Category: authors beware

Authors: Watch those Nasty Comments on Comment Threads

I started getting into blogging about eight years ago when blogging was still a new adventure for so many personal bloggers. Then I worked for reviewing and interviewing personal bloggers, which was fun. In my own circle, I follow a lot of publishing blogs and even a few review blogs. And the one thing that always shocks me is when I see a published author leave a negative comment on a thread.

Personally, I’ve never left a negative comment on anyone’s blog thread. It’s rude and distasteful. I’ve left curt comments from time to time. But nothing that could come back to haunt me. Most decent people don’t. They read blogs, take into consideration that the author of the blog is inviting them into their personal space, and they are polite. And unless someone is directly attacked on a comment thread and they have no choice but to defend themselves, things go smoothly.

However, I’ve also seen a few rants and rages that have left me speechless. Some from unpublished authors, and some from published authors. In almost every single case, the rants are not in self-defense. They are pointed at someone directly, and often without any cause or provocation. It’s as if something just set them off and they went berserk.

In one particular case, an author went after me on a comment thread and I didn’t even find out about it until months later. It happened on a romance review blog. The post wasn’t about me, but my name came up in the comment thread and one author whom I’ve never met or been in contact with started trashing me for no reason. In the original version of this post I inserted the quote here. But I decided to remove it because I’d rather not stoop to that level. I do know who the author is; I’ve checked her out. She writes m/m romance and I’ve checked out her blog, too. But I’d rather not mention her name and take the high road. One, because what she thinks means nothing to me. Two, because if she was stupid enough to leave a comment like this on a blog thread there’s no use wasting time with her. Clearly, she’s been faking it for a long time.

What was even worse is this author didn’t know much about me. I tend to be quiet and remain in the background where it’s peaceful (smile). When she made this sarcastic remark about me she either assumed she was going after a new writer with no defenses, or that I was publishing under a pen name. In both cases, she was dead wrong. Ryan Field is my name, not a pen name. I’m not a fake. I write m/m fiction because I’m openly gay and I care about the genre. And furthermore, I was published with Alyson Books and other lgbt print publishers in more print books than I can count long before I started writing m/m romances for the digital market. I’ve been in publishing for over eighteen years now, and my relationship with print publishers and their wonderful editors began long before this author even knew there was a market in writing m/m fiction.

The point of my story isn’t about me. This is just an example that actually happened once. The real point is that authors should always be careful where they comment and how they comment, on comment threads or anywhere. And if they can’t be careful, they should take a deep breath, go for a long walk, and remain silent until the mood passes. Though I wouldn’t post the author’s name who tried to trash me in public, I certainly have a low opinion of her both professionally and personally and I always will. Because any author who would go after another author, unprovoked, in such a catty way can’t be taken seriously. So please don’t make this mistake. It could come back to haunt you one day.