Skip to content

DON’T DO THIS EVER (An advice column for writers): “Just Say Hale No To The Taliban” edition

Posted in Uncategorized

What. The fuck. Is happening?

If you didn’t get a chance to read the last installment of DON’T DO THIS EVER, then you should hop on over there , because otherwise you will be muy confuso.

In the wake of Kathleen Hale’s stalking of blogger Blythe Harris, book bloggers developed a plan to stick up for their rights. They rallied support for a “blogger blackout.” The concept is simple: for a week, these bloggers don’t review. Some bloggers have taken it further, making it their new policy to not review any recent releases for the foreseeable future. This is to make a point not only to badly behaving authors like Kathleen Hale, but to publishers, who rely on book bloggers as a source of free publicity. The message they’re sending, loud and clear, is that without them, it’s pretty damn hard to grow a readership these days.

But one author, Deborah Smith, sees the blackout differently. She thinks it’s… sing it with me now, because you know this tune…

free glitter text and family website at FamilyLobby.com

It appears to have started on October 20th, with this tweet:

DStweet4

This is where Deborah Smith learned about irony.
This is where Deborah Smith learned about irony.

So, now that we’re aware that we’re dealing with an author who thinks irony is “people doing something I don’t understand in a way that I feel personally affects me,” the rest of these tweets will make more sense in context.

DStweet1

Ole Debbie here does not care. In fact, she doesn’t care so much on October 22, that she continues to tweet about it:

DStweet3

for literally days:

DStweet17

Apparently, bloggers taking a single week off from reviewing and declaring that they won’t buy books or receive ARCs from authors who support Kathleen Hale in the wake of her admission of stalking, is an attempt to punish authors. Smith’s reasoning seems to be that because bloggers receive ARCs from publishers, authors should be allowed to stalk them.

DStweet20

Wait a minute. Hang on. Kathleen Hale didn’t “respond to reviews.” She spent months stalking a blogger online, plotting to get her address, and methodically planning a confrontation at the blogger’s home. This wasn’t some spur of the moment bad decision making. Hale rented a car months in advance, and drove to Harris’s house to call her out in person. That’s why bloggers are scared and protesting.

Furthermore, there’s no law that says an author can’t respond to a review. Respond all you want. But people are free to react to that response, and if everyone thinks you’re a dipshit, well. You don’t really have a say in that. Here, Smith has turned the car around. We’re not going to ProtectHalesville today. We’re heading right on back to bad reviews are bullying country.

So, here we are on that lonely, delusional road so many authors drive us down. Smith appears to truly believe that she and other authors are entitled to the free publicity that those ARCs, giveaways, and interviews provide for them, without having to maintain a standard of behavior up to and including “don’t stalk people.” For a blogger to deny an author a platform to market themselves is nothing short of, well… terrorism?

DStweet5

Here, Smith is referring to the doxxing of Kathleen Hale by twitter user @WhatTheEff. When bloggers on the #HaleNo tag saw this going down, they rejoiced and patted each other on the back for being hypocrites and bullies.

Oh. No, that’s not what happened at all:

whattheeff2 whatheeff1

In fact, a lot of people reported @WhatTheEff. I know I reported them. But Smith, seeking to cement her place as the Ann Coulter of the romance world, won’t let the Taliban thing go:

DStweet15

And if her hysterics over bloggers taking a week off from reviewing–remember, that’s what she’s pissed about, that bloggers won’t review books for one week and some are choosing to boycott authors who support an author who stalked someone over a GoodReads status update–weren’t offensive enough yet, well, hold on to your hat. Good ole fashioned white supremacy is just the pick-me-up you need to keep your overdramatic twitter rant fresh and exciting:

DStweet23
Thanks to @FangirlJeanne for the screencap.

She’s also got some words for bloggers who aren’t sympathetic enough to ever-flowing white tears:

DStweet6

Smith apparently has made something of a name for herself on Twitter based on her Islamaphobic tweets and harassment of women of color. I’m sure you’re all shocked.

Apparently, bloggers are overreacting to a “minor incident” of stalking:

DStweet21

Saying, “I don’t want an angry author nursing an ego boo-boo to roll up to my door intending to do god-knows-what to me in retaliation” is no more bullying than giving a book a bad review in the first place.

There are many, many more tweets that I’ve screencapped from this nonsense, but they all say basically the same thing: Deborah Smith believes that she, as an author (and publisher; she is co-founder of BelleBooks), is entitled to free publicity, great reviews, and unending adulation from the blogging community. And if she doesn’t get all of that, she’s being victimized by terrorists.

I’m just saying, if I were Deborah Smith, I wouldn’t be demanding reviews from bloggers right this minute.

Look, if you want an example of “burning bridges,” this is the one, right here. Authors, when are you going to wise up? Book bloggers are out there, sharing their hobby in a way that benefits you. These are people who are so passionate about reading that they want to share their experiences with other readers and get them excited over your books. It’s done without pay (regardless of what Smith seems to believe, ARCs don’t pay the bills), it’s a ton of work, and it all encourages readers to buy books. Book bloggers are in it for love, not to destroy authors. In fact, most cases of damage done to careers has come from the authors themselves, when they point out a negative review and respond to it by childishly stamping their feet in public. That’s not the blogger’s fault. That’s the author’s fault. And even then, there don’t seem to be any consequences for the authors who actually do this crap. All we have to do is look at the response to Hale’s admission of stalking to see that no matter how badly an author behaves, there isn’t ever going to be a consequence.

Oh, hey, speaking of badly behaving authors who are still beloved despite the fact that they’re generally terrible:

mcguiresupport2

 

Wow! Someone actually favorited that tweet? The tweet that sounds like a threat, coming from a woman who vocally supports Kathleen Hale, a reviewer stalker? Who the hell would favorite that?

mcguiresupport

 

Let’s compare and contrast that user photo, shall we?

mcguireprofile

Oh, okay, that explains it.

If you’re looking for more information on the blogger blackout (from someone who won’t compare bloggers to the Taliban and make Islamaphobic slurs), here are some posts you can visit:

There’s also a Change.org petition asking Goodreads to increase privacy measures to protect the safety of its users.

Finally, as Deborah Smith is cofounder of BelleBooks, I would strongly urge any writers to avoid submitting their manuscripts there. I personally am writing them off my to-buy lists. It’s not fair to the authors who write for them, but I refuse to put money in the hands of a spoiled, entitled, racist brat like Deborah Smith. I strongly encourage you to consider doing the same.

Did you enjoy this post?

Trout Nation content is always free, but you can help keep things going by making a small donation via Ko-fi!

Or, consider becoming a Patreon patron!

63 Comments

  1. Laina
    Laina

    What. Even.

    I think I ran out of reviews, so I guess I’m doing the blackout accidentally 😛

    But seriously. I can’t with this.

    October 27, 2014
    |Reply
  2. Lara
    Lara

    What I would like to know….Do these authors THINK before they post this stuff? I mean, do they not have the little voice that says “Hmmm…maybe I should wait a few minutes/hours until I am less upset before I decide what to say.” Because this stuff. I can’t. I honestly can’t believe that rational adults with jobs that depend on fans would post this crap. PEOPLE CAN READ IT!!! This is exactly what a best friend is for. You cry over the phone (or private text/message) about how unfair everything is. Then you stop behaving like a child and move on. Oy. Jenny, I feel that your “DON’T DO THIS EVER” posts should be required reading for anyone who is published. Keep up the great work!

    October 27, 2014
    |Reply
  3. Mojitana
    Mojitana

    I remembered Deborah Smith from another Islamaphobic twitter rant a while ago. She was already on my do not buy list. Now, so is her publishing house. Bloggers are watching … you behave badly and taking notes.

    October 27, 2014
    |Reply
    • Candy Apple
      Candy Apple

      YOU BULLY!

      Just kidding. Think I will follow your example and write her off, heh heh.

      October 27, 2014
      |Reply
  4. Julaine commented on Sunita’s post at Vacuous Minx that she cancelled all her pre-orders from Belle Books and then emailed each of the authors explaining why she did so.

    October 27, 2014
    |Reply
  5. Ilex
    Ilex

    I’m confused. Since when did writers and readers become such enemies with each other? (And … what about those of us who are both? Ow, ow, now I must fight within my own skin!)

    I don’t understand this apparent conviction that bad reviews always convince people not to read a book. I’ve read quite a number of books precisely because I was intrigued by negative reviews — they make me wonder about a book, and make me want to see for myself what my reaction will be. (I’m actually least likely to read a book if most of the reviews are on the meh spectrum. But if a book sparks passion the way, for instance, September Girls did, I want to find out what’s in it.)

    Overall, I think book bloggers inspire a lot more reading than they discourage. So sheesh, let’s not kill that messenger.

    October 27, 2014
    |Reply
    • Lara
      Lara

      I LOVE that!!! “Ow, ow, now I must fight within my own skin!” LMAO!!!

      October 27, 2014
      |Reply
      • Ilex
        Ilex

        Thanks!

        I should have said “writers and reviewers,” though — why do these things jump out at a person after hitting Post Comment?

        October 28, 2014
        |Reply
    • Amanda
      Amanda

      Exactly! I’ve read good reviews that turned me away (what they loved about the characters are traits I hate, that sort of thing), and I’ve read bad reviews that make me go, “Hm, this is NOT your usual xyz genre book?” It doesn’t do an author any good to fret over which does what.

      Nobody is obligated to write a review, good or bad. Certainly not when it’s “write a good review… OR ELSE!!”

      October 27, 2014
      |Reply
    • GS
      GS

      Exactly. When looking for a book, I usually take a look at the comments with the worst ratings, to find out what the readers didn’t like… they’re usually a lot more informative than just “Oh my gosh this is so great buy it!”.

      Example: Was looking at German Amazon reviews for “The Boss” recently. A person giving a one-star review was complaining that it was “salacious and risqué”… well, if that isn’t an incentive to buy!

      October 29, 2014
      |Reply
  6. SS
    SS

    Ugh, I think there must be something in the water. This is like the third author breakdown I’ve seen this week. I stumbled upon this bit of author whiny-ness the other day. Anne Landers’ daughter was madebecause a few Amazon Vine reviewers didn’t like her book, so she called her friend who is on the BoD of Amazon. Her complete obliviousness gave me a bit of a giggle.

    October 27, 2014
    |Reply
    • Lieke
      Lieke

      Howard seems to not entirely understand how readers approach a book. If a book is a memoir, biography or autobiography then readers are also going to have an opinion about you as a person. It’s no different from reading fiction, in that regard. If a reader doesn’t like the character(s) in the book then something else has to make the book work for them, because reading about someone who’s unlikeable or unrelatable or uninteresting isn’t fun.

      The first reviewer clearly did not agree with Howard sleeping with a married man and therefore did not like the book. The second reviewer mentioned Howard’s ‘pampered life.’ I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that the first reviewer found Howard unlikeable and the second one thought that she was unrelatable and perhaps also uninteresting. Nothing wrong with either. Those are valid opinions and valid reasons not to like a book.

      The fact that neither reviewer sounds well-read (according to Howard) has very little to do with anything. It, again, does not make their opinion or criticism less valid. Furthermore, people who are well-read are bound to recognise reviews written by less well-read readers and subsequently might attach less value to them. The more intricate and supported by reasonable arguments a review is the more value I attach to it, at least. (The first review would not deter me, because I don’t mind reading about adultery. The second review would give me pause, however, because I don’t care very much for reading about rich people in general.)

      An extra dimension of snobbiness is added when Howard then sums up all sorts of well-read people later who do like her and her writing and they are all fellow authors and two out of three of them have won literary prizes. It’s fine that she attaches more value to their opinions, but what lingers is the implication that ordinary people can’t be well-read, which is nonsense.

      I just don’t see what Howard’s problem is with these two reviews. Two people read her book, didn’t like the main character and that influenced their opinion of the book. That’s how opinions work.

      October 28, 2014
      |Reply
      • Lieke
        Lieke

        Ugh, I just read the rest of it.

        Howard literally says that ‘book reviewer is considered a profession’ and then goes on to say that it should be done by writers. What a load of bullshit. How many times do you read about films/music/books beloved by critics and then the general public doesn’t give a shit about these same critical darlings? The majority of her readers are not going to be writers, so why shouldn’t they get to read a review by someone who’s also not a writer?This is another clear case of an author failing to understand that reviews are for readers.

        October 28, 2014
        |Reply
        • I don’t put much stock in Goodreads reviews anymore, anyway. I have seen books I think are brilliant absolutely panned and books that truly are awful (*cough*50Shades*cough*) with average ratings above 4 stars.

          When someone who considers herself “well read” informs me that EL James’ characters are well-developed, it’s a beautiful love story and wonderful plotline, I just can’t take that seriously.

          So I have a small group of people whose literary taste I respect and trust and I may choose a book one of them recommends. Mostly, I just read covers and hope for the best. Sometimes I get lucky.

          But, really, it’s all a crap shoot. I bought a book a couple weeks ago because I was looking for some good fantasy (ASOIAF level) and George RR Martin’s name was on the cover recommending it. And it was kind of terrible.

          So I read Goodreads reviews just for fun, but I don’t choose books based on them.

          October 28, 2014
          |Reply
          • Ilex
            Ilex

            With Goodreads, you just have to figure out which reviewers share your tastes and then look for them. I follow a lot of people whose reviews aren’t necessarily getting the most “likes” but whose concerns and interests seem to mirror mine all right. And I usually make sure to read the three-star reviews for books I’m interested in — they often tend to be the most thoughtful, not just gushing or mocking.

            But yeah, since reading is such a personal experience, it really is just a crapshoot which books any of us are going to love or hate. I really wish there were some way I could always pick books I’ll just love, but I haven’t found that alchemy yet. There are just too many variables to the reading experience.

            October 28, 2014
          • As a writer, I find that I learn from reading terrible books, so I never consider it a waste of my time, thankfully! But I can see if you’re just reading for pleasure that it would be horrible to read a book that’s bad because there isn’t much point to that for you.

            October 28, 2014
          • Ilex
            Ilex

            Well, that’s a good point, that books one doesn’t like are still educational, because of learning from them. My Inner Editor certainly gets lots of practice that way! And then tries to apply it ruthlessly to my own writing. 🙂

            October 28, 2014
          • Danielle
            Danielle

            A response a friend made to someone who considered herself “well read” – Reading a lot doesn’t make you well read. It just means you read a lot.

            Nothing wrong with that, as long as you don’t get all snooty about it.

            October 28, 2014
        • SS
          SS

          I think what I found most off-putting about her perspective was her complete and utter tone-deafness. Of course newspaper book reviewers are going to give her a positive review. She writes a very popular nationally syndicated column. They aren’t going to alienate someone in their industry who is so well-connected (I’m not saying that the professional book reviewers lied, but rather the ones who didn’t like the book probably opted not to publish a review of it).

          I also disliked her lack of research into the Amazon Vine program, which consists primarily of people who write a lot of book reviews. There are actually relatively few products people can get through Vine that aren’t books. You’d think a newspaper writer could do better.

          October 28, 2014
          |Reply
          • SS
            SS

            I should clarify, in the comment I’m referring to Howard, not Jennifer Weiner.

            October 28, 2014
  7. People ask me to do book reviews on my blog, and this exact thing is the reason I’m hesitant. I’m a harsh critic, and would be seriously scared of having my personal life messed sigh because someone couldn’t handle me not praising their book to high heaven >.>

    October 27, 2014
    |Reply
    • messed with* (I’m not sure what my iPhone did there…)

      October 27, 2014
      |Reply
  8. Why are other authors doing this? I sit here, reading this and headdesking. If all book bloggers said no more and stopped blogging, I wouldn’t blame them. Like I’ve said in a few other posts I commented on, why would anyone want to invite that fear and stress into their lives? I wouldn’t. I would give up book blogging if it meant I felt safer. I’m an author and I’m going to say it, screw the authors. If this scares you and you don’t want to deal with it. Screw us authors and do what you have to do.

    October 27, 2014
    |Reply
  9. Brandi
    Brandi

    This Deborah Smith person is off the fucking rails! She’ll be stalking someone next.

    October 27, 2014
    |Reply
  10. I think I officially hate the Internet. Without it, things like 50 Shades of Grey and After would never have received publishing deals and without it I could still believe that professional, published authors were adults.

    I totally understand the bloggers’ reaction here and it’s justified but this entire situation is really disheartening. Why aren’t authors above this behavior? I know they’re human, but this is ridiculous.

    I follow Amy Tan and Alison Weir on Facebook. Neither of them seem concerned about their critics and they can discuss their work intelligently and with mutual respect, even when challenged.

    Hale could have engaged Harris in a discussion about her book and explained where she was coming from. She could have learned a lot from it. I like to think if I ever get published I will either learn from or dismiss detractors. Criticism is a useful tool for improvement (I know, I know. I keep saying that — but I mean it!). If you can’t learn from it, ignore it.

    Everything about all of this is just dumb. People need to grow up and stop it.

    October 27, 2014
    |Reply
  11. (All Hail) Grimlock
    (All Hail) Grimlock

    Bullshit on calling Fangirl some kind of angry person who attacks white women at will. I’m white, I’m a woman, and she’s been nothing but kind and supportive to me. Then again, I don’t go around trying to silence others, or disparage their cultural identities.

    It is actually pretty easy. Rational people who aren’t so blinded by any privilege they have get Jeanne’s respect. People like this author who try to tread on other cultures don’t, because her privilege allows her to blind herself to how she’s portraying other cultures, and other opinions.

    I had to say something because she’s intelligent, strong-willed, and funny. I consider her a great friend. To see her so disparaged here, and unfairly so is pretty infuriating.

    October 27, 2014
    |Reply
    • Kel
      Kel

      I’m pretty sure you read it wrong. She didn’t call Fangirl anything. Read it again.

      October 27, 2014
      |Reply
  12. Flo
    Flo

    Minor incident????? WTF?!?!?! I suppose she would call 9/11, Vietnam, the death of Princess Diana and the Challenger explosion minor incidents too. If it doesn’t affect her directly, apparently it’s minor.

    It is rather entertaining though watching some of these authors commit professional suicide. I don’t think they all realize how widespread this has become and just how many people are appalled at the cry baby behavior. Pathetic. I’m not a writer, nor do I aspire to be one. I’m a basic consumer, book reader and people watcher. As the daughter of a colleague used to say: “I’m embarrassed for them.”

    October 27, 2014
    |Reply
  13. jes b
    jes b

    I’m nobody, I’m just a reader who posts her impressions of books I read on Amazon, and now on Goodreads. I have to say though, even I was kind of scared when I hit the send button on my last review, I can only imagine how bloggers feel. Reviewing should not feel like an act of valor.

    October 27, 2014
    |Reply
  14. SpazP
    SpazP

    Thank you for highlighting this outrageous mess. Since last Saturday, every time I turn around this Deb Smith person has aggressively been popping up in everyone’s mentions and on their blog posts spouting steaming poop. She LITERALLY must be doing NOTHING ELSE except trolling bloggers on Twitter and blogs. Everywhere I turn on these subjects, she’s already there with her unhinged rantings. I am really ready for her to give it a rest now. Her schtick is boring me.

    October 27, 2014
    |Reply
  15. I’m really disappointed. Until I read this I didn’t know anything about Deborah Smith aside from that she was a writer. I liked Smith’s mermaid novels a lot, and her website has had the opening chapters of another mermaid novel up for a few years and I’ve been looking forward to when she finally finishes it (I like mermaids), and now this.

    If she ever does finish that one that’s been in progress for ages, I won’t be buying it. Maybe I’ll eventually get a used copy off Paperback Swap or something, if I read it at all.

    October 27, 2014
    |Reply
  16. Petra Newman
    Petra Newman

    There. Are. No. Words. (Maybe because Deb Smith has taken them and sullied them). I saw this on my twitter feed and all I could think was “we definitely weren’t in Kansas any more Toto”. As you say, book blogger do it for the love, their reviews are simply that; one person’s take on a book. As Amanda said earlier all reviews do is generate conversation (which you would think, most sane authors would be glad of). I’ve read negative reviews that got me to read books and positive ones that turned me off. Railing against a group of people who work for free and actively encourage and stimulate business in an area you work could be simply seen as daft, if Smith’s comments weren’t so toxic, and therein lies the problem. So much of this has got out of control, from Anne Rice’s petition, to Hale’s stalking and now Smith’s ludicrous comments. Time for a reality check people.

    October 28, 2014
    |Reply
  17. Jemmy
    Jemmy

    When I see behaviour like this, it makes me wonder how they function in their day to day lives. Are these the people that fly off the handle in shops for no discernible reason whatsoever?

    It’s like they’re stuck in childhood, still incredibly immature in how they relate and react to people.

    There’s a number of authors I no longer read, I am not bullying them because I don’t enjoy their work any more. It is utterly insane that these authors think they can dictate and threaten people who are the consumers of their product. Any bad outcomes this brings to them is completely deserved.

    October 28, 2014
    |Reply
    • You know, it occurs to me this is really not new in the artistic world.

      Many, many years ago (I may be the only one here old enough to remember!) the Dixie Chicks went on stage I believe in England and said some rather not nice things about George W. Bush. And some of their fans who happened to like the president or at the very least who thought what the Chicks did was disrespectful responded by saying they were no longer going to buy the Chicks’ music.

      And then the Dixie Chicks started crying about First Amendment rights (if you’re not in the US, the First Amendment protects free speech, but what most people don’t understand is that it specifically states that the GOVERNMENT can’t throw you in jail or persecute you for political speech). They actually demanded that Bush instruct people to buy their music as though they have a right to people’s money who don’t want to spend it on them.

      Whether you agree with their initial statements or not, their response to the response was ridiculous and that tuned me off of them far more than anything else they did.

      October 28, 2014
      |Reply
      • Lieke
        Lieke

        I didn’t really get that side of the story. I mean, I didn’t know the Dixie Chicks demanded that people still buy their music. That’s ridiculous behaviour.

        I did read about how people tried to silence them (which sounds super dramatic and stupid, because who really cares what the Dixie Chicks say, but okay) by sending them death threats. Also ridiculous behaviour with the added bonus of being scary.

        October 28, 2014
        |Reply
        • There were some threats, which of course is NOT OK. But that happens with all of these kinds of things so it’s not surprising. Certainly, law enforcement should have been (and probably was) involved in that aspect.

          They were most angry that people were not going to buy their music anymore. This situation reminds me a lot of that.

          October 28, 2014
          |Reply
      • Robin
        Robin

        I hate to always be this person, but that’s really just not at all what happened. They spoke out against the war, and were largely blacklisted, to the point of the Red Cross refusing a $1million donation. Their wikipedia article has the full story.

        October 30, 2014
        |Reply
        • And how was any of that a violation of First Amendment rights and what does that have to do with them demanding that the president instruct people to buy their records?

          The government didn’t do anything to them. The record-buying public spoke with their wallets, which is what’s happening here. Of course one is political and another is moral, but it’s the same response. Neither Hale nor the Dixie Chicks have had any rights violated and Hale is probably receiving her share of death threats over this, but so far hasn’t put a nude photo of herself on the cover of a national magazine drawing attention to it.

          As much as I think what Hale did is awful, she doesn’t deserve threats over it, either. But Human nature being what it is, I’m sure she’s getting them.

          October 30, 2014
          |Reply
          • Robin
            Robin

            I don’t even know how to respond to that because in all my searching (because I was a little shaky on the details myself) I found not one thing indicating that what you’re saying is accurate. And I’m not entirely sure why the “nude” photo is in any way relevant unless you’re suggesting Hale would deserve threats for being naked where people could see it. In which case, that’s kind of terrible. If I’m misreading you on that last point, I apologize, but I can’t see a way I would be.

            October 30, 2014
          • Yes, you are misreading me on the last point. I was just saying that the fact they received death threats isn’t unique to them. They were just very public about it happening.

            I lived through it. They were ridiculous about people refusing to buy their music anymore. I was a huge Dixie Chicks fan at the time and I was a full-fledged adult who watched the news daily, so I remember what happened, whether it’s on Wikipedia or not. They cried First Amendment violation over the record sales. It was not a First Amendment violation.

            October 30, 2014
          • Robin
            Robin

            I was a full fledged adult at the time, too, and I don’t remember any of this whiningly demanding George W Bush instruct the American People to buy their albums because first amendment, y’all. I remember being angry that the Red Cross was seriously hurting for donations and outright refused a $1million dollar donation because of politics. But, and I mean this sincerely, if you have a link to back this up, I would really like to read it. I’m not bow, nor have I ever been anything even APPROACHING a Dixie Chicks fan, but I don’t want to be going around with misconceptions either way if there are sources.

            October 30, 2014
          • And also, I want to be clear that the Dixie Chicks have/had a right to an opinion and to express it. I also think had they chosen a different forum to say what they said (or to be clear, what Natalie Maines said) that there would have been far less of a backlash. I think people more reacted to it being during a concert, spontaneously and on foreign soil.

            And I still listen to their music, though I’m not thrilled with most of what they released after the incident. I just didn’t like it as much but not because of this incident.

            October 30, 2014
          • Robin
            Robin

            *now

            October 30, 2014
          • Everything I’m finding online is very vague, describing the overall incident and the backlash, but not going into detail about anything the Dixie Chicks said. I can’t seem to find any articles from the year it happened, either.

            And, yes, the Red Cross was idiotic in turning down any donation.

            October 30, 2014
  18. This entire situation depresses me. When did it become, “us vs them” mentality? Being an author is a job like any other. If an employee lashes out a customer, or stalked a customer at their home what would happen to them? They would be fired and possibly arrested.

    Maybe Deborah sees everyone talking about Kathleen Hale and thought it was a good way to get her name our there, no matter how bad? Bad PR is still PR.

    October 28, 2014
    |Reply
  19. Eva
    Eva

    I was always a passionate reader, and i review on GR, have done for many years. Only recently i started following blogs and authors on Twitter. In one way i wish i didn’t. What i thought would give me insight into the minds of talented individuals, and allow me to get a true picture about the whole writing process, was actually a sobering view into mass pettiness, and public ridicule of people who buy their novels. I understand that an author would feel passionate about their work, and rightfully so, but to condemn and belittle someone’s intelligence because they didn’t enjoy it? Immature, and saddening. I believe that book bloggers have the absolute right to do whatever they please with their time. If they choose to stop writing so be it. They are not fighting for monetary gain, just some respect, that the authors in question seem to demand for themselves, by simply existing and managing to publish some work. What i hope the message from this all will be is- RESPECT is earned, not handed out by default.

    October 28, 2014
    |Reply
  20. Lieke
    Lieke

    It continues to amaze me how some authors are utterle incapable of taking a step back and looking at what is happening objectively. If they did they would see that
    1) Blythe Harris wrote a negative review of a book she didn’t like
    2) Hale proceeded to then stalk her (by the way, I told my mother the story and she was super relieved that the ‘light stalking’ didn’t end with the reviewer getting stabbed)
    3) Bloggers have decided not to review books for a week because Hale’s actions and the support she has received from other people for those crazy, disturbing actions have made them feel unsafe
    4) People who perceive other people sharing their in no way threatening opinions about books or opting to not review books for a while as either bullying or terrorism are DELUSIONAL.

    October 28, 2014
    |Reply
  21. Tori
    Tori

    Deborah Smith has now protected her tweets. If anyone had any doubts about her ability to handle dissent, that should tell them everything they need to know. And I can pretty much guarantee that she thinks limiting her feed to approved followers is to protect herself from bullies. “I said stupid, racist things and people didn’t like it. They’re so mean!”

    October 28, 2014
    |Reply
  22. I feel like these ladies need a crash course in the Streisand Effect. Because I had not heard of ANY of these authors (romance isn’t usually my genre). So now that I have heard of them … I will be making sure I don’t accidentally pick up one of their books in an airport or something.

    October 28, 2014
    |Reply
  23. Personally, as an avid reader, I’m horrified by the people doing these things.

    If you can’t take criticism then being an author is the wrong job/career for you (or reading your reviews is the absolute wrong thing for you to do).

    I generally DON’T do reviews. Unless a book is *THAT* bad to me or it really sparks something in me making me WANT to review it. I’ll rate them but that’s as far as I usually go. Unless someone’s asking for book recommendations and asking why I’m recommending them. Then again, I’m bad with words when trying to put down my thoughts and feelings about something I’ve read or watched so that’s another reason why I don’t do reviews.

    But I’m basically adding all these to my DO NOT EVER READ list. (I’m at the point of contemplating selling off all of my Anne Rice books because of how she tends to be).

    As a reader, the only time I read reviews is if a blurb on the book is so vague that I can’t determine if I’ll like it or not and then it’s just to try and figure out what the hell the book is about. Unless it’s something like Sophie’s Choice in which EVERYONE else seems to love it and I don’t and I’m trying to figure out why they love it.

    October 28, 2014
    |Reply
    • All of that said, I’m more than willing to discuss a review I’ve written (or not written) with an author if they want to know specifics(or what I can give them) of my thoughts on the book.

      October 28, 2014
      |Reply
  24. We call Deborah “Driveby Deb” over at the Passive Voice.

    She’s a troll.

    October 28, 2014
    |Reply
    • SpazP
      SpazP

      Haha OMG that is exactly what she is! That name is perfection.

      October 28, 2014
      |Reply
  25. Shannon
    Shannon

    I don’t know what appalls me more about this situation–the level of unprofessionalism shown by those who stalk and cry “bully!” or the lack of understanding of what the word “bully” means.

    Actually, let me scratch that. I’m most appalled by a grown woman, who should known better, using the term “terrorists” in her Twitter temper tantrum. Having lived near a building that was actually destroyed by terrorists, I can assure her, bloggers choosing not to review a book due to stalking concerns, or bloggers reviewing a book and giving it a bad review, doesn’t fall into that category. Sometimes verbal exaggeration can drive a point home. In this case, I think it made her look like an unintellectual, melodramatic ass.

    Unkind reviews hurt. But sometimes we have to have a stiff upper lip and believe our work will stand for itself despite that. After all, many of Stephen King’s books were panned by critics for years and it didn’t stunt his career. And I know numerous people who can’t stand Harry Potter, which didn’t hurt J.K. Rowling’s sales either. Bad reviews happen. So suck it up like a professional and get on with it.

    October 28, 2014
    |Reply
  26. the-great-dragon
    the-great-dragon

    Do these authors not realize that all the time they spend acting like giant swamp nuggets they could be using, oh, I don’t know, fricken writing or eating chocolate or literally doing anything else? Seriously, get off of twitter and go watch a goddamn sunset or something. Pet a dog. Read a book. Marathon that show you’re addicted to but don’t want anyone to know you actually watch. Rewatch it from beginning to end then go write some porn where your favourite characters bone, and then go read some porn where your favourite characters bone, and then go on tumblr and find other shippers, because you clearly need some source of joy in your life you sad trainwreck of insecurity and unpleasantness.

    *sigh* these people

    October 29, 2014
    |Reply
    • the-great-dragon
      the-great-dragon

      (I just want to clarify that literally none of this is addressed to Jenny. I mean the authors behaving badly.)

      October 29, 2014
      |Reply
    • This was my thought. Like, I have *so many* things to do in a day. Who has time to stalk reviewers or get bunched panties about shit on Twitter? I barely have time to do my own promotion, let alone worry that someone doesn’t like me on the internet.

      If they need something to occupy them, I have several rooms that need cleaning. I’m on a deadline, and dust can wait.

      October 29, 2014
      |Reply
  27. This legit sounds like a parody of author/reviewer issues that Family Guy would do.

    October 29, 2014
    |Reply
  28. And now #HaleNo is revived on Twitter again with the publication of a new book of six essays including one where the stalker details her criminal acts.

    She’d completely dropped off my radar other than being catalogued on my book sites as books to avoid (and I suspect sales and publicity have been disappointing). Now here comes the drama again to get her back in the spotlight, this time with a pricey hardcover.

    She keeps writing, posting and publishing how she stalked a reviewer. Yet in Twitter there are “…if that even really happened…” posts from her supporters *eyeroll* acting like bloggers are making this stuff up.

    I’m adding publisher — @groveatlantic — and stalker victims organization — @crimevictimsorg to any tweets I make on the subject. I think the price of the book is better spent donated to organizations who help the victims of stalking.

    January 3, 2019
    |Reply
    • Tez Miller
      Tez Miller

      Thanks for posting this, Debbie. I don’t read much Facebook or Twitter nowadays, so I’m out of the loop, so your comment here is much appreciated to fill me in.

      January 3, 2019
      |Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *