I blame the Mayans for all the author/book drama in 2012. If they hadn’t said the world was going to end this year and LIED, maybe fewer people would have been asshats. For everyone who wants a record of what went on so they can go back and laugh at it, I give you a recap of 2012 in drama! Grab some popcorn because this will be a long one. This won’t be a comprehensive list because there are so damn many dramas big and small, but I’ll recount some of the more well-known, entertaining, or personally important ones.
Links are compiled thanks to the list of books I won’t read due to the authors behaving badly, the lovely ladies at Cuddlebuggery and the occasional Scandalous Scandals/Controversy section of Buzzworthy News, my black-belt Google-fu, and scouring for links on Goodreads.
This month was especially bad. Oh Lord, this month was awful. The First Five Days of Goodreads recounts this well, though more than a few links are altered or dead now.
Before 2012 even started, my friend Kira posts a pre-review of Tempest by Julie Cross criticizing the portrayal of a man-hater as a feminist. Author Dan Krokos criticizes her about her criticism and in the new year, he took it to Twitter and a whole bunch of authors joined in to bash Goodreads. People who jumped in on this whether or not they KNEW what the hashtag they jumped into was about included Lauren DeStefano, Courtney Allison Moulton, Pam van Hylckama, Bill Cameron, Rachel Hawkins, and Jessica Corra. All but Hawkins and Cameron apologized. Krokos apologized too and is genuinely sorry about what he did, as he expressed in this in an interview with The Midnight Garden. Most have forgiven him.
Just about all the links are dead on that one because Kira removed Tempest from her Goodreads shelf, so the Midnight Garden interview is the only one I can provide. Sorry ’bout that, folks.
Steph Sinclair, one of the lovely ladies behind Cuddlebuggery, got forwarded an email originally written by Leigh Fallon. In it, Fallon calls her a cow and tries to get people to downvote her review and other negative reviews of Carrier of the Mark on Amazon while upvoting the positive reviews. After some questions about whether or not Fallon wrote it, there is confirmation she really did do it. Fallon apologized, but that didn’t help matters much. A lot of people (including me) still have her marked as Do Not Read.
Sophie on Goodreads writes a negative review of Beautiful Disaster and the author decides it’s a good idea to post about it and tweet saying it’s attacking her readers. Hm, the itty bitty Goodeads reviewer (at the time) getting swamped by trolls who get so bad that she often deletes comments (as is her right) or the author with a legion of fans… I know who I side with!
ALL the links to what Halpern said are dead now, so I’ll quote Cuddlebuggery‘s summation of it:
Julie Halpern writes a personal attack on Allison’s recent review of Don’t Stop Now. The blogger world reels from the ridiculousness of it all. Then a rash of discussion breaks out.
She posts a second blog post. It is not an apology. She blames the bloggers for being too sensitive and justifies her attack.
A third and final blog post is written demanding bloggers stop being so upset about her offensive posts.
The bloggers agree, forgive her and rush to buy her new book. Then they all die from a sarcasm overload.
Quotes from Halpern in those posts include:
I fucking hate people who write nasty reviews!
Ugh! I didn’t make it up, beyotch! (addressed to reviewer) (source)
(Fun fact: this one happened on my 18th birthday. Not the gift I wanted.)
This one is more Cass’s agent Elana Roth. Roth decided it was a good idea to call Goodreads/The Midnight Garden reviewer Wendy Darling a bitch on Twitter because Wendy had the audacity to not like The Selection. Cass never objected to it, so I consider that implicit agreement. They both sent apologies that Wendy didn’t think sounded too sincere.
Longtime problem author Vanity, aka Melissa Douthit, is finally banned from Goodreads, along with 27 of her sockpuppets/friends. Other than that, February was calm. Hallelujah! Unfortunately, this isn’t anywhere close to the last we see of Douthit.
I told you Jamie McGuire was going to make a comeback! This time, she’s attacking a review on Amazon for calling her book YA–despite the fact that she asked fans to vote for her novel in the YA category in the GR Choice awards a few months before. Backtracking: she needs a better bicycle for that. Dead link to the blog post where she tried to get people to vote, but I have this status update and this comment. She also fails to understand the definition of a personal attack.
Then one of McGuire’s author friends, Steph Campbell, decides to pipe up. Bad idea.
ANOTHER of McGuire’s friends, Jessica Park, also whines about people giving her three stars and then trying to friend her on Goodreads. Oh, the humanity!
Then we have a small something courtesy of Michelle Wolfson, who takes issue with the fact that some people didn’t like The Selection by Kiera Cass. She’s also okay with Cass’s agent Elena Roth calling Wendy a bitch and calls Wendy an idiot while she’s at it. Surprisingly few people cared.
There are no words for this lady. Consult Cuddlebuggery and this review for more. While talking to Kat Kennedy, she compares a bad review to rape. Just about everything you expect to see happen because of stuff like that happens.
So in the comments section of a review, Sue Dent has a meltdown over someone looking at the sample pages of her book and not liking it. Her bad reaction includes wanting to run the commenter over. Black humor: not always a good idea. There are also T-shirts.
The Story Siren
This was one of the largest scandals of the year: major YA reviewer Kristi, aka The Story Siren, was found to be plagiarizing other bloggers’ material. I made a post on it, so check it out if you want the full story. Basically, she took from beauty bloggers to craft four of her pages, posted a few fauxpologies, and her fans started emailing hate mail and such to the people who outed her or stood against her. It’s just an ugly mess.
BUT SHE STILL GETS ARCS GALORE FROM PUBLISHERS, INCLUDING A GODDAMN NOOK FROM HARPERCOLLINS.
According to her, people like me who write negative reviews are “bitchy, angry people who need to get laid.” Mm-hm. Same story as usual. I’d ask for them to spice things up a little, but people eventually do that and everyone wishes they didn’t.
This author, when a negative review of one of her books is posted, likes to respond to them, which often resulted in the reviewers being pressured into changing their reviews or ratings to suit her. Not smart.
Park, a friend of famous badly behaving author Jamie McGuire, decides it’s a good idea to post a screencap of a Goodreads member’s shelf on her book, which was so given thanks to Park’s own tag-team behavior with McGuire on Amazon. She also comments on it. Not too bright.
When his thread about his books got moved to the small press/self-published section of the forums, Mathias was not a happy boy. Not at all. This resulted in a meltdown with him making many, many comments on a Goodreads list dedicated to badly behaving authors (but all of his comments are deleted now, woe) and many, many stupid tweets.
Laurell K. Hamilton
This is hardly even anything because LKH has done this so often. So often that she gets a page on the Fandom Wank Wiki just like Anne Rice does. What she does this time is rather typical of her: complaining about reviewers, assuming they’re complaining because her character Anita Blake is having sex with multiple people (and not because her books might be going down down down in quality or something), etc. Barely worth paying attention to. It’s almost funny!
She returns! This time, it’s because she decided to air popular reviewer Wendy Darling’s alleged personal information and twist around what happened during The Selection‘s debacle. Cuddlebuggery and Pocketful of Books have the most comprehensive screencaps/link collection on this whole sorry mess. Wendy herself made a post responding to all this, and it becomes clear how much the problem with The Selection has affected her.
This whole fiasco scared many of Wendy’s friends–and people who fought with Douthit in general–into locking down their social media presence for a while. This may be the only event this year that had a personal effect on me; a supporter of Douthit’s came to play with me, which resulted in a stress-related medical condition I’d just started recovering from to start up again the night before I graduated high school.
Because it summarizes this quite well, I’ll borrow a comment of mine from elsewhere on this: Spamming people, calling someone who takes issues with the way you advertise yourself a communist/fascist, and then saying they must be on drugs? Uh, fuck no.
This was more of a maybe-drama; looking back, I’ve got no idea what happened here. A bunch of blank accounts attacked my friend Blythe’s Goodreads review of League of Strays and there were suspicions the author had something to do with it. Schulman’s comment on a blog post of Maggie Stiefvater’s is a sign of something to come.
Jaq D. Hawkins
Hawkins took exception to one review of her novel Dance of the Goblins and tried to get it taken down, saying she will otherwise sue the reviewer for slander and extreme copyright violation. What ensues is pretty damn silly and also kind of awful, but entertaining nonetheless.
Oh God, July. This was probably one of the worst months.
A lot of these links have been deleted because it happened on Goodreads for the most part and the author was deleted from the site. He also deleted most of the relevant comments. This is going off memory and what other friends have said.
One of the more wild events of the year. Bryant posted about bloggers who received copies of his book for review and said they’d review it or interview him, but they never did so for their own reasons. This massive sense of entitlement he’s got going on makes him want to post a list of those bloggers. Many people advise him on Goodreads that this is an awful idea, but he goes into a downward spiral. Links got deleted, unfortunately. At some point, he admits that he was once part of Stop the Goodreads Bullies, which I’ll cover next. Considering how reviled STGRB is among reviewers, this is pretty much him giving himself a death sentence, but the links are once again lost thanks to deletions.
He does eventually post the list, which consists of six blogs/bloggers: In Between Reading And Writing, YA Infatuation, The Lit Bitch,YA-Aholic, A Cupcake and a Latte, and Nightlyreading. The first blog is run by a young woman that Bryant lied about his age to, sent fake pictures of himself to, and led on when he knew she had a crush on him and it wasn’t going to work. She was underage at the time and Bryant recently made a post about him and that young woman on STGRB that twists things around and lies about what happened, according to a source who doesn’t want to be named/linked to.
I highly suspect Wendy of the now-defunct review blog A Cupcake and a Latte quit blogging in part due to this, as she was one of the bloggers Bryant named. She shut down shortly after it happened, but she claimed she never approached him like he claimed she did. Also, despite his claims at this time that he was no longer part of STGRB, he is now regularly featured there and given a voice there.
Stop the Goodreads Bullies/STGRB
I don’t remember when they popped up or how anyone found out about them, but they exploded onto the scene in late July. Starting with four bloggers/Goodreads members (Ridley, Kat Kennedy of Cuddlebuggery, The Holy Terror, and Lucy), they posted their alleged real names, locations, where they went at certain times, and details of their lives. Every other blogger had something to say about how disgusted they were with this site. It has long been suspected that infamous BBA Melissa Douthit is behind the site due to how the attacks on this site are so similar to how Douthit attacked Wendy Darling back in May. Some people have posted compelling proof for this theory–proof that makes some people sure she had something to do with it no matter what the site claims.
After they realized how much trouble they could get in for posting personal info the way they did, they took it down and said it never happened. Of course, I know better because I have screencaps of the original posts. I’d post them here, but I want to include the entire posts and my screencaps are too damn large. No matter where I upload them, the screencaps are too large and the text becomes blurred when you zoom in.
Someone recently told me I made their sidebar of Badly Behaving Goodreaders, but STRGB can kiss my ass and learn what bullying actually is. As I said to someone at some point, this is BOOK REVIEWING, not the God damn battle of good vs. evil for the fate of the world.
Y’all remember her, right? Suspected of having something to do with other Goodreads members attacking a reviewer? Well, whether or not she did it, a number of readers put her on their do-not-read shelf because of this tweet, in which she shows support for Stop the GR Bullies. A little ironic considering her book is about bullying and how repaying bullies in kind isn’t the way to go. There was also an anonymous comment on STGRB at one point that sounded like it might be her.
Same story, different character: she thinks “anyone who posts a scathing rant review of a book without receiving a giant paycheck as compensation are just bitter ***** who should probably find a hobby that doesn’t involve tearing down artists who actually contribute something to the world.”
The word censored out? Twats.
Donna White Glaser
One of many, many authors some readers put on their do-not-read lists of various names. Why? For supporting STGRB.
I’d known about her novel Save the Pearls for months because it showed up on NetGalley a while back, but I paid it no mind because it sounded like a racist piece of shit. Once the right people discovered it and brought attention to it, things EXPLODED. Her Huffington Post articles came under scrutiny and racist statements like “Conceivably, if the book had not reached the African-American community of readers, if such a category still exists, perhaps there might be some backlash” made some people start foaming at the mouth. No matter how many times Foyt denies being racist, her actions and her book speak a lot louder than she does.
And did I forget to mention the blackface in promo videos for the novel? I did? Damn. It’s unfortunately true.
Another big one solely because the author involved is pretty big. Basically, the author’s husband called a reviewer who gave one of his wife’s books one star a psycho. Giffin posted on Facebook about it, which could be seen as encouraging her husband and fans to keep attacking the reviewer. Full story and screencaps are here on Corey Ann’s blog.
I heard through the grapevine that the reviewer in question only just found out about the drama recently because their Amazon account is connected to an email account they barely use.
A review on Goodreads anyone can tell is just good fun and a parody upset the author and she called bully. She contacted the reviewer multiple times in private messages telling her to take it down because it’s misrepresenting her and… well, bullying. Cue the deletion of her comments and many people being disgusted with the author.
Pam van Hylckama
Before anyone gets confused, Pam did NOT behave badly. Rather, someone behaved badly toward her–to the tune of attacking her for rejecting their novel.
Full story here, but one day, someone attacked Pam in her car and started slamming her head into the steering wheel when she rolled down the window to talk to him. Her dog bit him and the man ran off. Later, the police looked through her email and found threats from an author she rejected. Using the address listed in the query letter, police went to his house and found him with a bite mark from Pam’s dog on him.
Receiving such things from rejected writers is apparently par for the course as an agent and this horrifies me. When I was querying a manuscript and someone sent me back a rejection, that was it. Done. I didn’t email them again saying I hoped they died or begging them to think about it or any of that. Ugh. -shivers-
Nothing worth reporting. Yay!
Not bad behavior per se, but she upset a lot of people when she called the idea of having a female as the main character a trope. A trope, of course, is usually defined as a cliche or an overused idea. What, having a main character be of the female persuasion the way 51% of the world is means it’s a trope?
Anna Marie Moore
Not an author, but this one was big enough and closely enough related to books that it counts. The Book Smugglers (two of my absolute favorite bloggers to ever exist) recounted their tale of how Moore, a website designer, was paid to redesign their site back in June and still had not delivered anything but excuses up until the point they posted about it in November. That was when they saw she was accepting new projects on her site when they themselves hadn’t seen any work done on their project. Her estimated time to complete their work when they hired her? Two weeks. THAT was a fail.
Same story as usual: saw a bad review, didn’t like it, proceeded to whine about it on their blog. This bad review is apparently the one she’s talking about, seeing as it’s by a fellow author who has always been known for speaking her mind on the books she reads.
FINALLY, Reisz lets her opinions fly on Twitter.
She later apologizes for what she said. Some people accept her apology, some people don’t. The jealousy thing and saying a lot of reviewers are failed writers really gets my goat. For more screencaps, read this review’s comments.
God DAMN, typing all this out hurt my fingers. I’m never doing this again. (Then again, we all know how I can turn never into possibly and get all the way to yes at some point. See Beautiful Disaster for an example.)