How to be an asshat, literary edition

August 20, 2008

To all the aspiring writers out there who want to make a bad impression and leave a permanently sour taste in the mouths of not only your readers but with anyone who’s ever heard of you, Victoria Laurie has some tips for you. (Original post is gone, but once released those electrons don’t go away.)

First off, have skin as thin as possible. Make sure that every negative comment about your work is taken personally and make sure you attack Amazon reviewers by name on your blog. Brag about gaming Amazon to get those nasty evil comments by those nasty evil people removed.

Second, if someone sends you fan mail that says “I like most of your stuff, but this latest series, not so much” make sure to rant, rant, rant. Of course we know this is no fan, after all, this person dared to criticize your work, and we know that no real fan would dare do such a thing. So make sure you publicly threaten this fan, to wit:

And so, come September…my little “fan” and some of her close friends and family will likely read about a character with a very similar name, (i.e. nearly identical but not enough to get me sued) depicted in one of the most comical and fabulously scandalous scenes within Death Perception. And trust me…this isn’t a scene which in any way flatters that character. :) (Also trust me….you’ll know it when you read it!)

Third, just for the hell of it, draw your editor into it:

And by the way – anyone else out there thinking they can just arbitrarily slam an author and feel good about being particularly nasty…be warned….my editor thinks this concept of mine is hilarious and she’s going to suggest the idea to her other authors who are fed up with being targets for the mentally deranged…in other words I’d advise being very careful whom you choose to direct a personal barb at lest your alter ego appear in a less than flattering way in that author’s next book.

Fourth, and most important, when it’s clear you made a pile of poo and stepped in it, and other bloggers start to notice and point out the shit covering your face, make sure you panic, take down the original post on your blog and start sending lawyer-like letters to people making bogus IP claims of copyright infringement for daring to quote the ludicrously stupid things you’ve said.

Bonus Points, make sure that you use an unflattering analogy of yourself as a waiter spitting in someone’s food. That’ll leave an impression.

UPDATE: She doesn’t want to blog about it . . . but let’s post a long rambling rant on how we’re being persecuted by nutcases, post their e-mail addresses on our blog post, drag our editor into it again, and turn off the comments ’cause we just can’t deal with that shit. Mr. Foot, please to meet Mr. Mouth, I am sure you will be so happy together.

UPDATE #2: Then again, if you can’t write a post that doesn’t make you look like a complete psychotic loon, you can always nuke the whole effing blog. You, however, see Victoria’s last gasp, which bordered on actionable slander, (or is it libel, I can’t keep those straight) in part on Jane’s letter to our fair asshat’s editor as posted on Dear Author.


Comments

16 Responses to “How to be an asshat, literary edition”

  1. Kris Johnson says:

    Wow. That is simply stunning. I wonder if calling a segment of your readers/fans “mentally deranged” is included in the writing workshops down at the local community college.

  2. michelle says:

    Wow. She might just get “Queen of the Asshats” status. Considering she advertises herself as a “Psychic and Author”, one would think she could use her psychic powers to see that she’s just killed her career as an author. :)

  3. Hellifino says:

    Honestly, there are some authors who should be banned from the internet. Like those who can no longer see well enough to drive a car. Clearly VL can no longer think straight enough to post a blog.

  4. michelle says:

    At the bottom of her main page she has a letter to her readers. At the end she talks about book how negative book reviews keep her up at night.

    Now I just find that funny as hell.

  5. michelle says:

    And even more amusing – at the VERY bottom of the page she mentions that she won’t allow anyone to directly copy or duplicate any part of her website as she has it copyright protected. So instead of copying and pasting the sentence, I’ve paraphrased it. I’m also stating here that I’m giving her credit for that sentence that I did not directly copy or duplicate. :)

  6. These days my head finds the desk all by itself.

    I’ll resist the many jokes about how being a “Psychic and Author” she couldn’t see this coming which probably means she isn’t good at either. Oh damn, one got in. I guess I should have foreseen that. Damn, there’s another.

    So, she has an editor who had never heard about Tuckerization and thinks it’s a great idea (instead of “we’re going to get sued because she’s not doing it well”), and a lawyer who doesn’t know Fair Use (well, to be fair, some SF editors recently also made that mistake). She’s getting great advice there.

  7. What gets me riled up, more so than just the rank stupidity of foaming at the mouth when someone critiques your work (unfortunately it seems a common problem)… It’s this pernicious– dare I say evil– idea that you can use IP law as a legal club to stifle speech you just don’t happen to like.

  8. The silliest part is it would never have been an issue if she’d just done what she wished as she wrote the book and not bragged about attacking someone on her blog.

    She’d have had the satisfaction of revenge without turning it into this silly tornado and bringing all sorts of trouble down on herself and others.

    Sometimes, you have to learn to keep your mouth shut, and learn when to put something in a private diary and when to put it on a public blog.

    Also, as I mentioned on NOVEL READS, when a writer does the work properly, the character evolves into an individual separate from the inspiration, so the final character in the final draft might have been extraordinarily different than the person she intended to attack. Again, it wouldn’t have been an issue.

    But she created a problem when there was no need.

    Keep the drama on the page. Life is tough enough.

    Well, as I’ve said a million times, when you put yourself out there, be prepared for people not to like you. That was certainly served up this time around.

  9. PS I agree completely that trying to censor someone for disliking/critcising her work is waaaay out of line.

    Part of putting your work out there is dealing with negative responses.

  10. Thank you SO much for your post! It’s been intense the couple of days (and that’s putting it mildly) however, I feel so much better reading all of these great comments.

    I just got home from work, and I’m catching up on things (nope, didn’t know I was called out until 30 minutes ago) LOL But a post will be forthcoming about all of this.

    I haven’t slept since I received the letter yesterday, no, I’m not kidding, I COULD NOT SLEEP last night. But I won’t lie down and take it either :)

    Again, thank you so much. It is because of bloggers and readers, like you and the Ja(y)ne’s that I’m not a blubbering idiot right now!

  11. Jane says:

    It’s libel. Slander is spoken. Libel is written.

    Why be so mouthy on the blog, though, only to delete it within hours of posting it? That’s one thing I’ll never really understand.

  12. I strongly suspect that her editor, or her editor’s minions, gave her a little chat. I don’t know the legalities of the situation, but in both cases she was using her editor to back up her loony comments. Said editor might not be too keen on being linked to this. Said editor’s publisher and/or legal team, even less so.

  13. Yes, I’d really like a comment from the editor about the cyber stalker accusation. I’d also like an explanation as how me saying to the effect of (since i cannot remember my exact phrasing) “This is Charity XXXXXX and I run the book review blog site novel reads…” means I did not leave my name, only a blog address.

  14. […] are a lot of authors who could take a tip from this book trailer. (Thanks to the Smart Bitches) Close this […]

  15. […] One prevalent characteristic of the most entertaining asshats is the tendency to have pathologically extreme reactions to perceived slights that end up being more destructive to the asshat in question than their intended target.  Not just foot in mouth, but foot, leg, and torso in an ever-diminishing spiral that vanishes into an alternate universe of asshattery.  A quintessential example of the suicide bomber school of internet intimidation would be author Victoria Laurie, who graced this blog back in late August. […]

  16. […] reviews having been helpful. [Because when authors ask their fans to game the system on Amazon, it never goes badly.] This will bump the nicer reviews ahead of the bad reviews and maybe the nastiness will stop. […]

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