There has been a lot going on all week on the Interwebs about topics that seem to make normally rational, intelligent people go berserk. In some ways it’s been sad; in others it’s been entertaining in a very dark way. All in all, I think it’s something we could all live without and I try to stay far away from it. I refuse to link to any of it, one side or the other.
But it made me wonder about how a typical conversation might go if an author met one of his or her goodreads “buds” in person, by accident. Of course this is fiction, and a parody as well. And it’s not a reflection of anyone in particular…even if Author 2 does resemble me slightly.
Set up: Two authors who have never met before wind up sitting next to each other while on vacation in New York, in a quiet little bodega where other authors are reading their reviews and ratings on goodreads. The two authors already met and the conversation has already begun.
Author 1: I say, you there. You’re a plagiarist. It’s the worst form of fanfic.
Author 2: Huh? (blinks)
Author 1: You heard me, you sook. You’re a plagiarist. And you wrote about a burping d*&k, and once referred to a penicular appendage as a roll of paper towels. It’s blasphemy, I tell you, blasphemy.
Author 2: What’s a sook?
Author 1: You’re worse than that awful sook who wrote “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
Author 2: I liked “Fifty Shades of Grey.” (makes mental note to google the word sook)
Author 1: It’s fanfic, I tell you. FANFIC at it’s worst.(bangs fist on table)
Author 2: Millions of people read it and loved it. Now I wish I did write fanfic. It’s becoming very popular these days. A lot of my readers have pointed me toward some very good fanfic I’d never heard of.
Author 1: You plagiarized “My Fair Lady,” after you wrote about the burping dick and the roll of paper towels.
Author 2: No. Not at all. I do write parodies sometimes. I’ve never lied about that. Even the titles are clearly parodies. With “My Fair Laddie,” I wrote a parody of an old storyline that’s been rewritten more than once by people far more famous and talented than me: Pygmalion. Think about it. I take pg rated stories about straight people and turn them into highly exaggerated erotic stories with gay men. If that’s not parody, I’m not sure what is. And the satirical burping dick and paper towel scene was supposed to be funny, not taken seriously. Dicks don’t burp. Everyone knows THAT. Sometimes I’ve been known to parody erotic sex scenes, too.
Author 1: You write smut. Pure filth, I say. Gay men don’t do those things. Gay men don’t like arm pits, crotches, or sweat socks and jock straps. Gay men only want to decorate, go shopping with their women friends, and talk about how many times they’ve been bullied and abused. And when they aren’t doing those things, they are planning their next pride week and decorating their floats as they whistle show tunes.
Author 2: Interesting. I’m sorry. I’ve never heard of you. What do you write?
Author 1: I write gay literature, I do, I say. I’m the gay literary type, I am.
Author 2: I see. So you know more about gay men than I do, even though I’ve been a gay man all my life.
Author 1: Are you saying a woman shouldn’t be writing gay fiction? Are you saying women can’t write gay fiction? Are you bashing m/m romance?
Author 2: Not at all. I love m/m romance. I love the entire genre. Please don’t put words in my mouth. I’m just saying I don’t know any songs from “My Fair Lady.” I’ve never been abused or bullied either. And I do know a lot of great women authors who write great gay fiction. I love their works. I’ve always supported them and encouraged them. In fact, I’m not saying anything at all. I rarely do say anything. You’re the one doing all the screaming. I’m basically just listening.
Author 1: I DON’T SCREAM. You’re a hater, I say. You’re a fucking sook. You’re a vacuous author behaving badly.(everyone in bodega is now staring at red-faced woman with foaming mouth…except for one…he just read a bad review for one of his suspense novels on goodreads and he’s banging his head on the table)
Author 2: But I didn’t say anything. How am I behaving badly? I have never said anything bad about a review, a book reviewer, or another author in my life. I don’t have google alerts. I don’t spam other authors. I don’t force my books on anyone through social networks. And I rarely solicit book reviews from anyone. Once in a while I have been known to leave a bad review for a book I didn’t like. But it’s my opinion, and I do it with my own name. I only have one account each, on goodreads and Amazon. I didn’t even know who you were until you started screaming at me.
Author 1: You’re a fucking dipshit, a fucking hater and it won’t end well, I say.
Author 2: Let’s calm down and take a few deep breaths. (winks at manager of bodega)
Author 1: Don’t patronize me, you fuckwit. I won’t have it, I tell you. I write literary gay fiction, I do.
Author 2: I’m sure you do. I’m sure you’re the best. (hears sirens out front and takes a deep breath)
Author 1: What’s the meaning of this? (sees men in white coats entering bodega)
Man in white coat 1: Is this the one? (nods at author 2)
Author 2: Yes, be gentle with her. She writes literary gay fiction.
Man in white coat 1: You get her right arm, I’ll take the left. (nods to man in white coat 2)
Author 1: I say, what the fuck are you fucking sook, fuckwits doing? Put me down, I say. Put me down this instant or you’ll regret it.
Author 2: (shrugs and frowns at manager of bodega) I’ve never heard of that woman before in my life. Thanks for calling Bellevue, man.