Archive for 'rantypants'



What Stace had to say on Tuesday, May 18th, 2010
Boy Books and Girl Books?

(This is a long one, guys, so get comfortable.)

I’m sure you’re probably getting sick of seeing my reviews, but I do have another quick one to share. From WickedlilPixie at Writings of a Wicked Book Addict:

Unholy Ghosts is the first book in Stacia Kane’s Downside Series & it was phenomenal! It is one of the most grittiest, in your face Urban Fantasies I’ve ever read & I loved it…If you read one new Urban Fantasy series, make it Unholy Ghosts.

So something I’ve been thinking about for a while, as you guys know, is what urban fantasy truly is as a genre, and where it’s going, and how my books fit into it. (Remember the The Books Are Out There post?

And of course we’re now exactly one week away from the official release date of UNHOLY GHOSTS. And I’m wondering how people will respond to it, whether they’ll love it or hate it, whether the darkness will be too much for them, whether they’ll accept a drug addict as a heroine, all of those things that I worried and wondered about even as I wrote it.

But here’s the thing. I feel like urban fantasy has, as a genre, been somehow relegated to the “Girl” section. It’s been dismissed as “Girl books.” And many guys really do seem to think this way. I’ve seen a lot of them in various places referring to UF as “just paranormal romance with a little more action,” or “hot girl in leather solves mystery, sleeps with paranormal creatures.”

And honestly? I think to some extent that’s true. No, hear me out. Other worlds and paranormal creatures do tend to be a big part of urban fantasy. The heroines often have sex (mine certainly do) and it’s often with paranormal creatures (Megan sleeps with a demon, for example, but in Chess’s world the only paranormal creatures are ghosts, and they don’t really make good bed partners, what with the trying to kill you and all).
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What Stace had to say on Monday, April 12th, 2010
KFC: The Microcosm

So earlier today I happened to see something online about the KFC “Double Down” sandwich, which made me immediately think of the Luther Burger, although the version I’d always heard of the Luther Burger involved two jelly donuts used as buns, not grilled glazed donuts, but whatever. The point is, the Double Down sort of resembles the Luther Burger, in that it is disgustingly fatty and is probably delicious if you like that sort of thing; it’s bacon and cheese between two fried chicken fillets.

Anyway, while I have no desire to try to Double Down, reading about it did sort of make me want to have KFC for dinner, simply because why not, it’s been months and months. Hubs opted for Arby’s instead, which was right nearby; he went through the drive-thru there after dropping me off at the KFC to order for me and the kiddies.

Aaanyway. I guess we got there right after the dinner rush or something, because I had to wait a while after I ordered. No problem, I don’t mind. So I got the drinks (remember when you weren’t expected to fill your own cups at the soda dispensers? And how nice that was? I mean, I know fast food is cheap, but really, if I’m expected to work for my food it should be even cheaper. Sorry if that’s whiney; I’ve worked in fast food and I know how shitty it is, but seriously. It’s just weird to be handed an empty cup. Like I’m being told to get it my damn self if I want a damn drink so bad.)

So I get the drinks and stand at the counter, watching the two or three KFC employees racing around trying to fill orders. There was one guy who ordered before me, and then a Boy Scout troop leader who I guess also ordered before me but had wandered off to do something else. He appeared at the counter beside me, in his little Boy Scout outfit, complete with stupid just-below-the-knee shorts. Seriously, men? Stop wearing those fucking things, you look ridiculous in them. It does not, as you may imagine, provide you with some sort of Devil-May-Care insouciance. It makes you look like some creepy serial killer whose Mommy raised him as a girl. Plus, they make you look short and fat. ALL of you. Those things would make Ryan Reynolds look short and fat, and we all know Ryan Reynolds is built like a god or something. A God of sexy-body-ness:

Note the long pants

Note the long pants

You are a grown man. Wear pants.
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What Stace had to say on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
On sales, promo, pressure and lists

I’m in a release day frame of mind lately, what with DEMON POSSESSED being released last week. See, it’s not just that that book was released, it’s also that it means UNHOLY GHOSTS will be out soon. Well, soonish, lol; three months.

And like any other writer with a book coming out, I’m thinking about promo. See, I want you to buy the book(s). I want you to get all of your friends to buy the book(s). I want to sell thousands and thousands and thousands of copies. I want to hit the NYT list, or the USA Today list, or the Publisher’s Weekly list, or Bookscan or whatever. Lists make writers happy, you see. And they make publishers happy, and everybody’s happy. Happiness is good.

And of course, I would hope that you guys, my lovely readers, would want to help me sell books or hit lists or whatever. Because we have something of a symbiotic relationship, you know, you and me. I write books, and you buy them, and when you buy them you encourage me to write more of them, and it’s all very cheering and makes me feel warm and happy inside to think that I’ve given you something you enjoy (I honestly love giving presents; I’m one of those weird people at holidays who gets more excited about the things I’m giving than what I might get).

But here’s the thing. While I would hope that you would want to help, I don’t expect you to. I’m surprised and thrilled and grateful whenever you do, but I don’t expect it. At all. Ever. And I certainly wouldn’t presume to INSIST you do, or berate you for not doing so. Or imply that you’re stupid for not purchasing my books in the exact fashion that I would prefer you to do so.

Sadly, it seems sometimes as if I–okay, I and several of my close friends–are alone in that feeling, that instinctive cringing when we see readers being treated like nothing more than open wallets whose sole purpose is to drive said writer to greater glory.

Do I want to hit a list? Of course, although I would never presume to think I have a real shot at it. Do I think it would be great if readers everywhere held off on buying my books until the day of release? Well, sure, I guess so, but see the aforementioned “I would never presume to think I have a shot at a list anyway so what does it matter,” answer. (Yeah, I know, that wasn’t the full answer, but it’s what I meant.)

Are there things readers can do to help a favorite author hit a list? Yeah, but not as many as you think, really. Sure, waiting until release day–or the day before, since books release on Tuesdays and sales are counted for the entire week, so buying on Monday is okay–helps. That’s a good thing to do, if you’re interested, but really that’s about it. It’s certainly all I would ever think to ask.

See…I work for YOU. I mean, yes, I work for myself, but I DO the work for you. You are my audience. You are not my slaves. You do not exist in order to feed my ego or allow me to add a shiny “List” pin to my vest. It’s not for me to tell you where you’re allowed to buy my books or in what format. I’m just amazed and grateful that you buy them at all.

I’ll be perfectly honest here. There are times when it feels as if the world of readers and the world of writers are at war. Readers want certain things; they have a right to want those things as consumers. But writers/publishers want certain things as well, and we have a right to want those things as content creators and producers. And don’t even get me started on copyright violations/piracy, and some of the justifications for those. Again, to be honest? There are times when I see discussions of it, or come across my books on filesharing sites, and have the sick, deep feeling that I should just give the hell up. I can never “win”–by which I mean earn a decent living consistently, when I’m being stolen from.

And it’s not just the financial theft, it’s the feeling that someone has literally reached into my mind and taken something from me without permission. It feels like I got drunk and told a deep secret to someone I thought was a friend, and that so-called friend turned around and told the world, and they’re all laughing at me. Or like a when a guy you really like sleeps with you and then never calls you again, you know? It makes me feel worthless, and frustrated, and lonely and sad. Sure piracy bothers me because of the money, sure, but really?

Piracy just hurts. It hurts to think someone is using you for entertainment but doesn’t think you deserve any compensation for that. It hurts to think you’re seen as less than human; as some sort of machine which exists for the gratification of others but is not permitted any gratification of its own. It hurts to feel that someone thinks they’re entitled to the fruits of your labor–the expression of the truth as you see it and the worlds and people you created and love–without paying for them. It doesn’t feel like a royalty payment was stolen from you. It feels like a tiny part of your soul was stolen from you.

That shit hurts.

And I imagine it hurts readers, too, when they’re made to feel–from being yelled at, lectured, or treated like they’re stupid–that they exist solely to provide the writer with titles and accolades. That just buying and reading and enjoying and talking about a book isn’t enough, that they now must buy it at certain times, in certain places, in certain formats, at certain phases of the moon, or whatever. Just as writers are not simply typewriters churning out words, readers are not simply notches on that big bestseller belt. They are people.

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this. Just that I think it’s wrong.

Do I want to sell a lot of books? Hell, yes!

But I don’t want to just sell a lot of books. I want to entertain a lot of people. I want to give them something. That’s what this is about, not numbers or lists. It’s about books and writing and reading and the way when we read a book we love we feel connected to that book, and those characters, and that author. And when we discover another fan of those books we have a connection with that person, and books created that connection, and it wouldn’t exist without writers, readers, and publishers.

So do I want to hit a list? Of course. Have I thought of various promotional things to do, fun things, that may help facilitate that? Sure.

Do I want to hit a list at the expense of readers, by berating them or nagging them, by treating them like my minions or like they fucking owe me that goddamn list, so they better get off their fat asses and do what I say?

No.

That’s not worth it to me. I don’t want it that way. It wouldn’t mean anything that way.

I may never hit a list. But I will always be grateful that people have bought my books, and read them and loved them and took the time to tell me. Yes, this is a business, and I want to succeed in it and make money. But not at the expense of readers, and not at the expense of my own soul.

So that’s it. Just some things I’m thinking of, and will continue to think of as we get closer to the summer and the release of the Downside books (finished copyedits on CITY OF GHOSTS last week, and am quite pleased, btw).

So…thanks.

ETA: Moira Rogers, who writes awesome books, has also done a post on this topic, and I highly recommend you check it out too. My response to it? Ditto.

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
Rules of the Blog

So a number of things have happened in the past few weeks/days that have got me thinking about this blog (No, relax. This is NOT a “I’m not blogging anymore” post). One, my decision to let the set schedule go. I’ve actually enjoyed blogging more lately, and if you notice, I’m still doing about two posts a week. The difference for me is I can now blog when something strikes me, and not hold back until it’s Blog Day or whatever. So I kind of feel rejuvenated as a blogger, if that makes any sense. I’m having fun with it again, and that feels great. So I thought this would be a good time to kind of renew my thoughts on the blog, and what its purpose is, and what I think about it.

I’ve seen a few times online in the last month or two people–people who should fucking know better, IMO–running contests where one of the ways to enter the contest is to post about the contest on blogs or message boards. In other words, don’t just promote the contest on your own blog or Twitter feed, but post about it on various message boards or in comments on other people’s blogs.

This is spam. It is spam, spam, spam. It is tacky and it is rude, and just as a general FYI–although I know none of you would ever do such a thing–it will not be tolerated here. I can ban IPs from this site, and I will do it.

Here’s the thing. This is MY blog. It’s MY website. And while I follow certain rules–which I’ll get to in a minute–the fact remains that at its most basic level, this site and blog are here to promote me and my books. Along with, of course, the books of anyone I mention in posts or invite to come do a guest post here. To “walk” into my blog and start dropping your own promo is the height of rudeness, akin to walking into my home and starting to redecorate without being asked. I don’t care what it’s for. Don’t do it. It’s rude to me and it’s rude to you guys, the readers of this blog, who do not deserve to be treated like rubes or fish in a barrel, just waiting to be led around by the nose.

As of this writing the blog gets anywhere from 200-600 hits a day, every day. On days when I post the numbers go up; no-post days, of course, have lower numbers (and some posts got much, much higher numbers, but those are obvious anomalies). And I’m aware that’s nowhere near the kinds of hits really popular blogs, really popular names, get. But they’re still MY numbers; you’re MY readers, and I’ve worked hard over the years to attract you and entertain you and get to know you a bit, even, and let you get to know me, and you and that work mean a lot to me.

If you have something to promote–be it a book or a charity–email me about it. There’s a good chance that I’ll invite you to guest post about it, or I’ll mention it. And if I don’t, it’s probably because I don’t think my readers would be that interested in it, frankly. And you know what? That’s up to me. because, again, MY BLOG. MY READERS. I owe them–I owe you guys–the respect of not being treated like some nameless, faceless gaggle of wallets.

Which brings me to the other thing. A long time ago now I did a post about why I don’t blog about politics, and the gist of it was, because I respect you all and think you’re capable of making your own decisions without my input. This is still true. But, as I believe I said in a follow-up post at some point, which I’m too lazy to hunt around for–there’s another reason, too.
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What Stace had to say on Thursday, February 4th, 2010
Those gross tv chefs

So a discussion began last night, on a forum of which I am a member, about the rinsing of raw meats before cooking, specifically poultry. Some rinse, some don’t. Another member commented that apparently the FDA recommends against rinsing. You know why?

Because the water can splash and land on other things, thus spreading bacteria.

I had to laugh. I love the idea, first of all, that the FDA is recommending against a basic sanitary routine because the people doing it are apparently not capable of cleaning up after themselves. Seriously.

But it got me thinking about one of my biggest, hugest pet peeves ever, which I’m going to share with you.

See, I am anal about raw poultry and/or pork. Seriously. I treat that shit like it’s nitroglycerine. Nitroglycerine which also carries the Ebola virus. And is armed with razor blades.

Here’s what I do:
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What Stace had to say on Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
It’s YOUR damn story

I could have sworn that I’ve blogged about this before, but I just did a search and nothing turned up, so I guess I haven’t. Or maybe I’m searching wrong. Anyway. (No, I did sort of discuss this before, in this 2007 post, but not with the same focus, so I don’t feel as though I’m repeating myself.)

Here’s the thing. Writing involves making up stories. Perhaps you’re a plotter, one of those bizarre creatures who knows exactly what’s going to happen in the story before you open a shiny new Document and follows your path as tidily as a ballerina with months of rehearsal. (In which case I seriously envy you, despite my snottiness. It’s fond, admiring snottiness, I promise.)

Or maybe you’re a pantser like me, and start with a character or two and a premise, and toss them into the document and see what happens. Maybe like me you have a few vague ideas of where the story will go; I tend to have some sort of idea of what the climactic battle will be like, and maybe a scene or two sort of lurking in the back of my mind waiting to be used.

But either way, you need to make up the story. It’s down to YOU; it’s your responsibility. Quite frankly, a fiction writer who cannot make up a story is not a fiction writer. If writing fiction is what you want to do, you need to learn and absorb the skill of Making Shit Up. Period.

Which is why it drives me insane when I see writers–or those who want to be or claim to be writers–asking people what they should do with their story. Should the hero and heroine get together now? Should the villain do this or that? How old should the characters be? Should the villain die at the end? Should the father be the bad guy?

Then there are the secondary questions, what I refer to as the “unfamiliar” questions. I call them that because the questioner is seemingly unfamiliar with either the genre in which they are writing, or with books in general. (They could also be called the “Is it okay” questions, since they tend to start that way. These are questions like, “Is it okay if the hero cusses? Is it okay if the heroine isn’t a virgin? Is it okay if the heroine kills the bad guy? Is it okay if the hero gets drunk? Is it okay if the hero has a kid?” etc. etc.

I’d say the latter annoy me more, but honestly, they both annoy me equally.

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  • What Stace had to say on Thursday, November 12th, 2009
    Yes, Virginia, you need an agent

    For those of you who haven’t yet heard, yesterday Galleycat published a rather ridiculous opinion piece about how agents are unnecessary and they don’t do anything and they’re just evil old vultures and blah blah blah. The same crap we’ve heard before, in other words, although I find it fascinating that this piece was written by someone who last year–obviously unaware that I already had an agent and two book deals–offered to query agents on my behalf for the low, low price of $500.00, and yes I still have that email exchange saved. He’s perfectly entitled to run such a business and I’m not calling him a scammer, but it’s interesting, isn’t it?

    Agent Miriam Goderich rebutted it here very nicely. So, I’m sure, have others, but I’m about to add my voice to the chorus simply because that’s the way I roll, baby.

    Do you need an agent?

    Yes. Yes, you fucking do.

    Period.

    Okay, sure. If you’re planning on having a career in epublishing, you probably do not need an agent. If you’re planning to self-publish, you do not need an agent. There’s nothing wrong with either of those things. I started out in epublishing, without an agent, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I’m glad I did it and am grateful to Ellora’s Cave for treating me so well and enabling me to make some decent cash. Working with them was a pleasure for me.

    But–no offense–I wanted more than that. I wanted books on shelves. I wanted advances. I wanted a bigger career. I wanted to move out of genre romance/erotic romance; not because I didn’t enjoy it or don’t enjoy it (writing and reading), but because the more of it I wrote the more a little voice inside me told me it was simply not quite the right fit for my voice or the kinds of stories I wanted to tell.

    To accomplish those things (aside from moving away from writing romance, which of course is a huge genre in all forms of publishing: ebook, mass market paperback, trade paperback, hardcover, audio, whatever) I needed an agent.

    Here’s what fascinates me (and infuriates me) about the original Galleycat article (aside from the fact that its author apparently also runs a website devoted to helping writers self-publish; again, legal, but certainly interesting). It’s this paragraph here:

    One published author who asks to be unnamed disagrees, “What do you need an agent for anymore, really? Why? To negotiate a meager advance? You can’t get them on the phone anyway. You’re stuck promoting the book yourself because publishers don’t put any marketing dollars into your book unless you’re John Grisham. I don’t see the whole point when I can hire an attorney to negotiate my publishing contract for a flat fee or just upload the book to Kindle myself.”

    Let’s take a look at these points, shall we?
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    What Stace had to say on Monday, September 21st, 2009
    If self-publishing is the future, it’s bleak indeed

    First, a couple of quick things:

    1. “The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2″ has been released, containing stories by myself, Jeanne Stein, Jaye Wells, Caitlin Kittredge, Tiffany Trent, and Ann Aguirre. My story, titled “Trust Me,” is–I think–kind of a fun little yarn about Jack the Ripper, and is officially the Last Erotic Romance story I wrote (for now). So while I did tone it down a bit for the antho, expect lots of sexxoring.

    Shorts are difficult for me, in general; I have a hard time keeping myself from expanding and expanding and introducing subplots. But this was a story that really didn’t leave a lot of room for a novel, and the idea had appealed to me for some time (as with all mystery buffs and goulish people, I am fascinated by the Ripper), so when I had the opportunity to submit it for the antho I jumped at it. So rush on out and get it; my story is probably the weakest of the bunch, given the other names involved, but I think it’s kind of a sweet little tale nonetheless.

    2. Kari Stewart, my agent-mate and author of A DEVIL IN THE DETAILS, coming next summer from Roc, has written a great little series on writing series novels on her blog. You have to scroll down a few entires, but it’s well worth it.

    3. Charlaine Harris did an interview at Voice America’s “Mystery Matters” show on Friday, and guess who she mentioned as one of her favorite secondary characters ever, right around the fifty-four minute mark? Terrible, my big bad greaser from UNHOLY GHOSTS. Check it out!

    Now. To the point of the post. (Yes, I seem to be on a bit of a self-publishing kick. I promise I have not forgotten the Critique series. I’m just busy as heck these days and going through some other things I won’t bore you with.)
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    What Stace had to say on Monday, September 14th, 2009
    Self-publishing is not like punk rock*

    *except when it is. Which isn’t often.

    Lemme ‘splain.

    More and more lately I’ve been hearing this argument, or discussion, or comment. Self-publishing is just like punk rock! Because anyone can do it. Because self-published authors are taking the bull by the horns and doing it themselves! Fuck the Publishing Man! Rock on!

    And it’s something I’ve wanted to write about for some time, but it was this Genreville blog post in PW that finally inspired me to do so.

    Yes, there are a few similarities, or rather, there is one way in which they are alike. But for the most part they are vastly different, and this is what irritates me and makes me want to pull out my hair sometimes. Because the differences are vast and wide.

    Before I start, let me give you a quick run-down of my credentials to even discuss this topic. I was heavily involved in the punk scene for, oh, ten years or so. With an ex-boyfriend of mine, who was in a band, I ran a tiny punk record label; we sold records for a dollar each. I helped book shows; I had bands stay at my house; I slept on floors; I did a little touring; I watched recording sessions; I sang one line in a song that ended up on a Lookout! records compilation; I went to drunken all-night parties; I never paid to get into shows because I always knew somebody in the band; I traveled across country with the ex (he wasn’t my ex at the time) and his band to attend a three-day punk festival in northern California; I can play a few Ramones and Sex Pistols songs on the guitar; I started my own band with a couple of other girls, and we were getting ready to try booking a show when our drummer quit; and a whole bunch of other stuff I’ve forgotten. This was one of my favorite things about writing the Downside books, was being able to draw on those experiences and namecheck my favorite bands.

    I say this just because I want to make it clear that I do in fact know what I’m talking about; it’s not to brag or say “Look how cool I am” or anything of that nature (I readily admit I am not cool. Perhaps I was at one point in my life, but now I sit around all day writing and pouring juice for my daughters).

    The only self-publishing I can honestly and truly say is punk rock are zines. Zines are–at least they used to be–fully punk self-publishing. Handwritten pages (although now that we have computers it’s very possible they’re typeset or laid out using Pagemaker or whatever), usually full of personal essays, record reviews, jokes, show reviews, that sort of thing, photocopied and stapled together at Kinko’s or in your basement or whatever. Are you getting a sense here of what punk rock zines are about? Could it be, hmm, that they are about punk rock? (I haven’t seen a zine in a while, save some of my old copies of big ones like COMETBUS or SCAM. So forgive me if some of my zine info is a little out of date.)

    The rest? Not so much.
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    What Stace had to say on Monday, February 9th, 2009
    Oh…sigh

    And sigh again.

    I wasn’t going to talk about this, I really wasn’t. Because I don’t want to piss off or upset people. I certainly don’t want to make readers, the lovely people who spend money on books, angry with me.

    But I just…It’s like the opinion is a pot of coffee, percolating in my chest, and it’s going to explode. (Incidentally, I feel kind of weird thinking that nobody uses percolators anymore. My parents were never coffee drinkers, but my Grandpa was. And when he would come visit the smell of coffee and especially the sound of the percolator, that particular burble-sploosh noise, would wake me up in the mornings. I used to really like it; I was fascinated by the percolator and could never figure out quite how it worked, you know? All those childhood machines that seemed like magic to me, and none of them are in use anymore. The percolator, the 8-track tape, the flashlight that ran because of how fast you squeezed the trigger thingie…anyway. No time for this; this is going to be a little long anyway.)

    So everybody knows about this Stephen King/Stephenie Meyer thing. Basically, Mr. King said in an interview that Ms. Meyer “can’t write worth a darn.”

    And for reasons I cannot fathom, it’s being treated like he said Hitler was a really good guy or something, or that in his spare time he enjoys molesting children.

    Leaving aside the truth or lack thereof of his statement itself, and leaving aside the fact that although he claimed Meyer can’t write worth a darn he did say he understood the appeal of the books…

    So what?

    There seem to be two schools of thought among the “Fry him! FRY HIM!” crowd. The first is that he’s jealous of Meyer’s success, which is, IMO, patently ridiculous. Stephen King is arguably the most successful writer the world has ever seen (and no, you cannot bring up the people who wrote the Bible or the Talmud of the Koran or whatever). No, I’m serious. Think about it for a minute. How long has the man been writing bestsellers? How many of his books or stories have been made into major films? Adapted for television? Turned into series? How many of those film adaptations have garnered Oscar nominations in any category?

    Now think of one other author, living or dead, which that kind of success. ONGOING success. I suppose it’s possible to argue that JK Rowling hits it, but King’s written something like thirty books. JKR has not. Tolkein had massive, unprecedented success, but again, not as many books.

    So the idea that Stephen King is jealous of Stephenie Meyer is silliness. I’m sorry but it is, and there’s another reason why it is, and it ties into my whole feeling about this.

    I suspect womanhood has something to do with it, yes I do. And that something is, everyone saying these things seems to be female, and more importantly, seems to be upset not that one writer is commenting on another writer’s work, but that the commenting writer has a protruding pee-pee and the one being commented on does not.

    I know.

    King said some not-very-nice things about a few male writers in that article too, but nobody seems to be jumping up and down all over the internets to say how Mr. King is just jealous of Mr. Patterson. In fact, no one seems at all bothered by the fact that not only did King call Petterson “a terrible writer,” he didn’t even qualify that statement anywhere by saying he sees the appeal of Patterson’s work, or that Patterson has very cleverly tapped into something in his audience’s collective subconscious.

    So…why? Why does it seem okay for King to criticize Patterson, but not Meyer? Why isn’t anyone throwing “jealous” around?

    Yeah. I think a big part of it is that Meyer is a woman. And I think there is a very ugly assumption beneath this, which is that a woman cannot take criticism. And sadly, I think there is a segment of the female writing “society,” for lack of a better term, which truly cannot take criticism, who flounce around saying things like “If you’ve never written a book you can’t criticize” or “It’s hard work to write a book and the author deserves something for that and it’s mean to say her book isn’t very good” or whatever other whiny little excuses these namby-pambies toss around to justify their own total and complete lack of professionalism.

    We’ve seen these people online. We see them all the freaking time, in fact. They’re the ones who stalk Amazon reviewers or decide to name transexual AIDS-riddled prostitutes after people who give them mediocre reviews (and let’s keep in mind, btw, what sort of person thinks “transexual” is a worthy insult) or send nasty emails to reviewers or start blogs where they put up nasty cartoons or send hate mail or have hissy fits in comments or whatever the fuck it is, and thus make all female writers look as though we too have never progressed beyond the 9th grade.

    This attitude seriously makes me ill. You know what, gang? I seriously doubt Stephenie Meyer gives a fuck what Stephen King says. And good, because she shouldn’t. I love Stephen King. I think he’s fantastic. And I would love to think he’d read my work and enjoyed it; that would be a huge thrill. But you know what? if he loved it, that’s just one man’s opinion. And if he hated it? That’s still just one man’s opinion.

    And jealous? Why is this argument so rarely brought up when two men are involved? Why do we hardly ever see someone claiming, for example, that Steve Jobs is just jealous of Bill Gates? or that, I don’t know, Javier Bardem is just jealous of Benicio del Toro? Not that I’m aware of these men making comments about each other, but really, can you imagine it? So why then, does this crap come up when women are involved? Stephen King is a grown man, people, and I don’t know about you but I’ve never seen anything before that would lead me to believe he’s the kind of man for whom jealousy of other writers is a problem. Have you?

    Stephenie Meyer is a published author; she’s written four enormous bestsellers. Let’s give her a little credit, shall we? Let’s assume she’s mature enough to shrug this off and go on writing, and not behave as though she’s crying in the bathrooms by the gym and she won’t come out until Stephen writes her a note that says he’s sorry and gee, golly, the dance is tonight and she was our ride and we’re gonna get Stephen and pants him in the cafeteria?

    We’re all entitled to our opinions. (In fact, one could argue that Meyer is one of the few people Stephen King can actually criticize *without* looking like a bully; who else is big enough?) And in the grand scheme of things, this is such a non-issue it’s not even funny.

    I was going to tell you about a book I bought the other day, which I haven’t finished, but which is so well-written my jaw keeps literally dropping open–but that will have to wait until next Monday, because this is so long already. Sigh.