I’ve always been fond of Forest Whitaker as an actor. I’m not certain of who the man behind the various roles he’s played is. I don’t know whether he is a Christian or not, whether he is a vegetarian or what is favorite hamburger is (if he has one.) I’m talking about the actor. When I watch him I just get so involved in his ability to connect with the role he is playing and draw you into that particular role. You no longer see the man who played in The Last King of Scotland (though I’ve never seen him in that), or the young Forest in Good Morning Vietnam, or Jason’s Lyric. He makes you forget all about all those other characters he’s portrayed and makes you want to follow that one single role that is unfolding before your eyes.
So when I went looking for an entry for the F day of the A to Z challenge after numerous attempts (failed ones obviously) I found a quote by Forest Whitaker that I just had to use.
(On choosing studio or independent films) "I go back and forth between indie and studio because I feel like it, not because I feel obligated to do one or the other. The only reason to make a decision like that is financial, you know, you can`t live. That doesn`t make my decision for me, I do what feels right for me. I`m not going to do a bad movie just because it`s a studio movie or an indie film, and there are hordes of bad independent movies. People tend to think that indie movies are always good, but I`ve seen horrific ones, just as well as I`ve seen horrific studio films. So I just go by how I feel, it`s the only way you can figure it out. Otherwise you get lost in the maze of trying to second guess the people, the studio, how you can make your career long or short. It`s easy to get lost in this maze, called life, really, you know what I mean?"
Okay, so Forest is talking about movies here obviously however I believe the very same can be said of books too, don’t you?
Being a reviewer of both indie books and others I feel I am obligated to support both sides. I choose my books because they capture my attention and if they can hold it, then they get my review. I read a blog once and someone commented that the reviewer should not give up after one, two, or even three chapters before determining the book isn’t good. I don’t determine the book isn’t good EVER. I simply determine whether that book was GOOD FOR ME! I review it honestly and there are a few times I will give a ‘that book wasn’t good’ review but it is usually with good reasons and I always share those reasons. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a good solid read for someone else. I feel if a book can’t hold my interest past chapter one or two then it shouldn’t give it more of my time. There are way too many books out there, both indi and ‘studio’ that will capture my attention from the first page and they deserve my time.
As Whitaker wrote, “I do what feels right for me.” As writers and readers that is all we can ever strive for: doing what comes natural and feels right for us.