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Monday, 30 January 2023

ME on MONDAY - today: A Facebook Frazzle

making a few musings...

Might I suggest? 
Admins of Facebook (and similar Social media) take note?

I had an unfortunate, upsetting and frustrating experience the other week regarding a Facebook group to which I had joined. I won't name it, those who know me will know what group it was - nothing to do with books or writing, though.

First of all the fault WAS mine, I made the error. A stupid one, BUT it was wholly unintentional and a misunderstanding on my part.

Two factors caused the problem:
1) I had made an (obviously erroneous) assumption 
2) my visual impairment. 

The group was connected to my past and when I started writing my Jan Christopher Murder Mysteries I thought others in this group would be interested in the subject and location because the books are set in the 1970s, and some scenes etc are relevant to the group. I also thought I would be able to ask for help if I needed any 'historical' research.

So, I posted about the first book (A Mirror Murder) and had some lovely, supportive responses - and as a bonus met up (online) with some 'old' friends. (I can use the term 'old' without treading on toes as many of us are the same age!)

Naturally, because of these positive responses - including a couple from the site administrator/s - I assumed I was OK to mention the books and add buying links etc..

Apparently not.

For Episode#3 (A Mistake of Murder) I needed some detailed information whilst writing it, so again posted - and again received some wonderful, extremely helpful comments. When publication day was approaching I posted the pre-order link and thanked the people who had helped me. Again an enthusiastic response.

Naturally, because previous posts had ben OK, I assumed it would be acceptable to share with the group that the book was finally published... the intention being to share and celebrate with friends who were interested. I was then a bit puzzled when the post disappeared. I automatically assumed this was because Facebook was messing about, (as it often does) so tried again - same result.

Yes, I should have stopped and thought about this ... but I didn't. I guess we're all far too used to the weird quirks of Facebook to question things that happen?

Instead, I altered the previous post - that was still there - from ' available soon' to 'now available'. That post also disappeared. Now I was concerned. What's going on?

THEN I noticed the flagged warning message on the group sidebar.
Somewhat curt, 'you've been warned' etc. I was horrified! Oh crikey I've stepped right into an embarrassing blooper!

Let me state here: I am visually impaired. Stuff on sidebars, especially in a small, light blue or red font are virtually invisible to me. 

First thought: contact admin, apologise and explain. 
It was fairly late in the evening. I know from past experience that not all admins (for various reasons) pick up messages, so I sent the same message to all three of the ones named at the top of the admin list.

I apologised. I explained that as other posts had been acceptable I assumed these latest ones would be as well. I also explained that I hadn't seen the flagged warnings .. literally hadn't seen them.

And was baffled, frustrated (and yes, annoyed!) to receive back a curt, hostile reply in which my explanation and mention of visual impairment was completely ignored.

I tried again to explain. (Do admins really HAVE to be so belligerently myopic to a genuine mistake?)

Yes I was wrong. I wouldn't make such a blunder again - more apologies. All fell on deaf ears.  

I politely asked 'if I was to open my own small group page, would I be permitted to run it past an admin first, then post the new link on the group page?'

Answer: "No."

I informed that I would be leaving the group after I'd 'friended' any contacts I wanted to stay in touch with - and informing my closer friends of what had happened.

A comment was made in public asking why I had been banned. The Admins responded that I hadn't been banned (perfectly true, I hadn't) but also their comment had, well, let's say it contained a somewhat distorted, grumpy version of events which left out that I had apologised and the reason behind my blunder. 

I, naturally, wanted to make a 'right to reply' which went something like this:

"Assuming this doesn't get deleted... I would like to make a polite response. First - no I have not been banned. I have told the admins that I want to ensure I have 'friended' people who I've made contact with on here and will then leave the group if that is what they want me to do.  2) no I didn't read the rules but I have similar posts on here which include positive comments left by a couple of admins. So naturally, I assumed I was not offending anyone by mentioning my books. 3) To say that I ignored or wouldn't accept warnings is incorrect. I have apologised for my misunderstanding several times and pointed out that I had not SEEN any warnings because I am visually impaired - so literally didn't see them - hence I erroneously continued to post. Had I been aware of the issue I would have altered the posts towards general chat and not 'advertising'. I have tried to explain this, not to be awkward just to explain.  (I actually thought that a post being deleted was Facebook messing about again) 4) Yes I messaged several of the admins as I am well aware that many admins do not pick up messages, so  wanted to urgently contact at least someone in order to explain. 5) I have apologised several times for my error and I would far rather have sorted this out amicably. 
I am deeply upset about all this - for making an unintentional blunder on my part, but mostly because the group has been so very helpful with research/remembering the 1970s. My sole intention was to keep kind people up to date and let them know when the interaction came to fruition - sadly because I didn't realise my faux pas, things have gone horribly wrong. So again I apologise for any offence caused to anyone - but I do think there's perhaps been unfortunate misunderstandings on both sides. I will be leaving the group as I no longer feel welcome, but would very much like to remain in contact if anyone wishes to 'friend' me.'

The post was rejected. 
I copied it to an admin. No reply. 

SO, anyone in an admin role, please take note:

  • Yes, there are people out there who blatantly and intentionally break group rules.
  • Yes, there are annoying, persistent Trolls out there as well.
  • Some of us, however, simply make unintentional mistakes.
  • There is no need to be rude or hostile when someone genuinely tries to explain.
  • NOT ONCE did the admins acknowledge my explanation of why I didn't see their messages. Why was this? Do they think I'm fibbing about my sight perhaps? I genuinely wanted to apologise and set things right. I met with uncomfortable 'job's-worth' type hostility. 
  • My thanks to those in the group who have kindly supported me though. I appreciate your friendship very much,

just for the record;
my official registration card

This comment left on my Facebook post nicely sums up how I feel:

'...and then the person politely trying to explain is often either treated like a trouble maker or actually told to "stop causing trouble and just let it be" or something along those lines.'

My Reply
I think the point above has squarely hit the nail on the head - because I tried to explain that I'd misunderstood and had made a genuine mistake I was immediately regarded as a troublemaker - and yes, basically told to 'stop causing trouble and go away' rather than a polite response and some sort of courteous effort to mutually sort the matter out.

To sum up. 

Rules are rules. Spam/advertising IS a huge nuisance and too many take liberties BUT Admins, please take note - misunderstandings and mistakes also happen. Don't automatically assume that the person messaging you is an outright trouble-maker who won't take no for an answer. 

Some of us really are horrified that we've blundered and genuinely want to put things right.

As an Admin you really do not need to be rude, officious and strut around Social Media as if you've every right to be an officious twat. 

At the moment I'm not particularly impressed by certain admins on Facebook... 

By the way ... I've left the group.

<Previous Me on Monday (the first one)

Cheers until next week.

Sunday, 29 January 2023

Book Spotlight: JUDITH ARNOPP


The Winchester Goose
by Judith Arnopp

Shining a Spotlight on Good Books & Good Authors
for you to read & enjoy

Welcome to my Blog!
Wander through wonderful worlds real and fictional,
meet interesting people, visit exciting places
and find a few good books to enjoy along the way!

Shining a Spotlight on Good Books & Good Authors
for you to read & enjoy

About the Books

Tudor London: 1540

Each night, after dark, men flock to Bankside seeking girls of easy virtue; prostitutes known as The Winchester Geese.

Joanie Toogood has worked the streets of Southwark since childhood but her path is changed forever by an encounter with Francis Wareham, a spy for the King’s secretary, Thomas Cromwell. 

Meanwhile, across the River, at the glittering court of Henry VIII, Wareham also sets his cap at Evelyn and Isabella Bourne, members of the Queen’s household and the girls, along with Joanie, are drawn into intrigue and the shadow of the executioner’s blade.

Set against the turmoil of Henry VIII’s middle years, The Winchester Goose provides a brand new perspective of the happenings at the royal court, offering a frank and often uncomfortable observation of life at both ends of the social spectrum.

The Winchester Goose is available on Kindle, Paperback and Audible.

The Beaufort Chronicle (Books 1-3)
Judith Arnopp

The Beaufort Bride
As King Henry VI slips into insanity and the realm of England teeters on the brink of civil war, a child is married to the mad king’s brother. 

Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond, takes his child bride into Wales where Margaret must put aside childhood, acquire the dignity of a Countess and, despite her tender years, produce Richmond with a son and heir.

As the friction between York and Lancaster intensifies 14-year-old Margaret is widowed and turns for protection to her brother-in-law, Jasper Tudor. 

At his stronghold in Pembroke, two months after her husband’s death, Margaret gives birth to a son whom she names Henry, after her cousin the king. 

Margaret is small of stature but her tiny frame conceals a fierce and loyal heart and a determination that will not falter until her son’s destiny as the king of England is secured.

The Beaufort Bride traces Margaret’s early years from her nursery days at Bletsoe Castle to the birth of her only son in 1457 at Pembroke Castle. Her story continues 

Book Two: 
The Beaufort Woman.
As the struggle between York and Lancaster continues, Margaret Beaufort fights for admittance to the court of the victorious Edward IV of York and his unpopular queen, Elizabeth Woodville.

The old king and his heir are dead, York now rules over England and the royal nursery is full. 

But Edward and Elizabeth’s magnificent court hides a dark secret, a deception that threatens the security of the English throne … and all who lust after it.

In 1483, with the untimely death of the King, Margaret finds herself at the heart of chain of events that threaten the supremacy of York and will change England forever.

The King’s Mother
October 1485

Richard III is dead. With the English crown finally in his possession, Henry Tudor’s reign is hindered by continuing unrest. 

While the king is plagued with uprisings and pretenders to his throne, Margaret in her capacity as The King’s Mother oversees the running of his court. 

The warring houses of York and Lancaster are united but as the royal nursery fills with children Margaret’s expectation of perfect harmony begins to disintegrate.

As quickly as Henry dispatches those whose move against him, new conflicts arise and, dogged by deceit and the harrowing shadow of death, Margaret realises that her time for peace has not yet come.

Intrigue, treason and distrust blights the new Tudor dynasty, challenging Margaret’s strength of character and her steadfast faith in God.

available on Kindle, Paperback and Audible.

Author Biography
A lifelong history enthusiast and avid reader, Judith holds a BA in English/Creative writing and an MA in Medieval Studies. She lives on the coast of West Wales where she writes both fiction and non-fiction. She is best known for her novels set in the Medieval and Tudor period, focussing on the perspective of historical women but recently she has been writing from the perspective of Henry VIII himself.

Judith is also a founder member of a re-enactment group called The Fyne Companye of Cambria which is when she began to experiment with sewing historical garments. She now makes clothes and accessories both for the group and others. She is not a professionally trained sewer but through trial, error and determination has learned how to make authentic looking, if not strictly historically accurate clothing. She is currently working on a non-fiction book about Tudor clothing which will be published by Pen and Sword.

Her novels include:
A Song of Sixpence: the story of Elizabeth of York
The Beaufort Chronicle: the life of Lady Margaret Beaufort (three book series)
A Matter of Conscience: the Aragon Years (Book one of The Henrician Chronicle)
The Kiss of the Concubine: a story of Anne Boleyn
The Winchester Goose: at the court of Henry VIII
Intractable Heart: the story of Katheryn Parr
Sisters of Arden: on the Pilgrimage of Grace
The Heretic Wind: the life of Mary Tudor, Queen of England
The Forest Dwellers
The Song of Heledd

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You might also like ... books written by Helen Hollick 

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