Monday, 3 March 2014

Lynn Shepherd-a rod for your own back

I was gobsmacked by the moronic comments of writer Lynn Shepherd who tells JK Rowling to stop writing adult books as she has "sucked the oxygen from the entire publishing and reading atmosphere" and is basically crowding the shelves with her books and stopping others getting a chance. I could not believe that a grown adult could be so petty and childish. Doesn't it remind you of the school playground when you don't win the game and you reply with 'I'm taking my ball and going home and YOU SMELL!' Oh the stench of jealousy hangs in the air!

Naturally, irate fans are up in arms. I am a huge fan of Harry Potter though I have yet to read her adult offerings which are sitting on my tbr shelf at home. I however fully respect the right of others not to like the books because we all have different tastes and interests. I would never go to a reviewer's page and scream 'how can you hate Harry you moron!' because that is not fair. There is no right or wrong opinion-only opinion. Sadly not everyone has this attitude. I was subjected to vile comments, threatening emails and rants on my blog from rabid spitting 40 something Twilight fans because I dared to slag off one of the books(Bree Tanner for your info). Why the Sam Hill should you care if I hate a book you love? I don't give a damn who hates books I love, I just enjoy my reading. 

But what infuriated me about Ms Shepherd's jealous ramblings is that she admitted to never reading anything by JK Rowling! So she is not basing her bile on thinking the material is crap, just basing it on pure envy and spite. For example "It wasn't just that the hype was drearily excessive, or that (by all accounts) the novel was no masterpiece and yet sold by the hundredweight" I bet you wouldn't be saying that if it was your novel, eh? And yet again, I might give a snot about your opinion if you had bothered to read it first. And frankly how dare this woman sniffily comment that she's never read Harry Potter but says "I did think it a shame that adults were reading them (rather than just reading them to their children, which is another thing altogether), mainly because there's so many other books out there that are surely more stimulating for grown-up minds." You've never read it! You don't know anything about the content and should not be haughtily telling me as a 40 year old what I should or should not read!

The backlash was not long in coming. JK's fans took to Amazon to start writing negative one star reviews saying 'never read it and now never will'. It's not something that I usually personally condone but Shepherd can hardly complain about it, as she slagged off something she had never read. So you could say that she had made a rod for her own back. Negative reviews will be followed by fans who may have read Shepherd's books in the future avoiding them like the plague now. Was this a desperate publicity stunt to get publicity for her books or a very stupid mistake? Either way I'm not impressed and I have no desire to even investigate her book blurbs let alone buy them. 

Shepherd is now apologising for her comments saying she "only ever meant to raise the issue of how hard it is for new writers to get noticed." Utter rubbish. By selecting that title and making those jibes against a named author, she knew EXACTLY what she was doing. JK Rowling was rejected many times by publishers before getting her book deal and I doubt that she would have blamed Tolkein for it. And I would hardly say that having a couple of adult books published is going to prevent other crime authors from getting sales as readers have that wonderful habit of buying more than one book in a genre! Yes amazing isn't it?! Do I choose between Patricia Briggs and Jeaniene Frost? Of course not, I buy both. Did that stop me buying Jaye Wells, Kelly Meding and Jennifer Rardin? Nope. Did it stop me trying Indie authors like Kendra C Highley, Ada Adams and Suzy Turner? Did it hell as like. Each new author I try leads me to reviews of the book and similar things that the reviewer liked. 

Perhaps if Shepherd spent more time on marketing and proper self promotion and less time on stupid rants, her books might do better. But maybe not now... 


  1. "JK Rowling was rejected many times by publishers before getting her book deal and I doubt that she would have blamed Tolkein for it. " Hilarious!!!! Way the go!!! Great article! Lynn Shepherd surely offended a LOT of people, including you and me.. :) It is really inappropiate what she wrote. And a bad case of really bad PR/Marketing!

    Irene @ Ice Queen's Bookshelf

    1. Yeah it's offensive to basically be called a dumb adult for reading books that she feels is beneath her!