Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Who's a Sad Puppy?

An interesting thing happened this month: Salman Rushdie rated a bunch of books on goodreads. No, come back! They've all been taken down, now, so you don't need to rush over there to look. He was very honest with his ratings, because, well, he didn't realize they were public. He thought it was something like Netflix where you get suggestions based on your ratings. Needless to say, he got a lot of, shall we say, feedback based on his ratings, not all of it good. There was a lot of, "How could you not think [for instance] that To Kill a Mockingbird was the best book ever!" Because he didn't think that. However, there was also a lot of, "He's entitled to his own opinions," which he is.

And that brings us back to the topic of reviews. [And, trust me, I am more tired of talking about this than you are of hearing me talk about it.] One of the things Pat Dilloway said to me repeatedly over my review of Lyon's Legacy is, " what your mom always said: If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." [When I say "repeatedly," I mean repeatedly. He said it on my blog in the comments, emailed it to me more than once, and called me out on it in a post on IWM.] And, you know, I get that. It seems reasonable. Just hold back the critiques and let the market be flooded with... whatever. Because, you know, art is hard. Just like math. [That's a Barbie reference for those of you that remember that fiasco.]

BUT, as Claire Fallon said in her Huffington Post article on the Rushdie goodreads topic, "A sweeping policy of 'if you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all' means that every book is deemed an instant classic by some, and an artistic failure by none." Or, as I like to say it, "If every book is special, then none of them are." Basically, "public flattery and mutual back-scratching [of indie authors to other indie authors (my insert)] undermine the entire artistic community." That was, again, Claire Fallon.

Which brings us to the Sad Puppies...

But, first, really, who would name themselves that? [And they did name themselves.] It's pathetic, not cute.

Rather than try to explain the whole Sad Puppy thing in detail (that would take several posts, I'm sure), I'll just say it like this: The Sad Puppies are a group who have sabotaged the Hugo Award nominations for this year by rigging the process so that only the pieces that they have chosen (pieces by conservative writers) received nominations. Basically, it was a couple of guys (but mostly Vox Day, a racist, sexist asshole [Seriously, this guy believes that women shouldn't have the right to vote and has referred to African Americans as "half-savages."]) who were upset at not being nominated in previous years who, rather than just accept that their stuff wasn't up to nomination quality, started making excuses and coming up with conspiracy theories as to why they were being "blocked." [The major theory being that John Scalzi and his cabal of SJWs (social justice warriors) were behind the scenes keeping upright, conservative citizens such as themselves out of the ballots.] So they cheated...

Which is very like indie authors giving other indie authors 5-star reviews because, you know, "art is hard" and all of that crap.

Here's a thing that happened:
I posted my review of Pat Dilloway's Where You Belong to Amazon (because that's where reviews belong), and he immediately began challenging the review in the comments and saying the things I pointed out where just plain fabrications and I would need to point them out to him and prove their existence. He's not paying me to be his editor, though, so I declined. However, another reviewer came along and pointed some of them out. So Dilloway switched gears from "those things don't exist" to "oh, no, those things are legitimate" and proceeded to get into it with the other reviewer. I suppose he didn't like having concrete evidence of his tense lapses posted right there in the comments, though, because those comments by the other reviewer "mysteriously" disappeared thanks to Amazon (and, I'm sure, someone's liberally use of the "report abuse" button (because we all know that the truth is abuse, right?). [Fortunately, the other reviewer posted his own review, though that review is not as detailed in its examples as the comments were.]

So I was talking about all of this with a buddy of mine, Bryan Pedas, about both the Dilloway thing and the Hugo thing, and he read this post by John Scalzi about the mess with the Hugo awards, a post that I also read, and he sent me a quote about Vox Day that he said summed up Dilloway perfectly, which is actually exactly what I thought when I read the same piece of the post:
...he’s the sort of person for whom any scenario will be seen as a victory condition; if he were to be set on fire and pushed in front of a speeding train, he would cackle about how this was exactly what he had planned right up until the moment of impact turned him into flaming bits of kibble. In the grand pantheon of People Acting Like Children..., he’s the Grand Baby, and attention is what he wants.
...Fuck that dude. If everything is a victory condition for him — and it is — then worrying about what he’s going to do is sort of pointless. What is he going to do? Why, declare victory! Regardless! ...He wants you to see him as a mastermind, rather than as a general failure whose only successes lie in being terrible to other people, and encouraging others to be the same.
The fact that I'm making another post about all of this is, I am sure, a victory condition for Dilloway, but, then, not posting about it is also a victory condition, so I might as well do the thing I'm inclined to do, which is to out the person being terrible to other people, since Dilloway has been harassing me daily in emails and comments for the last month (since the Lyon's review went live) and has made it an ongoing practice to 1-star rate other authors' books as a way of expressing his dislike or anger. In light of all of this, the "Dilloway situation" and the Hugos thing, I am going to sort of redefine "sad puppy" to this:
A Sad Puppy is anyone who makes a habit out of whining or complaining about how they don't get the respect they deserve (in whatever capacity that takes: no award recognition, poor reviews, whatever) and, then, go on a rampage and do revenge-y things to get "even" with other people (or to, in Dilloway's words, "let [them] have a taste of [their] own medicine").
As Dilloway himself says, "I complain all the time about people [who give my books low ratings]."

What I really want is for people like this to just get over themselves. No one is out to get you. No one has a conspiracy against you. No one is going to any trouble to make things more difficult for you. Do you know why? Because you're not worth the effort. The only reason Dilloway is even still on my map is that two to three times a day, I get a notification that he's left another comment in which he calls me names (because Dilloway can't seem to tell the difference between actual literary criticism and name calling). [Actually, at this point, he has literally spammed my comment feed with hundreds of comments calling me names (just ask Lee or Jo, who both got caught up in his spam).] Oh, that and that he has down-rated another of my books. I supposed that is meant to provoke some kind of reaction out of me. And, maybe, this qualifies as that, since I've brought him up, but it's really more about the idea of these kinds of people rather than about Dilloway himself.

The most important thing to remember is to not let people like this push you into doing something you don't want to do. Remember, they're going to claim the win no matter what you do, so just go on as if they aren't even there and do what you would do. I'm going to leave you with another John Scalzi quote:
Just a thing to remember when a Sad Puppy puffs himself up in a blog post or comment thread near you: You're looking at a failure trying very hard to convince himself -- and you -- otherwise.


  1. Not worth the effort - funny.
    Messes like that are why I've never thought a lot about the big awards like the Hugos.
    Usually it's people with low self images who try to make themselves feel better by bringing others down. I guess that's another way of describing a sad puppy.

  2. Alex C: That's true. Sad puppies tend to be full of "woe is me."

  3. I wish Rushdie had left his ratings up. Strange that he didn't understand about them before he put them up.

    Now I guess we are going to get a whole new onslaught of messages from Pat. It is strange for an author to do a rebuttal blitz like he does and to focus so much on his bad reviews. Seems like someone would have better things to do with their time.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    A Faraway View

    1. Lee: Yeah, I would have liked to have seen Rusdie's list, too, rather than just the few mentioned in the Huffington Post article.

      If you look through his reviews, he's attacked every negative review he's received and, if the reviewer was an author, gone and given them revenge ratings. Sadly, I don't think he has better things to do with his time.

  4. A review is worthless if it's not honest.

  5. Oh, man. He's commenting on your posts now. I'm not sure why he's being so insulting. Is it supposed to make people sympathetic to him? Or not like you? Let us know why you're wrong about your review? Because it does none of those things. I guess it could be annoying for you. But it seems like a waste of time to me.

    1. Jeanne: Oh, he has been. Total spam for, what, a month now? None of it intelligent or intelligible, just name calling. His basic rebuttal, "Well, you're just a stupid doo doo head!"

  6. The Armchair Squid already said what I was gonna say. A dishonest review is worth exactly nothing. It's not fair to the readers who get misled and end up wasting time reading some tedious, badly written piece of crap...and it's not fair to the authors who miss out on the chance to become decent writers due to everyone being fawned over. It really disturbs me...cause like you said, if everything's GREAT!, then nothing is. It reminds me of the time my youngest son came home with a spelling test that he got an A on, and every other word was misspelled...when I asked the teacher about it she said that at that age they didn't want to destroy a child's self esteem by saying that their answers aren't right, so every child got 100% as long as they 'made an effort' to spell the word....what a load of feces! I said his self esteem is gonna be a damn sight more destroyed when he's twenty and can't spell a damn thing...has to sign his name with a big 'X'.
    I suppose it wouldn't have mattered if he couldn't spell, young people don't seem to be able to spell anything these days...I've actually met kids who have managed to graduate from high school without knowing how to tell time! That's another subject though...

    1. Eva: Oh, but art is hard and selling books is hard, so lying is totally okay if it's used to sell books that were so hard to write!
      And I have some ocean front property for you in Arizona. Or would you prefer Colorado? A mountain view of the beach!

      I've known some of those kids who can't tell time unless it's digital, but the one that bothers me most is that too many kids are coming through the system these days who think that the first day of the week is Monday.

    2. Isn't that a bit of a subjective view? For Christians, I would think that the "seventh day" couldn't possibly be the start of the week, for instance. And for working stiffs with a regular weekday schedule, Monday is certainly very easy to interpret as the first day. And students.

      The only times we differ are when you tend to make statements like this, in that you think something is blindingly obvious and really isn't. It's not even unreasonable for a kid to not understand a non-digital clock. If you're not familiar with something, you have to be a genius to understand it right away. How many geniuses do you know? And if many, you spend too much time at Mensa meetings.

      And speaking of intellectual claptrap, I know I'm courting trouble making a comment here at all, and to even suggest sympathy with this crusade you've been on. But to be perfectly honest, the review you gave the Big Controversial can't really list as one of your chief complaints the fact that you disagree with its premise. That's another subjective view. If you thought it was that stupid, chances are better that you should have quit reading well before you could give a lengthy review. Being a teacher, I would expect you to be a lot more about constructive criticism. If it was so stupid, you should have had suggestions for improvement, even if the author was not in a million years going to implement them. Authors are like that. All of them.

      Yeah, even Salman Rushdie.

      I haven't been vocal at your blog for a lot of reasons. One of them I've already alluded to. Sometimes you really irritate me. But I've begun to realize I shouldn't be so shocked when we actually agree on something, because we're probably not as different as it might sometimes seem.

      And I think that's another of the problems here, that is not being addressed. There's a reason you and Pat Dilloway became associated in the first place. Both of you might think you're completely different people. But chances are, you're not. And it's killing both of you to even think it subconsciously. Tough bananas, alas...

    3. Tony: I don't fault students for not being able to tell time off of conventional/traditional clocks. It's like cursive. It's not exactly a useful skill anymore; it's barely covered in classrooms; there's not really any opportunity to practice it.

      However, what day starts the week is hardly subjective. That is an actual fact, like 2+2=4. Now, if you want to qualify it and say "the start of the work week" or "the start of the school week," then that's a different story.

      As for the review, I can actually list as one of MY complaints is my disagreement with the premise. And I stated it as MY complaint. I didn't say it was a flaw in the book. I said I couldn't get on board with it, and that is, actually, what a review is supposed to be: a personal reaction to the product. "I liked this" or "I didn't like this" and why.

      Reviews are not a place for constructive criticism as reviews are not really meant for the author; they are meant for the audience. If an author wants to contact me and say, "Hey, what would have made that better," or, "How can I fix that," well, that's a different story.

      And, Tony, I never asked you to quit commenting on my blog. I didn't even have an issue with your position on the thing we disagreed over, whether I think you're wrong or not. My issue was with the assumption that I was having a knee-jerk reaction just because that's what most other people were doing. Even when I have a knee-jerk reaction, I only very rarely actually have the reaction until I've had a chance to think about it. But that's another topic entirely and, probably, not one that needs to be revisited. At any rate, you're welcome to comment whenever you want to.

      As for any likeness between Pat and myself... Well... Look, I couldn't demonstrate the difference by... Why don't you email me and we can talk about it.
      Oh, and I didn't solicit help from my sibling to go over and 1-star any of his books, because, you know, he's now actively campaigning for help (on facebook) to get people to go give me bad reviews. So, yeah, huge difference.

    4. I don't even remember the thing we disagreed about (other than how Armchair Squid's book club was operating; in all fairness, at the time I tried to address that situation, every single time I clicked on a link you had provided, it was not to a book review, and I checked multiple times, coming up with the same result, although later you did start providing appropriate links). I remember the one time I was vocal on Arlee Bird's blog far better, and that was a fiasco.

      I still don't get how you consider "the official start of the week." The only indicator I know of that goes with your thought process is how a calendar displays the week. I have no idea why it's set up that way. In this regard, you have information I lack completely. Maybe this isn't all that important.

      As far as the book, and your review of it, goes, maybe constructive criticism isn't mandated in a review. Having now gotten a crash-course in how you review (you are definitely a teacher, which is sometimes not a good thing in responding to the outside world the way you do a student's assignment; it can come off as kind of rude regardless of whether or not you mean it that way, rude as in smarmy or completely needless, having, thusly, every reason to be summarized in a phrase such as: the author's grammar leaves something to be desired, or what have you).

      I don't really want to delve further into the Andrew/Pat dualism other than to say: You fixate on things, too. You know this. You wrote it into this whole post. Pat fixates. You fixate. We all fixate! But both of you have a hard time moving past something. And you both have a knack for surrounding yourselves with very forgiving friends. You're lucky to be able to be hypercritical about a book you otherwise like, and the author being okay with that. You seem to have no idea. This is not typical unless you're an actual critique partner or comparable collaborator.

      And yes, this is also a good time to acknowledge that you are fallible. Aren't you the guy arguing that book reviews should be honest? Honesty, then, a very essential virtue. We all know this. Step back. Be honest. Use this as something to help improve yourself.

      As in: It was a shitty review. You can rationalize all you want, but it was a shitty review. We all understand why you did it, and you have perfectly valid reasons. But, it was a shitty review.

      Continue making honest reviews. But make them better.

    5. 1. As far as I know you were the only one to have an issue with links from Squid's thing. I did actually check with him about it, and he and everyone else apparently were arriving at the correct posts from the links I left.
      2. I don't remember anything from Lee's blog.
      3. The calendar thing varies by culture, but, traditionally, American culture (along with huge sections of the world) has observed Sunday as the first day of the week, hence its calendar placement.
      4. I don't actually review books as I would deal with a student's paper. Rather, I approach books from a literary criticism standpoint, one of the things I studied in my degree. Which is why I point out both what I like and don't like, which is what criticism is. It just so happens that I also teach and can draw comparisons.
      5. Which brings me to the "shitty review," and I'm assuming we're talking about the review of Pat's book, here. Actually, that doesn't matter. All of my reviews are in the same vein and tone, so if that review was "shitty," all of them are, which is fine if that's what you think. I get that many people don't like my reviews because I do approach what I read from a criticism standpoint (again, "criticism" being a literary criticism standpoint where I am looking at both the positive and the negative (It just so happens that I found nothing positive about Pat's book, which is why I didn't finish reading it)). If you are specifically pointing out that some particular review I did was "shitty," you will have to tell me what differentiated it for you, because I don't see any qualifying difference.

    6. Wait. This is a test. Was my last comment eaten accidentally?

    7. Well, crap.

      I don't want to write all of that out again. Bottom line is, I was addressing the Lyon's Legacy review. And I'm just going to walk away. (Suffice to say, what was eaten was not merely stating, "And I'm just going to walk away.") This whole nonsensical business has already swallowed enough attention...

    8. Tony: Yeah, I didn't get any other comment from you beyond the two that are here.
      Walking away is fine. I agree that it's eaten too much time.

      At any rate, if you have a specific issue with the way I review, let me know what it is. Which isn't to say I will necessarily change anything, but I will look at it.

    9. The main thrust in the eaten comment was me wondering why you read so many blogger buddy books. You don't seem to like the writing very much. Which leads to a lot of reviews like this. Personally (and I say this because this is literally what I did myself), I would suggest maybe not reading these books anymore. It causes you misery. It leads to reviews where you spend most of the time complaining about everything you hate (which is fine), and will sometimes lead to reactions like this (which is also fine, but in the grand scheme somewhat unnecessary). The main result in reading these books seems to be making the same kinds of observations across multiple books. You may think you're doing the writer and/or the reader a favor, but...maybe not?

    10. Tony: Because sometimes I do like the writing very much. For instance, I read, initially, Briane Pagel, Bryan Pedas, and Brandon Meyers all because they were "blogger buddies," and I love their stuff. If I had not decided to read other bloggers' books, I would never have found them. And there have been some other books I liked (I really enjoyed CassaStar, for another instance). So there's that. The rest of it I have talked about so many times, I'm not going to try to go back through it here. I have multiple posts about why I take the approach I take, and I stand by it.

      As for situations like this, well, they are extremely unfortunate and are the reasons many people stay away from indie books. Author tantrums (even if they are about other author's books) do nothing but drive readers away. But, now, I'm going to do a post about that question, so I'll get into the rest of the answer there.

    11. Fair enough. With the three specific examples I saw in this series, including the Pagel book you otherwise liked but still eviscerated, it certainly seemed like you uniformly end up hating all of them. So no, I haven't read all your blog posts, nor all your reviews. For me, I gave up trying to find the diamond in the rough [indy books] both in the blogger pool and the Goodreads giveaways because the winning percentage was just too low (though I highly recommend Ghosts of Nagasaki if you'd like to see what I consider to be top shelf in this realm of publishing), and because the first such book I ever read, T.M. Wells' The Patron Saints, perhaps set the bar impossibly high. I'm the kind of reader who hates to read stuff that's considerably below the bar, not because I have a vendetta against certain writers, but because at the end of a book I genuinely want to believe I didn't waste my time. I do believe that "life's too short" is one of the dumbest mantras ever spoken by man, but when I know I have books that with 100% likelihood I will enjoy a lot's just such a terrible waste to read material that in the final analysis I just should not be reading. I've been a submissions editor, too, and so I know all about patience as a reader. But reading short stories of a questionable nature and entire books of a questionable nature...Why put myself through that?

      The most frustrating thing for me is that so many of these authors, Pagel chief among them, have many good instincts but routinely fail to pull their act entirely together. Pagel has some of the best chops I've seen. Based on his natural ability alone there's absolutely no reason he shouldn't be well-known. But there's a sense that despite how much he writes he's just goofing around, that he's not serious, doesn't want to accomplishment something significant in his writing. The main difference between someone like him and, say, Douglas Adams, is that Adams knew where he was headed, from the moment he landed the Doctor Who gig and spun it into Hitchhiker's. For too many indy writers, they never discover that moment. And everyone is still expected to believe they have, because out of the material they do produce, it's better than what other indy writers accomplish. The best of middling material should still be considered middling material. That's not being cruel. That's honesty.

      But to each their own, right?

    12. Hmm, first, I don't think Adams had any clue as to where he was headed or what he was doing or anything. Not until way late. Read Gaiman's 'Don't Panic;' it doesn't at all show an Adams with a goal and a plan.

      As for the rest, in short:
      Too many (almost all) indie writers have this "indie writers, other than me, suck ass." They only read mainstream, traditional books but, yet, they expect everyone else to read their books. I find this attitude, at the very least, hypocritical. I don't want to be that indie writer, so I make it a point to read other indie writers' books. I mean, why should I expect anyone to read my stuff if I'm not willing to read theirs?

      Besides, mainstream, tradition stuff has almost the same level of crap in it. For instance, I'm reading 'The Name of the Wind' at the moment and, although I get why it's so popular, it's a poorly written and often stupid book. Unless something amazing happens before the end, I won't be reading the next one. Almost everything I've read by the authors I mentioned is better than this, and no one would call this "middling" because it's a bestseller. But what it really is is some dude who got lucky with his first book because people look at it and go, "Whoa! Impressive world building!" But that's all it has. The writing is "middling" at best, the characters stereotypes, and the plot insipid.

      That is why I read indie authors.

    13. It's not your books that's my problem. I'd like to stop reading these repetitive comments. Maybe you should stop commenting on this blog and turn it into a book.

    14. Lee: Sorry, it appears that the comment you were responding to has disappeared.

    15. I it weren't so sad it might be funny. Actually it's kind of funny, but it's also sad. I guess I'm disliked by Mr. Deleted just because I am a blog friend of yours, Andrew.

    16. Lee: Actually, I think it's because he can't stand to be confronted with people pointing out his bad behavior. As long as it's just me, he can justify it but, when other people, also, start pointing it out, he has to either look at how he's wrong (which he'll never do) or encompass them in his bad behavior so that it becomes justified.

    17. Crap monkey crap crap. My dialogue with Andrew was hijacked!

      Anyway, I haven't gotten around to reading Gaiman's biography of Adams. It was my strong impression that Adams was directly inspired by working on Doctor Who that resulted in Hitchhikers (regardless of how long it may have taken). I had another example but I forgot what it was. No worries.

      Another problem I have is this terrible game of reciprocity. Why? Why must you expect to have to read someone else's book in order to get them to read yours? You wouldn't expect, say, Stephen King to read House on the Corner in exchange for your reading Cujo. It's exactly the same. The problem is that we have this idea that the only way to support each other is to give exactly what we expect to get. This is utter nonsense. And it results in reading books that you would not ordinarily, and as such, reviews of the kind we've been talking about. I don't want to have to comment on someone else's blog in order for them to read my blog (they either like what I write or they don't, would be the far simpler approach). And I don't have to be a fan of my reader's writing in order for them to be a reader of my writing.

      Did I mention how poorly some bestsellers are? I think we can all acknowledge that. Most of the time, we like something for reasons that have nothing to do with the actual quality of the product. And that's something that's entirely missing from your philosophy. We glom onto what's popular, either from a wide sampling or from whoever our peers happen to be. There's no use denying this. You're reading all these peer books because you're hoping to have a pretty exclusive interest in common. One such in this community is certainly, and quite obviously, Alex Cavanaugh's books.

    18. (I apologize. I've been attempting to have generally well-edited comments here. I slipped up a few times in this one.)

    19. Tony: That's okay; I un-hijacked it.

      If I'm remembering correctly, Adams got the Dr. Who gig because of Hitchhiker's, not the other way around. The script he wrote got rejected, and he later turned it into something that happened in the 2nd or 3rd Hitchhiker's book. But, mostly, Adams had to be tied down and forced to actually do any real work.

      As for the reciprocity thing, I agree with you... and I don't. It's like this:
      I don't go decide to pick up a Tony Laplume book thinking, "Maybe if I read Tony's book, he'll read my book." That doesn't work and is a silly thing to do. It's an especially silly thing to do if you're going to approach it the way I do, which is to give an honest review. So it's the principle of the thing:
      1. I feel that it's wrong to expect people (specifically other indie writers) to read my work when I'm not willing to try out their work.
      2. I like that reading indie authors urges me in new directions in my reading. I like to get stuck in ruts (hence close to a decade of reading Piers Anthony when I was a teenager), and reading indies lets me taste other things. Sometimes I don't like them but, sometimes, I do.
      3. And, as I said, it's not a specific reciprocity thing; it's more general than that. The truth is, if I want to drive up my blog traffic, I can do that by visiting other blogs. Even I go check out the blogs of people who routinely leave comments here. It doesn't mean I'm going to go read their blog every day or every post, but I will go check it out. That same thing applies here. So I might have to read 10 indie books to get one person to pick up one of mine, but, right now, when I don't have "random" readers just picking up my work, it's worth it. And, like I said, sometimes, I find something I really like. Bryan Pedas' Banana Flavored Spaceship book is one of the best books I've read in the last five years. Books like that make it worth it.

      So... I agree with you in this about blogging, but I only agree with you about it -now-. There was a time when I spent a lot of time going around to other blogs in order to generate some followers. And, see, that worked. I don't need to do that anymore and can let the people who like my blog read it and can do my own blog reading among blogs I like or with people I want to keep a connection with. The indie book thing is like the beginning of blogging.

      But, honestly, even once I do get to the point where I have readers spontaneously buying my books, I will still buy indie works, because I want to support the indie book market. I will give honest reviews because I want to bring legitimacy to indie books. I'm part of the indie book market (and don't have plans to change that), and I want to support it.

    20. I didn't know he actually went to Doctor Who with the towel in his back pocket, as it were...I will definitely have to read a biography at some point.

      And you just know a title like Banana Flavored Spaceship begs to be looked into. You evil, evil man...

    21. Worth noting that the book in question is entitled Demetri and the Banana Flavored Rocketship.

    22. Tony: Yeah, the Hitchhiker radio show was, really, the very first thing he did that was real. He spent a year or so working with teh guys from Monty Python on stuff, but none of that ever panned out. Neither did his Dr Who work.

      And, yeah, I know the whole title; I just didn't feel like typing it all out. You should go back and read my review of it.

  7. People who resort to personal attacks have nothing intelligent left to say. I get it, I don't want any bad reviews of my book either but it'll happen and once I'm done crying about it (seriously, I'll cry like a big baby), I'd like to think I'd move on and let the person have their opinion because, yeah, it's theirs to have even if I don't like it. I won't engage them in social media. What a waste of good writing time. Maybe that time should be spent improving my writing?

    1. Elsie: I don't think he knows the difference between a personal attack and just pointing out when a personal attack is happening. One thing is certain, I have not spent my time spamming his blog with HUNDREDS of comments calling him names.

  8. Yeah, I was getting notifications of every comment he left on that review post as well. I think it was over 100 emails overnight on the second day, or something like that?

    I assume when you comment that much, Blogger would send you to the spam filter, or they were being removed (by you, which is fine), or maybe he's been blacklisted... In any case, there was a special amount of obsession on that one.

    I'm not sure I would have personally had any sort of conversation with him on Amazon, but that's just me. I tend to not engage anyone whose only intent is vitriol.

    1. You know nothing. I made 100 comments because he was deleting all my comments. I thought maybe if I made enough one of them would stick. But nope, he's still at it. On the bright side, it does make him take a few minutes out of his day to remove the comments. And as far as "obsession" goes I probably spend more time on the toilet each day than commenting on this pathetic blog.

    2. Yet you still feel the need to comment here, to me.

      Actually, I was following it. For a while, I understood your position. Given the timing, it could definitely feel like a revenge review, but Andrew's review made statements that never attacked you, personally.

      As I said in my reply, how those comments ended up removed (whether by a spam filter or Andrew physically removing them) is besides the point. This is his personal space. And you can't really be surprised that he would devote another post to you given the response you've given him.

      I'm in a position of knowing nothing about you or your work, except that I've seen your name on this blog, and a few others in the blogosphere. I really have no opinion of you (not meant derogatorily, just as a notion that I am not going to judge you for better or worse because I have no real framework to go off of, except from the hundred comments of "hypocrite" that you left here).

      As far as the Amazon review incident, I'm inclined to believe that Amazon removed them on their own. They don't like authors commenting on threads, but like I said, I'm not really wanting to get involved with this.

      My philosophy on book reviews is different from Andrew's. He could tell you that much. When I read, I read as a reader, not a writer, and if I feel something wasn't working, I don't comment about it like someone needs to 'learn' something, because honestly, it's not my call to make. However, that doesn't mean his technique is invalid. Look at any review he's left. Tone and content is consistent. He didn't single you out.

    3. Alex H: Yeah, I did have to disengage from the Amazon thing. Initially, I was just saying, "Nope, not a revenge thing," but he started flinging that same kind of "well, you're just an idiot" stuff. Oh, well. On the plus side, it seems that Amazon has been routinely removing his repeated "FAKE REVIEW!" comments, so that's good.

  9. I still stand by what I said... that To Kill A Mockingbird is overrated. Oh, and also about Pat. I'm not sure what he's trying to accomplish by sending out hundreds of nasty comments, and I'm sure he'll leave some snarky comment to me just for replying to this post, but I don't care. He'll go away eventually. And I don't know if he truly thinks that you're out to get him, but seeing as how he comments angrily on your posts literally hundreds of times, has changed all of his reviews on your books to be negative, and even had his sister give all of your books BS one star reviews... I'd take a look at myself, Pat, and see who the real aggressor is here.

    1. ABftS: Well, to be fair, he didn't do it to -all- of my books (yet), but I do think he's lost four of the fingers off of his counting hand if thinks he did it to only one.