Dear Kathleen Hale

[Originally Posted here

Note: Yes, I’m aware this has nothing to do with losing weight. But its a topic I’m really interested in right now and I wanted to share it. 

I do not normally do this. But in this case I feel like I need to. You, Kathleen Hale, acted in such a way that has me shocked as a reader and I need you to understand why it seems like we as readers are ganging up against you.

As readers, we have a love/hate relationship with authors. We tend to think of them as ours and the characters, once out in published form, are ours to love and want to strangle.

We love our books. They are what makes a large majority of us the most happy at the end of the day. And when we have the opportunity to read Advanced Readers Copies of books from publishers we tend to squeal with joy like kids do with a new toy.

That said, we do not always love the book we read. And that is our right as readers. Hilariously, we readers do not owe you authors our love just because we read your book.

It is possible that we don’t like it. And that is not anyone’s fault. It is not the readers fault nor is it the authors fault. We simply didn’t enjoy it. And then, as readers, have the ability to share what we thought of the book online. Indeed, the publisher even asked us to do that when sending us the ARC.

In your article in the Guardian this past week, you acknowledged that you were “a charmless lunatic” as regards the publishing of your first novel through Harper Teen. I can certainly understand how nerve wracking it might have been to have your first novel taken from your hands and then shared with the public.

But what you followed that with when you received, and admittedly very harsh sounding 1 star review, was unforgivable.

By trying to find the person who wrote the review and by then stalking them you violated, not only the law, but the readers trust in authors.

See, the thing is is that WE ARE ALLOWED TO HAVE OUR OWN OPINIONS OF YOUR BOOK.

You ultimately harassed a woman because you felt that a review you had gotten was unfair and inaccurate. And you justified this to yourself saying that you just wanted to understand better why she had given such a review.

Except it wasn’t okay. And people told you it wasn’t okay. The publisher told you not to engage, Goodreads told you not to engage and a friend of yours told you not to engage. Why, after all these warnings did you still go to a random person’s house and then harass them?

How did that seem like it was a good idea? I’m truly just trying to understand this.

As a reader what you did there was crossing a line, a legal and a moral line, and I’m sure your therapist has told you this as well.

But honestly, even if your book did appeal to me as a reader, after knowing that you stalked a person for a bad review how could I possibly sit down and read your book?

I hope that you understand that what I’m saying isn’t meant to be mean or rude, but to give you a general understanding of what it means to a reader when Authors Behave Badly. You betray the readers trust and ruin your chances for long term positive reactions to your name.

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