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Pisco Sour
12-22-2014, 11:31 PM
My husband would remind me that more people actually loved my book, and though that is true, I found the troll reviews and hate e-mails very difficult to cope with as a debut author. The book has been a success for me and my publisher and of course I am pleased. That my gritty tale of guilt and redemption has been read by thousands of people often makes me pinch myself because I never planned on being a writer. This book was the result of a dare when I couldn't find something I wanted to read. Well, it's transformed my life to the extent that my next two novels were also picked up and I quit my job to become a full-time writer. I love that I get e-mails from readers all over the world who say they have a book hangover after reading my debut, that my characters made them LAUGH (yay) and cry (double YAY!), and fall in love (ooh-la la). I love my editor and my publisher, however, through no fault of theirs', the release experience was fraught with stress. At one stage I was crying my eyes out--and this was before the book was even published. I absolutely dreaded its release and wished I'd never written the darned thing. A trip to the A&E after two particularly awful reader e-mails made me wonder if I'm cut out to be a writer. It was a huge wake-up call to what it means to be 'a published author', out there in the public eye through something you've written.

Sorry if this is long, but I'm finding it cathartic. Not even my husband understands how difficult releasing my debut was for me.The blurb my editor wrote went viral, but never being on Twitter or suchlike before signing on that dotted line, I didn't even know what was going on until my e-mail account received hate messages after a Dear Author review. A huge punch in the gut as to what putting out a controversial book means in emotional drainage terms. No, I wouldn't change my novel. Not one bit, and neither would I change the other two novels I've written since. I would, however, pace my releases differently. I didn't know how e-publishing worked and when I submitted the other books I figured they'd be released in 2015 and 2016. Ha! Stoooopid, or what? I almost went back to hospital finishing edits on those further two, 95K novels (one with a different publisher), released within a 3 month period. I look back on 2014 as a humongous learning curve and a lesson about what it means to write a book and release it 'into the world'. No matter what I mean when I craft my words, there will always be people who interpret them however they want. I do not own my story or my characers, and nor can I proscribe people's interpretation of the same. All I can do is 'know' what I meant to portray and be proud of my characters and my writing.

But, all that being said, I am taking this moment for ME, to tell myself it was all worth it and to be proud, damn it, because I, a non-native English speaker, have achieved what many people only dream of and that, after a flippant dare from my husband. Yay, double yay, and of course, ooh la-la.

morngnstar
12-23-2014, 01:10 AM
Congratulations. I hope at least as many people detest my novel if I get it published, because that means at least that many people read it. Keep taking risks (like your multiple 1st POV). It seems to work for you.

Pisco Sour
12-23-2014, 01:22 AM
Thanks! :Hug2: Can you tell I'm feeling gushy today? LOL. And good luck with your novel!

Siri Kirpal
12-23-2014, 04:36 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Congratulations on the success and condolences on the trouble. Yeah, success does have strings attached, usually. But it's inspiring you've come so far and in a language you weren't born to.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal, whose Sikhism book has made her an unintended controversial author

CathleenT
12-23-2014, 10:44 AM
Congratulations! Three books out there in one year is impressive. But really, it's become clear to me that if you write anything, you'll piss someone off. My husband reads me the comments after Yahoo articles and I tell him to stop because it's just too painful. And I didn't even write the things.

But people seem to insist on projecting their lives on what they read and watch.

Sorry about the hate mail. If it helps, picture the kind of person that would write something that poisonous, and then mail it. I figure for people like that, being them is its own punishment. They can't possibly have real joy in their lives.

And you do. You wrote and published books that you love. :)

Phaeal
12-23-2014, 05:27 PM
CGs on making it through the rough first-publishing journey! Have my own bruises from the process, as do most who run that gauntlet. It adds a second layer of toughness to the already rejection-toughened skin. ;)

holy heidi
12-23-2014, 06:40 PM
WOW. Congratulations and what a journey! You have a ton to be proud of :) Well done!

Pisco Sour
12-23-2014, 11:30 PM
Thank you, all! I'm so glad I posted this! Hard, as it felt like 'look at me', but it's been a topsy-turvy year and I want to be happy about what I've learned and what I've achieved. Have a lovely Christmas and end of 2014 everybody! Oodles of cheer. :hooray:

AllenC
12-24-2014, 01:32 AM
Congrats, and thank you so much for posting your catharsis.
That's something we all writers, aspiring of published are destined to deal with.

In a success story, you always focus in the SUCCESS word ;)
About was it worth? You didn't need the readers to confirm it, you love it, that's what matters

Tazlima
12-24-2014, 02:10 AM
I wrote a debut novel loads of people detested...

You wrote a novel a lot of people read. That's tremendous!

I've often wondered how Stephanie Meyer feels about the constant stream of "Twilight" hatred. How would I feel in her situation? Anyone who achieves a certain level of success has to deal with haters, but she just got torn to shreds.

I've concluded that it would suck, but the money and the thousands (millions?) of people who adored her books would be more than sufficient balm for that particular wound.

You just keep on doing you. Obviously you're doing something right!

Viridian
12-24-2014, 02:29 AM
Kudos, Pisco.

I've often wondered how Stephanie Meyer feels about the constant stream of "Twilight" hatred. How would I feel in her situation? Anyone who achieves a certain level of success has to deal with haters, but she just got torn to shreds.
As someone who writes lot of entertaining smut, I've thought about this often.

I mean, I don't spend a whole lot of time trying to make my work moral or intellectual. I think it's important to tell a story well, but at the end of the day, my goal is to entertain the reader. I use tropes. I bullshit things, sometimes. There's needless drama. And I'm sure I'm gonna have haters.

But what a lot of people doens't realize is: Stephenie Meyer is a fairly good writer. She tells an entertaining story and she has memorable characters and an interesting premise, and that's far beyond what most people can do. I mean, I think her success is overblown -- success like that is always half luck -- but she's not bad at her job.

People like to hate things. I like to hate Twilight, sometimes (I still read reasoningwithvampires.tumblr.com when it updates). No matter how you write something, there's going to be some hate. And that's fine. You're still better than most. Listen when you can, try to improve when you can, and let the rest roll off you.

nealraisman
12-24-2014, 02:32 AM
Congrats. What is the title of the book and where can it be found?

Pisco Sour
12-24-2014, 01:00 PM
I sent you a PM! :)

ajaye
12-24-2014, 01:34 PM
Try to shrug off the trolls and hate-mailers, they're really not worth your time or your emotions.
For those that have a reasoned criticism of your work well, that's fine, we don't all like the same things. That's the way we're made.
Above all be happy and mighty proud of yourself.
Congratulations on your super year! :D

Pisco Sour
12-24-2014, 03:48 PM
Try to shrug off the trolls and hate-mailers, they're really not worth your time or your emotions.
For those that have a reasoned criticism of your work well, that's fine, we don't all like the same things. That's the way we're made.
Above all be happy and mighty proud of yourself.
Congratulations on your super year! :D

Thanks, to you and the other's who've posted since I last checked. I'm all over the place at the moment, but your words mean a lot to me.

It took a while to be able to shrug off the trolls, but I got there in the end. I think. LOL. Reasoned criticism and hey, even unreasoned crit is fine ( I might not like it, but it is what it is and that's the nature of the beast); it was the actual hate e-mail I received that really got to me. Two, in particular, from women saying I should be raped. I didn't know who these people really were, but that they hated ME, personally, so much as to say something like that was scary. Hate my book, hate my writing, hate my characters…whatever. But why get personal? It was a huge shock, and ultimately, it made me take the decision not to accept the agent rep I was offered and shelve the other two books I have in my head which I am SURE would also cause a stir. It's just not worth it and I prefer to write some other stuff which won't cause me such grief. For now, anyway. I might change my mind in the future. The door is there.

ajaye
12-24-2014, 04:30 PM
Whoa, that's horrible, I can't imagine how it would feel to receive something like that. I'm so sorry it made you change course, but I totally understand that you did what you needed to do. Glad to hear you say the door's still there.

Tazlima
12-24-2014, 05:36 PM
Reasoned criticism and hey, even unreasoned crit is fine ( I might not like it, but it is what it is and that's the nature of the beast); it was the actual hate e-mail I received that really got to me. Two, in particular, from women saying I should be raped. I didn't know who these people really were, but that they hated ME, personally, so much as to say something like that was scary.

That's awful. :e2bummed:

I've got nothing more constructive to add. That's just plain awful and you have my sympathies.

Sam Argent
12-24-2014, 06:22 PM
Thank you for sharing this. It means a lot to see a writer persevere when they have people throwing hate at them. You wrote a book from the heart and other people loved it. Remember that if you get any more e-mails from crazy people.

Pisco Sour
12-24-2014, 07:37 PM
At the end of the day, I had a nice life with no aspirations to be a writer before that fateful morning almost 3 years ago, when I put fingers to keyboard and began this journey. I loved reading and I had an okay job, two perky children and a fab husband. I never wrote my story for the money, or wishing for the success of Stephenie Meyer or E.L. James, for example (just as well, since I'm so far removed from their sales numbers as to be laughable!) I wanted to tell a gritty, abrasive tale of guilt and second chances, and entertain people, like Viridian Chick does. I amped up the drama, subverted a trope or two and laced my book with an underlying exploration of truth and deceit, and the nature of love and forgiveness. Never, in my wildest imaginations did I think my story would hit such a strong cord with readers, though my editor did tell me the book would 'polarise'. Err, sounded like business speak to me, and I didn't understand what it meant…but oh, do I understand it now! LOL.

Jassack
12-25-2014, 02:00 AM
To generate that kind of response, both positive and negative, you must have written something very powerful. Well done! Congratulations!

I'm sorry some people are so hateful. That's the downside to internet anonymity. Some seem to think it gives them free rein to be as nasty as possible. Hard as it is, try not to let them steal your joy in this. You have accomplished much and should be proud.

As to the haters: "Screw 'em!"

Cathy C
12-25-2014, 02:13 AM
Isn't it an awesome feeling? :e2cloud9:

Congrats! Now, go do it again!

benbradley
12-25-2014, 03:24 AM
That's interesting ... I'm kind of reminded of Usenet or Slashdot or Reddit where there's little if any "real" moderation. Not having a lot of experience on various aspects of the Internet. or perhaps not realizing what the "don't read reviews" thing is about, can be a rude awakening.

Here's a Twitter account that may be helpful:
https://twitter.com/avoidcomments

Oh Noes! They're not posting anymore! Not even repeats of older tweets! At least you can still scroll down and read all the older tweets...

Congratulations on all your success! And I bet your husband is really careful about what he dares you to do now!

Ferret
12-25-2014, 05:08 AM
I'm so sorry that people can be so awful. My first book is coming out next year, and the thought of reviews terrifies me.

Congratulations on all you've achieved. I hope you continue to write whatever you decide you want to write. No matter how matter how loud the trolls are, it sounds like you have a lot of fans.

Undercover
12-27-2014, 05:07 PM
Sounds like you're keeping a level head about this and that's all that matters now. Don't let them get to you. It's horrible how someone can say such poison. Some people really hate my book too. And I've had a few scathing reviews directed at me personally. It really hurts to first read it, but thank heavens I brush it off eventually and move on.

Write what you want to write. Don't let anyone else dictate that for you.

Congrats on your accomplishments. Keep going!!!!

mfoley
12-27-2014, 09:04 PM
Congratulations! An inspiring story, and, as some of the others have said, at least you it's being read!

Siri Kirpal
12-27-2014, 10:42 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Yikes! Sending you some nice protecting vibes...

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

WhirlyGirly
12-31-2014, 04:03 AM
As a very wise woman once said, haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate.

I'm glad you wrote it, because I probably read it. (And likely didn't hate it.)

Pisco Sour
01-01-2015, 10:49 PM
LOOOL! Whirly Girly, I have that song stuck in my head now, along with 'Wiggle'! :O

And, Siri, thanks for the good wishes! Sunshine on your head! :D

I'm looking forward to 2015, writing and enjoying life regardless of what happens with my upcoming releases! Positive vibes to all...:Hug2:

Isobel Lindley
01-03-2015, 06:22 AM
I will never understand why anyone would wish rape on anyone else.

Congratulations with all my heart to you for your courage and for making it through.

lindyhop
01-03-2015, 06:46 AM
Pisco, I'm really sorry to hear about your awful experience with hate mail and rape threats. :( Would you be willing to share the title of your book with me (via PM)? I'm pretty worried I'm going to step on some toes with my writing if I ever get published, but it's so hard for me to tell what's going to bother people and what isn't, you know? I never would've imagined my work as controversial, but recently one of my crit group members left our group in part because of something I wrote. It broke my heart, so I can't even imagine what you are going through. Best wishes to you and best of luck with whatever you do in the future!

Pisco Sour
01-03-2015, 02:28 PM
When I received the e-mails I was shocked, horrified, angry. My husband went into caveman protective mode though I never felt threatened physically. Cyber-malevolence is hard to deal with in a different way, but at least I never had people banging on my door! These 2 e-mailers were in a different country (friends maybe, since their writing style and peeves were the same). They were obviously deranged, ranting, and they seemed very young. They hadn't even read the book and were going on what they'd read in an inaccurate blog review. But this was all back in May/June and things calmed down a lot after a few weeks and people moved on to troll somebody else. It's done and over with, mainly, though every time my publisher puts the book on some sort of special deal I prepare myself for an e-mail or two. They never materialise (so far anyway) so I think the massive hate machine has burned out. Sometimes I still feel like I was hit by a truck and can remember the impact, though. I am made of tough stuff, but there are squishy bits, too. LOL.

Lindyhop: a couple of posts up you'll see the very wise and catchy, haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate hate. And I would add: and then they gonna to hate, hate, hate, hate some more. BUT, some people are also going to like a book, and some might even love it! Thing is, do YOU like your novel? You'd better, because you're going to see that thing umpteen times in edits, and then it's going to be out there in the world: discussed, loved, derided, parodied, dismissed, liked...whatever, but if you are proud of it you can shield yourself with that knowledge, even if things get bad. A big IF, so I wouldn't worry prematurely about it. At the end of the day, had I changed my heroine (like one publisher wanted me to!) or softened the awful things she did, then it would not have been the story I set out to tell. I possibly wouldn't have had such a gut-slamming intro to social media and reader backlash, but I would regret not telling my story, my way. I have enough regrets in my life to add more.

endearing
01-04-2015, 12:05 AM
Phew, congratulations!

It's such a brave thing to write, and especially to get your work out there. I'm glad you've had a really supportive husband through all of it, and hope that your books will do well :)

Brenda Hill
01-04-2015, 10:00 AM
Congratulations! And I understand. Of my four novels, three are doing ok, but one, my favorite, has been slammed so hard that I wonder how I bear to read the reviews. My character has been called, among other things, childish, weird, needs a dr.'s help. One reviewer even said I needed therapy.

My advice? Keep writing! My next book is getting good reviews, so there's hope after all.