Ethics For Wired Authors

Readers used to hate or love novels without knowing much about the authors who penned them. It didn't really matter if we spoke politely, smiled brightly, or even liked kids or teens.

They focused on our characters instead of on our character.

Things have changed in the age of Twitter, Facebook, and blogs. Now readers can follow us and discover if we're naughty or nice. They can like us virtually and be disappointed in our books, or love our books and be annoyed with us on-line.

But what if teens or kids are following and friending us? Can we be candid out here about our joys and sorrows, failures and successes, passions and opinions? What if they turn to us for spiritual advice or send a desperate direct message that sounds suicidal?

All writers wield a certain measure of influence, but the difference in power between an adult author and a child or teen reader makes things even more tricky. I'd like to see some ethical guidelines for wired authors in the world of children's and teen books. Suggestions, anybody?

Photo Source: One Laptop Per Child via Creative Commons