Initially, I posted this on my personal facebook page to get it out of my system. This has been bothering me for a while. The blogger who came onto my blog to complain at me because I dare to have a ‘to be continued’ in the middle of a series just helped hammer at things a bit.
This isn’t a pleasant talk. It’s not a pleasant post at all, really. It’s honest. There are spelling errors. (I do not care there are spelling errors. It was posted on my PERSONAL facebook page, so if you are the kind who can’t handle typos, just… stop reading and go elsewhere. This isn’t the time nor the place to get snippy over it. I’m not editing the raw post to appease anyone at this point in time.)
To soften the blow, have a kitten first.
Here’s the post:
I really kinda hate how readers ruined Runaway for me. I don’t want to read it, honestly… don’t even want to write in the world it’s set in.
Cuz they don’t like that i used lethal white as the foundation on why there aren’t white fucking horses in that world.
There can be white over other frameworks in genetics but they aren’t true white. Just because you have a huge white spot over another color doesnt mean the horse is white. White on pink (ala American Cremello) also isn’t true white. None of this stuff is actually wrong but readers managed to be jackasses enough about my usage of lethal white i literally don’t want to resume working on Royal States books.
I can’t even look at positive reviews anymore of any of my titles because of stuff like that.
I am literally not even allowed to roll with lethal white being a major consideration for horse-crazed royalty.
I haven’t even reread hardly anything in the series because of this, and I can’t even think about continuing to write it without a read through, which I just don’t even want to do at this stage.
It is exhausting, because I just want to write a fun book. Stuff like this is why I absolutely do think about just finishing the absolute minimum and stop publishing.
It really boils down to “okay. If you think you can do better, please do. Write your own book.”
It is fucking exhausting.
I don’t think I am alone among writers at all, either. I can think of a bunch of authors who have completely quite series or have stopped publishing because of this stuff.
It’s just absolutely fucking exhausting, and the longer I write and publish, the more I completely want to withdraw from readers.
It is exhausting, it is brutal, and every damned time, I wonder why I spent 300 hours writing that book.
And even when I avoid the reviews, you know what some readers do? Message me with their complaint, because there is a belief that their $5.99 buys them the right to slam me directly for something they didn’t like.
Ugh, ugh, ugh.
And yeah, tonight’s dose of honesty is a bitter pill. But this shit has been bothering me since Runaway released.
It used to be my favorite, and now, frankly, I’m growing to hate it and the entire series.
I just don’t even want to continue it because I don’t want to deal with whatever lashback will come out of this series next.
I was called a pedophile because of ignorant Americans who didn’t even understand their laws allow child brides, and all i did was bump Texas law a year and illustrate that this is a real PROBLEM in the US.
I have been called a child abuser because I showcased the consequences of this to adult characters.
I’ve been called a lot of nasty names because people forget it is fucking FICTION.
And then to moan about the lethal white gene?
Nail in the coffin. I am so tired of this series at this point. I don’t want to write Ian and his partner; I am sure people are going to bitch about having a damaged male love interest.
Diedre? Yeah, that book isn’t gonna go over well.
Pat and Jessica #3? It has no overlying arc and is meant to be a feel good story. So many people missed the major plot overarcing inclusions in Storm Called and Taken that their third book will not be received well. If people can’t figure out Taken actually played a critical role in the formation of Null and Void… they aren’t going to be able to just have a book meant to be FUN.
I am tired of getting slammed, even in positive reviews, if I am not perfection. It is exhausting.
The burden of expectation placed upon authors is just exhausting.
Be perfect, or we’ll report your typos to Amazon and have your books removed from sale. (Better work weekends or Amazon will remove them because you better fix is NOW.)
Be perfect, or we’ll let everyone know in reviews. (Nothing says love like a hardass reader weaponizing reviews.)
I am just so exhausted.
And that’s the story of why I hate book release weeks now, how I really want to end the Susan Copperfield series at this stage, and why I am going to end up writing books I really don’t want to write because i made promises intend to keep.
But some days, I wish there weren’t any such things as reviews and ratings, and that people didn’t feel like they can slide into my messages with their complaints.
And that’s all she wrote.
(This marks the end of the facebook post and onto the next segment of this blog post.)
So, the next time you think, “HA! I caught an author doing SOMETHING WRONG! Let’s call that out!” maybe stop and thing that you might be the reason you won’t be getting the next book in a series.
Because yes, I am seriously considering hanging up the hat on the Susan Copperfield books after finishing the ones I have already promised, which include the Trickster King (P&J #3), The Prince of New York, New Waters, and the Vampire of Montana. I will end up burning tens of thousands in investments on covers and other things, but… that’s the situation right now.
There comes a point where readers can, and do, manage to ruin things for the writer, and why should I continue working on it at that point? Why should I make myself utterly miserable knowing that there are a bunch of people who are just circling like sharks waiting for me to make a single mistake or do something they dislike?
I am tired of people coming into my private space and slamming me. I am tired of people doing their best to “catch me at doing something ‘wrong'” and I am tired of the general entitlement people are carrying around.
And yes, there are a shameful number of readers, who have directly admitted to me, they love when they catch authors making a mistake. That they DELIGHT in it.
I don’t like asking for people to take the time to leave reviews anymore, even though they are so critical to helping books sell. It is exhausting. I’m exhausted enough doing my best trying to write the best books possible.
But know that there are so many who just delight in trying to “catch authors doing something incorrect” or delving in trying to find any mistakes possible in a plot line, or living to find that thing they can be critical of… this is one of the major underlying causes of why authors just stop writing.
Do you know what I do now when I find a book I do not like?
I have a goodreads shelf called “not my cup of tea.” If it is a series that I fell out of love with, it goes onto my “didn’t stay my cup of tea” shelf. Do you know what I also do?
I clear the ratings/don’t leave a rating for that book, because the only problem with that book is “I didn’t like it.” For whatever reason.
And nobody needs to know why I didn’t like a book.
If I feel the book wasn’t edited? Well, they can figure that out from the sample. When I look at reviews, I care about a few limited things: did people love the book? Why did they love the book? Trigger warnings.
I am looking to buy a book TO LOVE, not by a book TO HATE. The only thing I use low-star reviews for is to check for trigger warnings. I don’t CARE why some person on the internet hated the book. They’re pissing in cheerios, and their opinion is garbage because I am not looking to HATE a book, I’m looking to LOVE a book… and outside of things triggery to me, I couldn’t care fucking less why they hated the book.
(P.S.: It is pointless to leave low star reviews on my books if you actually think I’m going to look at it or care. I don’t. The book was obviously not for you, and I am not going to change how I’m writing a book solely because you didn’t like it.)
But I am sick and tired of the goddamned entitlement and general abuses flung at authors.
We aren’t your bitch, so please stop treating us like that. The only thing a reader owes an author is the money spent on that book. The only thing an author owes a reader is doing their best on the book, within reason.
I do my best on every book.
That letter in some Royal States books pointing out the legalities behind child brides in the US and how I just used the laws of American when world building the Royal States? It exists because a bunch of people called me a pedophile over a COMMON MONARCHY PRACTICE (thus, royalty) coupled with the laws of the United States.
No, I am not a pedophile.
No, I don’t abuse children either, even though I have fiction where child abuse is featured.
It is fucking FICTION.
But seriously? That’s the story about why I’ve come to hate the Royal States series, I really don’t want to write it, and I will because I promised, but it will be done with the understanding I no longer have any love for that pen name or series because of the vocal minority who has gone out their way to bring their issues with books to my door.
I can’t even read the series I used to love above all other series anymore.
I’m not your bitch, and I’m definitely not a litter box to piss on, so please stop.
If you don’t like how I write books, perhaps you should go write your own and prove you’re the better writer.
Otherwise? Just… stop.
Maybe one day I’ll enjoy the Royal States books again, but right now, after Runaway?
It’s no longer my cup of tea, and I wish I could just retire the entire series right now, so I never have to look at it or read it again.
But I can’t, because I made promises I intend to keep.
And so it goes.