Anne O'Connell,  fan mail,  groups,  S. Connolly,  thoughts

Dear Diary…

My post yesterday about bizarre criticisms turned into a conversation among my writing group. “What was the strangest criticism you ever received?” I figured it would be a fun blog post.  For me the strangest criticism would have to be when a critic complained that one of my my esoteric books read like a personal diary.  As opposed to what?  A recipe book? A book of facts?  I suppose my books are kind of written like magickal journals. But so are most esoteric books. I hardly see how that’s a bad thing, but evidently he felt it was.  Of course tied in at close second was the critic who claimed to vehemently hate me and my books but then went on to say he’d bought and read every single one I’d ever written. Really? Why would you continue to buy books by an author whose work you dislike that much? Sorry, but when I hate an author I don’t buy their work anymore.  lol!

Of course with fiction I get the standard criticisms most authors get. “Oh no – typo! This writer can’t write!!!!”  or “You started a sentence with AND, awful, awful writer!”  and “I don’t like this writer’s voice so I’m going to herald that they can’t write.” and “This book wasn’t my cup of tea.”  I’ve also got “Wooden, stock characters” and “These characters touched me deeply!” on the same book. Which only goes to prove that what people like is very subjective to the individual.

Of course the funniest fiction criticism would have to be the woman who accused me of writing bdsm fiction based on google research, because evidently she felt she was some authority on bdsm (as if there’s a secret bdsm cabal with a checklist of what is, and what isn’t *real* or *acceptable*), and she went on to insist I was writing bdsm fiction for the money. Let me repeat that because it bears repeating.The reader was absolutely convinced that I was writing bdsm to cash-in on the genre.  Ha!  Evidently bdsm authors are making money hand over fist?  ::rolls eyes::  Writing fiction, in any genre, can be a crap-shoot.   I never went into writing thinking I was going to make money or that it was going to do well. It’s always been a labor of love for me.  If you want to know the truth, I think someone’s books weren’t doing so well and someone was pissed that mine were. Evidently I was viewed as the competition. That much was made clear by how the review was worded.

Also, it’s not like I woke up one day late last autumn and said, “I think today I’m going to start writing bdsm to make a quick buck.” If you’re a writer, you know how ignorant a statement like that would be.  I’ve been penning stories and novels since I was in gradeshool. I’m thirty-nine now.  🙂 I think it’s pretty safe to say I write stories because I love to read and  I love telling stories. I write NF books because I love to share information.  I’ve always wrote on the premise of “Keep your day job.”  Any writer who doesn’t is a fool. I’ve been submitting my work to professional markets, and have been published in professional markets, since the mid-90’s.  So the poor woman made a complete jackass out of herself with that review.  I guess the rule there is don’t insult an author personally when you have no personal knowledge of that author.

::sigh:: Gotta love critics. If anything they can be quite entertaining.

Steph is an award winning and bestselling author of thrilling steamy and paranormal romances, dark urban fantasy, occult horror-thrillers, cozy mysteries, contemporary romance, sword and sorcery fantasy, and books about the esoteric and Daemonolatry. A Daemonolatress and forever a resident of Smelt Isle, she is happily married and cat-mom to three pampered house cats. Her muse is a demanding sadistic Dom who often keeps her up into the wee hours of the morning. You can contact her at

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