cloudsinvenice replied to your post: cloudsinvenice said:What’s a five…
I will never watch Dawson’s Creek again without this in mind. Curse you! :P
Consider it payback for reminding me that Anne Rice decided she was going to write another Lestat book and that it’s not just a weird dream I…
Woo. What brought this on? Tell, I beg? I dropped out of Ricedom (never a fan, just a reader) with CRY TO HEAVEN, and I would purely admire what generated such vitriol!
Oh boy. Well. There’s a lot to complain about—her writing, for starters. She started refusing to work with an editor sometime in the 90s, and. Uh. It shows. It shows big time. She’s not good at self-editing, and with nobody there to rein in her worse tendencies as a writer, her books are just contradictory, bloated messes now.
I would not find this to be nearly as much of a problem if not for her behavior toward her fans. Bad writing unto itself is not a crime.
See, in the 90s she started having her lawyers track down fanfiction archives that featured Vampire Chronicles fanfic and sending them cease-and-desist letters. The entire fandom wound up going underground because of it. I came into the fandom around 1998, before the rise of social media as we know it, but after the initial kerfuffle. Unfortunately, time did not diminish her hatred of fanfic writers. Or roleplayers. People who were unequivocally not doing any of this for money, but who spent plenty of time and money on her books. I was a member of a roleplaying message board that got shut down in 2008 because someone was feeling spiteful and made sure to tell her about it. (I still don’t know who it was, but I was the one who got blamed for it as I’d recently quit due to waning interest.) Full-on C&D letter and all.
Not to mention how she had a massive hissy fit when her last Vampire Chronicles book was published in 2003 and got some negative reviews on Amazon—she spent a lot of time there, telling everyone why they were wrong and why she’s a genius and that they were “interrogating the text from the wrong perspective.” (That’s a direct quote.) But it didn’t stop there. More recently, she’s also signed a petition that wants to force people on Amazon to use their real names for book reviews, citing “anti-author bullies” as her reason. Last year she then set her fans on someone who used a thrift-store copy of her book Pandora to decoupage a decorative box by linking directly to the blog post on her Facebook account, with a tacit invitation for them to unleash their nastiest vitriol on the poor woman. Even though it wasn’t explicit, she full well knows how the internet works by now and what she was doing.
So. Not a lot of love lost for Anne Rice.
Okay. I was dead poor in the 90s and not as attached to the publishing world even in the early Naughties, so the fan stuff whizzed right past me. I know there are writers who don’t want fanfic and land on fans who do it. I think it’s counterproductive; it hurts no one; the fans love the original work, and from my point of view, fanfic often creates new writers so I will never run out of original books to read. Everybody wins! But every writer makes her/his own choices.
Going after reviewers on Amazon or anywhere else seems wrong-headed to me. People will say what they will say, whether on Amazon or on their own blogs. It just makes the writer look silly and as you said, mean. Going after roleplayers, ditto.
As for the editing thing. You may or may not have heard of this, since it happened in the 80s, but once upon a time Doubleday Publishers had a golden goose by the name of Stephen King. He wrote a book for them, intending to carry on his growing line of blockbusters, called THE STAND, and his editor required him to cut 400 pages. King was most unhappy. He wrote two fast crap books (CUJO and CHRISTINE) to get out of his contract, and went to Viking Press. Ever since then, when a writer gets successful enough, editors are very, very reluctant to edit their big sellers, and if the writer’s ego goes with the sales … ::coughTomClancyGeorgeR.R.Martincough:: and, as you said, Anne Rice.
I make sure my editors know I want to be edited—even though I’m not huge, they’ve gotten a little too respectful sometimes, particularly the younger ones.
I am very sorry you got crunched by Rice’s crusade. She obviously doesn’t care if real people get hurt by the backlash from her actions. I hope my fans would never do that. I’d have to speak to them sternly if they did.
There are a lot of good writers out there, who respect their readers and understand that once the books leave their hands, they have no control over them.