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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Uber Author Gets Called A Pimp

Hmm. What do I say?

HARSH REVIEW OF THE HUNTER

You think I make up stuff from emails and readers who call my books trash, crap, and other unmentionables? Well, here is proof that one reader's treasure is another's most reviled poison.

One of the most frequently asked question for me from readers is which of my book is my favorite story. I don't actually have a "favorite" story but Hawk/The Hunter was one of my favorites to write. That I'm being accused of trivializing sex-trafficking after all the months of looking at U.N. photos of victims has me wondering whether saying it was my "favorite" book to write might be misunderstood that I actually "enjoyed" looking at them.

I started the series wanting to explore the very personal-to-me issue of child trafficking in Asia because I came from there and have seen it with my own eyes. In The Hunter, I chose Eastern Europe because at the time of writing, the United Nations had published a series of reports which you can find on the web, if you like, about what was happening there with weapons and female/child- trafficking after the downfall of Sarajevo. I wanted to show that this problem was not just in a third-world country in Asia, but also in Old Europe, where many people didn't believe white slavery existed.

However, having written this story as it is, showing how a war-torn country can be ravaged by a corrupted system, and not preach, to this particularly reviewer, meant that I was a PIMP. Whoa. Hate the book, okay, have a swing at it. But I was quite taken aback by the pimp accusation.

For the record, those pictures of mutilated and helpless women and children and their testimony at U.N. sessions weren't enjoyable to read. I used some of what they said for the book to show what they had gone through. I wasn't making fun of their humiliation or using it to fill the story with lurid sex. I wasn't even trying to preach. If I were, there would have been long passages of diatribe against men and their penises, trust me.

In the last couple of years, the Crossfire series has caught the attention of a few international women's rights groups who have contacted me to donate books, time or money for their causes, which included awareness to stop the violence against women as well as helping hungry children. There were auctions held by the VDay Bethesda (Until the violence stop) for the VDay Worldwide Campaign as well as Lewis Clark State College Book Auction for hungry children, both of which I donated to because these were a few of the reasons I wrote those books (there were others, but not for this blog topic).

I've posted many links to positive reviews of my books so I thought it was only fair to add at least one ;-) that shows a reader's negative reaction. If you do go to this blog, please do NOT post anything on my behalf or start a flame war with this reader. It's her opinion of my book and that's that, and I sure don't want to have you pimping for me, bwahaha. You may, however, rant all you want HERE ON MY BLOG ;-) because it's my blog and we can party anyway we want to here.

Obviously, I felt a need to make a defense about being called a PIMP or I wouldn't have posted this today. I hope you all understand that I'm not asking you to go there and rage about reviewers giving bad reviews at that person's blog because really, I have enough of that kind of behavior in Romancelandia Blogs and repeat, DO NOT WISH TO BE A PART OF THAT.

I do, however, wish to discuss about fairness in reviews, in the sense that, if the story didn't work for you, would you call the author a pimp? A PIMP???! If the bad guy is written as a child molester, would you be enraged enough to accuse the author of being a rapist??? And if there is torture involved, would you then judge her as a sadist???

I cannot emphasize enough that I am NOT angry about this review (I have to keep repeating this because in Romancelandia, many bloggers like to link to other blogs that have an author ranting about a bad review of her book). I don't agree with a lot of the reader's criticism of the story, but that's how she saw it, and that's fine. I thank her for giving me a try. I am, however, fascinated by the fact that the reader wasn't actually saying it was a badly-written book, but that she was totally put off that the author (me) was writing horribly realistic themes of men using children and, horrors, U.N. officials unable to achieve U.N. goals. Last time I checked, Sarajevo and what was Yugoslavia were still in the midst of chaos because of international (RE: U.N.) intervention.

Whatever would this reader say if I ever write about the horrendous practice of female fetoecide in China and India? Because it's been happening yesterday, and is continuing today, and tomorrow, you know. Depressing issues, yes, I admit that. No place to write graphically in romantic suspense/military spy romances? Bullshit.

See, I think we do need a blog-related forum for this post ;-).

A really bad week so far, my friends. First my car gets scratched and I feel more defensive about the crime than the perp. Now, I'm a pimp. Poor Vivi, Amber, and Llallana; they thought I was on their side!

I must add (with a smile) that The Hunter is, besides Facing Fear, my best-selling book. Yes, that does make me feel better. Off I go to pound out my frustration on the roof...nothing like real sweat to make me feel less like a pimp.

Bear with me while I learn. The first button likes the POST. The second button likes the BLOG site. Please help me by "liking" me. Thanks!

34 comments:

Casee said...

I read the review. I can't even dignify it with a response. Of course we all have our opinions, good or bad. But calling you a pimp? I keep thinking that I must have took it out of context b/c it's such an asinine statement.

After Facing Fear, The Hunter is my favorite.

Btw, I read a few of the other reviews on that sight and I really think it's just negative in general. You're not the only author trashed.

Leilani said...

Wow! What a horrendous review. I wouldn't post a link to it. It's one thing to not like a story because of a character, an ending, poor writing and/or plot. It's another thing entirely to compare an author to a pimp. A pimp?!?!
Hawk and Amber's story is one of my favorites. It's on my keeper shelf along with the other books from the GLow world.

Leslie said...

Actually Jenn,
she said you are WORSE than a pimp. Yikes. Not worth commenting over there at all. She trashes almost every book, from what I can tell, anyway. The Hunter is my favorite book, along with Facing Fear and Into Danger.

Monique said...

Well, I don't think I can say anything that hasn't already been said including that, in my opinion, a real book review is about the merits of what worked and what didn't in the book, not about personal views about the author. That said, after VHis, The Hunter is still my fav. Personally, Hawk's reaction to the situation was one of the things that made me fall in love with him.

Anonymous said...

You authors don't get it, do you? We buy the books, bitch! If you can't take our criticism, don't write them, then. Why don't you stop whining and go back to your writing? This blog you linked to is for people like me, who like to say what we want. That's an honest opinion, if you ask me. You are worst than a pimp, you a a coward.

Aimee said...

I read the review, and quite a few of the others at her blog, she didn't have anything nice to say about any of the books she's read. (at least not in the reviews I read anyway...) Some of the books she stomped on are on my keeper shelves and are considered by many to be highest examples of phenominal romance.

By her own description she "spends money on and reads basically crap"
so I for sure am not going to take her words to heart when she obviously not a romance fan. Apparently she's some sort of masochist who views reading romance as a way to inflict pain on herself...? *snort*

Water off a ducks back Chica, IMO she has no idea what she is even talking about.

Aimee said...

You're calling HER a coward when you post as anonymous?! Tsk tsk...
LOL

Marissa, Avid Reader said...

Well, I was a lurker, but that poster calling you a bitch was really rude. We don't talk like that face-to-face with people. Why do bloggers and internet posters feel they can do it behind an ISP?

I've never felt you were bitching about the review, Jenn. It's okay to take issue with any criticism, especially uncalled-for ones like being called "worse than a pimp."

That kind of blog is not about reading or critiquing, imo. It's all about the blogger and her needing attention. So, no feeding that over there :D.

Lauren Dane said...

Everyone has an opinion, everyone has filters and perceptions and some people don't want to read weighty issues in their books. Which is fine. But to be personally insulting because she read something (not even all the way through) and didn't like it seems odd to me.

And anonymous - Is "we buy the books bitch" the best you can do? Without your name even? Your mother must be proud.

Criticism is indeed part of the game and criticism of our books is to be expected. Doesn't mean we can't discuss reviews just because someone buys our books, nor does it mean we have to accept with grace, nasty personal attacks.

Jordan Summers said...

The Hunter is my favorite book by you because of the realism...and the *cough*hero*cough*. *g* The hostility from your anonymous post is rather frightening and unwarranted. It does remind me though why I need to stop blog hopping.:(

Anonymous said...

Jenn, don't let it bother you. We love ya! (The Hunter is my favorite of yours, too.) Don't let these small-minded people get you down - you'll end up nailing your thumb up there. Write on!
Cecily

Jaci Burton said...

I always found that someone hating a book, the characters, the setting, even the way the book is typeset, is fine with me. If you want to hate my books and everything in them, go for it. Some people just dig on hating. I never take it personally.

But when they personally attack the author it goes over the line and gets personal. Stalkerish and a bit psychotic.

And bitch slapping anonymously holds no water in my opinion. So easy to hide and be brave with that 'anonymous' label, isn't it?

Ignore it, and them. Not worth your time. You're a fantastic writer with many fans. I'm one of them. :-)

Kaz Augustin said...

Well, I can't add anything to what everyone else said. Just wanted to second Leslie's post that no, you are not a pimp, you are actually WORSE than a pimp, according to the review. :)

But something good did come out of it for me. It's nice to find a fellow Malaysian author. *waves to Gennita* How are ya, girlfriend? And thanks to Jordan for pointing me in this direction.

vanessa jaye said...

Sorry about this, Gennita. I haven't even bother to go over a read the review, the comments here were enough.

Monique said...

It's amazing how some people have no manners and really show it when they compound their lack of decency with the cowardice of hiding behind anonymous posts.

Anonymous said...

I find it amusing that you enjoy dishing snark but can't take it when it's aimed at you. So you think you're the world's greatest writer, but someone else doesn't think so, so what? It's called freespeech. And when I read a book about rape and children having sex, I trash it. Why? Who wants to read about that in a romance? And you are a bitch to write about that blog here so people can side with you.

And fine, I'll sign my name as Ann. Whatever. Like it matters. Check out Amazon on your new book, Miss Low. People hated it and gave it one star. Get a clue. They don't want you writing about all this weird stuff. Write what we want to read! Maybe you will be more liked then.

For your information, posting sexy veges isn't funny. It's stupid and doesn't have anything to do with your writing anyway.

raine said...

Yikes.
I feel like I missed something somewhere along the line. Hate the book, fine--but the rest is uncalled for.

kim said...

Gee Ann, you accuse Gennita of not being able to take criticism but talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Please take your hate back to your own blog, which I note has zero comments (lot of fans huh?) and leave us to our sexy veggies which we do happen to find funny.

Genn keep taking the high road lady, we still luv ya

Monique said...

I had a whole big post ready and then I remembered. Do not feed the trolls! LOL

Angela James said...

Do you think it's time to disallow anonymous commenters? No need to put yourself in for that.

Gennita said...

Wow, so many comments!

Casee:
There are books that really get me on a rampage, like Harold Robbins', a couple of which I read in my teens. I hated his depiction of female sexuality, hated his characters that treat women like toilet paper. However, I have never felt any antagonism toward the author of those books. I remember telling a friend, who'd recced them to me on the strange belief that these were romances, that his "sexy" scenes made me feel dirty all over and were not my type of story at all. Did I think Robbins was a sexist misogynistic pig just because some of his male characters were? Nope. I understood, even at that age, that the author tells a story and his characters are not "him."

Hope I'm making sense. The "pimp" remark meant that I was advocating the bad things in that book, which was, as you said, asinine.

*********

Leilani,
;-) I'm just glad that many of my readers realize that I wasn't pimping, LOL. I guess the reviewer wasn't expecting that the victims were going to be abused in those kind of surroundings.

**********

Leslie,
You're right! I totally misunderstood. I am..."worse than a pimp." //hanging head

***********

Monique,
I know that my books are more character studies, with a lot of internal dialogue/conflict, and this can drive some readers catatonic, especially if they want a SEAL action book. Hopefully, I also show that both darkness and humor are present in dangerous and hopeless situations, and that the characters are human enough to laugh, cry, and scream at their crazy lives.

Gennita said...

Okay, anonymouse,

"We buy the books, bitch?" Are you the tyrant from the "tyranny of reading" blog that I linked to?

Just because you think you have an honest opinion about a book, do you think a writer can't have an honest opinion about a review?

And I am writing. In my blog. So just go buy some more books, 'kay?

Gennita said...

Aimee,
I also read through a whole month to see what the other reviews are like. Yeah, she does pour the hate on some books on my keeper shelf.

Thanks, Marissa,
I appreciate your delurking to support me. Glad to know I didn't come off sounding whiny!

Hi Lauren,
Word. I felt that the attack was personal and unwarranted, and chose to address it here in my blog that's all. I didn't post over there and pick a fight with the reviewer, who, I noticed, doesn't have a Personal "About Me" link on her blog.

Gennita said...

Jordan,
I love reading blogs, but some posters think blogs are like public bathrooms for them to crap in and leave their mess for the owner to clean up. Thank goodness they are far and few in between! The majority bloggers and posters are wonderful readers who contribute valuable insight into our writing and genre.

Cecily,
(((Hugs))) back, sweetie. I'm okay, not to worry. I pounded my frustration into the roof yesterday!


Jaci,
Thanks for stopping by! It's so cool to see so many author buddies visiting! ;-) I also wonder about the need to bitchslap anonymously. Hopefully it isn't someone I know!

Hi Kaz,
You're from Malaysia? Woohoo! Which part? I have a few Malaysian readers who contacted me. It's so cool to think of my books back home! Uncensored! Heh.

Vanessa,
Thanks for the hugs, girl. I forgot to add that, besides the secret handshake, there are a lot of other...uh...surprises ahead of you ;-P.

Gennita said...

Ann,

You're right, I linked to that review so people would side with me. It is my right in free speech, yes?

I'm not sure what you want me to write that would please your palate. Virginal spies, perhaps? Untrained government agents? SEALs without a weapon? Not in my books, sweetheart.

Oooh, a sexy vege hater???! BEGONE! Now that really crosses the line. How dare you make fun of my sexy veges?! BEGONE, BEGONE!

Gennita said...

Raine,

Don't worry. Nothing much happened. Just a burp.

Hi Kim,
Thank you. I love my Sexy Veges, sob***.

Monique,
Good girl ;-). I don't know whether the troll (or trolls) is the reviewer herself, but maybe she's mad I didn't yell at her, so she's yelling at me now.

Angela,
I thought of it, but some regulars aren't blogpost registrants or they are reading the blog from work, so can't sign in, so that's why they usually post under anon and sign their names under their posts.

Don't worry. This kind of comments only happens once a year, then everything is back to normal. I hope!

JC said...

Just a quick note, the blogger apparently would prefer to be immediately informed that she's reading about an interracial romance as well. Her July review of Demon Moon was scathing as well.

I had to post here since I just couldn't believe her review of Hunter as well as the unbelievable rudeness in calling you a b****. Absoltuely uncalled for!

I, for one, was very happy reading a book like the Hunter that brings up a very real issue that exists in the world. Thanks for continuing to write great romances!!!!!

Sarah said...

Some people are just seriouly conflicted. Not much you can do about it.

Sasha White said...

Not much to say after all the comments here. Just want to add That I think your (Gennita) post was very well done. We're human, we have feelings, and we have a right to look for support from our fans when we need it, and a review that crosses the line to personal comments is a good enough reason.

AND, you made it clear that you didn't want anyone going over there to start a flame war or turn bitch. You're a class act, Gennita, and anyone who says otherwise needs their head examined..

Gennita said...

Hi Sasha,
Thank you. I feel better addressing it in public, not because I want to rant, but because I felt it neccessary to point out when a review becomes a personal attack.

Elaine said...

Wow. Sorry, I'm late posting but I only just read 'Anonymous Ann's post. Jenn, you sure know how to attract them. This one's even worse than the Librarian...unless it's the same guy? Eeeks.

Remember the other weirdo that also hated your pics of nekkid hotties? IMO, 'Anonymous Ann' is a bigger sicko because it seems like she deliberately trashes an author then checks the author's blog to see what the response is - response to HER, that is. Not even the author. I mean, that is just so pathetic. Doesn't she get any attention in real life?

Gennita said...

Elaine,

;-) Love, hate, BUY THE BOOK! Heh.

rae said...

Hi,
Lov you're books, can't wait till the next one comes out. Reg. Anonymous reminds of a small child attention seeking in a negative fashion by trashing different authors to get a reaction to make themself feel important. Ignore her after awhile she'll get bored and turn her attention to someone else. You are a awesum writer and your books are all keepers. I don't usuall respond to blogs ever, but I do enjoy yours. Keep writing, roofing, and enjoying your poms. peace.

Gennita said...

Rae,
Thanks for dropping by and don't be a stranger ;-). We're friendly and bash-free here. Unless, of course, you hate sexy veges.

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