“So, in the interests of survival, they trained themselves to be agreeing machines instead of thinking machines. All their minds had to do was to discover what other people were thinking, and then they thought that, too.” – Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions
“She’s not wearing makeup so her face just looks like skin.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Choke
The only valid censorship of ideas is the right of people not to listen – Tommy Smothers
For those of you who follow my goings on, you will remember a post I wrote about being censored at a literary festival in 2013. You can read that post here. Having been a Gatekeeper myself, and wanting above all to promote and encourage communication between authors, their readers, and the people who decide what our readers can and can’t read in the YA industry, I gave the following interview to Danielle Binks about my experience…
…and what I’ve learned is:
Gatekeepers are ordinary, sensitive human beings with people to answer to. Having been a bookseller with the keys to the kingdom and a dodgy lock before me, I know first hand that reflexive antipathy is bred in the buyer (and seller) who fears and anticipates repercussions.
I cannot write with repercussions in mind. They don’t even occur to me. I follow the voices in my head, who are real people to me, and my goal is to treat them, and my readers, with respect. That’s all I can do.
I have been in communication with the festival organizer who made that decision to have my attendance at the festival dependent upon not presenting Creepy & Maud. I like her and I respect her. Mistakes were made , fear and indignation met, but the outcome has been a conversation that I would not otherwise have had. I am grateful for that conversation.
The link to my interview with Danielle is below: