Authors Behaving Badly

One of the quirks in my personality is the fact that I will remember forever the way that people treat me or friends of mine.

If you’re an author and you behave badly on Twitter or a public internet space, I will remember and it will make me much less likely to read you.  I don’t read Alice Hoffman anymore because of her Twitter meltdown.

But then there are the authors who have been mean to friends of mine.

I’m going to be a lot more subtle about this because it’s not a part of the public record and frankly, they’ve already proven to be jerks and I don’t particularly enjoy ire aimed at me. :)

One left a nasty comment on a blogger friend of mine’s post.  This is an author of both YA and adult fiction; at least one movie has been made based on her books and she’s achieved a pretty high level of fame due to a certain former talk show host’s book club.  (Note: It is NOT Elizabeth Berg, who is lovely and who doesn’t write YA fiction…but since the other clues fit, I thought I’d make sure you knew that.)

The other wrote an incredibly snarky blog post and, when a friend of mine pointed out that said post was not necessarily the best idea, author updated the blog post and blasted my friend (including posting her Twitter handle).  She’s since removed that part of the post.   This is a very popular YA author who has won at least one prestigious award.

I enjoyed the first author’s books until she was rude to my friend.  I haven’t read one since.  I only read the first book the second author wrote and didn’t particularly care for it.  (It was not a book she’d won an award for, so I don’t know for sure that I would’ve bought any of her other books, but I know for a fact that I won’t now.)

Some may think I’m being petty.  Second author has done at least one nice thing that I know of (and being so, so vague now; sorry) and I do kind of want to support her for that. But at the same time, the thought of giving her any of my money, EVER, kind of makes me want to curl into the fetal position.  And I know for a fact that I can’t review her books fairly AT ALL.  (I have a minimum of a two-star deduction for being a wretched human being and as far as I’m concerned, she is.)

I don’t necessarily need authors to be nice to me in order to read their books.  (Maureen Johnson, for example, has never responded to any of my Tweets to her and I still read her books and plan to keep on doing so.)  But I will never give money to any author who has been horrible on the internet.  There are too many awesome authors to support instead.

How about you? Does behavior like this make you avoid the author?

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5 thoughts on “Authors Behaving Badly

  1. I had an up and coming country music star treat his ‘backstage pass’ fans extremely rude. We were supposed to get pictures and autographs. What we got was a rude manager kind of guy telling us that there would be no pictures, only autographs because the ‘star’ had a party to get to. uhm. Yeah, nice way to treat your fans when you aren’t even big, yet. I refuse to spend money on anything that has his name associated with it. It’s been about 20 years and he apparently has become a much nicer man. I guess age, marriage and kids might do that to a person. But, I still harbor a grudge and when I look at the picture Chris managed to snap of the top of said singer’s hat…my feelings are hurt all over again. :P I know my money is just a drop in the bucket for him these days, but he still won’t get it.

  2. I find it very hard to separate the person from the work they produce. Art is a reflection of the soul, and I believe that strongly. While sometimes awful people do produce beautiful things, I still think that most of the time who someone is and what they make go hand in hand. I feel the same way about music- I find it hard to like music made by jerks because to me the music sounds jerky, no matter how popular it is.

    With authors the lines can be blurred even more. Ursula Leguin once famously said that there was nothing new she could bring to an interview because it’s “all in the books”, and I think that’s very true. Most of my favorite authors have done a lot to prove their decency as human beings: Stephen King has given so much back to the businesses and industries of his hometown, NK Jemisin’s work on sexism in fiction, Gae Polisner’s dedication to education (that rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?), Michael Crichton’s work on scientific awareness, and the list goes on and on.

    So I could see how even the perception that someone is a jerk could make you feel like their books are jerks, too. Although, that being said, sometimes people have bad days. BUT, (this is a BIG BIG BUTT) anyone with a public persona to protect should know better than to have their bad day PUBLICLY. If you’re pissed about a review, snark off to your friends, not twitter. An author not having the maturity to realize the way their actions negatively impact their fans and their image, in my mind, ought to lose them fans.

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