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To all here who are "outraged" by Hale's behavior - go write a f*ing book for the next 3 years of your life. Then come read your reviews. Note: I am NOT a novelist. But I am a writer, and part of the job is to explore the dark sh*t that everyone else glosses over. It literally is the job. Whether you like what she did or not, she's hit on something human, and all the debate just demonstrates the validity of her piece.

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Jennifer I didn't know that writing a book gave you a free pass to act like an unhinged asshole. I've been doing it wrong this whole time!
Mallory Kellogg I am a novelist, I have spent months putting all my heart into a book. And I have received some negative reviews. That certainly doesn't entitle me to stalk anyone who hated it. Stalking, no matter the reason, is a crime. As are mail and wire fraud. Hale is a felon, not a hero or a victim.
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell I wrote 15 books. So does that mean that I'm allowed to condemn her behavior as much as I want? Great! Thanks.

Not that I needed your permission, anyway.

What KH did was wrong. Just swap out the genders. What if it was a man who stalked Harris, did a background check on her, and showed up to her home uninvited. Scary, right? The fact that KH tried to make it all Bridget Jonesy and self-effacing in her article is pure bullshit and does nothing to mitigate the severity of what she did. She is a stalker, and stalking is NEVER okay.
Lobstergirl So it's okay to become a stalker if you spent 3 years writing a book? Let the legislators know, they will want to write that exemption into the stalking laws.
C. "and part of the job is to explore the dark sh*t that everyone else glosses over"

To explore it? Sure. To perpetrate it? Not so much.
Lainey I normally don't comment on these forums because I have no patience for the back and forth... but I feel almost compelled to respond to this. So you are saying that if you went to the movies and sat through, what you deemed was a horrible movie... (for argument sake lets say "Gigli", (dated reference I know but go with me for a minute)), you decide to leave a unfavorable (or even downright mean) review on Yahoo of said movie, that Ben Afleck or Jennifer Lopez has a right to stalk you online, approach other in an attempt to gather personal information about you, track down your information, show up on your doorstep, look through your car window and call you at work? Because they didn't like your opinion? Uh uh... I don't know any of the parties involved but this author pulled that on the right person. Some people would have reacted quite differently if it happened to them. IJS.

I'm no writer, but I am a reader and when an creator releases something for public consumption they have to take the good with the bad. To use your words THIS IS A JOB... employees at McDonald's don't generally stalk customers just because they receive complaints that the fries are cold.
Claire LaPolt I can appreciate the difficulty that comes with being a writer and still be outraged. Authors aren't entitled to reviews, let alone good ones. Stalking and gathering personal information under false pretenses are unacceptable, and then because she is well-connected and privileged enough not to be seen as a threat, Hale was able to brag about it publicly. Behavior like this, besides being illegal, undermines any community of book reviewers.

Why is this so hard to understand?
Jay since i didn't like what you wrote, i'm going to stalk you. How does that make you feel? get over yourself. What hale did was unethical, unprofessional, and ILLEGAL.
Deborah Markus "all the debate just demonstrates the validity of her piece."

Tl,dr: No, it doesn't.

I had a hater threaten to call the police on me for child abuse, in response to a piece I wrote that went viral. You didn't see me blur any ethical lines in my response to him:


Want to hear some of the nasty things I've been called by other haters? Or maybe you'd like to see how many rejections I got before I landed my lovely agent, and what kind of things those rejections said?

Oh, that's right. I don't talk about those publicly, because that would be puerile and totally unprofessional. I gripe about them privately. It's called being a writer.

I'm surprised you haven't figured that part of the job out yet.
Everett Robert Just because she wrote a book, that gives her the right to stalk someone that didn't agree with her?

I've worked a number of jobs in my life, from fast food to newspapers, from hotels to radio stations and I've had people who didn't like what I did or how I served them and never have I thought I wuld go stalk that person because they didn't like the hotel room I sold them, or they complained about the song I played on the radio, or the fact that I hated Alvin and The Chipmunks movie and they loved it.

What Hale did was ILLEGAL! She stalked someone using her personal contacts, her personal money, and deception. It has nothing to do with her writing (and frankly aren't we all entitled to our opinion good or bad about something?)
Karma♥Bites ^.~ Dear heart, hate to break it to you but writers aren't the only folks on this planet who face criticism in chosen profession--some nearly every day. AFAIK, there's no special exception for producers of any creative work, much less writers.

What I get from time to time would probably make some of you shrivel & sob in a corner. Cuz, ya see, for the most part, people are mature & professional in my world and when blunt assessments are delivered, they recognise the difference betn the personal & the professional. And those who don't never seem to hold their position for long.

But I'll grant you that Hale definitely hit on 'something human'. Sadly, I don't view it in as positive light as you.

etc: typos; missing word
Henry Martin I spent six years writing and editing my first one. When I finally landed a publisher, the company closed its doors three weeks after my book was released.

I have received hundreds of rejections throughout the years, some good reviews, some great reviews, and some negative reviews. A couple of GR and Booklikes users put my books on their 'never to read' list for some odd reason. A few GR and Booklikes users loved my writing and recommended it to their friends. A few people wrote negative reviews and posts.

Guess what - I'm still writing. I have never contacted any one who gave me a negative review or comment, and made them feel bad about it. I 'liked' all the reviews, good or bad, and thanked the reviewers for their time.

There is no excuse for Hale's behavior. There is no excuse for anyone who continues to support her, and there is no excuse for her publisher to keep her book on the market.

I had written some negative reviews and even contacted publishers about inaccurate translations, text, et cetera. If any one of them came to my house or approached me in person without my permission, I would have gone out of my way to make sure it won't happen again.

All the debate does not prove the validity of her piece. It only proves that there are still people who lack manners, common sense, and humanity. Just because they can walk on two legs and hold a gadget in their hands does not make them homo sapiens.
Sharon I am an author, published since 1998, 3 books by a major publisher. Don't you DARE tell me how to take negative reviews, of which I've had a couple.

It wouldn't even occur to me to contact a negative reviewer, much less stalk her. That's because I'm a mature woman with self awareness, and I can separate my novels from myself, and I do not take negative reviews personally.

In fact, I read them carefully to see if I can learn something from them, and improve my writing. I did just that in one case, revising a print-published book for the digital edition because of an Amazon critique.

So don't you go assuming that Hale's reaction is just "human". It's not. It's the neurotic and outrageous reaction of a spoilt, privileged girl who thinks she has a right to command a certain type of review.

The article was full to the brim with lies and misrepresentations and manipulations, and I am disgusted by it. I hope above hope that authors like that are a tiny minority; that most of us are decent, mature, professional people who either don't read our reviews or have a thick enough skin to let them roll off us easily.

Edited to add: I have never, ever involved myself in a Goodreads controversy before; I've heard of them, and kept a wide berth. The fact that this travesty was published in the Guardian forces me to take a stand.
Libbie Hawker (L.M. Ironside) Uh... no. Her actions were not justified by anything, especially not by the fact that she wrote a freaking book.

I speak from experience when I say that authors can "hit on something human" and write valid, emotionally moving work without harassing and stalking reviewers.

No excuse. Period.
Lauren DeStefano I have four books published, with 8 total in the works, all of which are listed here on goodreads. I'm pretty sure I have more collective one-star reviews than this book has overall reviews. They're not necessarily diplomatic or kind.

I am also extremely disturbed and disgusted by Ms. Hale's behavior. Add to that that I don't appreciate being told what a writer's job is, especially by someone whose identity is concealed here. I notice you're enjoying your anonymity, while at the same time condoning the actions of someone who outed another person's online pseudonym and went to her house.

Attitudes like the one here in this "question" are the problem with the internet. This is not an issue of an "author" "hitting on something human." Having a book or two published does not excuse her scary, warped behavior. This is not an issue of authors vs. reviewers. This is an issue of people who need professional help being given a free pass to do something dangerous, perhaps because of their connections and status, or perhaps because somehow nobody at the Guardian sees this as wrong. People are speaking out and aiming to change that.

So, anonymous asker, it seems many of us disagree with you here. Would you like someone to call you at work to discuss this? How about drive to your house? Because that's what you're condoning. And by doing so, you're making it that much easier for the next person to justify doing it to someone else.
Kat at Book Thingo I've been writing as a blogger for over 6 years, and part of my hobby is to explore the shit writing that some writers and editors gloss over. It literally is my hobby. Whether you like what I do or not, I've had to wade through some shitty writing, and all your rant demonstrates is the inability of some writers to see past their own egos.

(Note to everyone else: I've read more excellent books than I've read crap ones. I love trying to convince other readers to read the great ones, and only the worst ones drive me to use swear words. But they exist. And they suck. YMMV.)
Sharon Authors choose to write. It's not my fault if you choose to spend 3 years writing something and I don't like it. It doesn't mean I don't like you, it just means that what you wrote and loved and nurtured doesn't appeal to me. I have the right to say if I don't find something appealing. You don't have the right to track me down because of it.
Thibaut Nicodème Apparently you can be excused for crimes so long as you worked hard enough beforehand.

If she spent three years of her life on that book and it still sucks, we're entitled to say so.
Suzanne Well, I spent 20 months on a non-fiction book and got a mediocre-to-bad review in the New York Times. Went home and kicked the garbage can around, let a friend convince me to drink too much wine, and took refuge in the good reviews. Did it affect sales? Absolutely. How could it not? What would have affected sales still more would have been me having a public temper tantrum or accusing the reviewer of being biased.
KL (Cat) Excuse me, was that a question? Oh right, no. So please make a new thread to discuss your opinions or write a review, and not dump your beliefs here.
Elmer Ahem. I am a novelist, and I've spent six years on my book, and I don't flip a shit when someone doesn't like it. First off, Hale is in a position of power as a published author. What she did was entirely unprofessional. Secondly, bad reviews are part of the deal. Get the fuck over it. Seriously. When I receive negative feedback, I use it to better my writing craft.
Leah Guys, just go to the main page for this question and flag it to be removed. This isn't a question, it's some anon troll venting. Don't feed it.


^ Go to this link, mouseover the box at the top, and click the flag icon at the bottom right.
Yzabel Ginsberg "But I am a writer, and part of the job is to explore the dark sh*t that everyone else glosses over."

NOT in readers/reviewers' real life.
Adrienne D'Nelle Ruvalcaba I wrote a few books, poured my heart and soul into them, AND received some negative reviews....after pondering an answer to this ridiculous question for a minute, I find that I AM STILL OUTRAGED!

Stalking is illegal. Hale's actions are indefensible. Reviewers write reviews for readers, not to pat us authors on the head.

Hale and all her supporters should get over themselves.
Bree Howland She stalked someone! That's not a human reaction to criticism, that's the illegal activity of someone who may or may not have some mental issues that needs to be addressed!
Sandy Emerson You're a troll, right?

Everything is cancelled out when a person STALKS someone else because of a book review. If an author can't handle criticism, don't publish a book - because the truth is not everyone is going to like it and some of those people aren't afraid to say it.

I was going to buy her book. It was in my cart and I was waiting for pay day to roll around. This author's actions cancelled that. And for that. she only has herself and her activities to blame. I don't support stalking or the people who do it.

I would have bought her book even if she was arguing with other reviewers, but she took it too far. End of story.

Joleen I've written stories, in hopes one day I'll become a writer. So coming from someone who isn't a novelist, but has poured blood sweat and tears into my stories, I know negative reviews suck. Sometimes I even feel physically sick by negative reviews,but that is no excuse for her type of behavior. She should have chalked it up to someone not liking her book and let it go. But what she did was absolutely and you sympathizing with her actions, make it all the worse.
Hannah Just because someone dedicates years of their life to something doesn't entitle them to 100% positive reviews. Anyone in the business of creating art should know that it's subjective. There are people who hate my favorite book, movie, singer, artist. It's just how it is. No one should get into a craft expecting and feeling entitled to everyone loving what they do.

No one should be afraid to post their opinions on here because a crazed author might hunt them down and stalk them. It's wrong plain and simple.
Gary Butler Wait, let me get this right. If I post a negative review of a book the author may bring a gift to my house??? More negative reviews here I come!!
D.C. I am a novelist. I get bad reviews. Everyone does. I do not stalk people. I do not complain publicly. I occasionally complain privately. I do not get obsessive over them, since there are so many other things on the planet that it's more productive to obsess over.

The thing about bad reviews is that they feel very personal, but 999 times out of a thousand, they are not personal at all. Professionals understand this.

I am a professional. I am also an adult. I could also add that my nineteen-year-old understands all of this.

Novelists are often on very close terms with darkness. This does not make behavior that was either criminal or very close to it even slightly sympathetic or defensible.
☆Dani☆ I've said it before, but William Shakespeare and James Joyce, they're considered two of the best writers EVER. They spent years and years writing, and it's usually agreed that what they wrote was genius. And you know what? They still got some really shitty reviews during their lives. They've some shitty reviews on Goodreads too, with lots of one stars all over the place.

So if it's okay for Shakespeare and Joyce to get bad reviews, then what makes Kathleen Hale and the like above all that? She's not a better writer than they are, or does she think she is?

If she doesn't want her book to get bad reviews, then she shouldn't have published it. She's completely entitled to keep her writing hidden away from the world, where bad reviews can't touch it. That's a valid decision. But what she can't do is send it out into the world, and demand only positives. That's not how it works.

And by the way, I've been writing a book for the last SIX years of my life, though I'm not published and probably never will be. I've already gotten some negative feedback, and you know what, I deal with it. I don't throw a tantrum and start committing crimes because of it. That's just stupidity.
Patricia Kennedy Wait a minute. Does somebody.... ANYBODY.... "like" what Hale did?
Zetti Personally this is messed up, stalking is not acceptable. When you write a book you are likely to get negative reviews but that does not entitle you to stalk someone and invade their privacy.
Gergana No, I have not written a book (yet). No, I'm not a novelist. But what Hale did was NOT OK. I know what it's like to get hate for something you've done, but that's not an excuse to stalk someone or go to their house or find their phone number. What's worse is that she had the courage to publish it. In "The Guardian". However, what I'm wondering is: What did she expect by publishing this story? Did she expect pity or sympathy? Were we supposed to be all "Oh my God! She got a bad review. Poor thing!"?
Sheri Jenkins Explore the s... all you want, just do it in writing. Do not do it in real life unless you are willing to face criminal consequences of the explored behavior.
Alexandra Also flagged. Completely inappropriate.
Gary If you replace the words "Hale's behavior" with "the content of Hale's book" then I think you make a good argument. Reviewers being outraged by content like that in Ms. Hale's book should be taken with something of a grain of salt, and may say more about the mentality of the reviewer than the artist.

However, having explored the dark shit that everyone else glosses over doesn't justify stalking behavior, and it doesn't excuse misrepresenting the objections that reviewers have made about her novel. It doesn't even work as a rationalization for the public Twitter posts and on-line articles that Ms. Hale has written--even if that writing is in her mind fanciful rather than factual. (I'm not convinced Ms. Hale actually showed up at anybody's door, for instance--I think she might have... fictionalized, shall we say, certain aspects of her account.)

Whether fictionalized or factual, however, it is fair for people to be outraged (without the quotes, thank you) at such behavior. Further, the reasonable response to such unreasonable behavior is to point out the accompanying real world violence, intimidation, bullying and sense of entitlement that such behavior (even if faked for publicity or personal fantasy wish-fulfillment) that it implies.
Holly That still didn't give her the excuse to STALK the reviewer
Kelly Sierra I'm a human. What I do know, as an English certified teacher (you can look it up, I am just a serial number to the education department), and as an BA graduate in English is that sometimes, even the most beloved classics or books do necessarily entrap all those that read them. It happens. My significant other and I fight about who is better all the time, Hemmingway or Faulkner, he won't even give Faulkner the time of day yet and he already has an opinion. It's frustrating, but in the end that is his opinion. There is no need to go an extra step and try to figure out how to take him down. If a goodreads reader didn't like what I felt for a book, I don't need to go on a mission to find out where they live or work for that matter. Opinions are different, and here's some advice: If you are planning to create a product (i.e. movies, books, electronics, etc) for the masses, there is a great chance that not everyone is going to love it. This is okay, and I understand it might be a bit hurtful for the person creating said product, because so much of them went into creating it. I always respectfully dislike something because I know that it takes a lot from someone to make a product, a book in this instance, and put it out there to be ripped apart or loved. This still does not give anyone the right to go a step further.
✨ andrik loves radu dracul ✨ You're right in the fact that it's human nature, but it's a CRIME. It's not just a mistake or a "clap back". It's stalking someone.
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