Author #WTF ~ Convention Etiquette

November 19, 2015 #AuthorWTF 15

by author etiquette, authors, bad author, behaving badly, conventions, good author, reader conventions

I am sure many of you know by now that I  like LOVE attending conventions. I love meeting new authors, readers and bloggers. I love socializing and talking about all things books. It makes me truly happy. But hearing some of the things that come of authors mouths at conventions can be a real eye opener and contain some real #WTF moments.



If you are new to this book review blog, you should know that I predominately read paranormal and urban fantasy. I also read sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, steampunk, and I could go on and on. I don’t read exclusively romance and I tend to read a variety of things or else I get bored. Hell, right now I am neck deep in The Walking Dead comic books. I would consider myself a bit of an adventurous reader. I know the few things I don’t care for and I don’t judge or have any negative feelings towards the authors or readers that enjoy the things I don’t.

One of the huge local websites hosts a small con once a year. (They host other events as well, but I don’t attend many of those) This year I had not planned to attend, but I have been really stressed and needed a FUN day and they were offering one day tickets. With my puppy responsibilities I couldn’t be gone all weekend, but the one day ticket allowed me to do one entire day and just do the short drive to and from the convention. (Don’t worry, the baby was not alone.) One of the panels was about “reader trends” and I decided to sit in and see what this was about. The panel consisted of two paranormal authors, one contemporary author and two historical authors. Most of the panel steered around some great aspects and discussions about “trends” and a variety of general topics surrounding that general subject. One of the readers in the audience asked what trend the authors wished would die. One of the authors – we are going to call her Bad Author for the purposed of this story – Bad Author says, PARANORMAL. I am sure a look came over my face as I was trying to process this, but I didn’t have time before Bad Author launches into why paranormal is stupid. Bad Author proceeded to provide a list of reasons why she believes paranormal literature is stupid. Bad Author obviously felt offended that readers would say anything in her historical books were not believable, but they could believe someone could transform into a bat and just fly away. Clearly, Bad Author felt passionately about this subject and it obviously held a lot of hurt for her. Guess what, still not an excuse to put down other genres.


You are allowed to not like other genres, it’s cool. This world would be incredibly boring if we all liked the same thing. However; it is NOT OK to put down another genre. It doesn’t matter what your feelings are or why you feel justified in having said feelings. Bad Author sat on a panel with her fellow authors and peers and insulted them in front of an entire group of (mostly) readers and other authors that were strangers. And did so KNOWING some of the others sitting on the panel wrote the EXACT thing she was bashing. What the fuck?

I would also like to point out that paranormal is not a trend. It is genre. I guess you could say vampires or shifters are trends within the genre, but paranormal is an entire genre independently.

When you are with your fellow authors and readers do not put down other genres. It is FINE to say “I don’t like XXXX” it is not ok to say “XXXX is stupid because *insert insult here*”. EVER. JUST NEVER EVER.


As a reader, I was completely insulted and not just because I read paranormal. It was fucking unprofessional and disrespectful. The counter to this is Good Author. One of the paranormal authors, prior to this Bad Author incident, actually said historicals were one of the few things she did not write and then proceeded to talk about how much mad respect she had for historical authors because she found it beyond her abilities to write that genre. GOOD AUTHOR. I am SO buying and reading your fucking books. I am going to read them sooo hard and then review like a boss!

I want everyone to take a minute and appreciate that restraint that I held in for not saying anything out loud during the panel. I kept my shit together! GO ME. Well, except I just kept it all inside brooding until I could have some time so spew it into this post.

I want to disclose that I personally know one of the five authors on this panel. Neither the Good Author or Bad Author are the author I know. All of the rest of these authors were new authors to me and I have not read or interacted with them prior to this day. And NO I am not going to share the author names at this time. 


15 Responses to “Author #WTF ~ Convention Etiquette”

  1. Julie Morgan

    Wow Annie, just wow! I personally do not know how I would have handled that panel if I were in it/attending, but I would have definitely had words with Bad Author after it was over. Honestly I’m offended as a paranormal author and reader. I LOVE paranormal of any kind! She’ll learn at some point to keep her mouth shut, or not and she’ll disappear. The choice is hers in the end.

    • Annie Slasher

      I really felt like she had NO connection to why different people read different genres. I typically read as an escape. I don’t want to read about true historical facts that just make me very sad for humans, especially women during many historical times. For me to escape, it needs to be extraordinary. It needs to make my mind so busy visualizing and imagining the things described that the worries of the day melt away. This is why I read and why I read the genres I read. She didn’t seem to have ANY understanding of that.

  2. Gaele Hi

    I love my historicals – mostly because I can see how the author deals with tough situations FROM the past – and it’s an escape. And like any other genre I read – if the book doesn’t make me visualize and think – I’ve got little use for it. But to condemn an entire genre just because you can….. that’s foolish. And will bite her on the ass.

    Personally – there are tropes that we all are tired of, and trends that just feel like everyone jumped on the boat – but some people do them WELL – and continue to do them well –

    The trend I’d like to see go away is the negativity and jealousy between authors, bloggers, etc. There are books / sites / review styles for every taste out there – and book x may not be for reader Y – but your book z may just be the ticket of the moment.
    I thought there was a thoughtfulness common to readers / authors / reviewers – and I was so sorely mistaken. That makes me sad.

  3. mystickattales

    Oh, man. OH, man oh man. Annie you are my hero. I don’t know how I would have contained myself if I were on the panel with her. In the audience, I might have been like you and sat there smoldering until steam emitted from my ears, but not said anything. You are a class act. I, like you, love reading different genres, and I do read some historical fiction, but I have to be in the mood for it. Yes, history is messy and ugly and bad, but there are things to learn–at least for me, anyways. And I think it makes me a better writer. I don’t think anyone should be judged for what they read or what they like to read. I think it’s awesome when people DO read. But to bash a genre in front of authors who write it, and serving on the same panel…well, I think that only ultimately showed everyone that she is a jackwagon and her sales might see the impact as word gets around as I’m sure some people did tell their friends for whom the bell tolled.

    • Annie Slasher

      I have been known to argue from the audience in panels before. Honestly, it never seems to make a difference and I try not to make a scene. Because I get pretty damn loud..pretty damn fast.

  4. C.A. Szarek

    Just Wow. If I was one of those authors ON the panel that was a paranormal writer, I wouldn’t have been able to keep my mouth shut. GOOD AUTHOR was great for her professionalism. And as an author I can’t BELIEVE that Bad Author opened her mouth with that topic when she had to know there were two paranormal authors on the panel. Wow. Just wow. Still blown away.

  5. JM

    Wow! What a great way to alienate a VERY large readership! I love paranormal. Even if you don’t like it, she should have had the sense to keep that to herself.

  6. Milly Taiden

    This is the kind of shit that worries me happening to any event I go to. I will most assuredly rip a new asshole in that author with no qualms. Some people forget common courtesy.

    • Annie Slasher

      And cue another reason I still hold myself back from writing. I am pretty good at knowing what NOT to do, but I also have big mouth and a quick brain that is lacking a filter. LOL

  7. Milly Taiden

    Also, trends come and go. Nobody has a right to tell anyone their favorite books should stop being produced. If they’re selling people want them.

    • Annie Slasher

      I was really impressed with the panel – with the exception of the “incident” – that was kind of the tone about themes, was that its not something you can intentionally write in and they ebb and flow. Most of the authors on the panel were truly writing what they LOVED.

  8. belindaegreen

    Every time I hear about the bad behavior of authors toward authors, it makes me sad. What happened to being supportive even if what they write is not your thing? I get the feeling that they are so self-involved that they can’t be charitable. In the end, I agree with you, this behavior will come back to bite them in the ass later. Ultimately the readers loose with all this in-fighting. We are the ones who buy the books…we can stop!

    Thanks for sharing Anne!


Leave a Reply