9 thoughts on “Holy Cow, This is Terrible

  1. And I thought some Star Trek fans were nuts. Arthur Conan-Doyle tried to kill of Holmes and couldn’t get away with it. Ah… the perils of literary success.

    I wonder if Dickens had stalkers. Or Jules Verne?

  2. It has been truly creepy in some of the fora at Amazon and GoodReads.

    Some folks were having an extended “jokey” conversation about “Misery”ing Harris and all the forms of torture they could devise to force her to keep writing.

    The only bright spot was that it was on a day when I was kinda blue about my own writing. I felt reassured that the pace of my work is in keeping with what I can handle. I mean, I live to write but I cannot handle death threats and casual jokes about being tortured.

  3. Holy cow! It’s really amazing to me how comfortable people are about saying incredibly weird, scary crap in public. I mean, I’m sure there may have been people who felt such things about, say, J.D. Salinger, but there wasn’t any way that he or some family member was going to stumble across it.

    The fact that people even joke about this stuff–knowing she’s a real live person–I just find that so disturbing.

  4. Let me just acknowledge up front that the way she is being treated is immensely fucked up.

    That being said, if you’re tired of doing what you were doing but your audience is still gagging for more, why not just contract out the writing to a ghost, collect the cheques and forget about it? There must be loads of writers who could do the job well and would jump at the opportunity. I can think of two objections to this course of action. One is that it violates your notion of artistic integrity. The other is that the secret would inevitably get out. To both of these I kind of say who cares. I guess a third possible objection would be any legal complications that might arise from such a scheme, which I’m ignorant of. Anyway if it were me I’d at least consider it.

  5. Yeah, you know, that hadn’t occurred to me, but I’m honestly not sure why Harris didn’t take that route. It solves half her problem. The other half–people thinking they should get to dictate plot points–there’s not much to be done about that. But I also imagine that there might be some fear that, if people who are threatening to kill themselves or you get their way, then there’s no stopping them.

  6. In some interviews I’ve read lately she keeps emphasising that they’re having a new grandchild.

    One of the reasons I’ve not kept up with her books is the consistency problem; she has never been as detailed or organised about her mythology and has often said “Oh, I just didn’t remember [that someone was a wereX in previous books and now all of a sudden they’re a wereY/Z]”

    I just really get the impression that her heart is very much not in these stories at all anymore. She’s also writing a coda booklet that will come out in fall that clearly spells out what happens to each and every character so that fans won’t ask her about the series anymore. I think she’s gotten to the place where other things matter more than money to her. Things like her privacy and having conversations that don’t center on Sookie Stackhouse.

  7. I agree. I’m having some other-channel conversations about the odd behaviors of country music fans and how the industry has both thrived on the availability of stars to fans (back in the old FanFest days, especially) and how difficult the feelings of ownership of someone and his or her creative outlet can be for the performer and his or her family. It reminds me a great deal of Harris’s circumstances.

    How do you both engage with your fans and maintain proper boundaries? It seems like the bigger you get, the harder that is to navigate. So, maybe that’s in part an answer to Elias’s wondering–if fans still felt like she was the face of the books, it wouldn’t really matter if she wasn’t writing them anymore. She’d still have people showing up at her house.

  8. “How do you both engage with your fans and maintain proper boundaries?”

    Sadly, no matter how an author or other celebrity conducts themselves, there are enough deranged ‘fans’ out there to make life dangerous. Consider Mark David Chapman who shot Lennon. Or the stalker who murdered Rebecca Schaeffer.

    The culture of celebrity and the size of the population make such dangers seem almost inevitable regardless of precautions. It is hard enough to protect a President with teams of rotating professionals. For a celebrity, much harder.

  9. My suggestion was not meant as a way to stop her fans harassing her, only a way to continue making money off them. I was only thinking about her wanting to quit the series. There’s a product people really want, but you don’t want to make it anymore. Why not let someone else do it?

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