Seriously Folks, It's Just A Book

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Yes, we all have hot buttons. Apparently the author has bulls-eyed all of yours.

Obviously, the subject of the plot is just not your cuppa. The hero reminds you of your ex, who is A) a jerk B)a bastard C)an A-hole D) dead (you wish), and the heroine's a doormat, beeyoitch, 30 yr old virgin (c'est impossible!).

Yeah, you just might be of the opinion the author jumped the shark, phoned it in, doesn’t know dick all. Suuuure... you could eat a bowl of alphabet soup and shit out a better ending. Jyah!

The villain? ZOMG, what type of deprave mind thinks up a character like that? And, was all that sex (on pages 2, 44, 89, 214, 270, and 336) necessary? Why can't they write a real book? You ask yourself working up quite a frothy fury to top the scalding latte of your indignation.

But really, what's with the personal attacks?



A Book.

Put it away and go watch the news now.
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raine said...

At the risk of repeating myself...

vanessa jaye said...

I'm just gobsmacked, Raine. Such anger is beyond me.

avidbookreader said...

Ok Vanessa and Raine, you both look at that list from an author POV moreso than a reader BUT I do agree when I read all three sites (I've bookmarked now), it is beyond ridiculous to send hate mail to an author. I've never done it, will never do it, because I am sane and realize that these books are just fiction. If it's not to your liking just skip it.

Now about the author killing off a major character, I was a bit upset with Karin Slaughter for this in her Grant County series. I didn't send her hate mail, nor write her a long ass letter asking her to resurrect the character, but I was so emotionally attached to the character and the series, that it really hurt. That's not the case with every series that I read but there are the few authors who are very talented storytellers and she was one of them. So I can truly understand reader anger about a major character's death because yeah, I know real people die but don't we read to escape real life?
Besides, her series was so dark and bleak and violent that honestly, she could have kept them as a couple just to provide some ray of sunshine in the series, but no, she had to kill off a character to clean the slate. Anyway, I did get over and it doesn't bother me as much as when it first did (I sound like a nutcase right now so I apologize). But readers do invest themselves emotionally into some of these stories and I think that's a compliment to the author's talent. Sorry to ramble but thanks for sharing, V, because in the end, like you said, it's just a book.


vanessa jaye said...

Keishon, absolutely, readers have a right to be pissed off or disappointed in a book. If a writer would move their readers in a positive way, emotionally, then they must run the risk that those emotions might result in the negative.

(I think Raine has a post up over at Southern Chica's about 'manipulative writers'. lol. But this is manipulation in a good way. It's bad when the manipulation is solely to elicit specific emotions in the reader and not organic to the plotting/character arc. Let's face it, no one likes to be jerked around, or set up for a huge stab in the heart re characters you've come to love.)

The problem in these situations is that the disappointment is directed to the writers personally. The disappointment is not in the execution of the plot, characterization, writing craft, ect., but that the author is a bitch, or no-talent hack, or a godless slut, or a misogynistic psychopath, or whatever.

What the hell does that have to do with anything? The opinion is the book didn't turn out the way the reader liked. The characters as portrayed behave inconsistently. The plots of the last several books have become simplistic, or repetitive. All opinions on books. The author is XYZ? What's the basis of that opinion? Because you didn't like that the hero yelled at the heroine in chapter 5. Time to change the meds mebbe.

Coincidentally, Keishon, you got me into Karin Slaughter, I read the first book, haven't read the others, but book 2 & 3 are in the tbr pile. Now I know when I got to read those books *not* to get emotionally involved with the main protags.

Elizabeth George is another authors whose books I enjoy and have several in the tbr pile. After her last release, again, I'll be holding myself back from one of the long relationship arcs in that series.

There's one book on my keeper shelf that I've never finished. I loooooved this book until part way through I started getting a weird vibe and skimmed forward. The hero dies. After the author had used such painstaking, heartrending skill to show the maturing of the heroine and the H/h growing to respect each other and falling in love, that's what I end up with?

Sure the book continued on the the herione's story, and no the book was not a romance, but, yeah, I'm still angry years later at what the author did. I don't hate her.

Having said that, do I want to read another book by her? No. Not unless it was a plot driven type book where the character developement is apendaged to a romantic relationship.

vanessa jaye said...

Oh, that 'you' in the comment re the hero yelling at the heroine in chapter 5 is a general you, not you specifically, Keishon. :-P

avidbookreader said...

I think that's what happened with Ms. Valdez, she let the "personal attacks" from readers get to her or at least at the start she did. I hope she bounces back. She's another talented author. Readers can be a scary bunch.

Karin Slaughter is an awesome writer. I was just unprepared for what she did although she gave some foreshadowing of the events to come. So now that you know ahead of time, I hope it doesn't hit you as hard as it did us, on the emotional front.


raine said...

Okay, I can certainly understand not liking a book. Or being disappointed, angry, even heartbroken over the way it went. I can even understand writing the author, if you absolutely feel the need. Tell 'em you didn't like the way they handled the plot, that you loved the character they killed, even that you won't be buying their books--whatever. As you said, Keishon, it's a tribute to the author's talent that you've become so emotionally involved.

But if you have to call the author out of her name or try to get photos of your dick autographed, you've crossed the line and you've got issues.
Reality check, as Vanessa's-just-a-book.

vanessa jaye said...

It is sad that LV let hostile readers get to her, if this is indeed the case, I'm almost sure I saw something on her site, or maybe in a newsletter that there were things going on in her personal life that had sort of throw her off course. In anycase, she's human. I'm not pissed at her, nor have I given up on her, because she hasn't released the second book on time. A good book is always worth waiting for, imo. And it's not like I'm dependent on her for my next read. Am I as excited as I was before? At the moment, no. But that state of emotion will probably change once it's back on for sure. Thing is I haven't changed my mind about buying the book.

::Segueing:: This is why I think it's great for unpubs to spend time online, particularly observing and learning from the craziness that happens. Perhaps if LV had been online and saw how flamming can just spring out of nowhere, and that a polite brief, and if possible humourous (as in selfdeprecating/witty/inventive/tongue-in-cheek, not sarcastic/snarky) reply is the next best thing to no reply. Those are the two wisest choices an author has for the most part. Anything else is liable to stir the pot more.

vanessa jaye said...

omg, Raine, that photo of his manhood just made me laugh out loud. But that's creepy as hell. Definitely over the line. That reader was obsessing over the author, transferring what she writes over to her as a person. :-P

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