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April 3rd, 2009

10:31 AM

Ooh, now here's a tough guy

I talked about N Frank Daniels overreacting to a negative review in a previous blog entry, and look who shows up here but the guy himself. I quote his comments below. Is he keeping in character with his tough guy persona, or is he seriously delusional? He still doesn't get the fact that he is no longer in Magic Self-Publish Land where reviews are geared towards "constructive criticism" - he's now in the harsh cruel world of mainstream reviewing where reviews are written for readers (what a concept) instead of to stoke an author's fragile ego. And seriously, if he thinks that review is terrible, wait until he sees what NYT can do on a bad hair day to his book. 

It's a good thing he wrote this to me, in some silly blog that does not matter, instead of... wait, you don't think he wrote something like this to reviewers in actual magazines and journals in a similar manner, do you? Heh.

Giggles, you ignorant slut.

As one Kristen already alluded to, when somebody attempts to write a coherent piece on a given topic, then peppers the piece with complete bullshit throughout, it's hard to take any of what might have been some valid points seriously at all. You called the CL review of my novel "mildly" critical--let me quote this douchebag: " Mildly amusing chapters about Dragon*Con or Nirvana or cooking crack might as well be unrelated blog posts, especially when paired with banal insights such as "The Acid is really fucking good." Taken in whole, Daniels' novel is just as unfocused and messy as the drug addicts within its pages. That isn't a clever metaphor. It's just bad writing." There was not one positive thing said about futureproof in that "review" (and I use the term "review" loosely, as that was nothing close to what a book review should be, as I noted in the comments beneath the article, and won't bother reiterating here on what a critical review NEEDS to consist of), so for you to call me out as reactionary over its "mild" criticism is willingly obtuse on your part. Yeah, I get it: you have a point to make, but I will be goddamned if you are going to make it on my back. I fucking broke my ass writing and then trying to publish futureproof. I literally lost everything in the process. So my reaction to this dipshit at Creative Loafing fronting as a serious book reviewer had nothing to do with being "thin-skinned." It had everything to do with wanting someone who is getting paid to analyze lit to actually do his fucking job. Same goes for you (though my instinct tells me that you aren't getting paid dick for this pathetic attempt at a conversation-starter of a blog.) I didn't win some kind of fucking American Idol-esque competition for my Harper deal. No such contest exists. For you to belittle the trials I went through in trying to find readers for my book by straight-up saying it was "friends and family" who made my book popular is willingly misinformed and makes you look like the asshole you obviously are. Methinks I see the seeds of a failed writer in you. So you come out here in the blogosphere and bash anybody else who still has the balls to kick against the picks to get their work recognized. You are pathetic. I have absolutely no respect for you or anyone trying to sell the type of shit you are peddling. In the end it doesn't mean a goddam thing if there are POD reviewers handing out soft-ball reviews. The only way any book, self-published or not, realy has a chance to make it is through word of mouth. I didn't sell a thousand self-published copies of futureproof because I have a thousand friends. I do not. Those readers, and the thousands of readers who have since bought the Harper version of my novel did so because somebody told somebody else it was worth reading. Find a fucking real issue and make a scene with that. On this issue you are dead in the water. There is no point in posting a negative review of a self-published book. Not because these writers need their fucking egos stroked, but because as a self-published author you start out with everyone believing your writing sucks. For someone to post a negative review of your POD book is just salt in the wound, and honestly makes the reviewer come across as the asshole he or she obviously is. I dont go to a self published review site to read bad reviews. If a book is that bad nobody will ever hear about it anyway. PODdy Mouth was the first, and her example still stands the test of time. Review the books you find have some merit, let your silence on those that do not speak in volumes. Two thumbs down to you, Giggles. And a couple of raised middle fingers.

15 comment(s).

Posted by Jessica:

....Wow... Did he think this actually hurt your feelings? It just makes him look like an ass.
April 3rd, 2009 @ 1:04 PM

Posted by Conrad:

Western men are really weird. What the heck is up with all this "slut" comment? No, scratch that; OLD Western men are really weird! I haven't heard any new younglings calling "slut" or such when they're angry at a chick. "Bitch" maybe, or even "cunt" but no "slut". I mean you're Asian, Mrs. G. In Asia, men are the ones who are constantly barraged as being promiscuous; sort of like how Western women are. In Asia, men are constantly insulted as being lewd, lecher, pervert etc (even though they hadn't done any thing of the sorts); but not a woman. People who watch animes & read mangas will know what I'm talking about. If a woman is being mean, shes just called the slang equivalent of a meanie. Does this guy seriously think that calling an Asian lady a "slut" for being mean matters to said lady? It just sounds lame! To most Asian women, being called a "slut" for being mean would just warrant unstopable giggles from her at the sheer stupidity of the insulter.
Come to think of it, only the English speaking countries are obsessed with calling women slut, whore, etc. And that too, only the old people do that these days-like the really old ones! The young generation just call it as it is. Would one consider calling Simon Cowell a pervert? Doesn't it just sound lame and funny and out of place? Most Eueropean countries, Africans, heck, the rest of the world don't call a mean-streaked opinionated woman their equivalent of a slut! This guy REALLY needs to come back to this time period! Or to be precise, to this planet!
This guy wouldn't happen to be retarded would he? :-?
April 3rd, 2009 @ 2:44 PM

Posted by Tina:

@Conrad - the ignorant slut comment is taken from a show called Saturday Night Live. It's a pop-culture thing--and yeah, a little out of date. :) I don't he was calling her a slut to question her sexual life-- it was a comment meant to dismiss her as a 'mouthy woman' as Dan Akroyd did on SNL to Jane Curtain, whenever she pointed out what an ass he was being. I wonder if he even gets the irony. :(

For you to belittle the trials I went through in trying to find readers for my book by straight-up saying it was "friends and family" who made my book popular is willingly misinformed and makes you look like the asshole you obviously are.

Well now, aren't we having an entitlement hissy?

Review the books you find have some merit, let your silence on those that do not speak in volumes.

So basically, no one should ever give a bad review - because silence is the best way to inform the public that something sucks?
April 3rd, 2009 @ 9:06 PM

Posted by Teddypig:

So this guy wasted oh so many words to come up with "If You Can't Say Anything Nice Don't Say Anything At All"?

That's so original and so self serving words fail me
April 3rd, 2009 @ 11:21 PM

Posted by EmmyG:

Obviously, the guy has ISSUES. This is what makes the internet both a blessing and a curse. Before the ISP, lots of authors suffered from depression, bi-polar disorder or substance abuse, but their publishers and families were able to keep it somewhat under wraps. Now, the internet has made it possible for everyone to display their issues (or asses, as the case might be) right out in front of everyone. It's a shame, really, because this guy might actually be a good writer with a promising career ahead of him if only his public/internet behavior doesn't put off both readers and prospective publishers.
April 3rd, 2009 @ 11:21 PM

Posted by vein:

Yes a lot of people have psychological issues, and continue to act in a civilised manner. There is a different between having an illness and being a jerk.
April 4th, 2009 @ 2:16 AM

Posted by Ann Bruce:

Someone forgot his meds.

Teddy, the word you're looking for is hypocrite.
April 4th, 2009 @ 6:31 AM

Posted by Paul Riddell:

This is a gentleman who has never discovered the power in understanding and channeling bad reviews, and he'll probably drop dead of an exploded heart because of it. A real writer will look at negative reviews in one of two ways. If it's a bad review from a good reviewer, then it's a signal that the writer needs to tighten up his/her work in the future. Any good writer will perk up and pay attention to these reviews, because it means that s/he's just going to get more of the same in the future without some drastic change.

The other review, where it's a bad review from a bad reviewer? Those are also valuable, because they're a great reminder to the writer. Considering the gigantic egos and tiny phalluses of many bad reviewers, this is often vindication that the writer is going in the right direction. Hell, I have two books coming out, and I specifically put nasty reviews on the front to remind me that no matter how bad a writer I may have been, I never want to be as pedantic and arrogant as these two twits. Besides, anybody who pays attention to movie criticism knows that a bad review from Rex Reed or Michael Medved is a goose to ticket sales, just because of the number of readers who read their reviews...and do the exact opposite. (In my home town, the Dallas Observer has such a reputation for humorless, entitled critics that restaurants and clubs that receive a snub from the "Deserver" cherish the savaging, as their fellows commiserate and let them know that they were slammed, too, and it did nothing to their business. One such critic is no notorious for demanding freebies and special access, and then slamming the subject because of the freebies, that Dallas musicians and filmmakers refer to similar treatment from other know-nothing critics as "getting wilonskyed".)

And then you get the fun. Back after Star Wars came out, George Lucas threw a tantrum after critic Pauline Kael noted, line and verse, why the film was as bad as it w
April 4th, 2009 @ 8:16 AM

Posted by Paul Riddell:

(The rest of the comment, currently in progress.)

And then you get the fun. Back after Star Wars came out, George Lucas threw a tantrum after critic Pauline Kael noted, line and verse, why the film was as bad as it was. She pointed out that Lucas had plagiarized other sources for his little drama, and dared to point out how the cliches that infest his writing could have been made better. Did he learn from the criticism and make himself a better director and writer? Nope: he got revenge by naming one of the villains in his godawful film Willow "General Kael". All that did was confirm that while Lucas has a better grasp of special effects, Ed Wood is still the superior writer and director.
April 4th, 2009 @ 8:18 AM

Posted by Cheryl Anne Gardner:

Well, the “nice things to say” are all well and good, but being the human that I am, I know, with one-hundred percent certainty, that I am flawed; therefore my writing must be flawed as well. I have studied literature for twenty-plus years, but in my own eyes, I still write elementary school primers compared to my idols. What I need is some criticism. And it’s not that I have an over-exaggerated sense of humility either or that I am some extreme masochist, I just know what I need to grow and improve my skills, those being continuous education and criticism. Some critics are harsher than others are. I tend to take the soft-handed approach, because I know the sting of being a self-published author, but I do give a fact-founded critique, like it or not. Can’t let all the schooling go to waste. I try to find merit in every book I review – believe me, they deserve it – and I try to carefully point out any missteps I might have seen. Mrs Giggles reviewed two of my books, unsolicited mind you; she actually bought the damn books unbeknownst to me. Yes, bought them, took a chance and supported a self-published author!!! One she gave a tempered yet stellar review, and the other, well, she had some issues. I found merit in both. I read many reviews. It’s my job to read them, as an author and as a reviewer, but to read a review properly, you have to put the emotion aside, read between and beyond the words. Reviews have a lot of subjective reader emotion attached to them, and while that is valuable in its own right, it really needs to be stripped away. A review needs to be looked at just as critically as a book. No one is beyond the microscope. Over the last year of struggle with my own work, I have learned that when you put something out into the world, it is no longer within your control, for good or for bad. I forget which famous author said it, but, the quote was: When you publish a book, it’s like taking your child out into the woods and shooting them.
April 6th, 2009 @ 6:22 AM

Posted by Steven Reynolds:

Serious question: Is it legitimate for writers to respond publicly to reviews they consider incomplete or unfair?

I'm not asking about the tone or aggression with which they do it, I'm asking about the act itself. The internet has opened up the interesting possibility of an ongoing conversation between readers, writers and critics - the kind of thing that's going on right here, right now. I don't see why writers should be excluded from having their say in the commentary around their work. In fact, I really enjoy that level of engagement.
April 6th, 2009 @ 9:26 PM

Posted by Mrs G:

Speaking for myself, I have no problems if an author chooses to respond to a review of mine that they deem unfair.
April 6th, 2009 @ 10:11 PM

Posted by Cheryl Anne Gardner:

Aside from the: Thank you for your insightful review, review etiquette has always dictated that you never, under any circumstances, argue with a reviewer, no matter what tack or tone you choose to take. Any rumination should be done in private. That was one of the first things I was taught. Normally, and agent would handle this sort of stuff, keeping emotions in check and all that so the author doesn't make a bad impression, but now, there is little in the way of emotional screening processes. Being an author myself, I can say this, I think authors are too emotionally invested in the work to be 100 percent objective and so should refrain from having their say with a reviewer. Less chance of foot in mouth ... or worse. And what you say on the internet never goes away.
April 7th, 2009 @ 12:09 AM

Posted by Louise van Hine:

He "lost everything" marketing his book? There's more wrong here than his attitude. I've written books. I've marketed them to publishers, I published one via POD, but hell, I wasn't about to put myself in the poorhouse for the sake of vanity or seeing my name in print. Note to Mr. Daniels: you need to establish some priorities. And never, ever, respond to a reviewer with a quote from SNL.
April 7th, 2009 @ 5:45 AM

Posted by Tuscan Capo:

For the man to come in here trash-mouthing women doesn't incline me to buy any more of his books. Like a lot of readers, reviews don't influence my book purchasing decisions. But I sure won't waste my money buying any more books by a guy who throws profanity at the ladies. Maybe its different story in the wilds of Philadelphia, but where I came from I'd be considered a crybaby punk to talk like that.
April 9th, 2009 @ 12:49 PM