I'm going to do something I don't usually do and name names. You see, I was reading a review site the other day, and in the message boards I came across a post by someone who is not a fan of a particular author.
She doesn't like Lori Foster. She said, and I paraphrase, "Lori Foster is at best mediocre and at worst completely unreadable."
I took offense because I happen to like Lori Foster. I frickin' love Lori Foster. I am, admittedly, quite jealous of her success. But it's not about that. Lori Foster writes really good men. Her men never fall into the category of whiners, or chicks with dicks, in fact, they are quite on the opposite spectrum and testosterone-laden enough to be paranormal heroes. She has 3 sons and a husband (according to her bio) - and being surrounded by men like that gives her writing an authenticity that shines through in her characterization. Her women... well, that's a different story. You don't read LF to see yourself in the heroine, you read her to hope that one day you'll be loved that way by a hero.
Regardless, this post isn't actually about Lori Foster, it's about phrasing a statement in such a way that you don't come off sounding like a tool.
If the message-board-chick had said something like, "LF has never done it for me, but check out Author X," I wouldn't even have blinked. Instead, the way she voiced her opinion about Ms. Foster's work wound up insulting not just LF, but anyone who happens to like LF. Because the subtext is, if you enjoy a book written by LF then you like 'at best' mediocre writing and 'at worst' completely unreadable dreck, and what kind of loser likes dreck?
We see it a lot in the world today. People saying "X is shite," as opposed to, "I don't like X." Even worse, there's quite a bit of, "Why on earth would anybody ever enjoy X? Who would enjoy something like that?"
I'll tell ya who, me.
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