Ginger, thanks so much for the welcome here on your blog!
I’m Clare London and I write male/male erotic romance for several publishers, including Eternal Press, where I first met Ginger. She was a tremendous help and support to me in my early days of publication, and has remained a friend throughout.
A little about me: I’m having a busy and hectic 2009 so far, with two novels released and a small clutch of short stories. I live in London, and juggle writing with a full-time job, busy family and an internet addiction that keeps me at a screen most of every day. My nightmare is being without internet access – and I’m just about to go on holiday for a week to a part of England that has none LOL.
Find out all about me and my books at http://www.clarelondon.co.uk/ and please let me know if you first met me HERE!
I wondered what to blog about today and then I saw those lovely flowers in Ginger’s introduction. I haven’t had a bouquet like that since before Hubby and I had the terribly-consuming, exhaustingly-lively, frustratingly-alien kids LOL. And it’s from a friend, not necessarily a lover. We should treasure friends, of course we all know that. Ginger has become a good and trusted friend to me, though we’ve never met, and possibly never will. Just look - she’s sick this week but she still found the time to come online and welcome me here.
So I’m blogging about…Friends.
In my humble opinion, the word ‘friend’ can be used rather too loosely. We talk about people we know as ‘friends’ – we have a ‘Friends List’ on our blogs and social networks, when sometimes it’s just a list of people who’ve added us to their list, or who follow our fiction and vice versa. I’m not saying we shouldn’t welcome anyone and everyone who likes to be in contact. I love that myself! And how else will we ever meet new people or add value from mixing with them? But for me, I deal with it in different ways. For me, there are Friends and then there’s what I laughingly call my Trust Folder.
*Me the Geek.
I get on with many people but at the heart of it, I have only a few I’d call real Friends. I’m quite shy in some ways, plus I’m close with my deepest personal information. I’m also a little cynical and a lot cautious. That’s in general, not with anyone or any set of people in particular. So my Trust Folder is small, and it’s a mix of real life and online people. People occasionally move in and out of the Folder, but I stay loyal to those who were there in the first place.
Do I sound like a real weirdo? LOL
*So what makes a real friend?
It’s quite clear to me. It needs to be someone I feel relaxed with, in that they have the same attitude to the important things in life, like tolerance and compassion and kindness and honesty and integrity. The same sense of humour helps too! Then it doesn’t really matter if they live a continent away, are a totally different age and background from me, even a different race.
*Can it be someone we’ve never physically met, or even spoken to?
I don’t see why not. It certainly makes things better if you’ve met, but I can feel close to someone I’ve only ever met online. It’s difficult, in that you can’t build the same connection with shared experiences, but I’ve met a couple of my US friends more often than I have ones in the UK, so that’s not the only parameter.
*What does a Friend bring to us?
That’s support and joy and the pleasure of sharing. We authors can enjoy feedback and technical help and sometimes a shoulder to cry on. And as people, not authors, we can be rewarded with company and amusement and fun.
*The person behind the words.
Something important that I’ve seen discussions on recently is appreciating and respecting the person behind the words. It was in the context of ebook piracy – a colleague of mine has challenged us to think whether pirates would be less brazen if they *met* the person behind the author’s name. You don’t have to be everyone’s friend, but there should always be respect and tolerance behind any relationship, even several steps removed.
*What’s this got to do with writing?
Fiction is built on the friends premise, either because it’s there or because it’s lacking. Romance builds from it, against it and sometimes despite it. My books are full of people, not just m/m romantic relationships. Some are friends, some not, but it’s the interaction that keeps us alive and interested.
*And finally, thanks to my Hostess with the Mostest!
Ginger and I write in very different genres, yet we admire and like each other across that. A character in my new book ‘True Colors’ says of two friends – “Strikes me you’d kill for him, but you won’t live his life for him. And that’s how a true friend should be.” Yes, I know that’s very melodramatic LOL, but it’s based in truth too.
Hell, that’s much more than I intended to write today LOL. I must be feeling sentimental. Not a bad thing, eh? Don’t forget to let me and Ginger know if you have any thoughts on this yourself.
Happy reading and friendships to you all! :)