Yesterday, one of my favorite authors had a very public Facebook meltdown. It quickly escalated from there and soon everyone who blogs about books was talking about it. I’m at a complete loss as to what to say. I’ve made no secret of my love for her and her series, but at the same time I can see where she was coming from. In a nutshell here’s the Facebook post:
What brought it on? I’m asking the same question as many of you. I feel that in some ways, Cain was misunderstood. Now, don’t get me wrong-the way she went about it wasn’t the best way. But sometime last week she posted how One Kick didn’t make the New York Times best sellers list and it was the first time a book of hers hadn’t made the list. A lot of people accused her of trying to manipulate fans into buying One Kick or trying to make readers feel guilty for not buying it. I didn’t see that post the way it was perceived by some. Instead, I saw it as her expressing her disappointment because of all the books she’s written, One Kick was the one that had the best reviews (early on) and highly anticipated. That post ignited some feelings and she went on later that day or early the next and basically said from here on out she was going to make people upset. Yesterday’s post, I viewed it as her response to fuck everything.
And as a fan, I’m conflicted. I never dreamt an author I love and admire would be involved in a scandal, much less be put in the situation at maintaining loyalty. As of this morning, I still adore Archie, but now I’m hesitant to recommend her because somehow I see what she did as an extension of me. Does that make sense? I totally understand her frustration and then at the same time I understand where the people who were offended are coming from. I’m still expecting a post from her apologizing for taking things to the extreme, but at the same time, I know I’m not owed an explanation. Someone replied to a post of hers that we aren’t owed anything and that all an author has to do is write books. I brought this up before in this post regarding what we are owed as readers.
Also throughout this mess, others brought up Cain’s response to a blogger’s 4 star review of One Kick and many sided with the blogger. I don’t know if anything went on behind the initial tweet and if it did, the real context of that conversation has been kept under wraps. I personally saw Cain’s response as: if you’re uncomfortable with the subject matter, stay away. Now there’s a part of Cain’s initial response that I don’t agree with, but when I try to substitute One Kick for one of Cain’s Archie / Gretchen series, I can picture Cain responding the same way. Was Cain’s response right? I can’t answer that question. If the blogger felt it was out line, then it’s her right to believe that. I always like to remind people that tone is missing when something on the internet offends us. I’m saddened that a blogger (and several others) were put off by Cain’s response and in their shoes, I probably would have reacted the same way.
Ultimately, I think at this point Cain has too much on her plate. I know she has a full tour schedule for One Kick and is also touring alongside Chuck Palahniuk and Monica Drake in October. I also know until recently she opened up her Goodreads account to questions and maybe some of the frustration also comes from there. Then again, I don’t know. Here’s what I do know:
Will there be another Archie / Gretchen book?
What’s the Archie / Gretchen series book order?
Heartsick, Sweetheart, Evil at Heart, The Night Season, Kill You Twice, and Let Me Go
Do the Archie / Gretchen books have to be read in order?
Nope, but I’d start with Heartsick. I consider The Night Season to be a standalone.
Will there ever a book detailing Gretchen’s personal history?
What happened to the Heartsick FX deal?
Dead in the water. It might be picked up for the silver screen, but it’s all up in the air.
Why can’t I find Y (insert book title) in my country?
It’s all due to rights. If it’s not available in your country is because no one wanted to buy it and hence not published there.
Some burning questions I have for Cain:
Does she have a recipe for banana cake that won’t explode on me in the oven?
Does she dream in color?
Is she really Gretchen?
At the end of the day, it’s events like these that remind us how human our favorite authors are. I don’t know what to feel, but as a consumer and one that has spent money on Cain and her books, I’m at a complete loss as to what to do and feel. If it was a PR stunt, it was a poor one. If it was her airing out her frustration, I think there could have been a different way to have voiced it. In the end, we do have a say if an author writes another book. I’ve seen series get canceled because of lack of sales. If an author isn’t selling books then what’s the point of keeping them? Sure there are other options out there (self-publishing for one), but the amount of work is still there.
I sit here and contemplate what to do and how to feel. What would you do?