TV and Pirates

So, I got to do something really cool this morning.


I was interviewed on TV!  My friend and fellow author, James Peercy and I appeared on Denison’s Channel KTEN to promote our Authorfest event next weekend!  I was so starstruck and nervous!  I’m used to being behind the camera, not in front of it!  But I think I did okay and didn’t stammer to much.  I tried to speak slowly and smile and articulate and all that good stuff.  Best of all, I got to talk about my books!

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In less exciting news, last night, I discovered that someone had uploaded my books to a pirating website.  Technically, they were on separate websites, but in order to read or download the books, you had to sign up for another website.  All the sites led back to that one website.  I have fired off two Cease and Desist emails to them and have yet to hear back.  But here’s the gist…

I have just found my new Young Adult novel, Boy Band, on one of your websites, which claims to be an open library where readers may download my book for free or read it online.  When I clicked on the registration tab, it relocated me to your site.  A separate website, featured my first book, Cemetery Tours, and again, led me back to you.  Unless you have somehow paid for the rights to my books or I am getting paid for every read or download you recieve, you do not have my permission to use my books on any of your websites, and I politely request that you take them down. If this is beyond your power, I ask that you give me the contact information to the person whom I may contact to address this issue.  
I will be checking back.  
Thank you for your time,
Jacqueline E. Smith
(I included links in the original email, but chose to delete them from this post.)
Here’s the deal.  I’m not stupid.  I know books are going to get pirated.  I know movies and songs and games are going to get pirated.  It shouldn’t happen, but it does.  I’m thankful, however, that most readers understand how much work and love that authors, especially indie authors, pour into their books.  It’s our trade.  It’s our profession.  I’d love to live in a world where money doesn’t matter, where people could just read my books for free and be happy.  But the sad truth is money is necessary if we are to continue on writing.  Moreso, authors deserve to paid for their craft, just like any other artist.  I wish I didn’t need money, but I also wish websites like this didn’t try to take advantage of people who work hard and sacrifice trying to make a living doing what they love.
Have a good weekend, y’all!

Why Topanga Lawrence was One of the Best Female Role Models on TV

Tonight is the premiere of Girl Meets World, the long anticipated spin-off series to everyone’s favorite 1990s sitcom, Boy Meets World.  Like most young people my age, I grew up with Boy Meets World.  I wanted to be Cory’s sister, Mr. Turner’s favorite student, and Jack’s girlfriend.  Sorry, Shawn.  You’re cute too.  But come on, your brother is a dreamboat.

Now, I could sit here all day and talk about how much I love all the men of Boy Meets World (oh Eric, you adorable doofus, you), but tonight, I’d rather talk about my admiration and respect for Topanga Lawrence Matthews, which rises above and beyond my love for the boys.

Now, I don’t watch a whole lot of television now, but from what little I do watch, no female protagonist quite measures up to Topanga.  She was everything I wanted to be growing up.  She was smart, she was confident, she had great hair, and best of all, she knew exactly who she was and she never apologized for it or felt insecure.

Okay, there was that one incident when she cut off half of her hair, but I think all girls have had days like that.

Topanga and Cory had a beautiful love story, one that spanned throughout seven wonderful seasons of childhood, adolescence, and new adulthood.  Topanga loved Cory, but her love for him was never the center of her life.  She remained as independent and free-spirited as ever.  She also never had to lower her standards for Cory or for herself.  Girls on television these days seem to feel incomplete without a man, but not Topanga.

Along with being totally confident and proud of who she was, Topanga was also one of the smartest kids in school.  Yeah, Minkus was probably a little geekier, but Topanga really cared about her grades and her good-girl image.

She also aspired to be the first female President of the United States.  I, for one, would totally vote for her.

Finally, Topanga is just absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, but not in the conventional sense.  Today, we get so much plastic surgery and weight-loss methods shoved in our faces.  Topanga was a natural beauty with real-person curves, and she rocked them.  She was even dubbed “Queen of the Hotties” in one episode.

Let me tell you something, guys.  Some girls like salads, but most girls like burgers and pizza and chocolate and cookies.  If a woman tries to tell you otherwise, she’s probably lying.  Topanga just rocks.

Best of all, she was open-minded, forgiving, and always hilarious.  She never tried to manipulate or control Cory or her friends.  She was our ideal feminine 1990s role model, and I hope that Riley and Maya live up to her legacy on Girl Meets World.  I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m trying to remember that this show will not be the series that I knew and loved in my youth.  This show is to be enjoyed and appreciated as a whole new series for a whole new generation.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t hope the Hunter boys will make a few guest appearances.