This blog is more than just a book recommendation site. Yes, that's the main purpose, but it isn't the only car on the train.
The greater purpose goes beyond books, from simply suggesting the next book you should try to the power behind the written word, which is much more than simple entertainment.
A History of Growth
The Masquerade Crew had simple beginnings. The purpose was to find an audience for a book that was written back in 2010. That book may never be published (though it will always have a special if not a hidden place here), but somewhere along the way this blog became more.
Although book promos and reviews are our bread and butter, a lot of people don't come here for that. Some come for the writing tips, author syndication, and even the occasional rant.
But I want this place to be even more than that on the surface.
The Power Behind the Written Word
Even if it's just a standard, run-of-the-mill fiction book.
If it's written well, we feel for the characters, their plight, their feelings. We fall in love with them. We love to hate them. We throw books across the room when they irritate us, only to pick it up a few moments later to keep reading.
Please don't throw your ereaders across the room.
But it goes beyond even those emotions. A really good book can change your life. It can change your outlook, your perceptions of the world around you. It can teach you to be a better person, by either imitating good qualities in a character or avoiding the bad.
And when all is said and done, it does all of this while still entertaining.
A Safe Place
Yesterday's events, which are described here, have helped convince me that personal opinion (as long as it is not hateful) has a definite place here.
This is a safe place.
Your thoughts and ideas will not be disrespected. And if they are, the power behind this blog will back you, even if I don't personally agree with you. We've come to such a defense before and will do so again when necessary.
What does this mean in terms of our future?
That's tough to say since The Masquerade Crew is a work in progress, an ever evolving, complex creature. But the core will probably never change: we support the power of the written word, the personal growth that ensues, and the healthy discussion of personal opinion.
Personal opinion could easily go off on a tangent, and it is not my current goal to turn this site into a place of opinion and debate, though I won't necessarily discourage it where it falls in line with our appreciation of the written word.
So, if you have a guest post or piece of syndication you would like me to consider using for this site, by all means approach me. Because I'm so busy I don't always take open requests. I have a system in place.
If you would like to submit a guest post (syndication), see this post. The wording and configuration of the form is designed for book or writing related submissions, but it can also be used to submit articles that are slightly off topic (but still appropriate).
For example, a guest post could be about a social issue you feel strongly about, and the best way to get it approved for this site is to relate it to the written word. Perhaps there's a book that moved you that you could blog about. Do so, and I'll gladly syndicate appropriate content.
I will not post hateful speech or an opinion that is so judgmental that it's hard to tell the difference. Be careful how you word things, in other words.
Also be aware that I already have a long list of syndication requests. It may be some time before I get around to yours, and if I reject your request, you simply won't hear from me.