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Wow. Jett stepped in it yesterday with her coveting post about a new-to-her series. She didn’t care for the series title and found the book descriptions to be too vague to be able to judge if she’d truly like to read these books, since she wasn’t clear what the storylines were about.

However, she did find the author had some good ideas within her series, a new angle that she would like to see others explore, not merely this author in question.

Yet the trolls came out in force, and I expect to be doing a lot more blocking and reporting when this post publishes, too.

Let me clear up some things.

1. Jett is NOT an author. There are NO books written by Jett Ostra, published or under her bed — so far as she has owned up to, and I did ask again before I wrote this.

2. Jett’s post does not pretend to be a review of books she hasn’t read. It is a COVETING post. To covet means, according to Webster’s online, to want (something that you do not have) very much. Here’s the link so you can see for yourself. If you read Jett’s other coveting posts, you’ll see she’s a tough judge. Fortunately for all of us, once the book is in her hand, that toughness goes away and she approaches every book with the hope that it’s going to get her recommendation. This is because she loves Rock Fiction and she wants to see the Rock Fiction community come together and inspire each other to raise the standards for excellence.

3. Dissension is fine at The Rock of Pages. Abuse is not. Those who wrote abusive comments found them deleted and their authors have been reported for abuse.

4. Jett never once maligned the author, only specific elements of the presentation of a series of books. Why the author’s friends and supporters are now maligning me, Susan, is beyond my comprehension. Jett is Jett. Susan is Susan. There is a difference.

5. This blog is about the wonderful world of Rock Fiction. As in Rock and Roll. This is important because anyone familiar with the music industry will tell you that it’s a tough business. Snark abounds. People with thin skins don’t last long; the anger and vitriol of these abusive commenters is nothing compared to what I personally witnessed and had to swallow during my years in the business. And when you work in the music business? Twenty-hour days are the norm, baby. Dealing with people who’ve had too much caffeine, too much nicotine, not enough sleep, and seven people who all need something ten minutes ago, let alone the twenty who need something different NOW… that’s life at its best and its worst. But that is rock and roll and yes, Jett is more than allowed to bring the snark and the attitude to The Rock of Pages. It’s why I hired her, frankly. As one of the nicest men I’ve ever met says, “Rock and roll!”

So why report abusive posts if it’s nothing more than I’ve had to endure in the past? Because the past is the past and this is the present. Trolls of this nature should not be tolerated, and this point is pounded home routinely by more influential bloggers than myself or Jett.

6. This is a site devoted to Rock Fiction. Jett and I send each other links about books on an almost daily basis. And we both know there’s plenty more out there that we’re not seeing. How do any of us make decisions about what we choose to read and what we don’t? By reading descriptions that put a new spin on the category. By exceptional covers. By encountering books — and sometimes, the authors — that stand apart the same way James Hetfield stands apart from the guy of the same age who was never able to make it past playing the corner bar. Doesn’t mean it’s bad stuff; I happen to like a good bar band. It just means it takes more incentive for us to read it.

7. The real shame here is that when I saw the first comment from the author, my first reaction was to e-mail her and invite her to set the record straight. I’d have loved that, a classy post that enticed readers (and Jett) to read the books. In fact, I was in the middle of doing exactly that when the trolls popped up. Goodness, but that e-mail got deleted awfully fast! Too bad. Author Nicky Wells wrote me a fabulous post when Jett poked fun at her for naming her rocker Dan, and I’ve spoken to other authors who’ve expressed interest in continuing this same idea as a series.

Opportunity lost. Opportunity wasted.

What a shame. Because, you know, what if Jett read those books and loved them? What if they were as good as their defenders say they are?

Well, we’ll never know, will we?

  1. Anne-Marie says:

    I couldn’t agree more about authors needing a thicker skin. I also think authors need to remember that they are professionals and need to be very careful about personal reactions and over-reactions. Critiques of books are fair play if you’re putting your work out there, and if your work is being analyzed, you need to step back and not take it personally. I’m sure Salman Rushdie, Ian Rankin, or Ian MacEwan are not losing sleep or sending their dogs after me because, despite being authors I generally love, they all put out books I didn’t like and critiqued on Goodreads.
    Sorry you’re going through this, Susan. As a rock fiction writer, I appreciate everything you do to further our emerging genre.

  2. lizellyn says:

    Thank you for all the posts that you have written. I have really enjoyed reading them and appreciate your and Jett’s comments on books. It’s a great site to find more rock fiction books. I should hope that this wouldn’t deter you from writing honest reviews in the future.

    • Thanks, Lizellyn! I am hoping to grow the site even more; I’m glad you’re along for the ride. If you’d ever like to contribute anything, holler! I’ve just brought in an admin and the sky’s the limit.

  3. Nicky Wells says:

    Susan–sending you huge big hugs and oodles of support. You and Jett totally rock this site. I read yesterday’s post and can’t quite see what all the fuss is about. Jett expressed an opinion. Heck, Jett expressed an interest in how the author would pull off a particular theme later in the series. Surely that’s a “Wooohooo” moment?
    I don’t know what the trolls had to say, but as far as I’m concerned, I say: ROCK ON. I love what you do here. And I’m tickled pink you gave me a little shout out, LOL. *winks*
    So keep doing what you’re doing, ladies, and long live rock fiction coveting. XX 🙂

    • You know me now, lady. I take care of the cool peeps. Thanks for the support; nothing here is going to change … except expansion! Maybe that means more trolls, but if you think about it, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I mean, my pageviews have been through the roof the past few days…

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