Ball's in my court now, Miss Manners. Let's go over your response piece by piece.
DO NOT TAKE THE REVIEW PERSONALLY.
I do not trash authors on my blog, Miss Manners, and I never have. I trash books, bad ones, ones that are poorly written and give me headaches and portray men and women and vampires and Dukes and circus performers in an unrealistic and offensive manner. If you will read my review of Too Wicked To Kiss, not once do I make personal reference to Erica Ridley herself except in the context of the book she has written.
Actually, no, I stand corrected - I personally mentioned Erica Ridley once, and I shall quote the exact passage because this also applies to your concerns about how I treat authors (as opposed to their books):
First of all, I would like to thank Erica Ridley, who offered me a free ARC of her debut novel, Too Wicked to Kiss . To return the favour, I would like to advise that she not read this review. I didn't enjoy your novel, Ms. Ridley, but I'm sure other people will.That being said, unless you're in the mind for some constructive (and some not-so-constructive) criticism, this review might not send you to your happy place.Wow, I'm such a bitch, aren't I? The nerve of me, offering polite thanks and letting her know that my opinion, while negative, is subjective.
DO NOT REFERENCE THE AMOUNT OF WORK YOU HAVE PUT INTO YOUR BOOK.
Sorry, Miss Manners, but the amount of work put into a novel has absolutely nothing to do with a review. It's completely irrelevant. Every author puts an enormous amount of work into a book, myself included. My task as a reviewer isn't to evaluate the amount of work put into a book. My task as a reviewer is to review the finished product. As I mentioned in my Author's Attitude post - I'm sure the caterers and sound crew and lighting technicians worked their asses off to make Gigli, but that doesn't mean the movie didn't suck.
Ahem. Back on topic - you are once again taking my reviews personally. I do not ridicule authors. I ridicule the books, the non-thinking, non-feeling, inanimate artistic creations that are separate from their authors. Nowhere in my review of Too Wicked To Kiss do I ridicule Erica Ridley. What I do ridicule are the elements of the narrative that I found lacking. I ridiculed the characterization. I ridiculed the pacing. I ridiculed the complete lack of paranormal development or realism. I did not ridicule Erica Ridley. I ridiculed the specific aspects of the specific book.
Why? Because that's what reviewers do - their job is to evaluate specific, independent books and articulately express the reasons why they like or dislike them. I like to think I'm articulate. I use turns of phrase and metaphors and pop culture references. I get creative. You evidently take issue with that, but the fact remains that I have said nothing whatsoever negative against Erica Ridley herself. Other people (like the Romance Dish) absolutely loved her book, so feel free to click there and get a second opinion.
There have been incidents on my blog where other commenters have made inappropriate comments that personally insult authors and I have always taken them down because that is wrong.
DO NOT REFERENCE THE CRITIC'S LACK OF PUBLISHING CREDITS TO IMPLY THEY ARE UNQUALIFIED TO REVIEW YOUR WORK.
Yes, of course, the old "oh, you're good enough to buy my novel and send me royalties but not good enough to tell other people you didn't like it" excuse.
Opinions are like fantasies of Hugh Jackman on a unicorn, Miss Manners - every gal has one. Let me introduce you to the Internet, the Roman Colosseum for gladiatorial bloggers, commentators, armchair pundits and columnists to duke it out for the attention of the wandering websurfer's eye. On this magical Net of the Inter, street cred comes from two aspects: how easy your website is to find and how easy it is to read.
The only difference between a good critic and a bad critic is their command of the English language. Readers take me seriously because I make sure that my reviews are well-written, my points are clearly established, and that some goofball humour is squeezed in for good measure. I have street-cred because I care deeply about what I do and what I read and I put that across in my writing. Not to toot my horn - who am I kidding? I love my horn! *toot! toot!* - but my readers respond to the passion I put forward in my writing and in return, keep reading. Do I always agree with all the opinions of my other awesome blogger friends like Wendy the SuperLibrarian or Katiebabs? No - but I still respect their opinions because they express them in an articulate manner.
I shall count my positive reviews as anything meriting a B- or higher. C+ or lower are my negative reviews.
Positive Reviews: 102 - 72%
Negative Reviews: 39 - 28%
In the words of Oscar Wilde, "Epic Math FAIL." So it turns out I'm not a spewing fountain of negativity so much as a leaky drainpipe of negativity. Tomato-Tomahto, I guess.
Anyhow, when or if agents, publishers, or editors choose to come to my blog, it's entirely possible they might miss the obvious fact that I'm a festering pustule on the ass of literary commentary and instead notice that I make an obvious effort to make my reviews elucidating, witty, and fun to read (~*toot! toot!*~).
But thank you for taking the time out of your day to rap my e-knuckles with your little e-ruler.
HAVE A NICE DAY!