great opening sales week. As a matter of fact, I think she should be congratulated. I mean, she has more than six million YouTube subscribers. Did you think that she would release a book that didn’t sell well? Come on. JK Rowling was a debut author. Zoella is a debut author with millions of fans and followers. I’m quite certain that the author of the Harry Potter series is perfectly fine with not having the record for most sales in the opening week for a debut novel. (If she ever had it in the first place.)

So everyone needs to calm down about all this. Zoella has built up a brand of herself over the last few years on the internet. And now she gets criticized for wanting to write a book. No. I’m not a fan of celebrities “writing” books, but this girl is getting way too much negativity thrown her way when she’s doing something that so many celebrities have already done before her. She’s not even the first YouTuber to release a book. Just stop.

You can check out Girl Online here.

You can check out Zoella’s YouTube channel here.

Saturday Selects: The online community

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Photo Credit: SustaiNet

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write the first Saturday of each month in which I discuss something completely unrelated to books and writing and all the normal stuff you see here. You can check out my previous posts here.

Something that I am constantly baffled by is how people interact with each other over the internet. I’ve gotten some pretty harsh words in the form of comments on here (a damn book blog). You absolutely positively cannot have your negative tweet retweeted by a celebrity because the wrath of their fans will come down upon your Twitter notifications. Yes, I have personal experience with this. And all I said was that I didn’t like a song and I think the tweet I was mentioned in by the celebrity was favorited something like 1500 times and I was mentioned even more. I couldn’t look at my phone because the notifications were nonstop. You also can’t comment on news articles without someone going crazy and turning a difference of opinions into a personal attack.

It’s really not a good thing to see. And I bet I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that these are just trolls who go around tweeting and commenting ignorantly on whatever they read. Uh no. Twitter is the easiest place to see that these are just regular people who have no idea how to communicate. Let’s say you make the mistake of tweeting a celebrity with maybe 3 million followers. And then they decide to retweet or quote you. The first few responses will likely respond to whatever criticism you tossed toward the celebrity. Okay. Nothing wrong there. But very, very quickly you’ll find that people have just gone through your tweets and are now on the offensive. They’re using what you said about something two weeks ago to their advantage. They’re looking at your pictures. They’re saying things that make absolutely no sense in the context. It’s bad. And it’s not only on Twitter, of course. It can happen on here, on Facebook, on a news site, just about anywhere on the internet that has some kind of comment section.

You know, it doesn’t matter if you disagree with someone or if you think this about abortion or that about the President, but there is never any reason to go into all-out attack mode over nothing. I mean, who cares what I think of that new song on the radio? Who cares if I like this sport over that? Who cares if I’m not a fan of this actor? What does any of that have to do with you tossing out a derogatory remark? Or trying to belittle me in some way.

I won’t go so far as to call it cyberbullying in most cases because it’s often just one or two things and then the other person forgets you exist once again. But the hate language that is tossed around over the internet every minute of every day is a joke. I don’t have a solution for better policing it, but I can’t be the only person who thinks something more needs to be done.