Friday, March 4, 2016

Angry Brain

Last night was one of those nights where I couldn't get to sleep at all. My brain kept torturing me, by thinking about the book reviews I did for the Nancy Drew Girl Detective Serial Sabotage trilogy.

That was the first (and only) time I've been able to contact a Nancy Drew author. I got some general information, such as their role in the series (editor), how long they worked with the series, and the fact that there were two authors who wrote that trilogy. I mentioned some of the stuff I learned in the review, as background information. To prove that I wasn't making stuff up, I included pictures of three Tweets from the author.

The author got super mad at me, because I revealed private information. I didn't know it was supposed to be private! I thought citing Tweets for reviews is a legit thing people do nowdays. The author was probably also ticked that the review wasn't completely positive. Sorry, but it was a rehash of the first trilogy, and Author #2 really brought the quality down. As in, so bad, it's on the Nancy Drew TV Tropes page.

I changed the review and cut out the stuff the author didn't like, but my brain still felt like tormenting about it last night. "You messed up big time, Michael! You're a huge jerk, Michael! Every author you've ever reviewed will hate you, because you are destroying lives, you monster!" And that makes me want to never do any book reviews, ever again.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

If the tweets you shared were public then you were under no obligation to take them out of your review. You might want to do so out of respect, but they cannot force you to remove any content or alter it because they don't like what you had to say about the book.
Also, if someone wants information to be "off the record" they need to specify that before they supply any answers. Otherwise you have every right to use information gained during an interview.
It's tough when you hear back from someone who's angry about work you published, but it sounds like in this case you went above and beyond to make amends, so I wouldn't beat yourself up over it.

Sharley said...

Agreed, Anonymous! :) Keep up the good work, Michael! You really do an excellent job! :D

baby bear said...

yeah, you can put the tweets in the review; they were public so anyone following you could have seen them. No difference. Your reviews are fair and awesome. Don't listen to the angry author; they're just upset that you're a decent editor. Love your reviews, NEVER QUIT! :D

Anonymous said...

Normally if you put tweets in a review, you black out their twitter handle for privacy sake, unless they give you their permission. Maybe that is what they were angry about. It is very bad form to give any one's email, twitter,facebook, etc out without permission. Also maybe their twitter had their picture , too, which isnt ethical to pass along.

Anonymous said...

Also Nancy Drew books are written under the name Carolyn Keene so the author may get in trouble if they claim authorship publicly and get sued or not get other ghost writing work. They probably also didnt want a bunch ofNancy fans hounding their personal account

Stripes said...

Aww, sounds like you're being rather hard on yourself. If they don't like it being not entirely positive, it's not your fault, that isn't a reason to never write honest reviews, they don't have to be positive all the time. They'd be no use as reviews if they were more like advertising media than honest reviews. Also, I agree with the other comments, they should have made it clear what they'd like to be shown in public first. Don't let this put you off.

Stripes said...

I mean the first three comments, the other ones weren't posted yet, while I was writing my comment.

Anonymous said...

^^ I think the other commenter about the Carolyn Keene identity is correct - the ghost writers sign that they are giving up their credit and will remain secret when working on Nancy Drew projects. If the book is over 10 years old at this point, I'd worry less about it because there's so much turnaround that happens with Nancy books in that time, but they were probably angry because by revealing they worked on that project Simon & Schuster could have legally come after them for breaking contract. BUT, it's also true they should have reminded you/asked you to not include their name in the interview, and if the tweets were public or semi-public, than I'm pretty sure you can use them. try not to worry about it too much, I don't think you did anything wrong.