When it’s hard to be an author

You might think I’m rude. Can I explain? Well, I’m only human.

 

Hey folks, if you read this and think it’s not about you, then that’s probably true and I really am not talking about you. But I got some really strange and most of all hurting messages the past few months, and I think it’s time to explain something to each and every single reader and fan out there.

I love you all for reading my novels and for your great support. But if you have the feeling I did you wrong in any way, I can only tell you that I never meant to. I just can’t do magic is all.

I’ve been called lazy, stupid, mean, rude, a fake, incompetent, and a crappy author. All of it by people I never met in my life. But most of them have read my Grover Beach Team series. Or at least, some of my books. Give me a chance to explain why I may seem all these things at certain moments.

 

1. I’m mean.

Every other day I still get the same emails or messages on Facebook where people ask me to write more books in my contemprary teen romance series, and especially more about Ryan Hunter. I always give the same answer. There will be more books, but Ryan’s story is told. He’s happy with Liza and I don’t want to ruin that story by dragging it out with some fake problems.

It seems some people don’t trust me to write other sweet and maybe even great books. I’ve been called “a mean person” because of that. Apparently I started something that I “didn’t finish” and now I’m torturing people with holding back. I’m so sorry if you really think that, but I can only go with my own feeling in this. I really don’t intend to be mean to anybody with my decision.

2. I’m a crappy author.

In other messages, I got asked by a few people if they could tell me the epic story of their life and I write it down for them. I always say no for several reasons: It’s your story, not mine. I don’t want to write stories that are being dictated to me. I have a ton of ideas that I want to write down because I feel like it, and while I hardly have time to write them all down, you shouldn’t expect me to write something that I don’t feel in my heart at the same time.

There’s also the very important issue of copyright. If you tell me your story and I write it, you would be the copyright owner. So tell me, am I really supposed to work 6 months on a book that you told me in 90 minutes and then give you all the money for my work? Would you do that for someone else?

I’ve been literally called a “crappy author” because of that by someone who claimed to be my biggest fan only two emails before that. I absolutely don’t know what else I can say to make you understand my reasons, but I’m sorry if you feel that way. I really am.

3. I’m stupid.

Fantasy doesn’t work. That’s what I’ve been told when I spent 5 months on writing Neverland and Pan’s Revenge, instead of investing that precious time in another book in the Grover Beach Team series. And apparently I’m stupid, because I don’t get that.

Well, you might not like Fantasy, but I do. And if a book is calling to me, I’m going to write it. I’m sorry if that intervenes with my contemporary series, and I’d love to give you more books about the Grover Beach guys a lot faster, but there’s really more in my heart and head that wants out. And just because you don’t like Fantasy, there are still some people who do. And, of course, that also goes the other way round! James Hook is a sexy hero and I love him as much as you do. But please have faith and believe that I can write other heroes just as sweet and hot as him.

4. I’m lazy.

There are periods of time where you don’t hear from me often and where you don’t get a new book. Contrary to some people thinking that in that time I’m hanging out in front of the TV or doing my toe nails while stuffing cake into my mouth (I never do that—the toe nails. I do occasionally stuff cake in my mouth, though), I’m actually busy with other work. You may or may not know that I’m from Austria and my first language is German. I do have some fans around here too, and they are waiting for my next release as anxiously as you. But that means I have to make time to translate my books. And even if it’s a work I really dislike, I do it for my German readers. Translating a book takes about 2 months. But maybe there’s a small light at the end of the tunnel for you: I hired a translator for my future books. From now on, I can concentrate on my English writing all the time and hope to present you with new releases more often.

5. I’m a fake.

Ouch, that one hurt. People think I’m a fake because there are some small similarities in one or two books they read before mine. I wonder if you actually know how many books there are out there by now. Probably something close to ten billion, it might be a lot more, though. Personally, I believe each and every story has been written in one way or another already. Or can one of you think of ten billion different plots? I dare you to try.

The truth is I read every single book that people accused me of copying—after I wrote my books. Just because I wanted to find out if they were right. And you know what? They were right. There are some similarities between my books and some others. I’m sorry about that, but it wasn’t intentional. At the time I wrote Play With Me, I totally thought it was quite original in its own way, even if it sported a love triangle that was done in a million other books before. I’m sorry if anyone, especially some other authors feel I copied an idea. I did not. I just seem to have had a similar idea at the same time or before or after somebody else.

6. I’m incompetent.

My books are shit and I’m an incompetent author because my books lack ideas and editing, that’s what I’ve been told not only in emails but in some reviews, too. I don’t know where that comes from. I give my best when I write and I have a professional editor who’s doing an excellent job. If you find errors in my books, I’m more than happy for you to reach out to me and tell me about them, so I can make appropriate corrections. Strangely enough, no one ever does…

7. I’m rude.

I’m rude because I didn’t get back to you within a week after you sent me your first fan email. I’m rude, because instead of getting in touch with you personally, I set up an auto reply.

Yes, I did that. And yes, it might take me longer than a couple days to get to your email, but that’s not because I don’t care, it’s because I don’t always have the time for it. There are days where I write 10 to 14 hours non stop. I don’t eat and barely drink in that time. I don’t talk to my family or my friends. I just write because I’m on a roll and really want to give you the next book as soon as possible. Because I think that would make you happy.

If you write to me and it’s a nice email telling me how you liked my stories, ask me questions or whatever else, you will get a reply. If you call me a rude pig in your message, you probably won’t.

In all that time I try to make for my fans in between my work and my family, I’d really rather speak to nice people and don’t waste that time one someone who only aims at making me feel bad. I hope you can understand that. If not, I’m sorry.

 

Having said all of that, I know these people are a small minority and most of you are still very, very suppostive and understanding. I silently thank you every day for giving my books a chance and falling in love with my heroes and heroines. I apprecialte every single email you write me, every single review you post, every single time we chat and every single moment you spend reading my stories.

I love you!

Anna

 

 

 

14 thoughts on “When it’s hard to be an author

  1. Some people do things that are justcompletely and utterly diabolical, what kind of person hurts another by slandering their work. Anna’s books are amazing, especially her fantasy works!! I hope those who sent such hurtful and ridiculous comments stop and think about what they are writing.

    1. I often wonder what really makes those people write those emails. If it’s just thoughtless or rather intentional. I like to believe it’s the first. I don’t want to be mad any anyone and I don’t want anyone to be mad at me either. I write books to make myself and everyone else, who wants to read them, happy. I love my job.😀

  2. I’m so sorry to hear that you have received such negative feedback from readers that state they are your biggest fans. While everyone is allowed to have their own opinion on books, there’s a difference between an opinion and intentionally hurting someone’s feelings or trying to discredit their work. I love your stories and feel that every page is worth the wait. Thank you so much for donating as much time as you do to write us such amazing stories. Your time is not wasted and you have readers that love every page.

    1. I know that my time on the computer isn’t wasted. It never feels like that when I pour all my thoughts into a new book that I know many of you will love at the end.🙂 Thanks for your kind words. It’s those messages that tune out all the terroble ones.❤

  3. Okay, I dunno if this sounds fake or all that crap, ya know? But you are an amazing author. I know other people may not see that, but you’re awesome. I really like all your books, and I get it. I write fantasy/romance stories. They don’t get actually published as books, but seriously, everyone good gets hate from haters who have nothing else to do and need to get a life. Sorry, I’ll stop now…😛😉

    1. Yeah, I always want to dare people who just rant about bad books to sit down and write their own. LOL. They might find out that it’s not as simple as they believe.
      So you write but don’t publish? What keeps you from doing it?

  4. Hi…. I don’t really do this very often, but I think I need to write something to show some support to you Anna.
    First of all, I’m sorry if I write something wrong, because I’m from Chile, and my language is spanish, so is a little hard for me to think and write in english.
    Thank you Anna for telling all this stuff. You’re a writer, therefor an artist, and I know this kind of things are not to be overlooked by a sensitive person like you.
    Everybody has the right to give an opinion about a book, or a painting, or a sculpture, a movie or whatever creation… but to use insults and hurtful words to do it… I think is way out of line.
    I’m sorry you have to go through this things for doing what you love. Sometimes people don’t realize that they have the option to boy or not buy a book (because you haven’t put a gun on our heads), don’t realize that you have a life, and a family, and a house tu run; other people don’t realize that art is a very personal and subjective, and you can like or dislike something and that’s ok (just because I don’t like Picasso’s paintings, doesn’t mean I’m gonna go and throw a tomato over his creations).
    Just know that there are a lot of people that really LOVE your books, and we are gonna still buy them, until the end of time!!!

    Un abrazo gigante!!!

  5. Hi Anna
    Well, first of all I love your contemporary books (I don’t read ANY fantasy fiction by any author as its not my cup of tea). I have purchased and read and re-read and read again, all the Grover Beach novels and I am in my late 30’s and live in the UK!! I think they are brilliantly written, heartfelt and pure escapism for me. When Ryan breaks down in the shower after the showdown with Lisa and Tony it gets to me every. single. time.

    It must be so difficult for you to receive negative comments. Not everyone will like your work as that is a fact of life, but I can never understand why someone would purposely set out to email you hurtful words that go beyond anything that would be said in a face to face conversation. It is so true that many many people hide behind their computers.

    On a positive note, these readers love your series so much they are demanding more of the stories but just going about it in a really bad way😉

    Keep up the good work
    Best wishes
    D x

    1. It’s those messages…telling me exactly what got to you (like Ryan in the shower) that makes writing worth every single minute of my time.❤
      And I think one is never too old to feel young at heart. Especially when reading a book.😉 I'm way over thirty myself, but on some days I just feel like 17 again. LOL

      1. I completely agree! I find myself nervously chewing my thumb nail in anticipation of the HEA in your stories. It takes me back to being that age and all the angst, you write it so well. We are obviously ‘young at heart’ if not in age😉 xxxx

      2. I’m with both of you!!!
        I’m over 30 too, but I love these books, and I can’t wait for the next one.
        A lot of people might think I’m crazy, but I think Anna’s books are so well written, have really compelling, tender and real stories behind and supporting the romance; and they are really a beautiful scanner of what adolescence really is (without the bullshit and the cheesiness that a lot of authors seem to add at writing time). I think every parent in the world should read her books. Period.
        I only have nice thoughts and words for Anna…. so GO ON GIRL!! You’re great….😀

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