Before delving into my latest blog post, I want to thank New York Times and USA Today best selling author Harper Sloan for bringing up an important topic yesterday on Facebook. Be warned some subsequent comments are a bit raw, but considering the subject at hand, it’s easy to understand why so many fellow authors are angry.
I normally don’t get involved in “controversial” subjects, so to speak, but this is something close to my heart. Not only did I attempt suicide a few times in my late teens through my mid-30’s and been treated for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) since being diagnosed at age 21, but also battled with my weight long as I’ve existed on Earth.
I was on a good weight loss path until undergoing two total knee replacement surgeries in 2015, a complex and painful procedure from which one doesn’t recover overnight (it actually takes 12-18 months to completely heal). My physical activity level was compromised for periods of time as a result, I’d fallen back into old lifestyle habits, and gained back weight I’d worked to lose (and then some) prior to the surgeries. Now working with a health coach, I’ve resumed being active while aiming towards a size I’m happy with – not the unrealistic image society dictates.
Which brings me to a book cover model named Paul Blake. There are three people in life you never want to piss off: the one who prepare your food, work on your hair, and authors. Authors may come from different walks of life and write a variety of genres, but when someone hurts one, the offender better prepare to take on the rest of us.
Let me quote Mr. Blake’s eloquent first post on social telling an author to kill themselves:
“Lori Garside you should go eat your last Dairy Queen Blizzard and then hang yourself in the closet.”
Here is another example of Mr. Blake’s fine character:
Body shaming is bad enough, but it is not okay to tell someone to commit suicide. Many of us know at least one person who lost their life in such a fashion or are survivors of suicide themselves. I don’t know if this guy is on steroids or not – it isn’t my place to judge – but the irony of him body shaming women is he used to be overweight!
Unfortunately Paul Blake hasn’t stopped with hateful and nasty posts. A book cover model’s success is determined by authors, and incensing at least one author can potentially break that model’s career. In today’s modern technology and popularity of social media, word is much easier to spread, so let this be a warning to other book cover models.
Apparently Mr. Blake assumes all female authors are non-working women sitting at their computers eating ice cream all day. What he fails to realize is many of these women juggle writing careers, “regular” jobs, charity work, and families (while writing remains my primary vocation, I recently began a brand ambassador position with Broadcast65, which I’ll discuss in a future blog post). He’s also complained about people who post about body shaming, accusing them of “promoting obesity,” not to mention he’s a hypocrite in general.
Authors, ask yourselves: Do you want the image of such a person emblazoned on covers of your books? I think not, which is why I’m spreading the word to boycott him. Other people lost jobs for posting less harmful things on social media, so why should he get away with it? Here are his accounts I managed to find:
You can also read additional details about his actions on CreativeWriter.com.
Authors and readers, #BoycottPaulBlake and let it be known appalling behavior of his and others will not be tolerated in silence by the author community.