Last week I got my first true hate letter.It was anonymous and opened with: “You are a self-involved ass fuck.”The writer loathed my new book Point Dume.Hated my characters.Mocked my writing and intelligence.Despised me, really despised me. It was bad.Of course I know that one shouldn’t take these kinds of attacks seriously—this person is clearly deranged.But I found it very hard to ignore the enormity of his/her venomous rage.

I’ve published three novels and have, for the most part, received courteous response. Of course there are negative reviews but most are fairly respectful and my feeling is that if you put a book out into the world, you have to assume that people are going to react—both positively and negatively. I don’t love it when someone says: “This books is a total disappointment” or “The dialogue, as a whole, is stale and predictable” or even “…the ending is so ludicrous that it wipes out any residual good will still standing.” No man, that doesn’t make my day.But I respect these people’s right to express their opinion about the WORK.My favorite bad review opened with “This is a book you can’t put down because it sticks to your hands.”The reviewer hated Chemical Pink but I will never forget that great opening line.

I’ve received direct feedback from readers.There have been strange correspondences.Bodybuilders have sent me pictures of them and asked me to comment on their various parts or particular poses. More than once, I’ve been encouraged to discuss my favorite muscle group.One man invited me to his house and specified that I come sometime between the hours of nine and two because that was when his wife would be at work.He insisted that we would enjoy each other’s company and promised to have the cupboards full of baby food.Baby food?(There is no reference to baby food in any of my novels.I double-checked.)People send me startling suggestions for stories.Occasionally someone will share an intimate secret because they KNOW I will understand them based on something one of my characters did or said.Okay, it’s weird but it’s respectful.These people reach out to me because something in my writing speaks to them.Fair enough.

I too have been guilty of misdirected rage.Ride with me once through rush hour traffic in downtown Los Angeles.Listen to my comments on the woman next to me who is applying mascara while navigating the transition between the 10 and the 110 freeways.Hear my wrath at the texting teenager in the Audi S5 or the phone-blabbing SUV drivers that clog fast lane.I am quite vocal and articulate when I’m alone in my car.But that’s the thing.I’m alone.I keep my nasty thoughts to myself.No one actually hears my long and repetitive string of obscenities because I would never, ever, think of subjecting another person to my free-floating frustration.I have too much respect for my fellow human beings.I don’t want to needlessly hurt someone.I’m a nice person.

What does my hate-mailer hope will happen?Does s/he envision me shriveling up like the water-doused wicked witch?Would s/he like me to check into the lockdown section of the psychiatric ward and spend my days curled in the fetal position, rocking with remorse?Head banging, nail biting self-loathing because I’ve finally been made to see what a terrible person I really am?What?What do these kinds of people want?It’s just a fricking novel.If you don’t like it, put it down.Walk away.

So yes, the hate mail got to me.He/she won.My question is this: how do other writers deal with this kind of an attack?

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KATIE ARNOLDI has published three novels. The first, Chemical Pink, was a national bestseller. Her second novel The Wentworths was a Los Angeles Times bestseller as was her most recent book, Point Dume, which was published in May 2010 and released in paperback on 4-20 2011. Katie was the 1992 Southern California Bodybuilding Champion. She was also a competitive longboard surfer, an enthusiastic backcountry survivalist, fanatic scuba diver and a constant traveler. She has an extensive knife collection and is currently writing another novel.

65 responses to “I Hate Hate Mail”

  1. Becky Palapala says:

    Ignore it.

    There is no other way.

    Or no other right way.

    I mean, the person is obviously seeking attention. The only way to really stick it to them is not to give them the attention.

    If you’re me, you go the wrong–though immediately gratifying and decadent and “mwwhahaha”–way and just lay into them with some self-righteous and equally abusive (however much more eloquent) treatise on the logical and humanitarian shortcomings of their particular hateration.

    But then you’re INVOLVED. Not that there’s nothing to be learned from getting involved in this way; I just don’t recommend it. But then again, I’m only able to say it because I’ve done it. So you know. You can take my word for it, or play the game, or whatever. At the end of the day, it probably doesn’t matter. You probably don’t want to be friends with such a person, so rule that out. If s/he really feels that way about your writing, nothing you say will encourage him/her to buy another book. And if s/he doesn’t really feel that way but has some personal beef with you for whatever reason, it is probably the case that s/he will buy the next book anyway just to feed the obsession, so….

    Do what you will, you know?

    • Katie Arnoldi says:

      You’re right Becky. There’s nothing to be gained by engaging someone like that. Of course part of me wants to get out the baseball bat and pound out a devastating reply but then I’d just be playing the same horrible game and probably end up apologizing. Best to just leave it alone.

  2. Gloria Harrison says:

    I don’t have an answer to your final question.

    I will say this, though: There’s a documentary called Heckler, which features Jamie Kennedy, whose comedy I am no fan of. Nonetheless, man… The critics in this documentary who hate Jamie Kennedy, hate him – and several of them say as much to him – to his face – in not nice words at all. It’s a trainwreck to watch. And not in the way I’m Still Here must be – because at least then you know it’s put on. As I watched Heckler, I came to one not-so-profound but probably very true conclusion: some people are assholes, man. Just because they can be.

    Sorry you got the nasty letter. You should have it printed on an entire roll of roll of toilet paper. 😀

    • Heckler is amazing. The Craig Ferguson scene alone is worth it.

      But yeah.

      We be writin’. They be hatin’.

      It’s the way of things. Some people just be drinkin’ the hateorade ‘cept they don’t even know the flava.

      • Gloria says:

        “If you do what you believe to be right, you’re fucking bullet-proof.”

        Yeah, Heckler is actually really good. It’s cringe-inducing in a lot of ways. But not in a bad way.

  3. Katie Arnoldi says:

    You know what, Gloria? That’s exactly what bothers me the most. People who are assholes just because they can be. Pure meanness. And anyone who throws out insults anonymously is a coward.

  4. Mary Richert says:

    The other day, I got a really hateful message from someone I’ve never met via facebook. It was about my writing but didn’t address any particular piece I’d written, just generally said I sucked, etc. Being the facebook creeper I am, I immediately checked the person’s profile to see if they had any connection to me, and the only connection is that we live in the same state. No common friends. No shared schools or work places. And of course, his profile was mostly private, so I couldn’t learn anything more about him, which is probably good because I would’ve been tempted to look through all his photos and find his blog (if he had one) and all that jazz. Facebook potentially adds a whole other crazy dimension to fan/hate mail.

    Anyway, I didn’t really get *hurt* by the message because it was so overflowing with senselessness and randomness. I found myself laughing that the person had gone to so much trouble to find me, supposedly read my blogs (after reading whatever article/essay lead him there) and then let me know just how awful a writer he believes me to be. He did all this, but he didn’t type complete sentences or use standard capitalization or punctuation. I may be a bad speller, but I make an effort, man!

    In the end, I just blocked the guy. Any response would’ve been a waste and would’ve only invited more of the same from him. I’ve had some people lodge semi-legitimate complaints about my writing but in really harsh terms. That’s much harder to take because there’s actual content to consider, and it’s heavily spiced with cruelty. Those people are the ones who make me wonder if I should really be trying to publish any writing at all. They say you should stay out of the limelight if you can’t handle criticism, but I CAN take criticism. It’s the cruelty I can’t stand.

    At the end of the day, I have to just say to myself, yeah, ok, but at least I’m DOING something. At least I’m writing. At least I’m out there trying it, what do those people have to say for themselves? How does screwing up my day help them? I just don’t see it.

    …long comment is long.

    • Katie Arnoldi says:

      These critics that sit in the stands and throw rotten tomatoes? I just want to say, “Fine let’s see your work? Who are you to be so cruelly critical? What have you written?” I don’t think that someone who is a serious writer, or even a serious reader, would send such destructive messages. I’m sorry you had to go through that, Mary.

  5. Brin Friesen says:

    Have you ever read “Hatchet Jobs” by Dale Peck?

    • Katie Arnoldi says:

      I haven’t read Hatchet Jobs but I know about it. Reviews are different from anonymous attacks on personal character. Two different subjects. Don’t you think?

      • Brin Friesen says:

        I’m not sure that they’re different subjects. We’re talking about the subject of you here as much as the attack. Your “hate mail” referred to your work. Many reviews refer to an author’s character. Ad hominem attacks certainly don’t seem restricted to hate mail. I’m not sure how much a factor the anonymous factor plays.

        Steve Marin once walked a red carpet an was asked by a mock reporter, “Hey Steve, when did you stop being funny?” He called off all interviews for the next week.

        Review or personal attack? If both, which hurt more? Why?

        • Brin Friesen says:

          Steve Martin, I meant, sorry.

        • Katie Arnoldi says:

          Poor Steve Martin. He really takes a lot of heat. By any chance did you see the review of his new novel in Modern Painters Magazine? Written by Scott Indrisek, it is scathing and ends with “… ‘You want to know how I think art should be taught to children?’ Patrice Claire asks in one of the novel’s few witty passages. ‘Take them to a museum and say, “This is art, and you can’t do it.”‘ If only some had been so forthright with Steve Martin, novelist.”

  6. A lot of people think there’s a lot of evidence there was no Shakespeare, or someone else wrote the plays.

    Among the best evidence that Shakespeare was Shakespeare and the greatest writer ever was, ironically, a negative review:

    “Yes, trust them not, for there is an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers, that, with his Tygers heart wrapt in a Players hide, supposes he is as well able to bumbast out a blanke verse as the best of you; and being an absolute Johannes Factotum, is in his owne conceit the onely Shake-scene in a countrie.”

    -from A Groatsworth of Wit, in which theater critic Robert Greene attacked Shakespeare.

    Of the two men, we remember only one by name. As writers, we do well to remember which.

    All of which is to say: well done. The opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s indifference. People who are indifferent aren’t moved to write to you or say negative things about you.

    And anyone who is must be someone you moved in some way. Someone you made feel something.

    Either way, that’s pretty intense.

  7. dwoz says:

    I second the Entrekinator.

    Indifference is the worst kind of hate. Because it’s valid.

    Having someone moved enough to actually write you, that’s validation.

    • Katie Arnoldi says:

      Yep, you’re right. Still–“Self-involved ass fuck”? Really? Can’t I order up a slightly different flavor of validation? It’s just so visual.

      • Well, first, a lot of people enjoy anal sex quite a lot. So that part’s not so bad, really.

        And second, I mean, who else would you be involved in? If you were involved in others, wouldn’t the criticism be that you were, like, a nosy busybody sticking her opinion where it didn’t belong?

        It’s like being full of one’s self. People say that all the time, like it’s a bad thing. But being full of one’s self makes one less likely to seek external validation, and helps one come from a secure foundation.

  8. I used to write about upcoming local events in the Dallas Observer–like reviewing something before it happened. It’s a weird job, and I’d try not to unfairly judge some band or artist or comedian I’d never seen, but was also hesitant to encourage patronage of some garbage show that seemed like a bad time. So I concentrated on being funny, and as honest as possible. When I took on a Grateful Dead cover band I got my first printed hate mail.

    I loved it. I clearly got under this guy’s skin, plus he quoted my funniest lines in his letter, so I got them published twice in two different sections of the paper. I guess I figure not everyone is going to love what I write, but I’m not going to cry over losing the readership of a jam band defender. If you write for you, hopefully you’ll find that it hardly matters what other people think. And whoever sent you anonymous hate mail, rather than simply agreeing to disagree with you, so to speak, is not only bored and spiteful, he/she is also spineless. At least you had the guts to sign your name.

    • Katie Arnoldi says:

      What’s funnier than a Grateful Dead cover band? I’ll bet that was a hilarious review. I totally agree–if you’re going to put it out there, take responsibility for it.

  9. angela says:

    have you seen that episode of Louie, “Heckler/Cop Movie”? it is HILARIOUS. a woman won’t stop talking during one of his shows, and he spends the rest of his routine roasting her in the most offensive way. then afterward when he tries to tell her why she’s a jerk, she just won’t listen and just keeps saying, “You had no right to do that.” that’s kind of how i feel about these haters – you try to be reasonable with them, and they just won’t listen. there’s no way to win. you either have to ignore them or be prepared to tear them a new one.

    i tried to have a reasonable discussion with someone who had a problem with an essay on my blog. apparently, i had made a few mistakes in the essay, but keep in mind this was for a contest about a TV show, not world peace. and it was two or three mistakes out of 3,000 words.

    i told her she didn’t have to be so snarky, to which she replied her intention was to critique, not to be snarky or nice, and that if i wanted to be a professional writer, i should really be more careful about fact-checking, etc. she wrote with such authority, i actually thought she was associated with the show or contest, but she was just a random person with no blog or articles or anything. and yet i let myself waste an entire afternoon “arguing” with her.

    the only real piece of hate mail i’ve gotten was from a woman who was “appalled” by an article i’d written about how in the end, i was glad my husband cheated on me because that was the only way i could bring myself to leave my unhappy marriage and have a better life. she proceeded to tell me that i was promoting the idea of giving up on marriage too easily, that i should have written a positive article on how it’s important to stay in one’s marriage no matter what (let me get in my time machine!), and how i was single-handedly planting the idea of “disposable marriages” in people’s heads. then the kicker: “Do not respond to this message, as I care not to communicate with you further.”

    so OF COURSE i had to write her back. poked holes in each of her “points.” told her it was okay to be unhappy in her own marriage. that sort of thing. i didn’t hear from her again.

    • Katie Arnoldi says:

      Yes, I’m sure that if you hadn’t raised the “disposable marriage” concept everyone would be living happily ever after. Amazing.

    • Angela, that’s hilarious – the part where she wanted to tell you not to respond. Also, hi, has she ever heard of first person? I think that when people attack a first-person piece as not promoting a certain POV it is so often because they feel threatened, as this woman clearly did. Like if you are saying you did X, you are thereby saying everyone ever in that situation should’ve done X. Glad you wrote her back!

      • angela says:

        rachel, i know, right? you tell a writer “do not respond,” of course she’s going to!

        i’m also amazed that people get offended by first person essays, which are essentially people’s real life experiences. like katie said, if they don’t like it, they don’t have to read them! and you’re right: when they get *that* offended, obviously they feel personally threatened and are projecting their own fears and doubts.

  10. In Korea they really know how to be assholes. I had death-threats for a year and a half, and some prick kept coming to my door to spook me and steal my mail! One of my friends ended up shutting down her blog and leaving the country because she was told (in graphic detail) that unless she stopped expressing her opinions about Korea, the sender would kidnapped and murder foreign children.

    Yeah…

    People are assholes. I know I’m just saying what others have already said, but it’s true. Assholes. Sometimes they have their reasons, and sometimes those reasons are so absurd you cannot call them reasons. These people want attention and validation. When you reply by saying, “Hey, what’s your problem, asshole?” they get precisely what they want.

    Ignore them.

    • Katie Arnoldi says:

      Wow, David. That’s pretty scary territory when they show up at your door. Why would they steal your mail? What kind of crazy thinking can justify that behavior? Hard to ignore when they’re physically in your life. That’s sounds bad. I’m sorry you went through that.

      Yep, ignore. That’s the only solution.

      • I think they were just fucking with me. I never believed they’d do anything. They just want to feel like they have something in their life – they pick a villain and set themselves the goal of destroying that villain.

        It’s disturbing and these people should probably be locked up… but in the meantime we should indeed ignore them.

  11. Matt says:

    That sucks, Katie. Though with situations like that, I’m often inclined to think – especially given the language used – that the criticism says more about the critic than the subject.

    May I point out one teeny silver lining? At least this jerkwad had the good grace to confront you directly, instead of just anonymously slamming you online.

  12. dwoz says:

    I just thought about it some more.

    Your anonymous hate mail letter may…just possibly MAY have been from someone you’re acquainted with, who thought you based an unsavoury character in your book on him/her!

    Like, someone who used to show up at the gym at the same time as you, or something like that.

    Or someone who hit on you for a date, and was rebuffed, sometime over the last 10 years or so.

    You’re a looker, so I’d be surprised if now and again men (and/or women) didn’t take a shot at it, wedding band notwithstanding.

    There would be a transference of blame for the rebuff, from “I’m an idiot for hitting on a woman in an existing relationship and being surprised that she didn’t jump at my offer” to “you’re a self-involved ass fuck.”

    The good thing though, is that the puerile nature of the insult entirely negates any strength or value it might have otherwise had. Someone who actually had a comment about you as author, being too visible and “smeared all over” the book in an oppressive way for the reader, would have to be far more intelligent to pick up such nuance, and their comment would have been far more clean-but-ugly.

    • Katie Arnoldi says:

      A few hours before I got the hate message, I was on a “drugs in literature” panel with three other writers at the West Hollywood book fair. The note may have come from someone in the audience although one of the accusations made was “you are a total bitch that just gets high and treats people like shit.” During the course of the panel discussion I did admit to smoking eight kinds of pot as research for Point Dume but I was very clear in stating that I don’t get high now because I really don’t enjoy it. So who knows? I guess I would say that if you’re going to toss out accusations, do your research.

      (and I’m not a TOTAL bitch)

      • dwoz says:

        There is a young contingent out there that was brainwashed by the Nancy Reagan “just say no” D.A.R.E. propaganda, and who never realized that it was brainwashing propaganda.

        Now, there are lots and lots of reasons not to do drugs, and there’s no reason to get into that discussion at all.

        But there are people out there who cannot see anything other than the drugs==victimization==evil core meme. They can’t understand how perhaps, SOME people somewhere can and do maintain a viable and non-victimized personal drug regime. In their black-and-white world it just isn’t possible.

        It’s no different than religious fundamentalism, really.

        • Katie Arnoldi says:

          Totally agree and that’s a really good analogy–black and white fundamentalism. It certainly does simplify the world.

        • dwoz says:

          I actually had to de-program my adult children with respect to D.A.R.E.

          My own personal experience growing up was that the kids that experienced prohibition-style drug relationships ended up having damaged lives, and the ones that had reasoned and careful engagement ended up being very successful.

          Like anything really. Sex, drugs, work ethic, relationships, sociopathic tendencies. It’s not rocket science!

      • dwoz says:

        temporal proximity is very telling. “Controversial” topic, vitriolic response.

      • dwoz says:

        Thank GOD you weren’t at a teen abstinence conference!!!!!

  13. Katie Arnoldi says:

    You are absolutely right, Matt. It was a private message sent directly to me. I agree, it could have been worse. It’s been so interesting to hear about other people’s experiences. Seems like we all agree about how to handle it.

  14. Oooh, that’s so awful! First of all, everyone who reads TNB or your books knows that you’re a great writer, so whatever this horrid person said about the book should be thoroughly IGNORED. And secondly, how did this letter get to you? Via your publisher?

    I think you have to go DIVA on this and let your editor, agent and publicist filter your mail from now on. NO ONE needs to read that kind of emotionally destructive vitriol. I’m sorry to hear this happened–it sickens me!

    • Katie Arnoldi says:

      Thanks Jessica. I agree that no one should have to read junk like that but I’m fine. I wrote this essay because I was curious about other writer’s experiences. Sounds like we’ve all had them.

  15. Kati, I don’t have anything to add besides what’s already been said in terms of responding. But just want to lend my support by saying that whoever wrote that letter is a complete ASS MUNCH. The sooner you can rid your brain of his ASS MUNCH taint, the better.

  16. I feel like “You are a self-involved ass fuck” could be a writing prompt…like, what’s next?

    I think that there are ways to respond or critique something that a) are constructive and b) don’t involve personal attacks and c) are not directed to the author themself. Like a blog post, which you might find and mull over, but that is ostensibly for the blog’s readers to ponder. I too don’t see the point in sending something totally hateful, but it happens.

    I take comfort in the fact that almost all of the hate mail I’ve ever gotten (not that much, but enough) is from people who can’t spell to save their lives (someone recently wrote something about my “lobedo”). Ha. Ultimately, it is a very backhanded kind of compliment, to have provoked someone in that way. But it still sucks. Sorry, Katie. I don’t necessarily think it means they won, though.

    Also…the fact that you smoked eight kinds of pot to research your novel now makes me want to read it ASAP.

    • dwoz says:

      I was thinking about that “eight different kinds of pot” thing.

      I just today said to someone who was buying me some scotch, and calling, bewildered at the selection, to ask my preference, “after the third one, you could be feeding me paint thinner and I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.”

      I wonder how Katie was doing after the, what, fourth or fifth one?

      🙂

      • Katie Arnoldi says:

        Katie smoking pot was a very hilarious exercise. Of course at the beginning I got way too stoned because “it’s just so damn strong now-a-days”. That very first time I spent hours on the couch, curled in the fetal position, waiting for it to be over. There were many mishaps. I lit my hair on fire once while making an emergency quesadilla, lost things, got lost. I kept meaning to take notes but every time I’d smoke, the idea of sitting down and documenting the experience seemed ridiculous.

    • Katie Arnoldi says:

      Rachel, mine couldn’t spell either! I was “stoopid”. I do love “lobedo”. That’s excellent.

  17. I have had one bad review out of hundreds. It is still up on Amazon. It says that I write like an adolescent. I can take it because it is overwhelmed by the positive feedback that I get. Actually, I think it was probably one of my exes. They still don’t think that I can write and they don’t like that I’m married to my editor and muse. By the way, I think that a woman may attract more trash like that than a man. That’s really unfortunate.

    • Katie Arnoldi says:

      Funny that game of trying to figure out who wrote the nasty anonymous review.

      Arlington, will your editor spouse give you feedback on demand? That sounds like a pretty good deal for you the writer.

  18. Tony DuShane says:

    hate mail is like a starfucking thing. those people assume us writers are getting 100s of emails a day praising our work, they want their name prominent. they don’t realize a five email day three months after the book is out is a lot from readers.

    i never engage hate mail.

    i like the good old days of handwriting fan letters and sending them to writers. i still do that when i really enjoy a book. it’s a lost form of communication that has an intimacy i enjoy.

  19. Katie Arnoldi says:

    Hate mail is like a starfucking thing–exactly. Makes them feel big and strong. Why can’t we get those 100s of lovely emails all the time? Actually I’d settle for five a day.

    Tony, I still write fan letters to writers. I wrote one to Harry Crews about ten years ago and he called me! Same thing happened with Pete Dexter. When a book moves me I really try and make a point of reaching out to the writer. Everybody loves to hear positive feedback

  20. Simon Smithson says:

    Man, that sucks. Sorry to hear.

    Although now I really want to see Heckler.

    I was part of an editing board on MySpace once – it was called ‘Writers Who Don’t Suck’ (suffice to say, it was fairly ironic name).

    People would put up their works, others would critique.

    Some guy put up his work and I went through, as editors do, pointing out weak points, punctuation errors, typos, etc.

    His response began with: ‘OK, asshole, let’s do this:’

    I laughed and laughed and laughed.

    Given the anonymity of the internet, people can be dicks.

    • Katie Arnoldi says:

      Simon, I love the idea of you and that writer taking it outside, rolling up your sleeves and settling it once and for all. I guess he just wanted to hear “don’t change a word, it’s perfect”.

  21. Funny that I just stumbled across your post as I got my first hate mail the other day. Somebody posted up at my blog, and it totally caught me off guard.

    I have a story coming out in Shivers VI, a collection of dark fiction and horror, and sure, I’ve been talking about it a lot, because I’m thrilled to be publishing next to two authors I love and have read extensively – Stephen King and Peter Straub. I have been nothing but humble about this, and generally just feel lucky to be in the collection.

    The comment?

    “You’re no match for King and Straub because you’re delusional and you suck.” And the return address? [email protected] – so there was no way of responding or tracking him/her down.

    WTH?

    I guess there are just too many people with crushed dreams and crappy lives out there who feel the need to piss in other people’s Wheaties. The more you succeed, the more others want to see you fail.

    Don’t worry about that nasty letter, Katie. I mean, you wouldn’t have published so much, and been a bestseller is you sucked, right?

  22. Katie Arnoldi says:

    Richard that is fantastic that you’ve got a piece in Shivers VI with King and Straub and I too would be talking about it if I were you. Congratulations. That’s a very big deal. You just have to laugh at the hate mail–I know it’s a lot easier to do that when it’s not aimed at you personally. But really “delusional and you suck”? That’s the best “fuckit” could do? Fuckit is a fucking loser.

    Thanks for writing. It’s been so enlightening for me to hear about other people’s experiences with the hate mail. Seems like we all get it sooner or later.

  23. Oh, I feel your pain. My favorite comment of all time remains the one-sentence “Yer a fag.” It’s so succinct. So dismissive. So presumptuous. Completely unanswerable. Utterly without intellect. In other words, pretty much the perfect review.

    When I used to publish a fanzine, I once jokingly put in the masthead something like “Send cash, Polaroids, or fingernails.” A month later I got a Ziploc back filled, literally, about halfway with finger and toenails. It still makes me shudder.

    Finally, one reviewer wrote of my first book “dumpy and charmless.” Really? Charmless? For some reason that hurt. I guess because I was under the impression that its big selling point was that it was pretty damn charming. But then I Googled the guy and found out he hasn’t written any books, and it made me feel better.

    Yeah, ignore it Katie. Inspiring a reaction is the whole point of writing, isn’t it? The tenor of the reaction is out of our hands.

    • dwoz says:

      what a luser fag-boy comment.

      you suck lol.

      what a douche bag.

      comment FAIL.

      I wish I had those two minutes of my life back.

      my vomit has better taste than you.

      Get out of your mom’s basement once in a while.

      my dog rights better than you.

      who cares what you think, nobody!

      fuck off.

      what a rich and wonderful world we live in, eh?

    • dwoz says:

      Inspiring a reaction is the whole point of writing, isn’t it?

      bing bing bing bing bing somebody get the man a see-gar.

      That’s my take.

      STRONG reactions, no matter what side of neutral they fall on, are GOOD reactions.

      A man who has no enemies is a man who has never driven a stake into the earth and said, “this is my belief and conviction”

      • Katie Arnoldi says:

        Yep, I think you’re right. “All reviews are good reviews” We want the work to be worthy of comment. Still, it does suck to get slammed.

  24. Katie Arnoldi says:

    Sean,
    “Yer a fag” is pretty great. But man, a Ziploc full of finger and toenails? That’s gonna give me bad dreams.

  25. mutterhals says:

    I’ve never really gotten hate mail, but when I wrote for this alternative newspaper some guy sent a greeting card to the office asking for me to attend church with him, which I found sort of creepy, although I can’t really say why. I guess I just imagined the worst and assumed had I gone I would have ended up in his crawl space.

    • I find that so funny. I do wonder what he had in mind at church. I too have been invited to meet readers in weird places. One guy asked me to come to his house and he promised to have the cupboards stocked with baby food. I never answered. Thanks for your comment.

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