I have written and rewritten this post countless times. I’m still not completely happy with this post, but I can’t grant my conscience any peace until I’ve said something on this situation. Goodreads is a war zone. I’ve been watching the drama on Goodreads rather intimately since my incident with that author nearly two months ago.
It was not a fun experience for me. I didn’t wake up one morning and say, “I’m going to piss on this author’s book today because I need some more fucking page views.” The truth was there were only 14 reviews in a 60 stop tour. Forgive me for saying 1 or 2. I didn’t LITERALLY mean one or two. But, it was my mistake for accompany that information with the review. It didn’t pertain to the book itself. I really feel guilty that it was my mistake that prompted the author to attack me. Theoretically, if I didn’t make a mistake, the whole incident never would have happened.
The tiffs between authors and reviewers is an everyday occurrence. But who is the bully in each situation isn’t as black and white as the participants want you to believe. It’s understandable if you stand up for your friends when one of them is attacked. That’s what friends are for. What’s not okay is for you and your friends to belittle and bully the other person until they never want to step foot on Goodreads again. Too many times what was originally said is blown out of proportion and what ends up happening is nothing short of childish.
It might be that many of these incidents occur because the reviewer does go slightly off topic and includes information that isn’t limited to the content of the book. It might not be a stretch to say that an author sucks at writing if several of their books have been sub-par, however, including what an author does outside of their books doesn’t have a place in a book review.
I wish that reviews would follow these two rules:
- Don’t post a review unless you read part or all of the book – Sample counts.
- Review the book and not the author – Tell me why the book sucks, not why the author sucks.
Shelving a book you’ve never read
I don’t use shelve books on my do-not-read list if the author behaves badly, but I’m not against it. I completely know why they do it. If I know that an author has gone after a reviewer previously I am much less likely to read/review the author’s books. I’m not on some moral mission to read only books by authors with good manners. Fact is that I don’t want to end up in the hot seat again because another author didn’t like what I wrote in a review. I’m not shifting the blame to the reviewer, but I really think that if WE were more proactive in not inciting drama that there would be less of it. Not only do some reviewers go outside of what should be in a book review, but some members on Goodreads actively LOOK for drama. (Screenshot taken from one of the comments on my review.)
There is an entire crew of people that search out and bait naive members of Goodreads. I don’t want to list people and I don’t need to. If you compare the comment logs of these incidents and you will see the same half dozen or so individuals making everything harder on the rest of us.
These people are trolls.
They have no purpose other than to make the rest of us fucking miserable. There will still be some drama between authors and reviewers without these trolls, but I DOUBT that it would be as severe as it is now. And it’s dangerous for bystanders too. Once you show any inclination that you think of one side favorably, you will be publicly called out and every post you make will be trolled. There is shady things going on with both sides, which is why I’ve tried to stay out of it. I’ve sent my <3 through PMs, but supporting someone that is on the current shitlist will only get YOU on the shitlist.
The Master List – Authors Behaving Badly
Something else that I’ve been pondering. How can authors that have behaved badly earn a second change? How can these people who we have blacklisted and humiliated clear their name? At the moment Goodreads works just like a sex offender list. Once an author is on that master list, there is no way for that author to step foot on that site without the label following their every post.
I think that there should be some path for retribution. Granted, there are some ‘special snowflakes’ that will be repeat offenders, but what about those that have learned from their mistakes. The reviewers shun these authors and then they’re surprised when these authors turn to the one place that offers them support and direction – STGRB. Whether or not they give rejected authors good advice, well…you can decide that for yourself.
I think people forget that authors are human beings too. We all make mistakes. What’s important is that it’s not repeated.
New Reviewers – They don’t understand that some authors care only about sales. Some authors will do ANYTHING to have only positive opinions of their book(s) available.
New Authors – They don’t understand that everything they say will be taken out of context and perceived in the worst way possible. They don’t realize that their Twitter and Facebook pages are opened to the public and therefore everything said on these sites will be screen-shot and forever associated with them.
Indie Writers – It’s implied that if an author did something wrong they were self-published. The well-known incident involving Wendy Darling and the author of The Selection was traditionally published. The author I had an incident with was from a small press publishing company. There are self-published authors that do behave badly, but avoiding books by self-published authors won’t guarantee that you will escape the drama. It’s like avoiding pregnancy. The only way to guarantee you won’t get pregnant is to not have sex. The only way to guarantee that you won’t get bullied over a review is to not write reviews.
I don’t know how to end this post anymore than I knew how to begin it. I apologize if it sounded like preaching. It’s something that I felt needed to be said. Feel free to disagree or agree with my opinions in the comments below.Read More
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I thought it was fitting to have a romance book spotlighted on Lizzy’s Dark Fiction today. Thank you, Derrolyn Anderson, so much for being part of the author interviews. She’s elected to giveaway 1 ebook copy of The Athena Effect (INT) and some cool SWAG (US/Canada only) with her interview. If you live in the US or Canada, you may enter into both giveaways. Winners have 48 hours to respond by email or another will be chosen.
If you’re an author and interested in answering questions most reviewers are too scared to ask, then email me at lizzylessard (at) gmail (dot) com. If I think your answers are the best of the batch, then I’ll pay for a giveaway of your book. Even if you don’t win, if you’re willing to host a giveaway, I will post your answers. But you have to be CREATIVE. The questions change every month! Remember, there is NO GENRE RESTRICTION.
10 Things You’re Too Scared To Ask Derrolyn Anderson
1) Name a topic that you refuse to write about.
Vampires. I can imagine a lot of weird shit, but I just don’t want to go there – Can’t get past the whole bodily fluids thing.
Sex scenes are tough. I don’t write erotica (not yet, at any rate) and I’m all about the “fade to black” sex scene. Not because I don’t imagine my characters getting down to it, but because the language and imagery often used is so loaded. The ick factor can get really high, and one person’s sexy might make another person throw up in their mouth a little bit. For example, I cringe to read about anything moist, glistening, swollen, throbbing or spurting. Sounds like an infection. Her “nub”, his “manhood”, all that mewling, laving, spurting, seed spilling, thrusting and pumping… It’s tricky, because the more clinical terms are almost always way too sterile. Hats off to anyone who can write sexy sex without making me laugh out loud.
I’ve actually put some thought into this before. For example, if someone ever messed with one of my children, they’d better watch out.
Going with the premise that revenge is a dish best served cold, I would do it quick and dirty. For example: “Knock knock.”, “Who’s there?”, “Shotgun blast to the face, that’s who.” Of course the groundwork would all be laid out ahead of time: wig and sunglasses, anonymously rented car, iron-clad alibi… Please don’t check my browser history.
Nothing REALLY, but when I was a girl I read a lot of old-school bodice rippers, and now that I have daughters I find the overriding theme of rape fantasy to be a little disturbing. I mean, they all seemed to send the message that “good” girls must be forced to enjoy sex, and they make rape seem like it’s (wink wink) okay if the guy is hot. I do realize that there’s a place for fantasy, and I myself am not in the business of writing after-school specials, but still… Eww.
Laini Taylor. Besides her beautiful writing, I wish I had the balls to dye my hair pink.
In the Athena Effect, if Cali died, Cal would have to take over the whole story, and that would probably shift the focus to his relationship with his brother. Two words: bikers and strippers.
That last thing in the world I’d want is a rotting, undead slave sucking around, but if I had the power to resurrect someone… Whoa!
I hate unrealized potential, so it would be hard to choose between Selena, Jimi Hendricks, Heath Ledger, Aaliyah, Mozart, Brandon Lee, Jeff Buckley… Hell, the list just goes on and on…
Reading my daughter’s YA fiction was what got me started writing in the first place, so my three lovely girls are my real-life muses. I may be biased, but by anyone else’s measure they are beautiful, kind, sweet, and incredibly intelligent.
I’m just as brainwashed as the next person, but wouldn’t it be great if female body hair was considered attractive? No more plucking, waxing and shaving! Imagine the poolside liberation.
I’ve always found Frankenstein’s monster to be a sad, misunderstood creature. I would have had him get his bride and go off for a little happily ever after Franken-nookie. Guess I’m just a sappy fool for love after all.
The Athena Effect by Derrolyn Anderson
Publisher: Self Published
Released August 20th, 2012 on ebook only
Country girl Cali has been kept a secret her entire life, raised in isolation by two very troubled people. Despite her parent’s disturbing fits, Cal is perfectly content, living at one with the nature that surrounds her, and finding adventure inside the pages of her beloved books. When an awful tragedy tears her away from her remote cabin in the woods, nothing she’s ever read has prepared her for a world that she knows very little about.
Girls and motorcycles are what bad-boy Cal’s life is all about. Brought up in a raucous party house by his biker brother, he’s free to do as he pleases, going through the motions on his final days of high school. Aimless, Cal stopped thinking about his future a long time ago.
Attacked by a gang of thugs while running an errand for his brother, Cal is in serious trouble until a fierce girl appears out of nowhere to intervene. She chases off three grown men, sparing Cal a brutal beating before disappearing into the night like a spirit. He can’t stop thinking about his mysterious rescuer, and when she turns out to be the weird new girl at school who goes out of her way to avoid him, he can’t contain his curiosity.
He’s never met anyone like her before, and the more he learns about the unusual girl who shares his nickname, the more he wants to know. Cal can’t help falling for Cal, but can he keep her from falling victim to a dangerous enemy from her parent’s tragic past?
OPENED INTERNATIONALLY: Win a ebook copy of The Athena Effect.
(Image and info borrowed from Goodreads)
Derrolyn Anderson is a visual artist and writer of fiction. The creator of the four part “Marina’s Tales” series and the YA romance, “The Athena Effect”, she’s currently hard at work on her next book, “The Mackenzie Legacy”.
Every month, I am a Reader, Not a Writer organizes a Kindle Fire giveaway. The authors partipating this month have some very interesting books that I had to add to my to-be-read list. Freak of Nature and Rapunzel Untangled intrigue me the most. I love androids and I love fairy-tale retellings. Which book interests you the most?
Or $199 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)
Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)
This giveaway is sponsored by these Authors:
- The Reluctant Bachelorette by Rachael Anderson
- One Classic Latin Lover, Please by Marcia Lynn McClure
- Betrayal by Anne Patrick
- Belleyache by Crystal Marcos
- Ethan Justice: Origins by Simon Jenner
- I Have People by Taylor Dean
- For What It’s Worth by Karey White
- A Kiss of Ashen Twilight by Rae Lori
- The Unraveling by Holly Barbo
- Fateful by Cheri Schmidt
- Dracian Legacy by Priya Kanaparti
- Cascade Brides by Bonnie Blythe
- A World Apart by Camelia Miron Skiba
- Reality Bites, Tales of a Half-Vampire by Shaunda Wenger
- Face-Off by Stacy Juba
- Two Equals by Marta Szemik
- The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw by Suzy Turner
- One for Kami by Charlene A. Wilson
- Freak of Nature by Julia Crane
- Grace Doll by Jennifer Laurens
- The Secret of the Scarlet Stone by T.L. Clarke
- Gallagher’s Hope by M.K. McClintock
- The Spy Lover & Prize Winning Pacific Stories by Kiana Davenport
- Rejected by Heather Bixler
- Rapunzel Untangled by Cindy Bennett
- A Hard Act to Follow by Henry Bushkin
- Starseed by Liz Gruder
1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (Internaitonal).
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
Welcome to the first ever author interview on Lizzy’s Dark Fiction. I wanted to give a little incentive for answering creatively, and so I had several authors answer these questions. I absolutely loved Michael Cargill’s answers, but he doesn’t want me to foot the bill for his books. So, instead I’ll tack on two $5 gift cards to the winners of this giveaway. Giveaway is opened internationally! Winners have 48 hours to respond by email or another will be chosen.
If you’re an author and interested in answering questions most reviewers are too scared to ask, then email me at lizzylessard (at) gmail (dot) com. If I think your answers are the best of the batch, then I’ll pay for a giveaway of your book. Even if you don’t win, if you’re willing to host a giveaway, I will post your answers. But you have to be CREATIVE. The questions are constantly changing.
10 Things You’re Too Scared To Ask Michael Cargill
1) Name a topic that you refuse to write about.
Ultimately, everything I’ve written about has originated from some kind of ‘spark’, meaning I get ideas about all kinds of things, and some of them are more savoury than others. I reckon that the only thing I’d outright refuse to write about would be a YA erotic zombie Armageddon trilogy based around the misadventures of a hamster, a bowl of cheese curds, and my parents. Mind you, getting them all to pose for the cover picture would make for an interesting experience.
2) What is the hardest scene you have ever written.
Once, when I was nine years old, I wrote “Miss Arbuckle doesn’t have a fanny” on a toilet cubicle door at school. I was paranoid about her bursting in and catching me red handed (because, you know, female teachers often make impromptu trips to the boys toilets), and my hands were trembling like mad.
Other than that, I reckon the hardest scene to write so far was when I had to kill off a character that I liked. Once the idea takes hold, I can’t shake it off and I tend to make the character stronger and more likeable as a result of what is in store for them. It’s almost as if I’m asking to be able spend just one more day with that character, and I want to make it as enjoyable as possible.
3) You threaten someone obnoxious in real life: “I’m going to write you into my book and kill you off.” Describe how you would kill off this person.
It would be a YA erotic zombie Armageddon trilogy. Right at the start, a witch and a wizard combine their powers and turn the obnoxious person into a hamster as punishment for their crimes. The only way he can become human again is if he learns how to milk a cow and finds something interesting to do with the resulting dairy product. Stretching it out into three books might be a struggle, but I reckon doing the front cover would be great fun.
4) What book are you ashamed to have read?
Years ago I had a brief spell of reading Japanese Manga comics, and I somehow got into a comic series called Ranma ½. The main character is a boy called Ranma and, due to an odd curse that doesn’t really make much sense, if he gets wet with cold water he turns into a girl. Hot water turns him back into his usual self again. To be honest, that isn’t necessarily the strangest thing about the Ranma world as just about every character is as eccentric as it’s possible to get. I’m not even making this up, it’s on Wikipedia for those that don’t believe me! And before you ask, no it wasn’t me who wrote the Wikipedia article.
5) Reveal your “secret” author crush.
JK Rowling is a bit of a honey, it has to be said. And yes, I’m aware that saying ‘honey’ makes me sound like a soppy buffoon who might be found standing outside her window, desperately trying to serenade her by singing the lyrics to Muppet Babies in the middle of winter.
6) Imagine your main character dies on page one. Everything else stays the same. Who will be the new star of your book? What is it about now?
Eh? What? This is an outrage! My artistic integrity is integral to how the main character develops in the book. Actually, this is quite an interesting idea. The star of the book would be Robert, one of the police office characters. Although he cracks lots of jokes he is a committed copper at heart, if maybe a little too idealistic. It would be about his female partner breaking him in, giving him a kick up the arse and also making sure the uncultured swine knows the difference between an espresso and a latte.
7) If you could revive one person in history and make them your zombie slave, who would it be?
Julius Caesar. The French military is getting a bit bossy in Africa these days and if anyone knows how to put the Gauls back in their box, it’s him. If it turns out that his military genius doesn’t survive the zombie resurrection process, I’ll just pop a centurion helmet on his head and pretend he’s a punk rocker.
8) Your muse becomes a real person. What do they look like? Describe their personality.
My muse is a small bear with dark blue fur. He doesn’t really have a personality as such and spends most of his time roaming around the woods, looking for honey. He carries a roll of plastic bin liners to store all this honey in, and he is smart enough to wear gloves so his claws don’t rip them to shreds. When he comes home of an evening, he likes to put his feet up and read stories about Spongebob Squarepants on his Kindle. Unfortunately he doesn’t like wearing gloves in the house, so his ereader tends to get smashed to bits after a while. Good job he has the Amazon customer service phone number on speed-dial, eh?
9) Name one culturally “taboo” thing you wish would be accepted.
Wearing women’s underwear. The ladies have bras that cater to each part of their body that hangs down, so why can’t the men? We’re lumbered with all-encompassing boxer short things where everything just gets thrown together in one untidy heap. It’s why our dingly-danglies always look like they need to be ironed.
10) What fictional villain do you wish won? How would you have ended their story instead?
The lion/shark/eagle in any nature documentary ever made. Why is the little rabbit with the hyperactive twitchy nose always made out to be the good guy? They have no qualms about randomly digging holes whenever they fancy it, or eating someone else’s grass without asking first. They poo all over the place if you let them, and if I’m honest they’re nothing more than the trailer park trash of the animal kingdom. Let’s not forget that predators have families to raise too, you know.
Underneath by Michael Cargill
Genre: Thriller? (So hard to categorize this one)
Released June 15th, 2012
Look at the person sitting just across from you. It doesn’t matter whether they’re a loved one, a friend, or a complete stranger.
Now look at their face. Are they happy? Are they sad? Or are they angry? Can you even tell?
How well do you actually know the people closest to you?
Have you ever seen the real person that lies just underneath what you see…?
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I’m an author who lives in the sunny, green hills of England. I’ve written a mixture of WWII historical fiction, suspense thrillers, and satire humour.
Over the years people had often said that I should write a book so, in mid 2011, I did just that! Anyone wondering which book of mine to read first should start with Shelter from Thunder. ’tis short and available for free.
My books are available to buy on Amazon, or download on Fenopy, H33t, ISOHunt and The Pirate Bay.
I’d love to hear suggestions for questions. Please comment with them! If I use your question, you might just get something special in your email. :)
I WILL NOT BE BULLIED
*Warning, graphic intensive post!*
Mike Kearby, you were wrong to think that my review was a personal attack. You were wrong to blast me repeatedly. And this is what you get in return. I will tell everyone I know exactly how you tried to bully me because I gave your book one star. I will tell them not to host you on their review blogs. I will tell them not to buy or review your book. You do not deserve the free press I am giving you, but I am not going to stand by any longer and allow you to slander me.
I TYPICALLY review books and not authors, but I will make an exception for you, Mike Kearby.
EDIT: I thought I had the support of someone that I do not so I edited out where I mentioned such. I will under no circumstances apologize to the author. It does hurt a little that this someone would ask me to do that.
EDIT#2: As a direct result of this post and for my refusal to give the author a full apology, I have been removed as a tour host from FMB Tours. I wasn’t going to say anything regarding this, but Mike Kearby decided to on his blog.
EDIT#3: Mike Kearby’s Goodreads account was either deleted or deactivated, which made all of his comments disappear If you’re REALLY curious, some one did post screen shots of the full conversation. I downloaded them so that they don’t get lost. SS#1. SS#2. SS#3. SS#4.
Since it has been 24 hrs since his last tweet and blog post about me, I am removing all links to his site and twitter account from this page. You can find both through Google, but I don’t want to feed him any more traffic. I am more than happy to put this entire situation in the past. Thank you all for your support.
On October 1st, 2012; I hosted Mike Kearby’s book Kavachi’s Rise (The Devouring #1) as part of a blog tour organized by FMB Tours. Let me say upfront that I have contacted Holly @ FMB Tours. I did not like Kavachi’s Rise (The Devouring #1) and so I hosted a book promo instead of the planned review with the intention of posting my review after the tour had completed.
On January 29th, 2013; I decided to go through all the books I read in 2012 that I didn’t like and didn’t review (most were DNFs) and posted a few lines explaining why I didn’t like the book. I also included how I obtained my copy, you know, because we’re required to disclose that on review blogs. You can find that post HERE, but it has been modified since originally posted.
Here is what I originally posted about Mike Keaby’s book in that post:
I posted just the review section and not the “How I got my copy” on Goodreads. Mike Kearby must have visited my blog after reading my one star review on Goodreads (his first by the way!) because he asked me in a not-so-nice way to remove what I wrote in the “How I got my copy”. More than one blog did switch from review to promo during the tour, however I didn’t want the drama and so I removed that section promptly. I also didn’t want to involve Holly @ FMB Tours, but she eventually had to be notified, because Mike Kearby was not satisfied. HERE is my review on Goodreads and below is a copy in case he decides to remove his comments.
I was okay with ignoring these low-blow insults. You know why? Because Mike Kearby is a nobody in my life. And I worked in a fucking jail as a prison guard. You have to work a lot harder to get through my thick skin. Calling me a liar is nothing compared to a child molester telling me to my face that he wants us to get married and have kids so he can fuck them. Now THAT screwed with my head for a few days. In other words, I’m still going to keep reviewing books and running this blog despite all this. But wait, there’s MORE!
I kind of figured that Mike Kearby would be one of those authors that would try to bully me into removing my review. Slamming me on Goodreads didn’t work and so he turned to Twitter and his blog. So I’m thinking not many people saw his rants. Still, here are his tweets blasting me:
The original tweet is a direct reaction to what I posted at the top of the 2012 DNF Book Blowout, which is where I reviewed his book on my blog.
You know what, Mike Kearby? I read books as a hobby. I review books as a hobby. I write books as a hobby. How pretentious of you to decide which of my hobbies are more important! You’re not my boss and I’m not being paid to write reviews for you or any other author.
But for any of you that are curious, I’m on my 2nd draft of my novel. I cut out 20,000 words when I switched up one of my sub-plots and am now filling in the gaps.
The Blog Post
The second tweet links to his blog. In this not only does he criticize me about my review of his book and my review of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Like I said, I didn’t like Pride and Prejudice so liking it with Zombies was either going to be a hit or a miss). But Mike Kearby says that I didn’t like his book because I’m a failed writer myself. Hello? I’ve never published or even queried a book. I’m not at that stage as an author/writer and I’m perfectly okay with it. I’m sure that none of the other 100+ authors who I reviewed so far think that I liked or disliked their book based on me being a “more frustrated writer than reviewer“. You can check out this post for yourself [Google "Mike Kearby"].
Here is a copy of his blog post so you don’t have to give him extra traffic on his blog if you don’t want to:
I’m still reviewing. I’m still writing. I love my life. Thank you to Rachel @ Parajunkee for giving me awesome support and advice regarding this. And thank you Pandora for spontanously playing I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz while I wrote this post. You truly are an amazing music station to know the perfect song for every situation.
Expect Lizzy’s Dark Fiction to be around at least another nine months.
From one “pseudo reviewer” to another: If you think that Mike Kearby’s bullying behavior is inappropriate, please don’t review or host him on your own blogs. Do not buy his books. Tell your friends to do the same. Please pass this message on to everyone you know.
AUTHOR BULLYING IS NOT OKAY
Mike Kearby, my 1 star review of your book will stay until Goodreads (and other sites) shuts down no matter how hard you try to bully me.
3/28/13: I’ve made a post concerning Goodreads and the war between authors and bullies. You can check it out HERE. Thanks again to everyone who had supported me through this. I really appreciate every single one of you. And thank you most of all to Parajunkee who has been there for me through every rant and question I’ve had concerning this incident. :)Read More