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William Haskins
06-29-2009, 06:20 PM
When Writers Attack: Alice Hoffman, (obviously) displeased by a negative review of her new novel, The Story Sisters, went ballistic on Twitter (http://twitter.com/AliceHof), going so far as to publish the reviewer’s phone number. Not unexpectedly, the Internet has turned on her with a vengeance: Galleycat (http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/lit_crit/alice_hoffman_is_ready_to_rumble_120199.asp), Reluctant Habits (http://www.edrants.com/alice-hoffman-the-most-immature-writer-of-her-generation/), Gawker (http://gawker.com/5303534/alice-hoffman-trashes-literary-critic-on-twitter), Still Life with Book Maven (http://bethannethebookmaven.typepad.com/stilllifewithbookmaven/2009/06/the-runner-stumbles-how-not-to-respond-to-a-negative-review.html) and The Literary Saloon (http://www.complete-review.com/saloon/archive/200906c.htm#mv5) react.http://authorscoop.com/2009/06/29/monday-morning-litlinks-58/


http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/2009/06/custom_1246257305336__Now_any_idiot_can_be_a_cri_. .._1246257238718.jpeg



from galleycat:



In addition to playing the Famous Writer Card on Twitter, Hoffman also played, among others, the Feminist Card ("Girls are taught to be gracious and keep their mouths shut. We don't have to"), the Provincial Critic Card ("This is a town where a barking dog is the second top story on the news"), the Lousy Paper Card ("No wonder there is no book section in the Globe anymore - they don't care about their readers, why should we care about them"), and the Post Your Enemy's Email & Phone Number Online Card (encouraging fans to further validate her reaction and "tell her what u think of snarky critics").and



Oh, and to answer Hoffman's question—while you were working on your first novel, Property Of, in graduate school in the mid-1970s, Roberta Silman was publishing the short stories that came out of her graduate school work in magazines like the New Yorker and preparing them for a collection called Blood Relations, so you both published your first book-length works of "literary fiction" in 1977... except she had already published a YA novel called Somebody Else's Child the year before that. That's who Roberta Silman is.

Kathleen42
06-29-2009, 06:23 PM
Wow. Not very professional.

Calla Lily
06-29-2009, 06:29 PM
:eek:

scarletpeaches
06-29-2009, 06:35 PM
I love it when authors go batshit.

It's like Anne Rice all over again.

Gretad08
06-29-2009, 06:37 PM
Wow, remind me to never buy a book by Alice Hoffman. It doesn't interest me in the slightest to contribute to the success of a person who behaves like a child.

Kathleen42
06-29-2009, 06:38 PM
No one does it better than Anne, though.

scarletpeaches
06-29-2009, 06:39 PM
D'y'know, this is the first non-vampire-writer hissy fit I've witnessed.

Anne Rice, smeyer, LKH...it's good to see someone from another genre spit the dummy occasionally.

sunna
06-29-2009, 06:40 PM
Gosh, it's nice to see writers react to criticism with dignity and professionalismbatshiat screams of outrage.

Thanks for posting all the links, William.

jst5150
06-29-2009, 06:41 PM
So not everyone is adapting to the social media sea change as well as he or she would like, then.

This is what social media does. Ten years ago, perhaps sooner, big media was a clositered hub of insiders and paid fat cats. The marketing and distribution chains were tightly controlled. The critics that mattered reached millions, not hundreds or thousands.

Twitter instantly reaches millions. Twitter spreads like a virus (if the thing is interesting enough). There is no framework in place to repel bad Twitter (or, for that matter, capitalize on good Twitter). There are still critics that matter, whose reached is prided by publishing houses. But there control of NY Best Seller or bargain basement isn't what it used to be.

Twitter will die or come under some auspices of control soon. And that doesn't mean some have some control of the medium (Star Trek movie used it well), but until then, reactions like these are akin to the Tiger biting Roy. It was a Tiger and it was bound to happen sooner or later.

William Haskins
06-29-2009, 06:45 PM
complaints about criticism and literary feuds are nothing new. you're right, it's the technology that's new. once relegated to cocktail parties and correspondence, bitching about reviews, rejections, etc is now capable of global broadcast.

jennontheisland
06-29-2009, 06:47 PM
Capable of global broadcast and entertaining as all hell.

Damn, I love a good trainwreck.

KTC
06-29-2009, 06:48 PM
I find it highly embarrassing.

William Haskins
06-29-2009, 06:50 PM
i would imagine she's regretting it.

the "send" or "enter" button doesn't afford the same level of reflection as stamping a letter and dropping it in the box.

Gretad08
06-29-2009, 06:51 PM
Anybody wanna summarize the Anne Rice or SMeyer temper tantrums for me? I must have been living under a rock.

jst5150
06-29-2009, 06:51 PM
On the other hand, its bringing her book publicity. The James Frey effect.

Twizzle
06-29-2009, 06:53 PM
I love it when authors go batshit.

It's like Anne Rice all over again.

QFT.

:popcorn:

stormie
06-29-2009, 06:54 PM
Before Alice Hoffman reacted so badly on Twitter, she should have googled Roberta Silman first. It would have taken her only a few seconds more.

ETA: what really gets me is that AH posted Roberta's phone number. Strange.

scarletpeaches
06-29-2009, 06:54 PM
Anne Rice read bad reviews of one of her vampire novels (Blackwood Farm? Not sure) on Amazon and hellaripped in to said reviewers, saying they didn't understand her, she would never allow anyone to edit her novels, etc.

Stephenie Meyer's novel Midnight Sun was leaked and she went in a huff, threatened never to write another word (like that's a bad thing) and blamed everyone but herself - because it was her who handed out advance copies of the half-written first draft.

Also LKH has banned all negative comments on her site; you're only allowed to praise her, not question her writing, or say you didn't enjoy such-and-such a book. Her novels are little more than vamp-porn now, her female MC a skank. Also she blogs about her personal life then has public shit-fits when readers speculate on same.

So yeah. Seems to be a trait running through the vampire genre.

Alpha Echo
06-29-2009, 07:03 PM
Hmmm...and all the authors that went nuts are women. Interesting.

I despise Twitter. I think it's stupid.

Then again, I don't have a Twitter account. Or Facebook. Or Myspace.

Then again, I'm not published and famous.

But still, come on! You can't possibly go into the writing business, or any other artistic, creative business, and expect everyone to love you. It isn't like many other jobs where everything is black and white. Writing is completely up for opinion. Some will love your work, some will hate your work. Deal with it. That's the way it goes. And f-in' grow up. Seriously. She goes and cries on Twitter? And then posts Roberta's #? That's just awful. I'd never even post my ex's phone number online where everyone could find it. And I can't stand him.

CaroGirl
06-29-2009, 07:07 PM
Also LKH has banned all negative comments on her site; you're only allowed to praise her, not question her writing, or say you didn't enjoy such-and-such a book. Her novels are little more than vamp-porn now, her female MC a skank. Also she blogs about her personal life then has public shit-fits when readers speculate on same.
Can I add that the LKH blog is rife with spelling and grammar errors and the MOST BORING personal information this side of staring at a wall for an hour. "Jon and me went dancing, to spite our sor anckle and nee, and then out for sushi with our freind's." It's laughably terrible.

Mr Flibble
06-29-2009, 07:10 PM
Wasn't part of it that the review gave away the plot?

I'd be pretty miffed about that, tbh. But not that stupid :D All it would take is an e-mail....

And yeah getting snotty about a review is pointless. Not everyone is going to like you. Get over it.

CaroGirl
06-29-2009, 07:11 PM
Hmmm...and all the authors that went nuts are women. Interesting.
V.S. Naipaul has done something similar, and he's a male author of literary work. Maybe someone with better Google-fu than I can find something about that controversy and post a link.

Tallent
06-29-2009, 07:12 PM
Maybe these writers should get an AW account to toughen their skin.

Kurtz
06-29-2009, 07:16 PM
Maybe these writers should get an AW account to toughen their skin.

Personally I'd subject them to 12 straight hours of /b/. That would separate out the weak and oversensitive (also, human beings)

Gretad08
06-29-2009, 07:23 PM
Anne Rice read bad reviews of one of her vampire novels (Blackwood Farm? Not sure) on Amazon and hellaripped in to said reviewers, saying they didn't understand her, she would never allow anyone to edit her novels, etc.

Stephenie Meyer's novel Midnight Sun was leaked and she went in a huff, threatened never to write another word (like that's a bad thing) and blamed everyone but herself - because it was her who handed out advance copies of the half-written first draft.

Also LKH has banned all negative comments on her site; you're only allowed to praise her, not question her writing, or say you didn't enjoy such-and-such a book. Her novels are little more than vamp-porn now, her female MC a skank. Also she blogs about her personal life then has public shit-fits when readers speculate on same.

So yeah. Seems to be a trait running through the vampire genre.

Thanks Scarlet. Always funny when people throw temper tantrums.

BenPanced
06-29-2009, 07:31 PM
Just remember the golden rule of radio: every microphone is a live microphone.

Celia Cyanide
06-29-2009, 07:38 PM
People don't really call up reviewers and tell them "what u think of snarky critics" because an author told them to on Twitter...do they?

Cyia
06-29-2009, 07:41 PM
Her Twitter account seems to be closed now. "Page not found"

scarletpeaches
06-29-2009, 07:44 PM
Ah well, I always preferred John Mayer's page anyway.

Vincent
06-29-2009, 07:47 PM
Just remember the golden rule of radio: every microphone is a live microphone.
My fellow Americans. I'm pleased to announce that I've signed legislation outlawing the Soviet Union. We begin bombing in five minutes.

BenPanced
06-29-2009, 07:53 PM
People don't really call up reviewers and tell them "what u think of snarky critics" because an author told them to on Twitter...do they?
I make myself feel better by pretending they don't.

dancingandflying
06-29-2009, 08:31 PM
This is ridiculous.

If you're mature enough to publish a book, you'd better be mature enough to handle the reviews.

d&f.

Kathleen42
06-29-2009, 08:41 PM
Anne Rice read bad reviews of one of her vampire novels (Blackwood Farm? Not sure) on Amazon and hellaripped in to said reviewers, saying they didn't understand her, she would never allow anyone to edit her novels, etc.

Stephenie Meyer's novel Midnight Sun was leaked and she went in a huff, threatened never to write another word (like that's a bad thing) and blamed everyone but herself - because it was her who handed out advance copies of the half-written first draft.

Also LKH has banned all negative comments on her site; you're only allowed to praise her, not question her writing, or say you didn't enjoy such-and-such a book. Her novels are little more than vamp-porn now, her female MC a skank. Also she blogs about her personal life then has public shit-fits when readers speculate on same.

So yeah. Seems to be a trait running through the vampire genre.

Also Anne Rice threw a major hissy fit when Tom Cruise was cast as Lestat. She did however (to her credit) take out a large advertisement apologizing to him.

Cranky
06-29-2009, 09:30 PM
More Authors Behaving Badly. It's an epidemic, and I'm embarrassed for her.

Srsly, go forth and gets you some intarwebz training! Do what everyone else does...scream at your monitor until you feel better or walk away and take a break, and then come back and see if you really feel like being an asshole in public.

And I think some people do forget that internet *is* public. These people are doing the equivalent of bitching in the town square and then pinning their "enemy's" phone number on the corkboard at the corner grocery store. Only they are reaching a hell of a lot more people, and they have no idea what kind of crap they could be unleashing on their unsuspecting targets.

Sheesh!

mscelina
06-29-2009, 09:36 PM
I have a study I throw my snits about things in. That way I don't end up making an ass of myself online.

You'd think a writer who takes advantage of instant communication would at least have had enough of her finger upon the pulse of the internet to know what a timebomb it can be. Geesch.

CACTUSWENDY
06-29-2009, 09:47 PM
Well...........well.....one day when I have hit the big time....I will, ah, make a really big fuss. (Think of the added sales.....lol) No such thing as bad publicity. (Or so I have been told.)

Little people with little minds. Such childish behavior only proves what is deep inside some folks. Treat them as such.

Alpha Echo
06-29-2009, 09:53 PM
Well...........well.....one day when I have hit the big time....I will, ah, make a really big fuss. (Think of the added sales.....lol) No such thing as bad publicity. (Or so I have been told.)



Perhaps, but I have zero interest in reading anything from her. That's just me though. I'm sure there are a lot of people who will see her online hissy fit and want to go see what all the slander against her was about and will go out and purchase the book(s?).

mscelina
06-29-2009, 09:55 PM
As far as I'm concerned, bad publicity is just that--bad publicity. Pile that on top of a bad review, and well...that's just not that good.

BenPanced
06-29-2009, 09:57 PM
I'd seen some comments on a couple of the blogs where people are now scared to review her work. Yeah, jumping on Twitter's helped her case.

mscelina
06-29-2009, 10:00 PM
*grin*

Hey Ben! Let's review it together! I have no fear of Twitter and girlfriend doesn't know MY phone number...does she know yours?

IceCreamEmpress
06-29-2009, 10:03 PM
Hmmm...and all the authors that went nuts are women. Interesting.

Plenty of male authors have had online hissy fits as well--Robert Olen Butler comes to mind, as does Christopher Hitchens. Food writer Alan Richman had a notable meltdown amid controversy over a GQ article critical of New Orleans restaurants a few years back.

Alpha Echo
06-29-2009, 10:10 PM
Plenty of male authors have had online hissy fits as well--Robert Olen Butler comes to mind, as does Christopher Hitchens. Food writer Alan Richman had a notable meltdown amid controversy over a GQ article critical of New Orleans restaurants a few years back.

I stand corrected. :flag:

Big Boomer
06-29-2009, 10:10 PM
Basically it boils down to not what you say but HOW you say it. One can be very polite and insulting without the use of a single invective! and still get the message across that 'we are not amused'.

Phaeal
06-29-2009, 10:10 PM
Whenever female writers resort to hissy fits, I enjoy singing this little tune from Phantom, slightly altered:

Prima Donna, first lady of the page,
Your devotees are on their knees to implore you.
Can you bow out when they're shouting your name?
Think of how they all adore you!

I'll have to find another one for the male crybabies. Any suggestions?

stormie
06-29-2009, 10:38 PM
When Writers Attack: Alice Hoffman, (obviously) displeased by a negative review of her new novel, The Story Sisters, went ballistic on Twitter (http://twitter.com/AliceHof), going so far as to publish the reviewer’s phone number.
Is it my Windows IE 8 or is that link down now? Seems she got Twittered off.

mscelina
06-29-2009, 10:51 PM
Whenever female writers resort to hissy fits, I enjoy singing this little tune from Phantom, slightly altered:

Prima Donna, first lady of the page,
Your devotees are on their knees to implore you.
Can you bow out when they're shouting your name?
Think of how they all adore you!



Followed quite soon by

Leading ladies are a pain...

BenPanced
06-29-2009, 10:57 PM
*grin*

Hey Ben! Let's review it together! I have no fear of Twitter and girlfriend doesn't know MY phone number...does she know yours?
We can start on Facebook and LiveJournal since I have accounts there. And I've got plenty of tape for my camcorder and iMovie '09 tewtally rawks so we can go straight to YouTube, the primo home of rantilicious rants!

stormie, I'm not getting the page, either. ToS violation, anybody?

dgrintalis
06-29-2009, 11:03 PM
It is absolutely ridiculous. Good god. Is she that full of herself to think everyone will love her book?

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

I'm sure the bad review stung, but bitch in private. Is that so hard to do?

BenPanced
06-29-2009, 11:20 PM
I can only imagine what her publisher thinks of all this...

brainstorm77
06-29-2009, 11:27 PM
I didn't think the review was that bad.

ChaosTitan
06-29-2009, 11:39 PM
Wasn't part of it that the review gave away the plot?



I'm wondering, too, if that wasn't part of it. If you read the Reader Comments at the bottom of the review, one person (rather rudely) snapped back at the reviewer, saying the review gave away a lot of the story.

Without having read the novel, I have no idea how much of the book was actually revealed. But I have to admit I'd be pissed if someone reviewed my book and, without proper spoiler warnings, gave away all of the plot twists.

Not that I'd ever shoot myself in the foot by complaining publicly. That's what friends and agents are for. ;)

jst5150
06-29-2009, 11:51 PM
Without having read the novel, I have no idea how much of the book was actually revealed. But I have to admit I'd be pissed if someone reviewed my book and, without proper spoiler warnings, gave away all of the plot twists.
Of course, on AW, in the movies area, there are hundreds of spoilers. Mac hasn't mentioned a phone call from Michael Bay. :) I don't think even if there were spoiler warnings this rant would have been avoided. Also, Wikipedia synopsizes books, too. So, if the author went bat shit because some fly-by-night reviewer gave away details, then she would have absolutely exploded knowing Wikipedia or some other site that synopsizes books was going to do it anytime.

Just a WAG, but my instincts still tell me this is a division of wants and want nots of embracing technology. Still holding tight to the old touchstones and not baptizing in the new digital river, however long it might last. That this author is DRAMATICALLY out of touch with new media and all its outreach possibilities (connecting author to fan in warmer, conversational ways). It's at least 150 million people. So, how would she prevent all those people from talking behind her back about her book, let along those that could be Googled? And that in order to hustle and make it in this and other industries you need to be, right now, in touch and using social media platforms.

The reality is right now, Social media is part of the big marketing plan. Good publicists, agents or the authors themselves will come out of the magic hidey hole that is writing and realize that images, video, audio and words are part of the social stream. How they incorporate their client or themselves into it is something that will separate them from others who cannot.

As a public relations person and someone who runs social media for our institute here, I'll say this: I think Kelly (ChaosTitan), for one, is doing a fantastic job embracing the medium. She's on multiple blogs, she's using Twitter and she's on Facebook. She's engaged and she probably knows who she should engage of value and with whom she does not need to engage with value. if you need a template of what to do before your book comes out in the digital age if you're a new author, Kelly's a good template.

That this woman chose to engage this person (the reviewer?) was a mistake. Period. Hindsight and all that. So, hopefully, she'll have a chance to live this scenario again and fix it.

marie2
06-30-2009, 12:09 AM
She gave an apology.

Author Apologizes for Twitter Outburst About a Bad Review (http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/29/author-apologizes-for-twitter-outburst-about-a-bad-review/?src=twt&twt=nytimestv).

Though honestly if you didn't mean to hurt anyone, why would you post their phone number? :/

Eric San Juan
06-30-2009, 12:22 AM
Heh. I like seeing stuff like this, if only because it reminds of the kind of things I don't want to do, as I recently blogged about (http://shoegaze99.blogspot.com/2009/05/tearing-your-readers-apart.html) after reading about Anne Rice's meltdown.

stormie
06-30-2009, 12:26 AM
And from that link (http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/29/author-apologizes-for-twitter-outburst-about-a-bad-review/?src=twt&twt=nytimestv): "By Monday, Ms. Hoffman had evidently deleted her Twitter account. “I feel this whole situation has been completely blown out of proportion,” Ms. Hoffman said in a statement forwarded by her publisher, Shaye Areheart, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group division of Random House. " (Bolding mine.)

Blown out of proportion?! As Marie said, she put that reviewer's phone number in the post.

ChaosTitan
06-30-2009, 12:29 AM
Of course, on AW, in the movies area, there are hundreds of spoilers. Mac hasn't mentioned a phone call from Michael Bay.

Well, to be fair, we try to keep Spoiler Warnings on things until they've been released to the public/aired on television. ;)

But there's a difference between discussing a book on an open forum such as AW, and posting a review of the work intended to influence readers and then giving away the plot. I read a lot of book reviews, and most reviewers are careful about not spoiling stuff for future readers.


I don't think even if there were spoiler warnings this rant would have been avoided.

Probably not. Sometimes people just need to a throw a tantrum. Most are just smart enough to do it in private. :)

I'm definitely not defending her tantrum. I think it's embarrassing to all authors.


As a public relations person and someone who runs social media for our institute here, I'll say this: I think Kelly (ChaosTitan), for one, is doing a fantastic job embracing the medium. She's on multiple blogs, she's using Twitter and she's on Facebook. She's engaged and she probably knows who she should engage of value and with whom she does not need to engage with value. if you need a template of what to do before your book comes out in the digital age if you're a new author, Kelly's a good template.


Aww.... :Hug2: Thank you. Anyone who ever thought your work was over once you got a publishing contract? HAH! :D

Eric San Juan
06-30-2009, 12:36 AM
And from that link (http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/29/author-apologizes-for-twitter-outburst-about-a-bad-review/?src=twt&twt=nytimestv): "By Monday, Ms. Hoffman had evidently deleted her Twitter account. “I feel this whole situation has been completely blown out of proportion,” Ms. Hoffman said in a statement forwarded by her publisher, Shaye Areheart, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group division of Random House. " (Bolding mine.)

Blown out of proportion?! As Marie said, she put that reviewer's phone number in the post.
Yep. That was, I think, where it went from being a bad reaction to something worth gawking at.

That, and if it was truly blown out of proportion there would have been no need to delete the Twitter account, right?

ccv707
06-30-2009, 12:36 AM
It's like watching a wild animal slowly succumb to rabies...one review at a time.

IceCreamEmpress
06-30-2009, 12:39 AM
Without having read the novel, I have no idea how much of the book was actually revealed. But I have to admit I'd be pissed if someone reviewed my book and, without proper spoiler warnings, gave away all of the plot twists.


"Spoiler warnings" aren't a convention of print book reviews, though. Perhaps they should be, but they aren't yet (at least in the US).

I don't think that Ms. Silman's review was the most carefully written book review ever, but it revealed no more plot twists than many other book reviews in newspapers and magazines. The "spoiler warning" is an Internet convention that has caught on more with print movie reviews than with print book reviews.

stormie
06-30-2009, 12:44 AM
It's interesting: I've read some of her books--Seventh Heaven, Turtle Moon, Blackbird House, and the one about the two sisters. I liked them, but wondered about her. Couldn't put my finger on it.

I wonder now if she went off the deep end. Hope she can swim.

BenPanced
06-30-2009, 12:45 AM
"...what I meant to say was the reviewer is an excellent dancer..."

ChaosTitan
06-30-2009, 12:55 AM
"Spoiler warnings" aren't a convention of print book reviews, though. Perhaps they should be, but they aren't yet (at least in the US).

I don't think that Ms. Silman's review was the most carefully written book review ever, but it revealed no more plot twists than many other book reviews in newspapers and magazines. The "spoiler warning" is an Internet convention that has caught on more with print movie reviews than with print book reviews.

That's what I get for doing most of my review reading online via review bloggers. :tongue Not that I've ever actually seen a "spoiler warning" on a review; most review sites I frequent are just respectful enough to be careful about how much they give away.

childeroland
06-30-2009, 01:06 AM
Paul Theroux's ``Sir Vidia's Shadow'' is said to be the best account of Naipaul's personality (then again, the two aren't in a mutual admiration society, so who knows?)

Samantha's_Song
06-30-2009, 01:09 AM
Me too. Just because most writers don't sound off to all and sundry, it doesn't mean they aren't really pissed off with bad reviews, they've just learned to keep their mouths shut.
Speaking as a work-heavy beta reader, I sometimes get ignored by the people whom I've spent a lot of my time over their novels. The stroppy silences say a hell of a lot more than them trying to argue their case. :D


Damn, I love a good trainwreck.

Salis
06-30-2009, 01:09 AM
I think if a writer is going to be out and about on the internet, they need to go through a crash-course on forums/internet correspondence. Having grown up on the internet, "harsh criticism" to me means people using unprintable obscenities, digging up personal facts from your life to embarrass you, suggesting you should kill yourself, etc, getting upset over something as minor as a critical review really seems thin-skinned.

priceless1
06-30-2009, 02:23 AM
I love it when authors go batshit.
Publishers hate it. I would have downed a jar of Rolaids and a fifth of bourbon. And I don't even drink bourbon.

scarletpeaches
06-30-2009, 02:26 AM
The only other people I've known to react in a Hoffmanesque manner were unpublished 'writers' who are over-sensitive to criticism. I honestly thought such precious little darlings weren't part of the publishing world because...how did she ever get there if she can't take a critique?

And honestly, the review was by no stretch of the imagination harsh. I've received more hard-hitting crits and thought, "Hmm, well, they're right," and got on with editing.

Maybe something's going on in her personal life. Not that it's my right to speculate, so I won't...just seems like a huge over-reaction over one person's opinion.

Not everyone's gonna love you, Alice. And I guarantee even fewer people do now.

mistri
06-30-2009, 03:38 AM
That's not much of an apology for posting someone's phone number on Twitter.

I like Twitter - I think it has its uses. I use Facebook (though not very often these days) for finding old classmates, and twitter and livejournal for talking to people who actually share my interests.

Perks
06-30-2009, 05:09 AM
Yeah, that's a mighty weak attempt at apologizing. Speaks volumes. What a twit. She should have kept her account. It suits her.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
06-30-2009, 08:05 AM
She should have kept her mouth shut in the first place.

Gillhoughly
06-30-2009, 08:47 AM
Also Anne Rice threw a major hissy fit when Tom Cruise was cast as Lestat. She did however (to her credit) take out a large advertisement apologizing to him.She might have paid for it, but it was her publisher and the film company pointing out to her that hissy fits are not only unattractive but detrimental to one's career.

She may have been in violation of her contracts with the various parties by the spouting off. I'm sure someone approached her majesty and informed her that civil court and fines are not a good way to fill the time.

I think they paid her a freakin' two million for the film rights. For that kind of dough, she can belt up and cry all the way to the bank. I know I would.

Not. I'd be dancing all the way to the bank and not care WHO they cast!

Rice's 2004 rant, quoted in full (http://www.tribalwar.com/forums/showthread.php?t=326444)with paragraph breaks (as in none) intact, proving to the world that she most certainly DOES need an editor.

LKH's 2006 meltdown (http://blog.laurellkhamilton.org/2006/12/dear-negative-reader.html), also in need of editing. And meds. And therapy.

(Girls, they're only CHARACTERS you made up. Wandering around the mall thinking about what Christmas presents to buy them puts you smack in the middle Cloud Cuckoo Land without a GPS device!)

Writer John Scalzi's blog (http://www.scalzi.com/whatever/004739.html) on writer meltdowns.

What's grimly amusing to me was that about two weeks ago my agent sent a mass mailing to all her clients reminding us to be professional on our blogs. Even when you have it closed to a limited circle, it's still public, and once it's out, it's out of your control.

I can see the point about being angry with a reviewer for giving away the plot and all its points, but a private e-mail would have been better.

Lighten up, Hoffman. That review could have been much, much worse. I rather think they will be in future, since you've done such a balls up of endearing yourself to the critic.

Not everyone's going to like your work. Grow up and move on.

Try dealing with critics the way Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child do (http://www.prestonchild.com/rogues/index.html).

It's ever so much cooler. :D

Cyia
06-30-2009, 08:51 AM
(Girls, they're only CHARACTERS you made up. Wandering around the mall thinking about what Christmas presents to buy them puts you smack in the middle Cloud Cuckoo Land without a GPS device!)



That's what happens when one's MC is a thinly veiled Mary Sue...

alleycat
06-30-2009, 09:00 AM
An update:

http://features.csmonitor.com/innovation/2009/06/29/novelist-hoffman-apologizes-for-blasting-a-book-reviewer-on-twitter/

miss marisa
06-30-2009, 10:01 AM
I actually liked Incantation...

jodiodi
06-30-2009, 03:24 PM
Frankly, I've never heard of this Hoffman person until I read this thread.

I don't think I'm interested in anything she has to say in her books or otherwise.

Saskatoonistan
06-30-2009, 03:48 PM
Why is Dustin Hoffman throwing a hissy fit again?

William Haskins
06-30-2009, 04:35 PM
more coverage:


Alice Hoffman offers a “half-assed” apology (http://gawker.com/5304168/twitter+raging-novelist-sort-of-apologizes-for-herculean-petulance) for her Twitter ugliness, and Gawker reminds us of the time that one of Hoffman’s reviews sent Richard Ford into a fit of rage (http://gawker.com/5304322/alice-hoffmans-reviews-have-driven-other-writers-into-fits-of-rage) that drove him (and his wife!) to shoot up one of her books.

Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams puts Hoffman’s behavior into some historical context (http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2009/06/30/critic_fight/) alongside other notable examples of authors coming unhinged over reviews.

Meanwhile, if you want to see a similar trainwreck unfolding before your very eyes, check out Alain de Botton gettin’ all up in Caleb Crain’s comments thread (http://www.steamthing.com/2009/06/review-of-alain-de-bottons-pleasures-and-sorrows-of-work.html) at Steamboats over Crain’s review of de Botton’s Pleasures and Sorrows of Work (“I will hate you till the day I die and wish you nothing but ill will in every career move you make.”).http://authorscoop.com/

Samantha's_Song
06-30-2009, 04:59 PM
I reckon someone could get a good novel out of writing a fictional story about this kind of thing, sort of Not-fan-fiction. :D

scarletpeaches
06-30-2009, 05:21 PM
So I thanked Haskins for those links and said I'd previously been an admirer of de Botton but not any more after reading his comment rant on that blog.

There was some speculation later down the page over whether or not it was de Botton commenting, I felt like a bit of a twat and deleted - but, having read the entire list of comments it seems as if it was him. He did a Hoffman and took it to Twitter.

Was amused by someone saying he's Farrah Fawcett to Alice Hoffman's Jacko. The greater rant gets all the publicity...

ZING! :D

Twizzle
06-30-2009, 05:40 PM
I reckon someone could get a good novel out of writing a fictional story about this kind of thing, sort of Not-fan-fiction. :D

Just been done, sorta. Koontz's Relentless is/was #1 on list, I think. It's the flip, though. Critic writes a bad review, author reacts, and critic goes batshit insane on author. Fascinating twist.

scarletpeaches
06-30-2009, 05:47 PM
That's only just been released here, Twizzle. I was going to buy it last night then decided not to. Got any links? I love a good batshit/review story.

swvaughn
06-30-2009, 06:11 PM
LKH's 2006 meltdown (http://blog.laurellkhamilton.org/2006/12/dear-negative-reader.html), also in need of editing. And meds. And therapy.

Thanks for this. Hadn't seen the LKH rant. Fascinating, that. :D


Try dealing with critics the way Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child do (http://www.prestonchild.com/rogues/index.html).

It's ever so much cooler. :D

Also very cool: Brad Meltzer embraces the hate, invites you to hate him too (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svvoh66s2F0)

Claudia Gray
06-30-2009, 06:43 PM
What a stupid thing to do, and what a lame apology. If she hasn't developed a thicker skin than that after all these years in the business, that's -- a pity, is about the nicest thing I can say.

The Rav
06-30-2009, 07:57 PM
They say any publicity, bad or good, is a great thing. I disagree. Sounds like she's put quite a few people off of her writing because of this stupid outburst. As others have said, she might have had a reason to be upset about the revealing of plot, but an email or phone call directly to the reviewer would have been a lot smarter. Sounds like she has real thin skin, though, and any negative review sets her off. Some people weren't meant for high profile lives.



I despise Twitter. I think it's stupid.


Twitter is an excellent tool if you use it correctly. I find all kinds of great links about writing that prove helpful and informative. You can choose who you follow to tailor it to your wants. No need to follow some celebrity to figure out what kind of dried fruit they like mixed in with their morning granola unless you're into that sort of thing. ;) :D

Twizzle
06-30-2009, 08:01 PM
That's only just been released here, Twizzle. I was going to buy it last night then decided not to. Got any links? I love a good batshit/review story.

Me too, scarlet. Oh, man, me too. When AR said she was called to depict the life of Jesus...that was just spectacular.

Let's just say Relentless wasn't the best book I've read lately. The ending had me scratching my head. But the agent was hilarious, and as I said, I do love me some good batshit insanity, so.

http://www.amazon.com/Relentless-Novel-Dean-Koontz/dp/0553807145
http://www.examiner.com/x-6494-Kentucky-Literacy-Examiner~y2009m6d15-Review-Relentless-by-Dean-Koontz
http://ezinearticles.com/?Relentless---A-Novel-by-Dean-Koontz---A-Book-Review&id=2420709

IceCreamEmpress
06-30-2009, 08:17 PM
So I thanked Haskins for those links and said I'd previously been an admirer of de Botton but not any more after reading his comment rant on that blog.

There was some speculation later down the page over whether or not it was de Botton commenting

It's certainly consistent with other behaviors he's indulged in in the past. I like his writing a lot, but he has had quite a few contretemps...

scarletpeaches
06-30-2009, 08:25 PM
Man, this is my day for readfail. I took Twizzle's post to mean Koontz himself had been involved in a barney with a reviewer. D'oh!

Oh well.

*bangs head against wall*

BenPanced
06-30-2009, 10:39 PM
Hmmm...something's wrong with the thread title...*taptaptaptaptap!*

When Writers Attack Alice Hoffman

So, now what do I do with this spare colon? :

DeadlyAccurate
06-30-2009, 10:42 PM
I’m sorry if I offended anyone.

This is not an apology. An apology acknowledges that you did something wrong. "I'm sorry for the offense I caused" is an apology. "If" makes it conditional, and a conditional apology is no apology at all.

(And I'm sorry for using that word so many times in that one short paragraph).

I mentioned this on Twitter, but she reminds me of this poster: http://bit.ly/3fQLr

Julie Worth
06-30-2009, 10:53 PM
This is not an apology. An apology acknowledges that you did something wrong. "I'm sorry for the offense I caused" is an apology. "If" makes it conditional, and a conditional apology is no apology at all.


Looks like a perfectly good apology to me. And what's wrong with if? No need to be sorry if she offended me, because she didn't. She didn't offend millions of people--billions!--and they don't need her apology either.

Old Hack
06-30-2009, 11:00 PM
Thanks to writer Daniel Blythe, who posted this link on my blog today, here's another lovely example (http://belindawebb.blogspot.com/2008/04/grrrrr.html) of an author having an interesting reaction to a review. But this one has switched off the comments to her blog, so there's no reaction to her post apart from, well, people like us talking about it in places like this.

I can feel this thread stretching looooong into the future.

DeadlyAccurate
06-30-2009, 11:16 PM
Looks like a perfectly good apology to me. And what's wrong with if? No need to be sorry if she offended me, because she didn't. She didn't offend millions of people--billions!--and they don't need her apology either.

Because she's not genuinely sorry. She's only sorry if someone was offended rather than being apologetic for engaging in poor behavior regardless of how many or few people were affected by it.

Toothpaste
06-30-2009, 11:21 PM
Looks like a perfectly good apology to me. And what's wrong with if? No need to be sorry if she offended me, because she didn't. She didn't offend millions of people--billions!--and they don't need her apology either.

Well, yes, if that is indeed what she had meant, but it is highly unlikely she was considering the billions of people who weren't offended because they don't know she exists.

Here's what I wrote on another forum about the infamous "if" style apology:

Such an apology puts the blame squarely on the offended party while the person making the "apology" becomes free of guilt. What it actually says is: "I'm sorry that you are so thin skinned that you took offense to my perfectly acceptable words" or "I'm sorry you misinterpreted my words and took offense". What it clearly does not say is "I'm sorry I said what I said. It was hurtful and wrong, and I am completely at fault".

I don't much care about this author one way or another, but this "if" form of apology IS a bit of a thing for me. I find it disingenuous and condescending, and far too many people this day and age have adopted it as if it is in some way comparable to a proper, mature, accepting responsibility for your actions, adult apology.

DeadlyAccurate
06-30-2009, 11:25 PM
Toothpaste said what I was thinking much better than I could have.

Eric San Juan
06-30-2009, 11:30 PM
Looks like a perfectly good apology to me. And what's wrong with if?
"If' is wrong because there is no if. She knows she offended people and she knows she went too far. Instead, thought, she transfers a share of the burden of her comments to others. On this I defer to Toothpaste, who has already offered a fine explanation of this.

SPMiller
06-30-2009, 11:31 PM
Personally I'd subject them to 12 straight hours of /b/. That would separate out the weak and oversensitive (also, human beings)Cruel.

priceless1
06-30-2009, 11:37 PM
That's a crap non-apology. "Sorry if I offended you," is far different from saying, "I realize that my actions were wrong, potentially dangerous, and inexcusable. I beg your forgiveness."

All Ms. Hoffman is doing - through her publicist, I might add - is tossing an offhand "hey, it's your problem" on Ms. Silman's shoulders. If I were her editor, Hoffman would be on bended knee. Disgraceful and a complete lack of class.

Julie Worth
06-30-2009, 11:44 PM
That's a crap non-apology...Disgraceful and a complete lack of class.

Funny how some can write best sellers, but an apology that doesn't rile up a lynch mob is beyond them.

Toothpaste
07-01-2009, 12:17 AM
If indeed she ever intended to write an apology, which she clearly didn't. It shows a skill to try to write an apology that isn't really one, fortunately however we can see through the vain attempt.

priceless1
07-01-2009, 12:47 AM
It shows a skill to try to write an apology that isn't really one, fortunately however we can see through the vain attempt.
She could be a politician.

IceCreamEmpress
07-01-2009, 12:54 AM
The fauxpology is a particularly deft form of passive-aggressive behavior. It requires verbal skill, so I'm not surprised that the highly competent Hoffman was able to craft such a neatly-turned fauxpology.

Here is a real apology: "What I did was wrong, and I'm sorry." The fauxpology requires much more forethought and planning, like all wordplay.

Alitriona
07-01-2009, 01:02 AM
I love her books and I wasn't offended by how she said sorry, why presume everyone who read her rant is offended? It's isn't nice getting bad reviews, I should know:) and as someone said above it can be very easy just to press the send key. I'm not saying she was right to post a phone number but I can understand a rash decision to do it. I will still buy her books.

Gillhoughly
07-01-2009, 01:40 AM
Rants of any kind are simply not good for one's professional career. Doesn't matter who or what is the target, it's a good idea to assume not everyone will agree with you.

I'd hate to be her editor. If she explodes like that over a lukewarm review, what could she be like during the editing process?

I have dealt with a few divas. They may bring in the sales, but are a pain in the arse to work with, and I never invite them back.

Publishing is a small village and it gets around pretty quick who's wearing the Idiot Hat any given week.

Of course, it gets around even faster when they help by Tweeting about it!

This is why I confine my blog and Tweets to book promotion, funny personal stories, and charity support. Nobody likes a crabby apple.

geardrops
07-01-2009, 01:50 AM
I love her books and I wasn't offended by how she said sorry, why presume everyone who read her rant is offended? It's isn't nice getting bad reviews, I should know:) and as someone said above it can be very easy just to press the send key. I'm not saying she was right to post a phone number but I can understand a rash decision to do it. I will still buy her books.

Because this isn't about a rant.

It's about publishing contact information and requesting people harrass the reviewer.

Not only is this unprofessional and unclassy, it's also potentially dangerous. If a fan were so deranged as to want to "hunt down" the reviewer for "daring" to say something bad about the author, the author gave that fan information they needed to perpetrate a crime.

"Sorry if I pissed you off" doesn't nearly fucking cut it.

SPMiller
07-01-2009, 01:56 AM
Really, it's only a matter of time until I publish a few books and someone makes a thread like this about me (except it'll be about my crazy political beliefs, not bitching about a review). Only then will I have arrived.

Toothpaste
07-01-2009, 02:08 AM
I love her books and I wasn't offended by how she said sorry, why presume everyone who read her rant is offended? It's isn't nice getting bad reviews, I should know:) and as someone said above it can be very easy just to press the send key. I'm not saying she was right to post a phone number but I can understand a rash decision to do it. I will still buy her books.

Because she didn't rant to high heaven, she made a very specific attack on a very specific person, posted her very specific contact information and then requested, very specifically, that people go harass her.

The problem with her apology is that the issue isn't one of offense. Offense has nothing to do with any of this. This isn't a matter of someone being offended by the comments of another, "Oh how rude!" It's a matter of someone doing something wrong (as you've said yourself, it was a rash decision) and needing to apologise for that. Not for some blanket offense she might have caused. "I'm sorry I posted your phone number and asked people to harass you, it was wrong" is way better than, "I'm sorry if I caused offense."

Uh no, you didn't cause offense, you did a bad thing. You were wrong. Own up to it.

Kris
07-01-2009, 02:10 AM
Didn't she also apologize to her READERS, not to the reviewer in question? That's kind of ...childish.

Cranky
07-01-2009, 02:17 AM
Rants of any kind are simply not good for one's professional career. Doesn't matter who or what is the target, it's a good idea to assume not everyone will agree with you.

I'd hate to be her editor. If she explodes like that over a lukewarm review, what could she be like during the editing process?

I have dealt with a few divas. They may bring in the sales, but are a pain in the arse to work with, and I never invite them back.

Publishing is a small village and it gets around pretty quick who's wearing the Idiot Hat any given week.

Of course, it gets around even faster when they help by Tweeting about it!

This is why I confine my blog and Tweets to book promotion, funny personal stories, and charity support. Nobody likes a crabby apple.

Alas, I see this post after I make today's post. *thinks about it* Nawp, glad I made it, consequences be damned. :D

Still, I agree Hoffman's apology (fauxpology, love that) doesn't quite cut it. I feel sorry for the reviewer.

ATP
07-01-2009, 02:46 AM
I can only imagine what her publisher thinks of all this...

Er...this is no good for art, or her...but it will certainly help sales. (Silently to himself, "keep it up Alice").

Alitriona
07-01-2009, 02:49 AM
nearly[/B] fucking cut it.

What then is needed, blood?

I just don't agree attacking someone because they attacked someone else is helpful. The reviewed attacked her work, she attacks reviewer, we attack her, it goes on and on.

She said sorry and it's for the reviewer to decide if it's not good enough. If they believe the act had criminal intent, they should report it to the proper people to deal with it.

The lesson to learn from Ms Hoffman is don't bite the hand that feeds.

geardrops
07-01-2009, 03:01 AM
What then is needed, blood?

Is that a serious question? Really?

"I'm sorry if you were upset" simply doesn't address the issue. It's just a step better than "I'm sorry I got caught."

But perhaps this is my mistake, in expecting an adult to act like one.

Samantha's_Song
07-01-2009, 03:20 AM
I'm really glad that twitter doesn't interest me, as I'm prone to fly off the handle a bit on occasions. However, unlike Ms. Hoffman, I would never apologise if I didn't really mean it, not in any kind of way. :)

scarletpeaches
07-01-2009, 03:22 AM
She didn't apologise because she meant it, she apologised because so many people called her out.

And Sam, you're exactly like me. I've been told to apologise before and I always say "If I wanted to I would have done so by now." To my mind, you apologise without meaning it, you're a liar. I'd rather cause offence (and I do) than make a liar of myself.

I don't have to live with the people I piss off, but I have to live with myself after all. :D

Kris
07-01-2009, 03:24 AM
What then is needed, blood?

I just don't agree attacking someone because they attacked someone else is helpful. The reviewed attacked her work, she attacks reviewer, we attack her, it goes on and on.

She said sorry and it's for the reviewer to decide if it's not good enough. If they believe the act had criminal intent, they should report it to the proper people to deal with it.

The lesson to learn from Ms Hoffman is don't bite the hand that feeds.

Well, my point is that she could have apologized to the reviewer as well, instead of a coy statement about how she was sorry if she upset her readers. (I mean, of course she doesn't want to upset her readers!)

But of course, you are right, these things should be seen in the proper perspective. To the vast majority of people, I'm sure it doesn't matter at all, and if I happened to love her work, I'd not stop reading it over something like this.

geardrops
07-01-2009, 03:25 AM
To my mind, you apologise without meaning it, you're a liar. I'd rather cause offence (and I do) than make a liar of myself.

To add to what I done said already: I'd rather someone not apologise than give a half-assed apology. At least I'd know they're being honest :)

(In other words: This.)

Samantha's_Song
07-01-2009, 03:40 AM
It looks like we're birds of a feather in that way then S.P. :)
Nope, I couldn't look myself in the eye again if I said sorry and didn't mean it, as like you said, it would make me a liar. I would much rather tell the truth, and live with the consequences, than try and utter a false apology to someone just for a quieter life.


She didn't apologise because she meant it, she apologised because so many people called her out.

And Sam, you're exactly like me. I've been told to apologise before and I always say "If I wanted to I would have done so by now." To my mind, you apologise without meaning it, you're a liar. I'd rather cause offence (and I do) than make a liar of myself.

I don't have to live with the people I piss off, but I have to live with myself after all. :D

William Haskins
07-01-2009, 03:46 AM
What then is needed, blood?

I just don't agree attacking someone because they attacked someone else is helpful. The reviewed attacked her work, she attacks reviewer, we attack her, it goes on and on.

She said sorry and it's for the reviewer to decide if it's not good enough. If they believe the act had criminal intent, they should report it to the proper people to deal with it.


discussion of it has value as a cautionary tale that may enlighten authors still in the formative years of their careers as to how to behave professionally from a business standpoint and avoid the pitfalls of petulance.

BenPanced
07-01-2009, 04:30 AM
"I'm sorry your face got in the way of how I was swinging my hand."

miss marisa
07-01-2009, 08:07 AM
"I'm sorry your face got in the way of how I was swinging my hand."

Almost as bad as," I'm sorry you thought I wasn't going to hit you."

Ali B
07-01-2009, 08:44 AM
If I ever become famous I'm going to hide under a rock so that I can keep writing without being disturbed. I don't understand writers jumping on the social media bandwagon.

Toothpaste
07-01-2009, 09:34 AM
If I ever become famous I'm going to hide under a rock so that I can keep writing without being disturbed. I don't understand writers jumping on the social media bandwagon.

To sell books.

BenPanced
07-01-2009, 09:38 AM
If I ever become famous I'm going to hide under a rock so that I can keep writing without being disturbed. I don't understand writers jumping on the social media bandwagon.


To sell books.
Yup. It's self-promotion.

Cranky
07-01-2009, 09:40 AM
Yup. It's self-promotion.

I think publishers are encouraging it as well, since it's a damn cheap form of self-promotion at that....

Samantha's_Song
07-01-2009, 10:50 AM
If I become famous, it's going to be under a pseudonym; not because I'm worried what I'll say and won't apologise for, but because of all the past stuff I've said and done that could jump up and bite me on the arse! :D


If I ever become famous I'm going to hide under a rock so that I can keep writing without being disturbed. I don't understand writers jumping on the social media bandwagon.

Gillhoughly
07-01-2009, 07:16 PM
Yanno, I once got one of those blanket apologies.

Some newbie writer (a couple short stories) took offense at something he thought I'd done to him and trashed me in his blog.

(I didn't know he was even in the room, but he's so self-centered he thinks everyone is always talking about him. We all know someone like this, and they're a pain in the kazoo.)

I stumbled across my trashing by accident (no, really, I did) and sent a private message that if he had a problem, then contact me directly. I pointed out that trashing another writer in public only makes the poster look bad.

Down comes the blog, up goes the "I'm SORRY if I caused G ANY offense AT ALL!" Similar lies and lots of exciting punctuation-- "!!!" --followed.

It was one great flouncing apology, that.

Once I got done laughing I sent a link to a mutual friend, who promptly mailed him with a parental, "I don't care what started this, stop behaving like an idiot."

Words to live by, Ms. Hoffman.

Oh, the newb took down the apology-that-was-just-more-insult. He didn't learn a danged thing and still acts like I'm his mortal enemy when he thinks I'm not looking.

:Insert editorial eye-rolling here:

lkp
07-01-2009, 07:24 PM
I love Alice Hoffman's books and I find this whole mess so disappointing.

It confirms something I have always feared, which is that many authors, especially really good ones, are not necessarily very nice people and I probably wouldn't want to know more abut them beyond their books that I love.

Saskatoonistan
07-01-2009, 07:40 PM
If I become famous, it's going to be under a pseudonym; not because I'm worried what I'll say and won't apologise for, but because of all the past stuff I've said and done that could jump up and bite me on the arse! :D


Snark is the new graciousness. Personal attacks are the new "I understand".

Personally, I blame reality TV.

The Rav
07-01-2009, 10:17 PM
If I ever become famous I'm going to hide under a rock so that I can keep writing without being disturbed. I don't understand writers jumping on the social media bandwagon.

The problem with this is it is highly unlikely that publishers will be happy about this. It's better to become a part of the social media but don't be dumb about it. Watch what you type, and social media can help your career.

Old Hack
07-02-2009, 03:12 PM
(Snipping...)

Rice's 2004 rant, quoted in full (http://www.tribalwar.com/forums/showthread.php?t=326444)with paragraph breaks (as in none) intact, proving to the world that she most certainly DOES need an editor.

LKH's 2006 meltdown (http://blog.laurellkhamilton.org/2006/12/dear-negative-reader.html), also in need of editing. And meds. And therapy.

(Girls, they're only CHARACTERS you made up. Wandering around the mall thinking about what Christmas presents to buy them puts you smack in the middle Cloud Cuckoo Land without a GPS device!)

Writer John Scalzi's blog (http://www.scalzi.com/whatever/004739.html) on writer meltdowns.

(Snipping a bit more....)

Try dealing with critics the way Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child do (http://www.prestonchild.com/rogues/index.html).

It's ever so much cooler. :D

It seems that LKH has taken down her ranting blog post. Perhaps she noticed an increase in blog traffic, and tracked it down to here. It's a shame as that post was a diverting read, and a good lesson to us all.

Thanks to Google it's not gone for good: here's a link to its cached version (http://209.85.229.132/search?q=cache:UHg_f1dwDaIJ:blog.laurellkhamilton. org/2006/12/dear-negative-reader.html+http://blog.laurellkhamilton.org/2006/12/dear-negative-reader.html&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk). The LKH forum (I'm amazed that there is such a thing) has gone down too, but is promised to return on 6 July.

Saskatoonistan
07-02-2009, 03:21 PM
It seems that LKH has taken down her ranting blog post. Perhaps she noticed an increase in blog traffic, and tracked it down to here. It's a shame as that post was a diverting read, and a good lesson to us all.

Thanks to Google it's not gone for good: here's a link to its cached version (http://209.85.229.132/search?q=cache:UHg_f1dwDaIJ:blog.laurellkhamilton. org/2006/12/dear-negative-reader.html+http://blog.laurellkhamilton.org/2006/12/dear-negative-reader.html&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk). The LKH forum (I'm amazed that there is such a thing) has gone down too, but is promised to return on 6 July.


Just in case LKH shuts down google, here is her meltdown courtesy of your friendly neighborhood internet wayback machine: http://tinyurl.com/n8da3l

Phaeal
07-02-2009, 06:08 PM
I love Alice Hoffman's books and I find this whole mess so disappointing.

It confirms something I have always feared, which is that many authors, especially really good ones, are not necessarily very nice people and I probably wouldn't want to know more abut them beyond their books that I love.

Very true. Except that I don't think the really good writers have a corner on the nasty market. There are a lot of really bad writers who've set up shop there, too. The good thing about really bad writers who are also jerks is that you're not tempted to read their books.

Here's an idea: Read Hoffman's books at the store's cafe. That way you don't put money in her pocket. Hey, you could even go guerilla and spill some latte on those suckers, too.

:Jaw:

No! Wait! I can't believe I said that! I take it back, please, Obi-Wan, I'm not that ebil, I swear...

I mean, why take it out on the poor bookstore? First BUY the book, then spill the latte.

Gillhoughly
07-02-2009, 07:16 PM
You guys are totally proving that being an ass in public never quite goes away in the 21st century.

I can understand LKH losing patience. She's had people insult her to her face, books thrown at her, and I think red paint thrown on her because they don't like what she did with her story lines.

But she has a right to do whatever she wants in her books.

However, the blog rant has and will continue to haunt her for years, and so we have a cautionary tale for the younglings: don't do this!

The shopping for gifts thing is just TMI. I've got tons of characters who are very real to me, but I've never done that.

Hell, I have a hard enough time buying gifts for the REAL people I know!

She has a point, though, if you don't like her books, read something else.

.

Saskatoonistan
07-02-2009, 07:18 PM
You guys are totally proving that being an ass in public never quite goes away in the 21st century.

I can understand LKH losing patience. She's had people insult her to her face, books thrown at her, and I think red paint thrown on her because they don't like what she did with her story lines.

But she has a right to do whatever she wants in her books so long as they keep selling.

However, the blog rant has and will continue to haunt her for years, and so we have a cautionary tale for the younglings.

The shopping for gifts thing is just TMI. I've got tons of characters who are very real to me, but I've never done that. Hell, I have a hard enough time buying gifts for the REAL people I know!

She has a point, though, if you don't like her books, read something else.


I had one of my characters piss me off so much that I killed him... oh... here's another author going off the deep end: http://tinyurl.com/mgumpr

M.R.J. Le Blanc
07-02-2009, 07:38 PM
Seriously, anyone who gets that upset that easily needs a World of Warcraft subscription. Nothing like ruthlessly killing for a few hours with no downside (except perhaps repair bills) to drain all that anger :)

M.R.J. Le Blanc
07-02-2009, 07:46 PM
I had one of my characters piss me off so much that I killed him... oh... here's another author going off the deep end: http://tinyurl.com/mgumpr

Yes, bad reviews suck. But complaining 'they're not fair' is just childish. Perhaps he's right, authors shouldn't just turn the other cheek, but allowing it to rile you up so badly like this is like the opposite end of the spectrum. If you don't like someone's review fine - go through the motions of it, and then let it go. Don't dwell on it. Though to give this guy credit, at least he's saying "I'm sorry I acted like an idiot" as opposed to "Sorry if I offended someone". That puts him above Hoffman in my books.

Shara
07-02-2009, 07:48 PM
This whole going off the rails whenever someone gives you a bad review is a tad worrying.

How do you get published in the first place without developing a thick skin? Countless rejections and criticism from writing groups and the like should mean that by the time you get published you are no longer phased by people not liking your work.

I'm not familiar with Alice Hoffman's work, but the LKH rant was a bit worrying. I've just finished reading the third Anita Blake book. Although I rather enjoyed the first two, the third was disappointing and I've decided not to read any more - what I've heard from others about the rest of the series has confirmed to me that this is the right decision.

Thing is, though, I was contemplating putting a post on my blog (which is supposed to be dealing with books as well as writing) saying as much.

Now I'm afraid to do so!!

Shara

Gillhoughly
07-02-2009, 07:53 PM
I've just finished reading the third Anita Blake book. Although I rather enjoyed the first two, the third was disappointing and I've decided not to read any more - what I've heard from others about the rest of the series has confirmed to me that this is the right decision.
Shara

You can enjoy the next three books in the series.

Apparently in the 7th the MC enjoys a change in her life that PO'd the fans.

It's not something I would do to a character, but it's her universe, her rules.

PM me if you'd like an alternative reading list!

M.R.J. Le Blanc
07-02-2009, 07:56 PM
This whole going off the rails whenever someone gives you a bad review is a tad worrying.

How do you get published in the first place without developing a thick skin? Countless rejections and criticism from writing groups and the like should mean that by the time you get published you are no longer phased by people not liking your work.

I'm not familiar with Alice Hoffman's work, but the LKH rant was a bit worrying. I've just finished reading the third Anita Blake book. Although I rather enjoyed the first two, the third was disappointing and I've decided not to read any more - what I've heard from others about the rest of the series has confirmed to me that this is the right decision.

Thing is, though, I was contemplating putting a post on my blog (which is supposed to be dealing with books as well as writing) saying as much.

Now I'm afraid to do so!!

Shara

I think some authors, once they start having a string of successes, start thinking they're suddenly above bad reviews (or editors, in Rice's case). So it bruises their ego when they hear someone say their work was crap. They lose that thick skin. Not everyone's going to like something, that's just reality and if some authors can't deal with that it's no one else's problem but their own and the people who indulge them (like SMeyer's brother, for example). You're well within your rights to say you don't like something.

swvaughn
07-02-2009, 08:35 PM
I think some authors, once they start having a string of successes, start thinking they're suddenly above bad reviews (or editors, in Rice's case). So it bruises their ego when they hear someone say their work was crap. They lose that thick skin. Not everyone's going to like something, that's just reality and if some authors can't deal with that it's no one else's problem but their own and the people who indulge them (like SMeyer's brother, for example). You're well within your rights to say you don't like something.

I have sacrificed many chickens as a preventative measure in this case, on the extremely off chance that some day I am successful enough to warrant the possibility of a hissy fit about editors and reviewers.

Failing that, I have a husband who'll kick my a** if I ever act like this. :D

The Lonely One
07-02-2009, 09:09 PM
I hope one day I get a review like that.

I mean, I hope I get a better one, but...

Well, I hope I get one at all...

William Haskins
07-02-2009, 09:10 PM
much more on the de botton dust-up:

http://authorscoop.com/2009/07/02/when-writers-attack-redux/

swvaughn
07-03-2009, 12:16 AM
Interesting. I think this:


I have never met Mr. Crain and had no pre-existing views. The great mitigating factor is that I never believed I would have to answer for my words before a large audience. I had false believed that this was basically between him and me.

suggests that a lot of these outbursts are a result of some people not really understanding how permanent and very, very fast the Internet is (as haskins pointed out in the OP). There were Michael Jackson tributes and blog posts popping up hours - maybe even minutes - after his death was announced. It's almost scary how fast things move now.

But this from de Botton:


I feel very sorry that this tiff has been broadcast so widely.

Seems a little inadequate in light of his original comment on Caleb Crain's blog:


“I will hate you till the day I die and wish you nothing but ill will in every career move you make..."

Harsh by any standards, up to and including what was allegedly considered a "private conversation."

M.R.J. Le Blanc
07-03-2009, 12:35 AM
Even if that had been actual private correspondance, de Botton should have been ashamed of himself. A lot of his initial diatribe was just completely uncalled for. He still would have taken the blow, because I'm sure Caleb Crain wouldn't have kept quiet about the ranting email he got from de Botton and how unprofessional it was.

Gillhoughly
07-03-2009, 04:17 AM
This is where e-mail works against those with thin skin and a temper. Instant gratification.

Years back I got what I saw as a nasty rejection from an editor.

I wrote her an angry, snotty letter, telling her how wrong she was, ripping her rejection apart point by point, and finished up by telling her to go suck a tailpipe.

But--and this is the important bit--I NEVER SENT IT.

Just typing it out on my old portable got the angst out. I eventually burned it and watched the smoke fly away.

The next day I started writing something NEW to send her.

She bought it. I got paid some good money.

Had there been e-mail back then I might have been dumb enough to send her my raw reaction, and that would have screwed up my budding career! :eek:

Elidibus
07-03-2009, 10:36 AM
Hey, this is a fun read :-)

:popcorn:

sambon
07-04-2009, 02:03 AM
A person obviously had a bad day and you automatically assume she's a bad person? Pretty harsh if you ask me.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
07-04-2009, 02:39 AM
A person obviously had a bad day and you automatically assume she's a bad person? Pretty harsh if you ask me.

Would you find it acceptable if someone who was having a 'bad day' posted your phone number on the internet for all to see just because they didn't like what you had to say about their book? And encourage people to harass you? And then basically say the equivalent of 'sorry someone was offended' as an apology? Whether she's a bad person or not I don't know, but her actions certainly don't do much for the 'she's a good person' arguement.

Gillhoughly
07-04-2009, 02:56 AM
A person obviously had a bad day and you automatically assume she's a bad person? Pretty harsh if you ask me.

The problem is that no one knows what kind of day the writer had, and people are judged by their actions, not what led up to those actions.

She behaved unprofessionally, and like it or not, that's what people are going to remember. She's part of a greater writing community, and the majority--including I'm sure, her publisher and agent are none too pleased with her.

Going off on another professional in a public forum is always bad for one's image, whatever the job might be.

Giving away the critic's address and phone number is going WAY outside the norm and right over into batshit insane territory.

She may be a wonderful person, but no one saw any of that in her Tweets.

I used to adore Mel Gibson--until he went off on that cop, who was only doing his job. Gibson showed an ugly side to himself that sickened me, and now I can't stand him. I've a collection of most of his films and just can't bear to watch them any more. Maybe I'll get past that, but for now they're shut away.



“I will hate you till the day I die and wish you nothing but ill will in every career move you make..."

Careful, de Botton--I'm a great believer in the old wheeze that whatever you send out, good or bad, will come back at you three times over.

It's bitten me in the arse enough that I've made an effort to at least TRY to be nice. (No one laugh, I have tried!) So far so good.... :D

mscelina
07-04-2009, 03:03 AM
Whatever the review was, it would have been more professional to just thank the reviewer for their feedback, tell them you appreciated them taking the time and then go on your merry way. *shrug* Yeah, it may make you throw up in your mouth a little bit in private, but in public you should always remember to handle yourself in as gracious and professional a manner as possible.

Or at least, that's what I was taught.

sambon
07-04-2009, 03:46 AM
Email addresses are posted at end of reviews and anyone can find a phone number. Have you heard about something called google? I didn't see a request to harass, just asked to let reviewer know how you feel about review.

mscelina
07-04-2009, 03:50 AM
huh?

*scratches head*

som1luvsmi
07-04-2009, 04:03 AM
Email addresses are posted at end of reviews and anyone can find a phone number. Have you heard about something called google? I didn't see a request to harass, just asked to let reviewer know how you feel about review.

Right. So if a reader disagreed with the review, they could choose to write the reviewer an email voicing they're opinion.

The reviewer does NOT post his personal telephone number because that is a part of his private life, NOT a part of his job.

When the author decided to tweet the reviewer's personal info, that became a personal attack instead of a difference of opinion.

A review is ONE person's opinion. A person doesn't have to listen to it, and they don't have to respond to it, either.

The whole situation is very high school, imho.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
07-04-2009, 05:53 AM
Email addresses are posted at end of reviews and anyone can find a phone number. Have you heard about something called google? I didn't see a request to harass, just asked to let reviewer know how you feel about review.

Just because it can be done, does not mean it should. And why should an author feel the need to rally the troops to tell one measly reviewer who has the absolute right to say "I didn't like this book and here's why" what they thought about it? It's stupid and a waste of time. And can only end in negativity and harassment.

The reviewer didn't like the book. Hoffman couldn't deal with it. There was no reason for Hoffman to take her inability to cope with a bad review out on the reviewer. I don't care what her excuse was or what kind of a day she was having.

priceless1
07-04-2009, 06:06 AM
She has a point, though, if you don't like her books, read something else..
And if you don't like the review, move on and ignore it.

Gillhoughly
07-04-2009, 07:58 AM
I didn't see a request to harass, just asked to let reviewer know how you feel about review.

Which is still unprofessional of her.

How people feel about a review doesn't matter.

How they feel about the book itself DOES.

They can disagree with the review by buying the book and recommending it to friends.

The fact is, Hoffman was in the wrong. Maybe she doesn't want to admit it, but she is. In time, maybe people will forget about this kerfuffle, but for now, she is a cautionary tale of unprofessional behavior.

I bet only a few thousand at most even bothered to read the review when it came out. Now, thanks to Hoffman's behavior a few hundred thousand have read it, read Hoffman's reaction, and they're all siding with the reviewer!

Hoffman will still have loyal fans, but others who might have liked her books won't bother, now.

Next time, her best course is to ignore the reviews--ALL of them.

The bad ones are just annoying, and the good ones can puff a writer up too much.

I've got two books coming out in the next 4 months, and I promise you the last thing I'm going to read are the reviews!

Instead, I'm going to be writing.

backslashbaby
07-04-2009, 06:05 PM
That's disappointing! She was on my reading list, actually.

I'm glad to see others who hate If Apologies, too. My Ex would always say "I'm sorry that you got angry." WTF?

Funny how words matter. Wait; she's a writer - kind of expected then, eh?

IceCreamEmpress
07-04-2009, 10:19 PM
And if you don't like the review, move on and ignore it.

Or send a letter to the editor of the newspaper or magazine where you read the review expressing your disagreement.

That's what grownups do. They don't call 75-year-old ladies at home to complain.

MacAllister
07-04-2009, 10:29 PM
Eh. The writer isn't the book, backslashbaby. I've read Turtle Moon and a couple of her other books - they're still books worth reading.

brainstorm77
07-04-2009, 10:52 PM
People do make mistakes .... even large ones. I won't hold this against her.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
07-05-2009, 01:39 AM
True, people do make mistakes. But for myself, it's hard to justify supporting someone when they act like a child. I could have given her the benefit of the doubt, someone who just made a big mistake if she had come back and apologized properly. Then at least she recognizes her mistake and owns it. But when the person does something so stupid and thoughtless as that, and then says 'sorry someone was offended' that's someone who doesn't deserve my business. Others may feel differently. It's the same reason I won't buy another Anne Rice book - hard to enjoy a writer who berates her readers because they didn't like her last book. Heaven forbid we don't love everything.

The Lonely One
07-05-2009, 02:49 AM
True, people do make mistakes. But for myself, it's hard to justify supporting someone when they act like a child. I could have given her the benefit of the doubt, someone who just made a big mistake if she had come back and apologized properly. Then at least she recognizes her mistake and owns it. But when the person does something so stupid and thoughtless as that, and then says 'sorry someone was offended' that's someone who doesn't deserve my business. Others may feel differently. It's the same reason I won't buy another Anne Rice book - hard to enjoy a writer who berates her readers because they didn't like her last book. Heaven forbid we don't love everything.

While I could not bring myself to hate a book based on an author's public or private lives, nor a director his or hers, I support a person's right to do so. Isn't this effectively what they call a boycott? People may boycott a product because the product stinks or is dangerous, because the people who made it are awful people, or any other reason in between.

If the author's personality is so toxic as to forever ruin your enjoyment of her books, then who is anyone to tell you what you aught to buy instead?

Sorry, it's 4th of July here in the states so I'm feeling all...constitutional. Er. Something.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
07-05-2009, 06:03 AM
While I could not bring myself to hate a book based on an author's public or private lives, nor a director his or hers, I support a person's right to do so. Isn't this effectively what they call a boycott? People may boycott a product because the product stinks or is dangerous, because the people who made it are awful people, or any other reason in between.

If the author's personality is so toxic as to forever ruin your enjoyment of her books, then who is anyone to tell you what you aught to buy instead?

Sorry, it's 4th of July here in the states so I'm feeling all...constitutional. Er. Something.

I think you misunderstand me. I don't hate the author's books, I've never read them so that wouldn't really be fair to say. But this is the first time I've ever heard of Alice Hoffman and I can't say it encourages me to go out and pick up her books after this tirade. If someone still wishes to purchase her books, it's fully their right to do so and I don't think ill of them for choosing to do so. It's just that obviously my money would go to her should I purchase her books, and I can't bring myself to do that. It's just a big personal turn-off for me is all.

I'm not American, but since you brought it up allow me to wish you Happy 4th of July :partyguy: We just celebrated Canada Day up here but people are still partying :)

brainstorm77
07-05-2009, 02:17 PM
I guess with all that's going on in this crazy world I don't feel that outraged towards her. I know it wasn't the right thing to do and something I would never do as a writer. Yet I can't help but wonder why she did go off like that. I don't follow her. Does she have a history going off on bad reviews?

CaoPaux
07-05-2009, 06:45 PM
Yeah, anyone can have a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. If it's a pattern of behavior, though....

William Haskins
07-05-2009, 08:58 PM
another instance of de botton lashing out (6th item):

http://authorscoop.com/2009/07/05/sunday-morning-litlinks-59/

Gillhoughly
07-05-2009, 10:54 PM
Gillhoughly writes a poetic response to de Botton...


Moses on a moped,
What a batshit d**khead.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
07-06-2009, 12:36 AM
That's a perfect of example of when even the 'I did something stupid and I'm sorry' apology is no longer acceptable. Not when you're going off the handle more than once.

rhymegirl
07-06-2009, 05:19 AM
Sounds like a writer having a temper tantrum.

It made me think of actors/actresses in plays. Their play gets reviewed and perhaps they get a bad review. It happens. Another reviewer maybe gives them a good review. Doesn't mean you have to strike back at the reviewer who gave you a bad one.

SJAB
07-06-2009, 10:13 AM
Though I think this might be covered above, another take might be interesting.

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article6634103.ece

emilycross
07-06-2009, 07:41 PM
They lose that thick skin. Not everyone's going to like something, that's just reality and if some authors can't deal with that it's no one else's problem but their own and the people who indulge them (like SMeyer's brother, for example). You're well within your rights to say you don't like something.

Whats the story about SM's brother? i missed that?

Phaeal
07-06-2009, 09:42 PM
Whats the story about SM's brother? i missed that?

Totally off-topic, but kudos on the Assassin My Little Pony avatar. Love it!

And yeah, what's old SM's bro up to? I have this vague impression he serves as her Internet bodyguard or something.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
07-06-2009, 10:03 PM
He's her gatekeeper, basically protects her from negative anything. So negative reviews, negative comments, he doesn't let her see any of it. Apparently because she can't handle the fact that some people just don't like her books and her precious Edward. I say grow up SM.

emilycross
07-06-2009, 10:06 PM
Totally off-topic, but kudos on the Assassin My Little Pony avatar. Love it!

And yeah, what's old SM's bro up to? I have this vague impression he serves as her Internet bodyguard or something.


Offtopic: Oh you mean my little eddie (scissorhands?) pony?? :)

A beautiful combo of johnny and pony.

Ontopic: oh i knew he runs her websites and all that, but didn't hear anything of buffering?

Edit: Oh just saw your post M.R.J. - now i understand.