Shannon Stacey

When Overblown Egos Attack

Promo by controversy. We’ve seen it before, and we’ll see it again. “Hey, I need some attention over here!” Everybody loves snark. And everybody’s a rubbernecker when it comes to a train wreck.

Guess what? You can take that too far. It’s very easy to cross that line from using controversy to generate a little traffic to being rude, insulting and obnoxious. Today’s example:

Diatribe from an Erotic Romance Author: Must Erotica Really Suck So Much?

I suppose in a way, it worked. I’d never heard of her. Now I have. Am I tempted now to buy her book? Yes? So I can set it on fire in my driveway.

Some highlights:

I’m starting to think erotica is the unsightly boil on the cheek of romance, and define “cheek” as you will. I’ve sampled from the erotic romance works of some quite successful new writers, and even though it’s taboo to criticize your fellow authors, I’m sorry–I just found most of them terrible. However, from the reviews posted, I’m the only one who has. Readers and reviewers alike rave of about these awful books. And they do sell.

So maybe it’s just me?

Well, if the reviewers and the readers are loving them, then yes. It’s just you.

Although I certainly could, I’m not talking about writing style (the stilted dialogue, trite phraseology, bad grammar), or about plot (clichés around every corner), or about characters (one-dimensional and uninspiring if not just plain revolting).

I’m sure your ability to transcend the erotic romance that the reviewers and readers enjoy so much is why I’ve never heard of you.

Couples get together because they turn each other on.

OMG! The horror!

Oh, and my favorite:

These sorts of books say, “You chose an erotica book, so obviously you don’t care about beautiful language, engaging characters, or absorbing plots. Just as long as you find dirty words at regular enough intervals, you won’t notice that nothing in this book is fresh or edifying.”

So its the same old hackneyed vampire, lycan, sex club, weekend orgy, sex slave, slave bride, alien/robotic sex toy thang. The names are changed but you will find the same C-words employed liberally if not creatively. To me this stuff is just verbal crack: if you have a fetish for the stuff it will turn you on, but there’s nothing nourishing to the mind, heart or soul to be found in it.

Maybe this is just me, but if I was trying to sell an e-pubbed erotic romance on-line, I don’t think I’d piss off the thousands of Ellora’s Cave fans who have made the company a publishing force to be reckoned with. You know, because those thousands have been known to buy a book or two.

I’m also upset because of guilt by association: I wonder how many readers have avoided investigating my stuff because I refer to it as “erotic romance.” I can certainly see, based on these books I’ve sampled, why a person would shun the entire genre. And on the flip side, I wonder how many times people have read excerpts from my books, and not finding the requisite C-words and other sordid conventions of erotica, abandoned my website in disappointment.

That’s called…a clue. Catch it!

Insulting one’s fellow writers is something that happens a lot, unfortunately. But being so colossally stupid as to grievously insult thousands of readers is probably never a wise decision.

Yes, people have heard of you now. And I know from the flurry of emails and posts flying around, it did more harm than good.

Oh, and be a woman. Take your comments publicly.

18 comments to “When Overblown Egos Attack”

  1. Charlene T
      · May 17th, 2005 at 11:01 am · Link

    I love you, Shan. :love:

    OK, well enough fun, I need to go :write: those :censor: people like her complain about.

  2. Alison
      · May 17th, 2005 at 11:01 am · Link

    Here’s one of her excerpts for your reading, uh, pleasure?
    Sounds a LOT like erotic romance to me, hehehe!

  3. Shannon
      · May 17th, 2005 at 11:11 am · Link

    I have a sudden urge to break all the purple crayons in my house.

  4. Jaci
      · May 17th, 2005 at 11:46 am · Link

    Well, isn’t that a bit purple.

    Now I know the reason for the promotion desperation. :rofl:

    And yeah, I’ve blogged about it too. I went to the readers with her comments. *snicker*

    Jaci…doing a lot of :wtf: muttering today

  5. Crystal
      · May 17th, 2005 at 12:40 pm · Link

    After reading her comments from her blog and now her excerpt I can see why I have never heard of her. She is not a very good writer. Now she has managed to alienate far too many people too count. It is amazing the ego of some people to think they can tell others what they will and will not like. I have read most of what are considered the “classics” in todays literature and enjoyed them, I also happen to enjoy erotic romance. My choice, my decision not someone else’s. She needs to really read the comments that are being said not just the ones she wants to hear.:???:

  6. Anna Lucia
      · May 17th, 2005 at 1:02 pm · Link

    Honestly. *sigh* At least when you insult writers in other genres you might attract sympathy from writers in your OWN genre…

    This is just…. oooooh, TSTL.

    Thanks for the excerpt, Alison. :devil: Flawless orbs, anyone?

  7. charlie
      · May 17th, 2005 at 1:20 pm · Link

    Being male I don’t have orbs…and I tan so I don’t have “ivory buttocks” either :lmao:

  8. Sasha
      · May 17th, 2005 at 5:32 pm · Link

    I love the way you responded to this Shan. Very Classy, and humorous

  9. Shannon
      · May 18th, 2005 at 12:38 am · Link

    Thank you. :diva:

    *snort* I love Jaci’s diva girl.

    Crystal, you’re so totally right! And I hope you’re right about her alienating people, too!

    So, Charlie…you’re absolutely sure you don’t have any orbs? None?

  10. Jaynie R
      · May 18th, 2005 at 7:09 am · Link

    I blogged about this too, but I had to come over here and comment with Shan’s smiley faces. That :crazy: author has a giant ego problem. She’s going to have to go :hide: now cos I’m :cursin: big time on my blog, and looks like a few other people are:censor: her too.

    :wtf: was she on about?


  11. kate
      · May 18th, 2005 at 8:53 am · Link

    I noticed the flawless orbs too. But :wtf: the writing wasn’t nearly as bad or purple as I was hoping from the snark above. I even liked some of the selection.

    Ah, but Poetry…

    I am a what you call zee connoisseur of zee bad prose. I drink it in like glorious sweet whine.

  12. Shannon
      · May 18th, 2005 at 9:06 am · Link

    Then over the puncture he drew his tongue, slowly and firmly. It was pearly pink and twinkling, like the inside of some exotic crustacean, and left the spot cool.

    Zen you must be gloriously drunk now. :neener:

  13. Cheyenne McCray
      · May 18th, 2005 at 12:19 pm · Link

    You say it well, Shannon! Very well. :)

  14. Jordan
      · May 18th, 2005 at 3:04 pm · Link

    First thing, how can a tongue twinkle? :shrug: I’ve thought about this since I read that section last night. (Note: I actually stopped reading there.) No amount of spit I’ve been able to produce seems to get my tongue twinkling. Sorry, I digress.:baby: Anyway, I wish her luck with her career. Perhaps someday she’ll read ‘How To Win Friends and Influence People’. :rofl:

  15. Katharine
      · May 18th, 2005 at 4:28 pm · Link

    I think she just wanted her picture in the dictionary beside stupid:doh:. I read her excerpt as far as ” I am turning into poetry” and now I am turning sick to my stomach.

  16. Shannon
      · May 18th, 2005 at 4:56 pm · Link

    I think I might have handled the whole thing better if her excerpt had been some brilliantly written, moving, clean piece of prose. Something humbling. But *GAG*

    To think the woman who wrote that has the gall to criticize others still just makes me :cursin:

  17. Katharine
      · May 18th, 2005 at 5:52 pm · Link

    I told my kids about the poetry line and that is going to be our code for “this is incredibly stupid”.

  18. Anna Fallon
      · July 15th, 2005 at 4:33 pm · Link

    Hi Shannon
    I just came across this post in yahoo search. I am an author with . LOL I had to laugh at your observations above! Well Done. I can see her point in some ways, from my personal opinion I don’t like everything I read, but who does? Reading one bad one wouldn’t stop me trying the author again.

    I wrote her and said nicely that she shouldn’t be telling our readers what to read. I mean we write and buy erotica because we want the turn on, a great story is all well and good, but that corny poetry stuff blah!:snore:

    Check out phaze, we do have some great stories with great sex, but we will leave you to make your own decision :kiss:
    love your smileys by the way! I’ll be back
    Anna Fallon

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