The Ego

Dear Author wrote a topic a few days ago titled: should authors shut up and write? Ms. Joyce responds and hang on to your seats, I’ve highlighted some of the good parts and readers, some of it is rather insulting but don’t be. It’s the ego talking.

I’ve never read Lydia Joyce. Quite frankly, her books sound like the kind of novels that I’d enjoy reading since I do prefer “dark” books. Alas, but I digress.  I admit to not reading the comments she made in it’s entirety and thus I started skimming and then these comments jumped out at me like this one: 

Yes, there are some people who are “too stupid” to understand my books. But they don’t bring up a particular plot point they don’t like. They complain that none of it makes sense and that there are so many big, confusing words that the books are IMPOSSIBLE to understand. These people just aren’t my readers. I’m destined to piss them off just by having “big words” in a book.

I am half-way tempted to read one of her books just see all the “big words” she claims to use that seems to confuse readers. Next time I’m in the used bookstore, I’ll get a copy as there’s plenty of her books to be found there, left by stupid people.

Here’s another eye-rolling moment:

As far as “stupid” readers go–those people I ignore publicly. Why would I waste my breath talking about people who aren’t even in my audience? Why would I want to, when what I really want is to snatch my book out of their hands and forbid them from ever coming within 100 yards of another one?

Oh and I just love this one:

I don’t expect my readers to be brilliant. They are, however, not stupid. My attitude isn’t about arrogance. It’s about respect. I can either treat people like idiots and write to them like babies, or I can treat them like reasonably intelligent people and risk occasionally confusing an intelligent person as a result–particularly an intelligent person who’s used to being treated like a baby most of the time, anyway.

Oh and I also had no idea that Ms. Joyce was a member of Mensa  because she goes on to say:

Yeah, I’m smart, and I got sick to death of hiding it along time ago. I refuse to do it anymore because it shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of or hated for, and I hope that my standing up will help others who have faced discrimination, too. (I guess I’m still too much of a hypocrite to post my IQ range, but I can still hope that the day will come when it won’t be any different than dress or shoe size.) There is nothing in the world wrong with being smart any more than there’s something wrong with having blue eyes or brown skin, and it is NOT “showing off” to refrain from talking down to people any more than it is showing off for a tall person not to stoop.

 And to conclude this topic made up of most of Ms. Joyce’s own words (well most of them anyway), I don’t have to worry about her commenting here at my blog because:

If I address something publicly, it’s because I respect a person’s opinion enough talk about it.

Dear Author’s topic of “should authors just write and shut up” is so aptly named for Ms. Joyce and clearly sets the example of an author who should do just that.  My next project for myself will be to read a Lydia Joyce book. I’m sure someone can recommend a book for me?

Edited to add: Monica’s comments here: Hypocrisy in Action.

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About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
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22 Responses to The Ego

  1. Mailyn says:

    LMFAO! I’ve read one of her books! Started to and it was so idiotic and just plain stupid I kept rolling my eyes and decided I couldn’t take it anymore. Big words?!?! Where?? Who does she think she is? Tolstoy? Dostoevsky???

    LMFAO indeed!!!!

  2. Jane says:

    I think the Music of the Night. I think it is her first one and I liked it. It was different. Different place setting. (Venice). Emotional. I don’t remember any really big words, but maybe I skipped over them being a not as intelligent as the author.

    I kind of feel bad for Lydia Joyce. It’s like she is so myopic; so wrapped up in her own miseries that she cannot see the perfidity of her statements. Monica Jackson pointed out some other parts of her rants that were particularly offensive.

    I still don’t know where she gets that smart people are discriminated against. I wonder if she really knows the meaning.

  3. Avid Reader says:

    Her comments kind of remind me of a book I read by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. The heroine felt that her “brilliance” or “smartness” was something that was a burden and was discriminated against for it. So she decides to find a man who was “dumb” enough to have a child with so that her kid could be “normal”. Funny book. Title escapes me now. I meant to link to Monica as she did mention other parts of her commentary that was more offensive. Should do that right now.

  4. jmc says:

    I read the first of Ms. Joyce’s books. I don’t recall any particularly large words or concepts that were difficult to grasp. Does that mean I’m not one of the “stupid readers”? Probably not, because if I was one of the “smart readers” for whom LJ writes, I would’ve enjoyed the book more, at least enough to try either of the two follow ups. Nope.

    As I read the first comment posted at Dear Author, all I could think was that this author needs to learn the concept of brevity. Comments that long fall off track, and often end up embarrassing the commenter.

  5. Bev (BB) says:

    Heh, for some reason I skimmed Jane’s post yesterday and didn’t bookmark it, so I missed all the fun until I saw the stuff here.

    Oye.

    Who exactly does she think is reading her books?

    Oh, and Keishon, the link to Jane’s article isn’t coded correctly or something because it took me to a blank page on your blog, which sort of made me blink for a second or two. 😀

  6. Jennifer B says:

    I JUST finished reading her for the first time last weekend. The Music Of The Night had been in my TBR stack for months. I enjoyed it and reveled in the fact that there were two or three more titles from her I could look forward to. Ah well. Not much–outside the actual work–turns me away from an author. This does. That is some seriously misplaced arrogance.

  7. Karen Scott says:

    I’m glad you could be arsed reading it, I read the first couple of lines to see how long it was, then just decided to give it a miss altogether. Glad I did now, same old shit, different author.

  8. Anesthezea says:

    How did you get more than one post to show up in the top of your blog?

  9. Avid Reader says:

    Go to your options page and you should see an option for how many posts you want per page.

  10. xina says:

    I had the “big words” discussion with this author on AAR last spring and ended up feeling very frustrated with her opinions. I think she draws her conclusions about the “big words” from the Concordance statistics on Amazon. Her Flesch index stats compare to Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. However, if you read about how these stats come about it really has nothing to do with the actual writing…or the big words. To me, I feel a little sorry for this person. I have to say personally, I’m a bit turned off by her attitude. She’s an easy mark now to after her comments but I’m not sure she deserves much attention. I read one of her books. It was okay, but it sure wasn’t War and Peace. Enough said.

  11. Avid Reader says:

    First off: Xina, girl, good to hear from you! Must email you. Meanwhile, I must resist temptation next time an author shoots off at the mouth.

  12. xina says:

    I know what you mean Keishon. Usually, authors don’t bother me when they *ahem*…share (whatever), but this author really, really should shut up, for her own good really. She is trying to sell a product, am I right? There…I’ve said it. Maybe she should reach into her bag of Really Big Words and stump us all, knowing that we’re all so stooopid. Okay…I’ve said enough!
    Yes, please do e-mail me Keishon.! It would be great to hear from you.xina

  13. CindyS says:

    Xina, was that the conversation that had the world’s longest post about how she’s not only super smart but gorgeous? How she has faced discrimination every where? Apparently whenever she comments she brings up her IQ and has stated what it is in other forums. Usually I can’t be bothered reading her posts because they are so long but I appreciate Keishon for keeping me in the loop. I have her first book around here somewhere but whenever people talk about her books they use ‘lush prose’ as a descriptor. Huh. I see ‘lush prose’ and realize that if all you can say about a romance book is that the prose was lush then it’s not the type of romance I want to read 😉 Ah, well. I’m sure she’ll do plenty fine without me as a reader.

    CIndyS

  14. xina says:

    Cindy, Yes, probably that was the thread that she was part of. If there is nothing more boring than a lonnnng drawn-out post, it’s a post where someone is bragging about their high IQ and worse posting an actual number. ho-hum…whatever. My thinking is, if you feel the need to brag about it, you are not that smart. It just seems like a really insecure thing to do. As for the “lush” prose description…I never really know what that means. I read one of her books and can’t recall all that much about it. I don’t remember disliking it, but I guess I wasn’t awed enough to read the next book. With so many books to read, I probably won’t be choosing her books in the near future.

  15. too cowardly to leave a name says:

    She’s young–early 20s I think. Maybe in a few years her maturity will match her vocabulary.

  16. Sybil says:

    In a couple of years hopefully she won’t be around. Sorry but she is no where near talented enough to carry that ego or be insulting to that many people.

  17. Maili says:

    Aw, Lydia J. is okay, really. I have seen her around for years, mostly from when she was a reader and active on a mailing list for readers (this was yonks ago). She frequently got into lively debates with various readers and authors.

    It seems to me that sometimes when she is frustrated or upset she tends to be sarcastic, which doesn’t always come across on a text-based platform well, e.g. “big words”. She sometimes can be like a dog with a bone, especially with an issue she cares passionately for. Sometimes you might have to bash her head with a bone to get your message across. 😀 Either way she usually gives as good as she gets, which is a plus in my books.

    She has a decidedly different perspective and outlook, and you have to look through her eyes to understand what she’s trying to say. I suppose the question is whether you’d be willing to do that. She’s not bad, really. I believe during those times on the mailing list (I can’t remember what it’s called now — it’s the one AAR set up for readers) I irritated her as much as she irritated me, but I do have a soft spot for her because whenever she issued her statements, however provoking these might be, she was usually happy to have her statements questioned. She loves (well, she did at the time) debates and she will change her stance or back down if you managed to put your points across well. In my books that is a plus. Hence my willingness to defend her here.

    IMO, she’s a non-conformist who pretty much marches to her own drum, which is a rarity, I think, in the online romance community where peer pressure tends to dominate our world. Our egos might haven’t get on well (whenever we correct each other’s statements or factoids (especially about history), we hate it enough to argue ’til we can either admit defeat by not responding any more or agreeing she/I was right – it’s an ego thing!), but generally I like her (I admit there have been times when I called her every name under the sun). She can be difficult and, you know, “Aargh! *headdesk* Aaaargh!” She can be a real geek with weird social skills, but she’s a hedgehog. Hence my soft spot for her.

    FWIW, anyway. 🙂

  18. Sybil says:

    She has a decidedly different perspective and outlook, and you have to look through her eyes to understand what she’s trying to say.

    Oh I can see it. I understand ego and thinking you are better than the rest of the world *G*. But when you are trying to make your living off that same world, you prolly don’t want them to know you think their asses are stupid.

    And can you really call it debate when there is no room for movement or seeing that the other person idea’s might be right… or just as right as your own? Sometimes there is more than one answer to a question.

    But hey whatever is clever…

  19. xina says:

    Well, in Real Life she may have some redeeming qualities, whereas online we only see her words. We miss mannerisms and characteristics that are part of her person. I just think if you are selling a product to the public, it’s best for your sales to not insult that public. She may be better off thinking twice before she presses “enter”. Just a thought.

  20. Bev (BB) says:

    I don’t know, Maili. She might’ve been willing to “debate” in the past but the last couple of posts that have shown up are decidedly not simple debating. They are, um, almost indescribeable. Really.

    Hey, I’ve seen a lot of things said online that border on insulting but could be called either way and I usually tend to give the benefit of a doubt or simply ignore them if possible. Can you honestly say that some of the above quoted comments are simply acceptable “debating”? Or even good sense for an author to spout to potential readers? ‘Cause they sure raised my eyebrows.

  21. Avid Reader says:

    I suppose the question is whether you’d be willing to do that.

    No, I’m not.

    I think as a consumer I was more put off by her words. First off, I’m not her friend, so, no, I don’t want to take the time to understand all her personal baggage. Don’t have time for that. I’m not even a fan but a potential buyer. I just think that as Bev mentioned, she raised some eyebrows by stating the things that she did that I as a reader and consumer would find off-putting. There are thousands of other books out there to read and other authors out there wanting to sell me their books without being insulting.
    Appreciate your defending her but I’m sure this whole thing won’t hurt her book sales, so no worries.

  22. CindyS says:

    Maili – I was just saying how I remember her from the reader boards and that she did seem to have an intelligence about her. She was able to debate very well and I remember interacting with her on the boards.

    All the same, now she seems like a completely different person. It’s like once she became published she no longer needed to debate because she was right. If it is a youth thing then I do hope she will grow out of it. If not, someone much harsher and bigger than us will knock her off her self-impossed pedestal.

    Thing is most people don’t remember her as a reader and her name is different as an author so all they know are the words she is using now and clearly she is not making friends OR sales.

    CindyS

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