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Myshkin

Authors Behaving Like A**holes

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I’m not sure much PR training is needed to follow the one rule every author should know; don’t address your critics. You’ve put your work out into the world to be judged, and not everybody’s gonna like it. Now if someone like Michiko Kakutani just absolutely tears into you, then maybe it’s okay to say something (though probably still better not to). But some rando internet person? Nope, just let it go. And I’m sure every one of the authors involved in this incident has had that discussion with their agent and/or publisher. 

I’m also not sure much PR training is needed at this point to understand that popular public figures (especially those involved with fandom) with large social media followings should not single out private individuals for abuse. It’s no secret in this day and age how quickly the insular world of fandom can turn toxic.

Maybe (maybe) a small amount of PR training is needed to understand that turning some internet nobody into the face of All That Is Wrong In Our Corner Of The World is a bad fucking idea.

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I’ve not read much of this, but as a newly published author (whose cumulative sales for two novels are less than 200) in a world with more competition (self-pubbed and ebooks never going out of’print’) and fewer readers, I  can sympathise with someone reacting to a stranger basically trying to get   their books removed from the curriculum. 

I hope I’d not react, but it’s worth noting that it was easier to refrain when the internet was rarer, and was done on a PC.

Now we can be sitting on the couch at home having just drunk a bottle of wine, or sitting in a bar drunk when we see a post we don’t like on a phone. And it’s easier to react impulsively. Whereas before when it was all on Pc, we’d maybe sleep on it.

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13 hours ago, Myshkin said:

In that they are defensive about the idea of not being taken seriously as authors, and so any perceived insult may be met with an outsized reaction?

Yes, exactly.

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One a side note, one small aspect of this story that I think deserves a little more attention is that the reporter who wrote the article that kicked this whole thing off has apologized to Sarah Dessen for including the offending quote. Are you fucking kidding me? This person needs to seriously rethink their choice of careers.

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Is Katherine Hale considered YA? Cause there is a shit show that keeps on shitting.

4 minutes ago, Myshkin said:

One a side note, one small aspect of this story that I think deserves a little more attention is that the reporter who wrote the article that kicked this whole thing off has apologized to Sarah Dessen for including the offending quote. Are you fucking kidding me? This person needs to seriously rethink their choice of careers.

Yeah, I think a lot of people involved in this need to do that.

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This is purely anecdotal:

Among my friends at one time were quite a few middling successful fantasy / sf writers.  With the vast amounts of money publishers, film and television companies were paying for Harry Potter and Hunger Games, they immediately, lemming-like, switched to writing YA (while demanding it be treated the same as adult fiction).  They also immediately changed their personas to act like buncha of middle school, adolescent and freshmen at college and became back-biting, emo / emotional, victim, clique-clinging, picking on Others, and just plain nasty and no fun.  Needeless to say, their ages were like forty and above, and many of them were parents themselves of teenagers.  It was one of the weirdest things I ever witnessed.

 

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They are no more famous now than before, and never got any big bux from publishers or producers, and kept seeing younger nobodies coming up out of nowhere suddenly and getting All The Awards.  In fact, just lately at least one of them got dropped by her publisher, as not doing well enough.  Ah, the writing life -- only if one prepares for heartbreak.

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4 hours ago, Starkess said:

Yes, exactly.

Wonder why they would be so worried about that?

2 hours ago, Zorral said:

This is purely anecdotal:

Among my friends at one time were quite a few middling successful fantasy / sf writers.  With the vast amounts of money publishers, film and television companies were paying for Harry Potter and Hunger Games, they immediately, lemming-like, switched to writing YA (while demanding it be treated the same as adult fiction).  They also immediately changed their personas to act like buncha of middle school, adolescent and freshmen at college and became back-biting, emo / emotional, victim, clique-clinging, picking on Others, and just plain nasty and no fun.  Needeless to say, their ages were like forty and above, and many of them were parents themselves of teenagers.  It was one of the weirdest things I ever witnessed.

 

Oh right, because of bs like this

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2 hours ago, Myshkin said:

One a side note, one small aspect of this story that I think deserves a little more attention is that the reporter who wrote the article that kicked this whole thing off has apologized to Sarah Dessen for including the offending quote. Are you fucking kidding me? This person needs to seriously rethink their choice of careers.

Hey Myshkin, you’re a big dumb asshole. A small amount of research would have put this “apology” in its proper context. It took me very little time to discover that while yes, an apology was technically made, it was made as an acknowledgement of hurt feelings, rather than as an acknowledgement of any wrongdoing on the part of the reporter. The reporter explains that while cruelty was never the intention of putting the quote in the article, it was in fact her job to do so. Hope you feel good about yourself, dummy.

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Just now, Myshkin said:

Hey Myshkin, you’re a big dumb asshole. A small amount of research would have put this “apology” in its proper context. It took me very little time to discover that while yes, an apology was technically made, it was made as an acknowledgement of hurt feelings, rather than as an acknowledgement of any wrongdoing on the part of the reporter. The reporter explains that while cruelty was never the intention of putting the quote in the article, it was in fact her job to do so. Hope you feel good about yourself, dummy.

Well fuck.

Several hours ago I posted in defense of an issue that I am very passionate about; the free press. Deceptive reporting practices led me to believe that my position was righteous. I should perhaps have looked into the matter in more depth before commenting. That’s on me, and I own it. I have a platform, and it is incumbent upon me to understand how using that platform may affect other people. Bullying and abusive behavior is never okay, and it hurts me to know that my post may have unintentionally opened someone up to abuse. Moving forward, I will do better.

Dear Katherine Grandstand.

I’m sorry. I said some stupid shit about you without knowing, or bothering to know, the facts. It was a real jerk move, and I have no excuse for it. I should never have called your journalistic integrity into question. I apologize unconditionally.

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20 minutes ago, Myshkin said:

Well fuck.

Several hours ago I posted in defense of an issue that I am very passionate about; the free press. Deceptive reporting practices led me to believe that my position was righteous. I should perhaps have looked into the matter in more depth before commenting. That’s on me, and I own it. I have a platform, and it is incumbent upon me to understand how using that platform may affect other people. Bullying and abusive behavior is never okay, and it hurts me to know that my post may have unintentionally opened someone up to abuse. Moving forward, I will do better.

Dear Katherine Grandstand.

I’m sorry. I said some stupid shit about you without knowing, or bothering to know, the facts. It was a real jerk move, and I have no excuse for it. I should never have called your journalistic integrity into question. I apologize unconditionally.

Honestly don't know if you're making fun of the thing now or serious.

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7 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Honestly don't know if you're making fun of the thing now or serious.

In this case, both.

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Katherine Grandstand is a cool ass name.  She should never have apologised though.  Still, not as lame as the university doing so.

Sarah Dessen, on the other hand, tweeted a good (and unlike the university, correct) apology acknowledging precisely what happened.  So much props to her for that.

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20 hours ago, kairparavel said:

I don't think YA authors have any greater numbers of assholes than any other genre of authors and I don't think authors have any greater numbers of assholes among their ranks than any other career.

I think this is spot on - what I don't agree with is somehow equating what the student in question said to the reaction by the author as well as her friends - this included doubling down and the author explicitly endorsing a fellow author saying 'fuck that fucking bitch' to the student. It is a completely disproportionate response by Dessen and I'm glad to see her acknowledge that she was out of line, but I don't think you can equate the two things *at all*  - the grad student has subsequently had to deactivate & take herself off social media.

I'd be a little more understanding if the student in question was directly tweeting at or going out of her way to trash her work, but it was a comment in a local newspaper that who knows how Dessen found.

Egging on your friends to pile on a grad student for something so benign boggles my mind, even if I acknowledge and understand why YA authors might be a little defensive ( and this defensiveness is obviously not exclusive to YA authors, it's something SF & Fantasy authors share too).

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I somehow stumbled across this yesterday and am now fascinated. I agree with Raja's take (the fuck any of this is equivalent, and the college should have held its ground) but what really gets/intrigues/infuriates me is the self-serving ideological puritanism of the whole discourse. You know what, even in the worst possible read of the student's actions, even if what the pile-ons thought was going on was actually going on - a brazen hater deliberately joins an elite committee to promote - nay, dictate! - to an entire college a loathing of Sarah Desssen, aha! - Well, so fucking what? The ease, thoughlesness and immediate fluid reflexiveness all these people picked went to the misogyny, devaluation of girls, devaluation of themselves, etc with, is the part I find troubling and infuriating.

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