The Summer Storm of Aught Nine

lightningOnce again this week, just as it has multiple times every year since the Internets began, Romancelandia has erupted into flames.

Out of the smoke and fire has emerged more than once from various quarters an old saw I truly hoped had been retired forever:  If you don’t have anything nice to say about romance, don’t say anything at all.

Do we really need to have this discussion again?

At AAR, we write reviews for readers.  We don’t write critiques to help authors, something that completely and totally falls under the category of Not Our Job.

As we’ve said over and over (and over and over) again, we’re here to help readers make the best choices with their increasingly hard-earned dollars.

We try not to write personally insulting reviews – though we are not perfect and a line has probably been crossed a few times.  But, for the most part, it’s all about the book.

Which authors are asking readers to buy. With their money.

Do we support the romance genre?  You bet we do.  We help get readers excited about books and new authors and we do what we can to get the word out about books we love. We’re also out to entertain our readers and make AAR lively, fun, and a great place for discussion.

But we are not cheerleaders.  When we see something we don’t like, we call it.  Usually loudly and clearly.  Because the way we see it, pointing out what doesn’t work does just as much to support the genre as celebrating the good.

Because we love it romance.  We truly do.  Each and every one of us.

But there’s another side to the “nice’ argument:  Authors criticizing other authors online.  Obviously, it’s a personal choice.  But if authors choose to do so it is nothing short of  delusional to believe that what you post online won’t eventually come back to bite you in the ass. Some readers will like you. Some readers will not.  And, all the high falutin’ writerly stuff aside, authors – published or not – are selling a product and people don’t buy products from people – or  companies – they don’t like.

Simple as that.

When Trent Lott went down in flames, I’ve always believed that he said what he did because he was too comfortable in the room.  Hey, he was with his peeps so surely it was all right to reminisce about the good old days of segregation.  As experienced a politico as he was, he forgot for a fatal moment that cameras were rolling and, no matter how hard he tried to spin it in the days following, all you had to do to understand exactly what he meant was to watch that tape.  Which CNN was happy to show you over and over again.

My advice to authors is not to get too comfortable in the room.  Because you never know who the hell is watching.

-Sandy AAR

39 Responses to “The Summer Storm of Aught Nine”

  1. xina says:

    Good advice Sandy! How many of us have made a mental list of..who-not-to-read/who-not-to-buy just by watching bad behavior online or the company that author keeps online. I would think an author would know to keep themselves out of the fray, but obviously the draw to participate is too tempting.

  2. I hate being out of the loop! Who said what about whom? Enquiring minds want to know!

  3. Margaret says:

    xina wrote………How many of us have made a mental list of..who-not-to-read/who-not-to-buy just by watching bad behavior online or the company that author keeps online……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    I’ve struggled with this…one of my favourite authors is boderline and it’s killing me, but it’s becoming harder and harder to forget the on-line company she keeps. Promotion is one thing–shmoozing is another.

  4. Anon author says:

    Yes, I’m also dying to know what the heck is going on that I’m missing! I’m so out of the loop any more (even as an author) that when spats occur I’m blindsided. :)

    Being on the other side of the debate, however, is a terrifying thing. I’ve been picked on more than once for something I’ve been accused of saying/doing that wasn’t so. Now I stay in total anonymity and just write my books. I used to think interacting with readers was a good idea. I’ve learned my lesson and won’t ever do it again. It’s just better to accept that some people will love my books, some people will think they’re okay, some people will despise them. So what. I don’t need to discuss them with anyone. It’s a hard lesson to learn, though.

  5. xina says:

    Well, it’s interesting to me, because I’ve had the thought that a published author would hope to make writing their profession, their livelihood, but perhaps I am wrong. Some writers write only as a hobby and to heck with what impression they are giving the very people who support them by taking out their wallets and plunking down some cash for a book. I say be careful where the Ring Leader leads you. This situation reminds me a bit of being with my sweet 94 yr. old mother. While eating in a restaurant she made a comment, rather loudly about a woman’s orange haircolor. I smiled at her and in a low voice I said…”shhh, she can hear you!” Same advice for authors out there acting like sillly school girls circling the enemy. We can hear you,and we are taking note.

  6. Lee says:

    Sandy, could you give those of us out of the loop what you’re talking about? Was something said on these boards or out there in cyberspace? Cuz I know personally I was bemoaning a few months ago the dearth of anything rated above a C on AAR, not because they weren’t deserved, but because they were. And I’m still basically re-re-reading cuz I can’t find anything worth my while. . .

  7. misty says:

    Lee, read mrs. giggles Aug 22nd blog. It gives a good summary of what went down.

  8. Katie Mack says:

    I wholeheartedly agree, Sandy. Just because the Internet allows one the freedom to participate, it doesn’t necessarily make that participation a smart career move. To think otherwise is beyond naive. Especially when said participation can be watched and replayed at whim by anyone with an Internet connection.

    Bottom line: Authors are trying to sell a product, and consumers (not to mention publishers) most often vote with their wallets. So authors should think carefully before they post online, and be prepared for the consequences.

  9. Janet W says:

    Or is Sandy referring to this — are discussions about books impacted negatively by author involvement … here’s an interesting blog on the topic:

    http://karenknowsbest.com/2009/08/12/book-review-vs-book-discussion/

    Thanks for the link to Mrs. Giggles: discussions without a context that everyone understands can be a bit frustrating. For twitter’ers, the link is (and I’m a total novice here), is #romfail.

    Fascinating stuff!

  10. xina says:

    You can google it too (#romfail) and see the comments. Thing is, this genre is packed with tons of talented authors who behave with class…some are on this board and you don’t see them poking fun of their fellow authors. I see no reason to waste time and money on those who act so ignorantly, but that is just my opinion.*sigh*

  11. Janet W says:

    Can I jump in here please? I’m getting the AAR magazine and one of my best friends is a thirty-something. So slightly different generations. We had this discussion — and she pointed out that younger authors are totally a part of and immersed in all the technologies mentioned and probably some we haven’t thought of! That their careers, some of them, are web-based and that their posse/friendship circle of readers/friends/web-based friends is both their job and their recreation — why should they have to recuse themselves from the internet?

    It’s another perspective and when she put it that way, I could really see her point: I feel like I’m amputated when I’m offline (I know, I know, I need a wired-in free vacay) and I bet some authors do too — feel 24/7 plugged into the net. And they enjoy being a part of the fun AND the fray?

    What about their feelings? Who’s to say it doesn’t help their sales if their readers feel like they’re getting to know the “real” McCoy behind the words?

  12. Katie Mack says:

    Janet W – I personally love that so many authors are online and communicating via blogs/Twitter/Facebook/etc. I love the opportunity to get to know my favorite authors a bit better. That said, I do think authors need to think very carefully about their participation in events like the Friday night #romfail.

    Since I’m an AAR staffer, clearly I’m not an adherent to the “only saying something nice” philosophy. But whether it’s fair or not, the reality is that authors have more to lose than readers when posting on the Internet. When readers participate in an event that’s designed to publicly mock specific books bit by bit, few people will bat an eyelash at that. Because the participants are readers. But when an author participates in the mockery of her fellow authors’ work, it’s incredibly naive for her to think there won’t be negative consequences. It’s not about fairness or freedom; it’s about reality.

  13. Anon author says:

    While it’s true that authors are trying to sell a product, what’s sometimes forgotten by some readers is that an author never tries or even wants to write a bad book. It’s often said that we authors LOVE our books when they’re completed. That’s true. Most of us experienced authors, whether bestsellers or not, have learned to stay away from places like Dear Author, Smart Bitches, the AAR message boards, and this #romfail (which, coincidentally, I learned about earlier this week from our own publisher email loop when this situation was initially brought up) — not because our egos are so fragile and we can’t be Big Girls about negative comments, but because one negative comment can so swiftly turn from a comment on a book to a flame on the author if the author — who is only there to chat — even so much as tries to say, “I’m sorry you didn’t like the sex-in-the-bathroom-scene…” I know this because it’s happened to me and a few of my closest friends who now avoid such places like the plague.

    Professional negative reviews are one thing, but I guess I’m grown up and/or old enough to find it particularly UNfunny to take a book apart and make fun of it; I think it’s appalling that an author would take part in that kind of #romfail discussion about another author. This isn’t about professional reviews anymore, it’s really about being mean and enjoying it, which is what I believe has exploded with the introduction of blogs in recent years. It seems like Mean Girls are everywhere on the Internet these days, leaving their opinions about books and authors because it’s just so funny to dig up the shitty garbage and stink up the air; it brings more wild dogs to the fight. Blog sites like these can say anything they want about a book, or even an author, and if the author can’t take it, too bad. Go back into your hole, write your crappy books, and stay off the blog. They have first amendment rights to say what they want on their blogs, right? Just like a crazy loon can take a loaded gun to a presidential town hall because the citizen has second amendment rights, right? And yet… sometimes carrying a loaded gun to a presidential town hall is stupid because… well common sense should tell you why. Sometimes being mean for a few laughs is wrong because, well, your grandmother should have told you why. As my grandmother used to say, What goes around comes around… And I’m old enough to have seen this actually work.

    Just my opinion from the author’s side of the lawn…

  14. Anon author says:

    And… I should point out that I didn’t mean this blog at AAR. It’s relatively new, yet, but I’ve never seen anything I’d consider “mean” posted here, and certainly not about an author. I was referring primarily to SBTB and DA. Sorry that wasn’t clear.

  15. MaryK says:

    Places like Dear Author, Smart Bitches, the AAR message boards, and #romfail are for readers. They’re where readers gather to say what they think about romance novels. If authors want to know the completely honest, off-the-cuff opinions of readers, they’re welcome to join in. But readers don’t pretty up their opinions – they talk about their visceral reactions to books. An author wouldn’t want to witness a reader’s encounter with a wallbanger.

    Why get involved in reader discussions if you don’t want to hear what readers really think? It’s not a good idea. And to then complain that readers shouldn’t say such things because authors have feelings too? Please. If you don’t want to know, don’t listen.

  16. xina says:

    Well, google #romfail and take a look at authors tearing apart the book of the week. Heh…I’d like to see their book on the chopping block. Wonder if they’d be yucking it up then. Doubt it.

  17. Janet W says:

    Agree with Mary K about the gathering of READERS who comment on books they like/lurv/don’t like etc. … can’t comment on anything but the online communities you’ve mentioned since I’m not too brill in the world of social media. I do wonder if an author entering into a discussion of her book is such a brilliant idea — better maybe to just preserve your cool and participate in being a guest blogger, doing a blog tour but good grief, some of this has to be up to the individual, right? My 22 year-old son and 79 year-old mum both watch Jon Stewart — I guess I’m trying to say that satire and having fun is often in the eye of the beholder and (sorry, trite but true), if you don’t like it, don’t read it and don’t join in.

  18. AAR Sandy says:

    I just wanted to be clear here that I’m not talking about feelings. I’m talking about really bad business decisions.

  19. xina says:

    I

    Janet W: Agree with Mary K about the gathering of READERS who comment on books they like/lurv/don’t like etc. … can’t comment on anything but the online communities you’ve mentioned since I’m not too brill in the world of social media. I do wonder if an author entering into a discussion of her book is such a brilliant idea — better maybe to just preserve your cool and participate in being a guest blogger, doing a blog tour but good grief, some of this has to be up to the individual, right? My 22 year-old son and 79 year-old mum both watch Jon Stewart — I guess I’m trying to say that satire and having fun is often in the eye of the beholder and (sorry, trite but true), if you don’t like it, don’t read it and don’t join in.

    I love Jon Stewart, Conan and David Letterman to name just a few. I wouldn’t compare this on any level to real comedy.

  20. MaryK says:

    AAR Sandy: I just wanted to be clear here that I’m not talking about feelings.I’m talking about really bad business decisions.

    Authors get in trouble just writing reviews so definitely authors trashing others’ books is an issue. But this latest storm hasn’t been limited to that issue. I’ve seen some pretty virulent comments aimed at readers and the DA bloggers.

  21. Janet W says:

    Pretty virulent indeed! The humour in reviews — here, DA, SB, all over the web — is wonderful! Anyhoo, I can’t imagine anyone not getting a kick outta a spoof of Sarah’s Child by Linda Howard — tonight on #romfail. It got a D on AAR … with a 2nd grade of B- from LLB who called it a book that (paraphrasing) strong emotions.

    Not to beat a dead horse but a lot of comedy is ridicule and much of it is affectionate … I just saw Julie and Julia and my guess is that Julia Child adored Dan Ackroyd’s spoof of her PBS show.

    I’ve reached, for me, that “we’ll have to agree to disagree” point. Yes, maybe to be on the safe sade authors should not participate but from the names I’ve read, it hasn’t been career ending for anyone. Book buying is at its essence an intensely personal decision: who knows what goes into the decision?

  22. Margaret says:

    Janet W wrote…And they enjoy being a part of the fun AND the fray?

    What about their feelings? Who’s to say it doesn’t help their sales if their readers feel like they’re getting to know the “real” McCoy behind the words?………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    As they say there’s no such thing as bad publicity. I guess if an author wants to be in on the fun and fray that’s their choice. I’m just wondering about professional courtesy. There are many authors at AAR that add to the conversation in an appropriate way.

  23. Janet W says:

    Something we can all agree on … an edit button for comments? LOL … I meant to say side, not sade and engendered strong …

  24. Diana says:

    It’s a choice we all make when we go online. If you choose to show your butt, some people might think you’re a butthead.

    To compare the brilliant scripted writing of MST3K (which romfailers have done with a straight face) or the old days of SNL to romfail is a leap I can’t make. It’s not even close to decent satire.

  25. xina says:

    Janet W: Pretty virulent indeed! The humour in reviews — here, DA, SB, all over the web — is wonderful! Anyhoo, I can’t imagine anyone not getting a kick outta a spoof of Sarah’s Child by Linda Howard — tonight on #romfail. It got a D on AAR … with a 2nd grade of B- from LLB who called it a book that (paraphrasing) strong emotions.Not to beat a dead horse but a lot of comedy is ridicule and much of it is affectionate … I just saw Julie and Julia and my guess is that Julia Child adored Dan Ackroyd’s spoof of her PBS show.I’ve reached, for me, that “we’ll have to agree to disagree” point. Yes, maybe to be on the safe sade authors should not participate but from the names I’ve read, it hasn’t been career ending for anyone. Book buying is at its essence an intensely personal decision: who knows what goes into the decision?

    Hmmm…just got home, and looked at the so-funny-spoof on Sarah’s Child. Very PG, if I must say. But really….can’t you see the difference between this and the “usual” poking fun? I won’t put the words on AAR’s blog, but…please, there is a HUGE difference from the usual remarks. The ones that run the show at “romfail” have cleaned up their language BIG TIME. They were attacked on all sides, so they went with a PG Disney version. just sayin’… “They” know which side their bread is buttered on.

  26. Janet W says:

    Hate to post because I look so stupid but here goes:

    1. Don’t know what MST3K means — sorry. As for SNL, my generation, my analogy. Guess not everyone is going to agree and that’s OK.

    2. Xina, sorry, I’ve never participated in #romfail before but tonight I did (wanting to comment on something I understood) and I’ve read Sarah’s Child, Sarah’s Child is a friend of mine (sorry, slipped in a little silly there) so I don’t know if it’s a different approach or not. I do know I thought it was hysterical, mostly because I have ALL those LH heroes on my keeper shelf even though they are truly … well, truly something else!

    So I can’t see the difference. Without introducing NC17 topics, certainly some of the tweets were pretty hot so I guess I should just say I went, I liked, it seemed like a fun “inside the romanlandia family” type of roast. What do my kids say, “no worries”.

  27. Diana says:

    The authors who took part in shredding Lisa Valdez’s Passion were considerably less cautious and that went on for 2 or 3 weeks. Mocking, snorting, and congratulating each other on their wit and superior writing skills. Those authors were all conspicuously absent tonight. This was the chickenshit version. Valdez an easier and more defenseless victim than Howard, who is, after all Linda Howard.

  28. SonomaLass says:

    As a regular #romfail participant, I have to say that the level of snark (or “mocking, snorting” if you prefer) depends on the book, not any outside warnings or perceptions of defensibility. Linda Howard’s book got snarked for the doormat/asshat quality — but we’re not going to make fun of her for creative anatomy (Passion) or piss-poor proofreading (some previous Fridays), because those aren’t there. Most of us who gather on Fridays are voracious readers of romance — yes, consumers, whose dollars keep authors in business. And we exercise our first amendment rights to express our thoughts, even in ways that are *gasp* “not nice” or even MEAN. We mock what’s there, and that’s very different from book to book.

    I’m not an author, nor is my professional identity in any way connected to my online identity. Authors need to decide for themselves on issues related to on-line presence — expressing a personal opinion about another author’s work, like expressing a political opinion, could cut either way. I will say that I have gone out of my way to purchase books by authors whose sense of humor, and sense of what works in romance, first came to my attention via their participation in #romfail. So far, I have not been disappointed.

  29. AAR Sandy says:

    Janet W: Hate to post because I look so stupid but here goes:1. Don’t know what MST3K means — sorry. As for SNL, my generation, my analogy. Guess not everyone is going to agree and that’s OK.2. Xina, sorry, I’ve never participated in #romfail before but tonight I did (wanting to comment on something I understood) and I’ve read Sarah’s Child, Sarah’s Child is a friend of mine (sorry, slipped in a little silly there) so I don’t know if it’s a different approach or not. I do know I thought it was hysterical, mostly because I have ALL those LH heroes on my keeper shelf even though they are truly … well, truly something else!So I can’t see the difference. Without introducing NC17 topics, certainly some of the tweets were pretty hot so I guess I should just say I went, I liked, it seemed like a fun “inside the romanlandia family” type of roast. What do my kids say, “no worries”.

    Janet W, knowing what I know, I don’t see it that way at all.

  30. misty says:

    I looked to see if this had made it to fandom_wank yet, which is pretty much the fandom equivalent of romfail, so I’m not passing judgment on the romfailers. A few things though….

    First, you can’t be both a mean girl and a crybaby, or like Diana said, you can’t show your butt, and then cry when people call you a butthead. Romfail was created to mock books. There was no higher goal, and to try to rationalize it that way is silly. Just own it. If the romfailers had just brushed off Mr. Garton’s tweets, or blocked him, no one would even know about this. By being so defensive some have proven that they can dish it out, but they can’t take it.

    Second, any author participating should be very careful. The potential for schadenfreude is high. I know nothing of how an author or publisher would feel about this, so I’ll leave that view point to others. As a reader, I’m likely to be more critical of your book after seeing you comment on another author’s work. Since you went there first, most readers will feel free to tear your books apart.

    Third, and final point, I feel a little conflicted on Jane romfailing a book sent to her for review. That just doesn’t seem right to me, and I wish that she would rethink that. I like Dear Author, and I don’t think that the authors are the only people with something to lose. A guide was recently posted on DA about being professional and polite to people who provide ARCs, and I think using those books for romfail is rather disrespectful and something that DA should be careful of.

  31. JulieLeto says:

    I had no idea what you guys were talking about, but I want to say this one thing:

    I’ve YET to see an author who has behaved badly see a drop in her book sales.

    Plagiarists are still on the bookshelves at my grocery store. One well-publicized loony who threatened readers online has a new book out in stores. Everyone screams, “That’s going to kill her career,” and yet, it never does. Should it? I don’t know…and it doesn’t matter. Fact is, it doesn’t.

    Would I participate? Nope. Because I’m nice? No one’s accused me of that before. But as an author, I’d rather spend my time improving my own craft than tearing someone else apart for theirs. It’s the height of arrogance, IMO. But whatever. I certainly don’t think it’s going to hurt anyone’s career if they act like mean girls online. Not until I see it actually happen.

  32. xina says:

    I will say that I have gone out of my way to purchase books by authors whose sense of humor, and sense of what works in romance, first came to my attention via their participation in #romfail. So far, I have not been disappointed.

    Really? Well, I go out of my way to not buy the authors who participate in tearing apart other authors on romfail and on Dear Author. Let me say, that I buy…yes spend cash, on romance novels at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Target and various other small bookstores. I see the names of the authors I recognize from these venues and I don’t consider for one moment, to read their book. You know, there is something to be said for behaving with intergrity and a bit of class online. The internet covers a large territory and if I feel this way, I have to think that there are others “out there” that feel the same. Can you imagine authors like Lisa Kleypas, Karen Templeton, Diana Gablaldon, Carla Kelly…to name just a few, making fun of a fellow author’s work? Class and integrity…yeah, an old-fashioned idea, but those qualities still stand pretty strong in judging a person. As for me…I post on message boards when I love an author and the book, and encourage other readers to try the book. Small potatoes, maybe, but hopefully these blogs can sell these authors books as well. Good luck with that. As for being Mean Girls…well, I’m pretty sure these are grown women, and unless you are under 15, this behavior is malicious and actually, very odd and strange and most importantly, not funny in the big picture.

  33. AAR Sandy says:

    Julie, good point re sales. I’d bet the effect is more indirect. Our little romance world is small and does include editors and agents. On the unpubed front, if an editor is faced with two manuscripts of equal quality from two writers, one of whom has kept a low profile on the Internet and another with a brash love-her-or-hate-her online personality, I’d bet that more often than not the editor is going to go with the safe choice. If I were an unpubed trying to sell myself, I think it’s pretty close to career suicide to poop on the Internet. Do it on a regular basis and you’re dead. Publishers don’t want PR problems. And that makes total sense to me.

    And for those screaming about Internet freedom, I’d ask them this: WHO gets to go into her workplace or the place she wants to work and wank off about people who work there? Or customers? Or uses curse words when she doesn’t know what the culture or the environment is? In our world — in our CIVILIZED world — you have to control your behavior. Nobody has the right to act like you’re 12 your entire life, thank god.

    And, okay, so I’m one of those clued-in online people, but you bet I’ve got a mental list of writers I won’t read or ever read ever again. And some of them are unpubed.

  34. Diana says:

    Julie, how could you quantify lost book sales? Especially for new or unpubbed authors. The author I think you’re referring to was a bestseller before she went nuclear on the inernet. She was dealing from a position of strength which you certainly can’t say about new/unpubbed authors.

    As for me, one single consumer who posts on message boards, I recognized some of the authors who were all over Lisa Valdez and Sarah McCarty, but who didn’t have what it takes to join in hilarious mockery of a 1985 Linda Howard book. Why did they drop out? I had intended to purchase one author’s second book but now I won’t because the first one was really just okay and her romail comments sealed the deal.

    Good point, xina, grown women who say they have professional careers proudly calling themselves mean “girls” is bizarre. I doubt they’d tolerate being called a “girl” in their workplace.

  35. JulieLeto says:

    In the case of the plagiarist, her books are still being bought and making bestseller lists. In fact, that’s the case with TWO plagiarists. This is news that didn’t just hit our little corner of the world in Romancelandia, but the national news. And they still sell and sell well. So how can I possibly believe that some authors (and I don’t know who specifically here because I am NOT following this romfail thingy) are going to be hurt in any way, shape or form by trashing an author on Twitter.

    I’m not saying what they are doing is right. To be honest, I think it’s stupid. (My opinion…I also think Sasha Baron Cohen is stupid in any role other than King Julian from Madagascar, so take it with a grain of salt.) But I don’t think it’s going to hurt anyone, not the least of which, the author they are making fun of. And no, this isn’t an invitation to make my book their next target! However, if they do, I certainly hope no one tells me about it.

    I’m really perplexed about the mockery of Sarah’s Child. I read it…years and years ago…when it was reprinted the first time. I don’t really remember it very well. But I do remember fans swooning over this book and it still shows up on favorite lists. It’s a 30+ year old book…of course it’s not going to stand up to romance today. But whatever. I’m sure Linda Howard could care less.

  36. xina says:

    JulieLeto: In the case of the plagiarist, her books are still being bought and making bestseller lists. In fact, that’s the case with TWO plagiarists. This is news that didn’t just hit our little corner of the world in Romancelandia, but the national news. And they still sell and sell well. . >

    Well, my theory is that the “plagiarist” already had a huge following, has been writing for years and has an impressive backlist. Like her work or not, somebody does out there. A lot of somebodies, I suspect. As well as I can tell, the authors of romfail aren’t as popular or successful. Cutting their nose to spite their face and ending up looking ridiculous doesn’t seem worth it to me when you need all the readers you can get, especially when people are cutting back on their book buying lately. Seems an odd way to further a career. **shrug**

  37. Diana says:

    xina:
    well as I can tell, the authors of romfail aren’t as popular or successful. Cutting their nose to spite their face and ending up looking ridiculous doesn’t seem worth it to me when you need all the readers you can get, especially when people are cutting back on their book buying lately. Seems an odd way to further a career. **shrug**

    I googled one of the “authors” who was most truculent in trashing Sarah’s Child. Dead horse, I know, but this “author” was still tweeting days later that it was so bad it made her “brain explode.” What came up on google was her social media pages and a link to her website. Website is under construction and there are no excerpts on her “bookshelf.” Good thing I guess because I’d hate for my brain to explode.

    The point is that it’s the “authors” who are doing the mocking who look ugly and arrogant and desperate for attention. Whose critiques (what with the exploded brain and everything) are less than worthless. I agree it’s likely that Linda Howard couldn’t care less.

    Yeah, dead horse. But this “author” will probably be back at it again next week.

  38. xina says:

    Diana: . But this “author” will probably be back at it again next week.

    Yes, probably…but sadly, without a brain, because it will have exploded. :) but, who needs a brain anyway?

  39. xina says:

    Margaret: xina wrote………How many of us have made a mental list of..who-not-to-read/who-not-to-buy just by watching bad behavior online or the company that author keeps online……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………I’ve struggled with this…one of my favourite authors is boderline and it’s killing me, but it’s becoming harder and harder to forget the on-line company she keeps. Promotion is one thing–shmoozing is another.

    Margaret, I know this is late, and I don’t know if you will see it, but I think I figured out which author you are talking about…which is a shame, if I am correct. I know you have been a fan for many years. I gave up on her after her last book. I really liked it, but I hate who she hangs out with online and the lengths she goes to…to sell, and smooze. Love her writing, but hey…there are a lot of writers out there who don’t do this. I have to go with them. Maybe she will come to her senses one day.