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Jaq D Hawkins

Some Musings

*Sigh*

February 6, 2015

Once upon a time on Goodreads, there was a user who made her reputation by reading books she had already decided to hate and shelved as 'Shitlist' because the authors name was put on someone's BBA list, and invariably rated them one star and tore apart the book in any way she could find, thereby earning herself a reputation for being a severely toxic troll.

One day, she decided to shred one of mine. I came across her status about reading it by accident and immediately thought, "It's my turn for a one-star scathing review." There was no question that the result would be the same as the others, regardless of the content of the book. You can't take a book off your 'Shitlist' shelf with intent to hate it and actually have any chance whatsoever of liking it. It doesn't take rocket science to work this one out.

To G's chagrin, I wrote a blog post predicting the inevitable scathing one-star review. She went ballistic, wrote half the review about herself. What could I do but laugh?

She did actually find something legitimate to work with; misuse of pronouns. After three editors going through the manuscript, you would think one of them would have said something... This was all fixed of course when I went through all my books for re-editing in 2013.

However, G also wrote a lot of her signature phrases that were effectively meaningless complaints or intentional refusal to understand. She's known for it. To add a new dimension to the saga, she wrote a post on my blog that might have opened a discussion. It was sufficiently genuine sounding that I was tempted to approve it and have the discussion, but in those days there was no such thing as a one-on-one discussion with anyone from that group. I deleted the message to save myself hours of deleting the attack drone messages that would have derailed the conversation.

Then, miracle of miracles, G and all her scathing reviews were deleted from Goodreads at the beginning of what would be a long history of deleting accounts on both sides of the fence, including a lot of innocent bystanders who had the audacity to like or dislike the wrong books. It's still going on. Like a review of my book or write one yourself and you risk having your account deleted, especially if you live in the UK. Most of us have dynamic IP's you see, it's standard with BT, the biggest provider in the country. Therefore, according to GR logic, any GR user who lives in the UK and likes one of my books must be a sock puppet, right?

Anyway, G went off to Booklikes and started reading books she liked again. Yay! She obviously felt better about herself and I gained a level of respect for her. A real loser would have copied all the crap reviews over to BL to be a shit, but she moved on with her life and read the sort of stuff she likes. All was forgiven and I even decided I sort of liked her. Getting thrown out of the uber troll's group when she refused to spend her life reading books she would hate just to troll was a good thing for her, even more so than for those she was targeting.

Recently, it was brought to my attention that she's reading the same book of mine again. Guess what? I'm predicting a scathing one star review on Booklikes. She's already pulling out things to try to twist into something to object to. Yes, misogyny in 1%. Since she's read the book before, she knows the character displaying it has some pretty nasty personality flaws and we don't like him. Acting like a shit in the first scene sets the tone for the character. Do you read books with no bad guys?

She's also gone back to spreading misinformation to make me look like a BBA. No G, I didn't put down what you read. I pointed out that it's different than what I wrote. I wrote Dance of the Goblins for the kind of Fantasy reader who reads Zelazny, Aspirin, Weis & Hickman, McCaffrey, etc. There is nothing wrong with Buffy or your graphic novels, but they are not the same readership. I don't write YA, I don't write graphic novels. Apart from Game of Thrones which you apparently didn't continue, your reading list told me you probably didn't read my sort of Fantasy. That is not a judgement, that's an observation. Why try to make it something other than what it is?

In my books the monsters might do something bad. Some of the bad people do too. Even some of the good people aren't always perfect.

By all means, read what you like, enjoy it, find more of it and be satisfied with what you find. You have my best wishes. Go ahead and write your scathing one star review, but don't read a book you've decided to hate in advance and expect to be taken seriously or respected. You were never going to like my book. Don't pretend that it's a problem with the phrases. Those 5 star reviews on Amazon are genuine. They came from Fantasy readers, the sort who read the sort of Fantasy I write. They expect the monsters and bad people to do things they wouldn't personally approve of.

You're more intelligent than that, G. Yet after a crisis of self-worth, you're backsliding into the behaviour that makes that sort of thing happen. I stood up for you and stopped people name calling, at least in the author groups. I think my comments squelched a lot of it in STGRB as well, though I have no real influence on what happens there. Must I lose the respect and sympathy I formed for you? Are certain parties right, that once a shit, always a shit?

Since your 'review' is premeditated, don't expect a reaction. It's meaningless. Just you dumping your lack of self-worth on random strangers that you can lie about online. Doing it once showed your ugly side. Ugliness is not in features, it's in actions. Doing it twice tells me you belong back in Mirangela's camp for losers. Good luck with that.

I hope something makes you happy someday. Whether you deserve it or not is immaterial. I'm generous enough to feel sorry for a soul in pain.

 

POSTSCRIPT:

G, Since you've read the book, you know that a certain character is from a psychic species. Consent was clear. There's a big difference between bondage and rape. But of course you knew that.

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