Moving On…and Thank You

July 20, 2012 2012, blogger perspectives, Wendy 79

I’ve started a half a dozen blog posts over the past month or so, but nothing ever seemed right.  I even had one that was going to post this morning, before more events unfolded and things got waylaid yet again. I’m tired of talking about delusional fantasies and idiotic accusations, however. This is all getting in the way of my life and damn it, it’s getting in the way of my posting reviews and posting a gazillion book giveaways. I’ve been remiss in allowing myself to think that I needed to write anything about this before I could get back to reviewing, and I’m going to do my best to get back to that with some semblance of clarity soon.

For now, very briefly, I want to confirm that:

It’s all just so absurd, and all this isn’t even because of a disagreement about books! This is all because of some over-sized egos and a severe lack of self-control.

I have so many things I want to say about author attacks and reviewer-on-reviewer attacks, but honestly, right now I just can’t deal with the negativity.  And I’m tired of feeling like I need to address this stuff before I can move on. So I’m going to simply say that yes, I’ve been watching this escalating behavior, and yes, I will probably talk about some of it at a later date, because make no mistake, it is far from over.

But for now, I’m going to be moving on with regularly scheduled programming. All of this personal drama takes the focus off of books, which is where our attention belongs.

Thank You

Beyond everything else and most importantly, however, I owe huge, heartfelt thanks to the many people who have voiced their support over the past seven weeks or so. I am stunned at the amount of love and kindness that has been left for me via hundreds of blog comments, GoodReads comments, tweets, and emails. It’s all been pretty overwhelming so I haven’t even had the brainpower to tackle my responses yet, but please know that your messages have meant a lot to me and I sincerely appreciate each and every one. I will never be able to thank you enough, and I will never forget it.

Lest anyone think the support only comes from fellow readers and bloggers who might have similar interests to mine, I’ve also heard from publishers, agents, and authors–and not only from those whom I already know, but complete strangers. Just a few of the authors who went out of their way to express their support for me, both publicly and privately, include Stacia Kane, Mira Grant, Jessica Spotswood, Josin McQuein, Rusty Fischer, Adrienne Kress, Claire LeGrande, Sarah Strohmeyer, Andrea Host, Shirley Marr, and KT Grant.  It means a great deal to the reviewing community as a whole when established authors take a stance on a reviewer’s right to free speech, and it certainly means a great deal to me personally as well.

I’d also like to send a special shout-out to Mandy Hubbard, aka Amanda Grace, an agent and author whose last book I didn’t particularly enjoy. I’ve never spoken to her before, but would you believe she came onto my blog post to voice her support in spite of my 1-star review of her book? It’s gracious actions like these that restore my faith in the basic decency and goodness of human beings, and gives me some hope that this author-reader relationship can be a cordial one.

Further Reading

If you aren’t sick of this subject yet, here are just a few posts about this situation, the STGRB site, etc. If you’ve come across additional articles with good editorial, please feel free to leave a link in the comments.

But really…I’m coming back tomorrow with a review. Because it’s long overdue.

The Dating Game and I Don’t Need You to Avenge Me, Thanks by Stacia Kane
Bullying & GoodReads and Consequences by Foz Meadows
Something is Very Wrong with Us, and It’s Not Bad Reviews by Dear Author
Endangering Others Because The Hurt Your Feelings, I Was Waiting for This, and Not About Reviews by Her Hands, My Hands
Latest WTFckery Factor: Author Attacks Reviewer and Fails Big Time by K.T. Grant
On Reviewing and Losing Your Mojo by 
MOTHER. FUCKING. GAAAAAAAAAH!!!! and Let’s Get Some Things Straight Here, Okay? by Jennifer Armintrout
Speaking Up and Out by Carolyn Jewel
Literary Feuding Sinks to a New Low by The Guardian
Here We Go Again by Claire Writes Words
Professional is as Professional Does by Claire Writes Words  
Opinion, Territory, and Perception: The Idea of Bullying on GoodReads by Andrea Host
Bully Me, and I’ll Bully You Because That Makes it Right by Bawdy Book Blog
A Few Words on Reviews, Reviewing, and Bullshit by Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
Stalking, Tantrums, and Bullying by Fangs for the Fantasy
Reporting Thursday Food, Fun, and Urban Fantasy
Dedicated Readers Only
The Shit Stops Here by Parajunkee
Authors Behaving Badly #6 by Pocketful of Books 
On Negative Reviews and Personal Attacks by Rachel Russell
Thoughts on Recent Drama by Great Imaginations
Authors Behaving Badly discussion
Authors Behaving Badly #3 by Pocketful of Books
When Agents Go Bad by Book Goggles
The Selection Debacle Oh the Book Girl
Mean Girls vs. Shut Those Bitches Up by Two Old Farts Talking About Romance
Bullies and the Internet by Little Read Riding Hood
Self-Expressionism vs. Bullying by Sonomalass
The Dud Reviewer by Molly Johnson
WTF is Wrong with People? by Book Binge
My Message to Authors by Bluest Ribbon
On Bad Reviews, The Selection, and Wendy Darling by C.S. Einfeld
My Thoughts on the “Anti-bullying” Site Brouhaha by Bibliophililc Monologues
Authors and Negative Reviews, by Julie Kagawa
An Open Letter to Authors by Catherine Ryan Hyde 
A Really Long Post About the Author/Reader Relationship by Veronica Roth

Updated with additional links:

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire and In All Seriousness by Gossamer Obsessions
Stop the GR Bullies: Get Over Yourself by Ray Garton
Bad Reviews and GoodReads: A Twisted Tale of Criticism by CSION
Bad Reviews: I Can Handle Them, and So Should You by John Scalzi
The Internet is a War That Must Be Won by Stacia Kane
GoodReads and the Rise of Digital Reviewing by Foz Meadows
GoodReads Reviewers and STGRB: When Will It End? by Urban Fantasy
Romance Novelists’ Association Annual Conference remarks by Moira Riggs
Diary of an Author by Meljean Brooks
Sucking it Up: The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Criticism by Ray Garton

79 Responses to “Moving On…and Thank You”

  1. Gina @ My Precious

    Wendy, I’m so very happy you are back! I love to hear your opinions, you have a fantastic way with words and always back up your opinions with concrete examples. We may not always see eye to eye, but that doesn’t matter at all. Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion – I’ve missed reading yours!

  2. erin

    whoops… for some reason I didn’t see that comments were moderated so I retyped a new comment… feel free to delete the second and this one :) Sorry!

  3. erin

    I applaud you and I’m very moved by your grace and maturity despite all the drama. Glad to see that you’re back and look forward to your future reviews :)

  4. erin

    You are an inspiration and I applaud your grace and maturity. Please know that we all support you and I’m glad to see you recharged and back :)

  5. Lexxie

    Big hugs to you Wendy! I am so happy to see you again. I hope we’ll all just be able to read and review books again – I spend way more time reading through the drama (I feel like I should stay informed, and it truly is like a train-wreck) than reading these days.

    Stay classy, Wendy, you know that you have more lovers than haters.

  6. Kelly

    I’m so sorry about all that stupid drama. Obviously it should never have happened. You are handling it very well. I’m glad you’re back to reviewing, I enjoy reading your reviews and posts. Keep hanging in there!

  7. Fic Talk

    I’m saying this here now… I MISSED YOU THE MOSTEST! Hmph.

    It’s been too long, Wendy. :'(

    You weren’t even around when the Boundless cover was revealed. *heartclench**hysterical crying*

    On a more serious note, I just realised that this drama has been going on for most of 2012. How is that…? I can’t even believe it’s been that long already. o_O


    Lisa (Fic Talk)

    P.S. If I haven’t told you this before… Welcome back, chica ;)

    • Wendy Darling

      III know, how sad is it that one of the first things I noticed when I started poking around the interwebs again was that BOUNDLESS’ cover was revealed and I wasn’t around to squee over it? Heh. How can we waaaaait?

      Thank you for your note, Miss Lisa. This has been a horrible year for the YA community, and sadly it just seems to keep getting worse. But maybe it’s a good sign that we haven’t seen anything awful from a well-established author in awhile?


    • Wendy Darling

      Aw, Christy! I’ve missed seeing what you’ve been reading. I’ll stop by to visit you soon. :) Thanks for leaving me a note.

  8. Miss Vain's Paranormal Fantasy

    Glad to see your back Wendy! Many times I wanted to write you but I just didn’t want to pry into your business and I knew when you felt better you would be back! I’m stopping by to let you know that, even if you don’t hear from me as often as I wish we could chat that you have been missed tremendously! You’re such a beautiful person inside and out, and I wanted you to know that I’m sending hugs and prayers your way, always!!!

    P.s. I read a Huffington Post article yesterday giving a platform to “anonymous” and I was appalled. As a huge Ariana Huffington follower myself, I’m sad to see the direction their “news” articles have turned.

    Know that you have much more friends and supporters than the very few out there that are causing your pain. Xoxoxo

    • Wendy Darling

      Miss V, I am happy to hear from you anytime! In good times and bad. Thank you for your incredibly sweet comment. I’ve missed chatting with you, and I look forward to seeing what you’ve been up to recently.

      The HuffPost thing was already ludicrous, but to find out that they actually solicited the piece? Appalling. Without doing even a shred of research, as any responsible journalist would have done, it should have been clear that that site is just full of issues and lacks any sort of credibility. It’s sad that Huffington Post is no longer what it used to be.

      Thanks again, my darling. The love is much appreciated. xo

  9. ReadingFANatic

    I’m so happy to see you back. You have been such an inspiration to me on how to handle what seems to be the worst of the worst. Check your email if you get a chance. I have something of yours to return and I need to double-check something!

    Much hugs to you!!!

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh Michelle, I’ve been the worst friend ever. It’s been so busy and then crazy here, but I love you dearly, and I’ll be writing back to you soon. xoxo Thank you for being so patient with me.

    • ReadingFANatic

      No worries. I have what I need so it is all good. Anytime you want to talk, you know how to find me. And you have been a great friend, don’t think any differently.

  10. Vivien

    We can’t wait to have you back!!! There has been so much drama. So much…I’m always shocked at the amount of bloggers actually staying tough and sticking around. Glad you’re one of them!!! Keep up the excellent work :)

    • Wendy Darling

      I know, the drama is ridiculous. When I think about all that’s happened this year, and the amount of time that bloggers put into the volunteer work that they do, I sometimes wonder how any of us continue.

      Thanks so much for the welcome back, though! Friendly faces always help. :)

  11. Char

    What a trooper you are, Wendy. Looking forward to seeing your reviews up again. I’ve missed them, and you. <3

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh Charlotte, it means so much to me that you’ve taken the time to write me so many sweet notes. I truly appreciate the support, and I’m so glad to be talking with you about books again! Thank you for stopping by.

  12. Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings

    It will be nice to have you back! Your voice has been missed. I am glad you had a break, but I am thrilled that you are back and that you aren’t going to let them get the best of you! Looking forward to your reviews!

  13. starryeyedjen

    So glad to see you back, Wendy! I know you needed to take a step back from all of this, but I’m glad you’re not going to let it keep you from doing something you love. You’re an inspiration to us all, and I hope that others who fall victim to angry authors will follow your example. I’ve missed you! You don’t know how excited I was to see the return of your name in my feed. :D Welcome back, and may the trolls crawl back under the bridge from whence they came!

    • Wendy Darling

      Aw, Jen–thank you so much! I’ve missed talking to you about books, and I’m so looking forward to snooping around on your shelves/blog to see what you’ve been up to. Thank you for banishing the trolls! :D

  14. KM

    Yeah, all the drama is basically ridiculous. And that website that’s supposed to STOP GR bullying but is bullying people way worse – super creepy! I’m super happy to see you return. It’s very sad to see no updates from Wendy on my blog roll. :)

    • Wendy Darling

      I guess there will always be crazy people, but that knowledge doesn’t make dealing with them any easier. Thanks for the welcome back, KM. :)

  15. Daisy

    I’m glad you’re going to be back to blogging here! I’ve missed your posts! Like I said, I think the whole thing that’s been happening was plain awful and now the new nastiness surrounding that abominable site is sickening, hang in there and *hugs*

    • Wendy Darling

      Daisy, it’s awful that so many more reviewers are being targeted. It helps to know that most people do seem to see how ridiculous that site is, however, and how distasteful it was for HuffPost to solicit their contribution.

      Thank you so much for your support and lovely comment, however. It’s times like these when you find out who your friends are.

    • Wendy Darling

      Thanks, Sophia. It’s all been pretty tiresome, but fortunately I’ve had good friends to see me through it. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a virtual hug!

  16. kaye (paper reader)

    You, lady, are fabulous. Even with the amount of stuff that you’ve had to go through, you’ve dealt with it all with such grace and level-headedness. Welcome back, and we’re always here to support you.

    • Wendy Darling

      I was mostly annoyed and tired more than anything else, Juju, but I kind of got a second wind. Hopefully things will die down soon. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Wendy Darling

      Thanks Kara. :) It’s good to be easing back into the swing of things. And it helps so much to have friends who not only love books, but who are so incredibly supportive as well. xo

  17. Sarah (saz101)

    Wendy, I am so so glad to have you back. The blogosophere (I loathe that word, but anyway…) isn’t the same without you. I can’t even explain how much I admire the grace and dignity with which you’ve conducted yourself throughout all the drama, and I really, truly hope that the negativity stops so we can all focus on what makes our community amazing–not the nastiness that’s been so prevalent.

    Wendy, you. are. amazing.
    BIG HUGS, and… well, more hugs.
    I know I’m not alone in saying I freaking love you ♥♥♥♥♥

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh Sarah, you’re such a sweetheart! Thank you so much for the welcome back, and for the lovely comments and tweets you’ve left for me elsewhere. (I’m still working my way through things.) I am totally with you in the hopes that we can all put this behind us soon.

      Love right back at you. Truly.

  18. Rachel @ Unforgettable Books

    yay!!!!!! I’m so happy that you are coming back to reviewing soon!!! i completely understand why you needed a few weeks to relax away from the drama stress. Can’t wait to read your review tomorrow! Love ya! Rachel

  19. Shirley Marr

    Dear Wendy, as someone who has the unique advantage of being on both sides – as an author having to deal with negative reviews (and that includes 1 star reviews) and also an independent GR reviewer (who has been attacked by sock puppets for giving negative reviews of other people books) I can without a doubt say I can objectively saw who is in the right. And my unwavering and continued support will always be with you.

    I can’t wait to see you back in full flight, doing what you do best. It has not been pointed out enough the amount of positive reviews you have given out, and the support you have given to the authors of books that you have honestly enjoyed.

    • Wendy Darling

      Thanks so much, Shirley. I truly appreciate your recognition of the number of positive reviews that I write, which far outnumber the negative. If I’ve finished a book and I don’t like it, the only reason I write a review is if I have something to say about it–and in pretty much every instance, I think the reviews have ended up being helpful to a fair number of readers.

      I enjoy writing glowing, heart-in-mouth reviews so much more, however, and I am glad that from time to time, my readership also helps the authors that I truly love. Thank you for being such a classic example of the kind of author every reader wishes he/she knew.

  20. Christina

    I’m so glad you’re going to be back! I also love that list of authors that came out to support you, whether you loved their books or not. These are the kinds of stories we need to hear more of.

    I am so glad that you haven’t been chased away from this blog by all of the drama.


    • Wendy Darling

      I probably need to add to that list once I’ve gone through the mountain of emails and comments I received, Christina–but I thought it’d be nice for everyone to see that there are authors who DO appreciate reviewers. It’s so important that’s there’s respect on both sides.

      Thank you for your welcome back, and thank you for the hug!

  21. Bookworm1858

    YAY! I was so happy to see a post from you appear in my google reader and I am very excited to see your review tomorrow!

  22. Laura

    Wendy, I am just outraged by this whole thing. the GR bullying website was a joke and I can’t believe someone would even do something like that.

    What I don’t understand is why authors get so mad about a negative review. I always state that it’s MY opinion. Maybe it just didn’t work for me. I’ve read some truly horrible books and haven’t like some major blockbusters that are out there too. It’s all so subjective.

    Authors also need to know that reviews are for readers and not them. Once the book is out there for public consumption, they NEED to be strong enough to handle that not everyone will like their book.

    But when authors attack bloggers, that is ridiculous. Thankfully, it has never happened to me, but when I see it happening, it’s heart breaking.

    I respect everything you do and keep reviewing and stating your opinion.

    • Wendy Darling

      Yes, the irony of the anti-bullying stance was astounding.

      I do understand why authors get upset over reviews, but what I object to is the idea that they feel they can tell a reader he/she is wrong for feeling that way. If they can’t leave a reviewer’s space alone, it’s probably best that they aren’t reading it to begin with.

      It’s outrageous that reviewers continue to be attacked and stalked. I’m glad it hasn’t happened to you, and I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to leave me a note. Thank you.

  23. KB/KT Grant

    ((hugs)) I adore you, your reviews and your voice that you will not be silenced based on the ridiculous opinions of others.

    Come back to us. Myself and others welcome you back with open arms. We have so many great books to discuss and need an opinion like yours.

    • Wendy Darling

      *runs at Katie with open arms*

      Thank you! My eyeballs have rolled in their sockets so much lately that I’m surprised they’re still in my head. What’s going on is pretty ridiculous, but if there’s any good to come out of it, maybe some authors will see that reviewers have a right to freely express their opinions.

  24. Keertana

    I’m so happy to hear you’re coming back Wendy! I’ve definitely missed reading your reviews and admire your strength in putting all this behind you and moving on. I hate the drama that is currently going on, but I believe that what you’re doing is the right thing and I applaud you for it. Thank you, for being such a wonderful example to the rest of us. I can’t wait to read your wonderful reviews once more!(:

    Ivy Book Bindings

    • Wendy Darling

      It’s so kind of you to leave this comment, Keertana. All this is very tiring and upsetting, but it’s good to see so much support from both authors and readers on this issue.

      I’ll pop over to visit your blog sometime soon, too. Thanks for visiting!

  25. Josin L. McQuein

    *hugs* (or cookies, if you’d prefer ;-) )

    I’m happy to see you’re hanging in there, but also saddened that rather than settling, the drama train’s still barreling on at full steam. It’s starting to look like this is the new “get yourself seen” scenario for writers who want their names to go viral in a hurry.

    • Wendy Darling

      May I have cookies AND hugs?

      Thanks so much, Josin. It worries me that this atmosphere is so toxic right now, and that I’ve seen so many reviewers expressing a fear of backlash from posting their honest opinions. I agree, much of this smacks of attention-seeking to me. I just find it appalling that semi-legitimate venues are giving voice to that kind of lunacy.

  26. Julie@My5monkeys

    I have missed your amazing reviews, and Hugs.

    This year has been a drama llama year. I wish only the best for you, and can’t imagine all that you have been through this year.


    • Wendy Darling

      Julie. Thank you SO much, your comment means the world to me. Drama llamas are such a nuisance, but it definitely helps to have the support of the blogging community.

      I’m still catching up with comments and emails and such, but I very much look forward to catching up with you and seeing what you’ve been reading lately!

  27. Andrea @The Bookish Babes

    I’ve truly missed you, Wendy, and will be thrilled to see your reviews again!

    Thank you so much for your kind message when i was pulled into the drama. And I kid you not, before I responded, I thought to myself “What would Wendy do?”.

    Thanks for all you do for the book blogging community.

    • Wendy Darling

      Dear heaven, WWWD? :-O Half the time, she doesn’t even know!

      More seriously, thank you for your support throughout this, Andrea. I’m sorry that you’ve experienced some of this recently yourself, as there’s just no good reason to justify that kind of behavior. I’m glad people have been there for you, though, and I’m glad to call you a friend.

  28. Emily

    Oh Wendy, it’s so good to have you back!
    -Also, Mira Grant supporting you? Coolest thing ever. Did she write you a bonus George/Shaun scene? That would for sure help cheer you up. And also, because I want that. Badly.
    But on a more serious note, I’m glad that you didn’t let these cruel people keep you away from blogging. Even your negative reviews have pushed me to buy books and I’ve enjoyed several of them. So that should show that just because someone doesn’t enjoy the book and reviews it negatively, that doesn’t mean it won’t be bought and enjoyed by others. It’s a matter of personal opinion. People need to calm down. No two people are the same. That’s true in every situation.
    Can’t wait to see some more posts from the Garden! :)

    • Wendy Darling

      A bonus George/Shaun scene would have made me deliriously happy, Em! But having her tell me she was sorry I was dealing with “this much raw stupid” was awesome, too.

      Thanks so much for your note. I don’t think I have a single friend whose reviews I agree with 100% of the time, and I’ve read many a negative review only to go on and enjoy a book thoroughly. As you say, it’s all personal taste and it’s not the end of the world. Most reasonable people seem to realize that.

  29. Sam

    Wendy, I’m happy to see you easing back into things and look forward to reading your reviews again. I can only imagine what this whole ordeal must have been like for you but it’s good to read this post. Maybe one day everyone will be prepared to move on, hey? :) It’s good to have you back!