Rain, rain, go away!

Okay, so it’s pouring, it’s 8:30, and it’s all I can do to summon up the energy required to go in and teach today. Days like this, it’s all I can do not to crawl back into bed and call in sick. Or exhausted. But I can’t. So in I will go.

But first, I read something interesting in the MSNBC gossip column this morning about Anne Rice writing a response to the bad reviews her most recent book has gotten from readers on Amazon.com. Apparently, she just felt like she had to defend herself and her work. So I went to check it out, and sure enough, there she is. This is a quote from the beginning of her comment:

Seldom do I really answer those who criticize my work. In fact, the entire development of my career has been fueled by my ability to ignore denigrating and trivializing criticism as I realize my dreams and my goals. However there is something compelling about Amazon’s willingness to publish just about anything, and the sheer outrageous stupidity of many things you’ve said here that actually touches my proletarian and Democratic soul. Also I use and enjoy Amazon and I do read the reviews of other people’s books in many fields. In sum, I believe in what happens here. And so, I speak. First off, let me say that this is addressed only to some of you, who have posted outrageously negative comments here, and not to all. You are interrogating this text from the wrong perspective. Indeed, you aren’t even reading it. You are projecting your own limitations on it. And you are giving a whole new meaning to the words “wide readership.” And you have strained my Dickensean principles to the max. I’m justifiably proud of being read by intellectual giants and waitresses in trailer parks,in fact, I love it, but who in the world are you?

Yikes! (If you want to read the entire entry, go here, it’s about halfway down the page.) I have to say, I can relate to the urge to respond when people say nasty things about your books. Recently I got a very bad review in a publication for The Truth About Forever that I thought was so skewed and nasty it made me want to throw something, but I just took a few deep breaths and reminded myself that getting mad wouldn’t change their opinion anyway, even if it did feel good to blow off some steam. I think reader reviews on Amazon or BN.com are great, but they are somewhat more honest than those you find in publications. You get less, “The theme of the book was hard to follow, and perhaps lacking a momentum” kind of stuff and more “This book sucked. I was bored.” Both valid points, but obviously, one is more like someone shouting something negative from across a busy street, while the other is like a person basically up in your face, or maybe bellowing in your ear. Still, I do check them, more often than I like to admit. I think all authors do. We just can’t help ourselves.

(Or maybe it’s just me, and I’m as neurotic as I think I am. Entirely possible. Maybe I should delve more deeply into it, and….oh, look! The rain just stopped! It’s clearing!)

have a good day everyone!